Sustainability & Environment

The School of Professional & Continuing Studies offers classes and programs that teach and encourage sustainable living, ecological stewardship and environmental leadership.

Our classes and programs enable professionals and do-it-yourself-ers to learn and lead by implementing sustainable design and practices in their everyday lives.

Our Sustainability & Environment classes and programs seek to extend the values and resources of a liberal arts education into sustainable professional and personal practices that protect and serve the environment and the bottom line.

The selections listed in the tabs below represent a portion of what we have to offer. Additional listings are available and include a wide range of classes.


In the tabs below, classes and programs include a registration link. For specific information on how to register for online classes, review the information in the Online Partner Registration page. Procedures differ slightly by partner, but may all be completed online.

Programming Levels

In our Professional Education & Enrichment areas of study, we seek to provide a selection of coursework and programs that meet different enrichment and workforce levels of study. Each is described below:

  • Career-curious and enrichment: Designed to explore a career or expand an interest
  • Career-level: Designed to build skills or shift to a new career
  • Professional-level: Designed to deepen or widen knowledge and experience
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  • Career-Curious & Enrichment Programs
    Corporate Social Responsibility

    Online: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is the concept of organizations taking responsibility for their impact on society and the environment. Businesses which embrace CSR promote the public interest through what they do and what they refrain from doing. CSR is the inclusion of the public interest into corporate decision-making. Self-paced (three months access) through MindEdge.

    GVI Foundations in Sustainable Development

    Powered by GVI: Foundations in Sustainable Development is GVI’s flagship program. It provides those who would like to make a positive impact an introduction into the “for good” sector. Participants learn about the field as a whole and gain preliminary insight into a specific field. Consists of three courses that are designed to be completed within three days each. Self-paced (two weeks).

    An Overview of Sustainable Management

    Online: Sustainable management is managing a firm so that it generates profits for its owners, protects the environment, and improves the lives of the people with whom it interacts. This course provides an overview of sustainable management, and discusses the role of government and regulation in sustainable management practices. Self-paced (three months access) through MindEdge.

    Triple Bottom Line Accounting

    Online: The Triple Bottom Line concept, also known as the 3Ps (People, Planet, and Profit), is both a metaphor for thinking about sustainability as well as the basis for a practical framework for accounting and reporting on organizations activities and impacts. The TBL concept borrows the well-known and widely accepted idea of financial accounting and its bottom line and expands it. Self-paced (three months access) through MindEdge.

  • Career-Level Programs
    Permaculture Design Certificate

    On-campus: Offered in partnership with the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute, the certificate program is designed for those interested in learning design techniques to build a more sustainable community in their backyard, their neighborhood or their city. Instructional-team led (offered annually) through SPCS.

    Certificate in Sustainable Management

    Online: Sustainability refers to the use of ecosystems and their resources in a manner that satisfies current needs without compromising the needs or options of future generations. A sustainable business is one that generates profits for its owners, protects the environment, and improves the lives of the people with whom it interacts. Self-paced (one year access) through MindEdge.

    GVI Impact Academy Online

    Powered by GVI: Receive theoretical training and practical experience necessary to transform a community or environment, through more effective project work. Delivered in two parts, online and then in-country, the UR Impact Academy answers the need of purpose-driven organizations: to recruit employees with a deep understanding of best practice, context and practicalities. Our goal: every graduate builds a long and successful career creating positive change. Self-paced, instructor led and international field experience.

  • Professional-Level Programs
    Winter Weather Warning: Using Weather to Inform Organizational Decision Making

    In-person: This course equips organization leaders with best-practices for critical decision making and safety planning before and during extreme and severe winter weather. Instructor-led by Richmond meteorologist Jim Duncan.

    Sustainable Management: Leadership Ethics

    Online: Leaders are increasingly being held responsible and accountable for the manner in which they lead—and if they are adhering to ethical behavior when they make decisions. Leading in an ethical manner can provide a clear advantage in building a thriving enterprise. Self-paced (three months access) through MindEdge.

For Organization Leaders Meteorologist Jim Duncan offers expertise & practical guidance for those responsible for making business decisions about inclement winter weather. Weather Warning with Jim Duncan
Drawing of permaculture design proposal
Certificate Program The Permaculture Design Professional Certificate is offered in partnership with the Shenandoah Permaculture Institute. The program teaches design techniques to build more sustainable communities in your backyard, your neighborhood or your city. Permaculture Design Professional
Students conducting fieldwork
Hands-On Experience In partnership with GVI, our Sustainability & Social Impact Academies provide career-oriented courses and international fieldwork experiences focused on sustainability and social impact. Choose from 8 different areas of study. Sustainability & Social Impact Academies