Sustainability Leadership and Implementation Course

6 Day Course | $3,500 (non-credit) $4,416 (credit) | 2 Credits
Dates: 10/2 | 10/3 | 10/4 | 10/31 | 11/1 | 12/6
Registration Deadline: 8/27

Do you have a lot of ideas on how your company could become more sustainable but need help engaging stakeholders and getting buy in for your ideas? You may also be looking for a deeper understanding of how sustainability can help your organization maximize profits as well as benefit society?

The Sustainability Leadership and Implementation Course (SLIC), run by Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver and world-renowned sustainability consulting and implementation non-profit Natural Capitalism Solutions, will help you gain the knowledge and skills needed to implement an effective and profit-enhancing sustainability program for your organization. The course is taught by sustainability leader and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions L. Hunter Lovins and clinical professor of leadership at the Daniels College of Business Scott McLagan (see bio’s below for more on their experience implementing sustainability).

You can take this course for graduate level credit at Daniels College of Business, program, or for non-credit and earn a Certificate in Sustainability Leadership and Implementation. You do not need to be a student of DU to apply.

Click or scroll for more information:


Course Description
Students will gain a deep understanding of sustainability frameworks, while also learning the practical leadership and implementation skills needed to put an effective sustainability program in place. Topics covered include:

  • Business Case for Sustainability
  • Leadership Framework
  • Creating a Sense of Urgency
  • Financial Analysis & Risk Management Basics
  • Sustainability Strategy, Reporting, & Communication
  • Generating Short Term Wins & Building Momentum
  • Developing a Shared Vision and Strategy
  • Communicating and Gaining Alignment
  • Employee Engagement & Stakeholder Relations

As a final deliverable, participants will take what they have learned in the course to develop and implement a strategic sustainability initiative for their organization and present their initiative to the class. This project will allow students to start an initiative while under the guidance of their professors and peers.

The course is taught in three two-day sessions with opportunities to network with students and professors during and outside of class. Homework will be assigned between sessions with weekly deliverables and interactions in an online learning management forum. Students receiving credit for the course will have some extra course work. Classes will be held at the University of Denver campus. Parking and meals will be provided on class days.

Who Should Apply?
The course will provide equal opportunity to individuals seeking a certificate and students seeking elective credit. Priority will be given to those that apply first and space is limited.

Who should apply for the Certificate?

Those who manage or will be managing sustainability for their organization are great candidates for a Sustainability Leadership and Implementation certificate. The ideal candidate has executive level support from their organization, demonstrated interest in sustainability, at least three years of work experience, and a bachelors degree. While the course is designed for those managing sustainability, individuals not currently involved in sustainability in a work place may be selected to participate. The course can also count towards the Graduate Business Certificate. Please inquire if this is your desire.

Who should apply for Credit?

You may want to apply for graduate level credit for this program if

  • Your company will only reimburse for courses in which you earn a grade, or
  • You want to receive credit for the program for transfer to another university. (Other educational institutions may accept these credits, but it is up to their discretion)

To apply to receive credit for the course you need to provide an unofficial transcript showing completion of an undergraduate degree in addition to the general application.

Tuition for students seeking a certificate (Sustainability Leadership and Implementation Certificate or Graduate Business Certificate) is $3,500.

Tuition for students seeking credit is $4,416.

If you are interested in the course but would need a scholarship or discount to attend, please still apply and mention your need of financial assistance at the end of your application. If enough students apply, we may be eligible for some financial assistance.

Make the Case to your Employer
This course is important for your professional development as well as your organization. Download our one-pager to help you make the case to your employer.

Sustainability is Just Good Business
Numerous studies, including those done by Deloitte and Goldman Sachs, show that companies that are leaders in environmental, social, and good governance policies are growing faster, have higher market capitalization, and are better protected from value erosion than their more conventional competitors.

World Class Faculty
The course is a rare opportunity to learn from one of the true pioneers in the sustainability field, L. Hunter Lovins, founder and president of Natural Capitalism Solutions, and Scott McLagan, clinical professor and the executive director of executive education at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. (See below for bios.)

Past Participants & Testimonials


“Every now and then, I come across a springboard that’s powerful enough to launch me in a new direction, and this class was that springboard. I not only walked away with practical tools for implementing initiatives but also a vision for what sustainability can do for businesses and communities going forward. The team from Natural Capital Solutions was incredible. Their knowledge regarding sustainability far exceeded my expectations and their genuine interest in each student’s success (not just in the course, but also in their career) inspired me to raise my own bar even higher.”
– Sarah Verno, Lockheed Martin

“This was a great opportunity to learn from pioneers and industry leaders in sustainability.” 
– Dianne Beal, Hunter Douglas

“The business case for sustainability provides a framework for business success in the 21st Century. Managers and executives concerned with the success of their companies and the continued happiness and productivity of their employees need to attend this course.” 
– Adam Irwin, juwi Wind, LLC

“It was a real privilege to learn from a true pioneer of the environmental and sustainability revolution. I would certainly recommend this class to sustainability professionals looking to sharpen their skills in advocating for the business case of going green. Very insightful and quite enriching.”
– Miguel Pena, Renewable Choice Energy

Instructor Bios:

L. Hunter Lovins is President and founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions (NCS). Trained as a sociologist and lawyer (JD), Hunter was a founding professor at Presidio Graduate School, one of the first accredited programs offering an MBA in Sustainability. Lovins has consulted for scores of industries and governments worldwide. She has consulted with large and small companies including the International Finance Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, Interface, Clif Bar, and Wal-Mart. Hunter is recipient of such honors as the Right Livelihood Award and was named Time Magazine 2000 Hero of the Planet and in 2009 Newsweek dubbed her a “Green Business Icon.” She has co-authored nine books and hundreds of papers, including the 1999 book, Natural Capitalism; the 2009 UNIDO report, Transforming Industry in Asia; and her most recent release, Climate Capitalism.

Scott McLagan is a clinical professor and executive director of executive education at the University of Denver, Daniels College of Business. He teaches and consults in the areas of leadership, strategic planning/execution, marketing, and global business. Scott is the Co-Lead for both the Leadership and Global Business elements of the University of Denver’s highly acclaimed Executive MBA program. He has developed and delivered numerous customized Executive Leadership programs for companies such as Newmont Mining, Kaiser Permanente, TIMET, and Denver Health. Prior to joining Daniels, Scott spent over 27 years in industry and has a diverse professional background. He held senior executive roles with two large global companies (Emerson Electric and Monsanto) and a high tech start-up (OneRealm). Scott does Management Consulting and Executive Coaching with organizations of all sizes in a wide range of industries. Notable clients include IBM, Emerson, Comcast, HCA, United Way, Dell, McKesson, Nike, and Newmont Mining.

How to Apply:
Apply for the course here. Be sure to specify if you would like to take the course for credit or certificate.

For additional information, please contact

Contact us today about guest lectures, certificate programs, curriculum development, and greening your campus today!
The Madrone Project announced NCS has partnered with BGI, In the Telling, & Person to create a prototype of Madrone -- learning modules with short video integrated with other dynamic learning resources, activities and social media. ... Learn More.

Did you know...
Increasingly, employees want to work for companies that are taking sustainability seriously. Two recent studies found that overall 92 percent of workers prefer to work for an environmentally friendly company [i], and 96 percent of workers aged 18-35 want to work for a responsible and green-minded company.[ii]

[i] Working for the Earth: Green Companies and Green Jobs Attract Employees. October 2007.

[ii] Generation Y and the Workplace. Global Workplace Innovation. 2010.