We’ve received a lot of feedback to include more Sustainability coverage and resources into our website. I recently reached out to Everblue, an accredited training company that specializes in energy and sustainability courses, to see if I could take and review their Corporate Sustainability Manager course. They thankfully agreed.
The course, which is 24 hours long and takes 3 weeks to complete, can either be taken in classrooms all over the country or online. I’m taking the online course and will be offering a review of my experience after each session. My hope is that my feedback will give you a good idea of what you will learn and whether this course will prepare you to tackle your company’s sustainability initiatives.
Day 1 Review:
I was surprised and impressed that I received the course textbook more than 2 weeks in advance of the class. The textbook is comprised of 250 pages worth of slides, the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, and some inserts that we’ll end up completing for homework. When it came time to log-in, I had no problem using the Elluminate software that they use to host their courses.
There were 12 people who also participated in the 2 hour live session and we communicated with one another through chat. The titles of the participants included Facility Managers, Corporate Sustainability Officers and other Operations people. A few had taken courses with Everblue before and a couple of the participants lived outside of the country. I did not think that today’s session was going to be as interactive as it was. Jon Boggiano, one of the founders of Everblue and our instructor, did a great job of introducing everyone to one another and set a good tone for the class right from the beginning by sharing with us his military experience and why he started the company. I appreciated that he let us know that the entire course was going to be recorded so that we could go back and listen to specific parts of the training on our own time. Jon began the course by sharing with us the course objectives:
- Identifying factors forcing organizations to be more sustainable
- Understand how Sustainability contributes towards the success of our organizations and the protection of the planet
- Understand the major topics of Sustainability and identify the synergies between topics
- Create and implement a sustainability mission statement
Today was spent discussing Jon and my classmates the definition of sustainability, the biosphere impacts and the factors driving sustainability. I liked how Jon set up the initial discussion about global warming and climate change. He made arguments, based on scientific research, why global warming is real. But, he also stressed that companies will also be looking at sustainability initiatives through the triple bottom line (people, planet, profit). Jon did a good job introducing the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies (CERES) and their philosophy and I specifically liked his comparison and examples of the factors that drive sustainability. Case studies were consistently used in today’s lesson to add context to many of the principles that were being taught to us. I also had an appreciation for Jon quickly responding to questions and comments posed by our class and was glad that he included additional commentary to the slides that we covered. Our homework is to read the introduction to “Confessions of a Radical Industrialist” by Ray Anderson and defining our company’s triple bottom line. Our next live class will be next Thursday, December 8th at 1pm EST.
A few suggestions for improving Day 1 include putting a camera on Jon so that we can see his face. I’d also recommend adding other non-static elements to the course to make it even more engaging (non-static slides and video). I don’t know if Everblue will provide this, but I’d definitely like to get the contact information of my classmates so that I can collaborate with them, outside of class, on sustainability issues. All in all, a great first day.