Certificate in Sustainability


For anyone looking to break into a career in sustainability or wanting to move into a sustainability position in your current job, you might want to check out the Certificate in Sustainable Community Development offered at Simon Fraser University. The program was designed for professionals who wish “to implement sustainable development practices in their communities” (SFU website, 2013), with the goal of creating a network of sustainability leaders throughout British Columbia (BC). The program is in its 6th year and has garnered excellent reviews from past participants.

The Foundations course, coming up Sept 12-14, provides a solid grounding in sustainability principles and frameworks with some of the City’s leading sustainability experts. That course is followed up by a two-day tour (Sept 27-28) that looks at living models of sustainability (Applications). I co-facilitate that course with my colleague Nina Winham of New Climate Strategies. Over two days we tour urban farms and unique sustainable housing developments (including Olympic Village), green roofs and greenways, as well as cutting edge waste and energy management systems. It’s an insider tour, with access to sites and speakers not often available to the general public.

Students must complete four more core courses (i.e.; Sustainable Economics, Making Change Happen) and two electives (i.e.; Community Food Systems, Communicating Sustainability) over ten months. The program culminates in a Design Studio where students collaborate on a real life problem in metropolitan Vancouver.

Certificate programs look great on the resumé, but don’t require the same time and financial investment as graduate programs. There are still a few spots in the program and you can sign up for the courses à la carte too. Check it out here.

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