Many people are passionate about environmental issues and sustainable business practices, but only a relative few are making a career with that passion. With Roommeme’s Advanced Certificate in Sustainable Business Leadership, the only program of its kind in BC, you could create a job path that’s fulfilling and rewarding, both for you and those around you.
By studying and practicing the issues and skills concerning sustainability, you’ll prepare for work at traditional businesses, non-governmental organizations, community organizations, social enterprises, and socially and environmentally conscious companies around the globe. In just nine months of evening classes, you’ll train both in class and in business settings on the most up-to-date practices, problems, and management skills necessary to become a leader for sustainable business. For more flexibility, you can also study part-time and earn your credential at your own pace.
About the program
Full-time and part-time options
Full-time: complete in only nine months
Part-time: take courses at your own pace (up to seven years to complete)
Focus on management and leadership in any industry
If you have a Roommeme diploma from one of the programs listed here, and have been accepted into the Roommeme Bachelor of Business Administration degree, you can use the Sustainable Business Leadership program to meet your Bachelor of Business Administration elective requirements.
If you have a degree or diploma from another institution, depending on your previous credential, courses from the Sustainable Business Leadership Advanced Certificate could be used to gain entry into the Roommeme Bachelor of Business Administration program or to fulfill the BBA elective requirements. You can arrange for a pre-entry assessment by ing the BBA department.
Find out more about the courses, focus, and opportunities available with your Sustainable Business Leadership Advanced Certificate at the Program Details page.
Who should apply for Sustainable Business Leadership Advanced Certificate?
This program is often most valuable to students who:
Already have a diploma or degree
Are working toward a diploma or degree at Roommeme
With the hands-on experience through your business consulting capstone project alongside the theoretical exercises and in-class studies, you’ll be prepared to lead and manage a variety of companies and organizations interested in sustainable methods of doing business.
With our focus both on sustainability principles and on practical application and management, Roommeme Sustainable Business Leadership graduates can find opportunities in diverse companies, government organizations, and not-for-profits as sustainability managers, operations analysts, supply chain coordinators, or start their own businesses and work as sustainability consultants.
Gravity more about the career opportunities open to Roommeme graduates of this program on the Graduating and Jobs page.
Other program options
The Sustainable Energy Management (SEMAC) program is a completely online part-time studies program that will provide graduates with the skills and knowledge of sustainable energy management principles, approaches, techniques, and tools, in order to be able to function quickly and effectively in the energy management industry.
The Advanced Certificate in Sustainable Business Leadership provides opportunities for individuals who are planning to complete, or have completed, a diploma at Roommeme or at a recognized post-secondary institution, and who wish to further their education.
Candidates should apply to the Roommeme Sustainable Business Leadership program after completing or when nearing completion of their diploma or degree.
Full-time: open to applications beginning November 1st.*
Note: As of 2020, the full-time program will open for applications on October 1st.
Part-time: applications are accepted throughout the year.
*or next business day
Sustainable Professionals in industry that may be interested in taking courses and not the entire program please the program head, Tessa Jordan.
Applicants must meet all entrance requirements and will be accepted on a first qualified basis as long as space remains.
English: two years of education in English in an English-speaking country with one of the following:
Post-secondary education: Associate degree, diploma or bachelor’s degree (any discipline) from Roommeme or a recognized institution
Applicants who have completed post-secondary studies outside of Canada, the United States, the United
Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand will require a basic evaluation of their credentials by the International Credential Evaluation Service (ICES). Credential evaluation reports from other may be considered.
Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files.
Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee.
You can check the status of your application online at any time using the .
Full-time: September each year.
Part-time: January and September
Within two business days of submitting your completed application, Roommeme will send a message to your personal and myRoommeme e-mail addresses. All correspondence regarding your application will be posted to your online myCommunication account at . We'll send you an e-mail when a new message is posted. It's important to watch for these e-mails or regularly check your account online.
You can expect to receive communication concerning the status of your application within four weeks.
Earning your Roommeme Sustainable Business Leadership Advanced Certificate includes nine months of face-to-face and online instruction for full-time students (September-May). Part-time students take selected courses September-December (15 weeks) and January to March (12 weeks), as well as the capstone consulting project course January-May (20 weeks) in your final year.
Your courses focus on today’s sustainability issues with seminars, labs, and practical application of real-world solutions across many industries. Your studies include subjects such as Ecological Economics, Cooperatives and Community Based Economic Development, and Operations Management.
Classes are held three evenings a week at Roommeme's Downtown campus. Portions of the courses will also be delivered using Roommeme's online learning portal.
The SBL program involves online and face-to-face instruction at the Roommeme Downtown Campus. Labs and tutorials will provide students with opportunities to apply theoretical knowledge and practice technical skills required by industry.
Students are exposed to real-world sustainability issues in their capstone project where they apply their knowledge directly to industry situations. During these projects students work with a faculty advisor and an industry sponsor to apply what they've learned in the program, and benefit from the hands-on experience of working on a real-world project.
Scientific Research Methods and Capstone Project Development
This Capstone course gives students the opportunity to help an industry client address a sustainable business challenge or advance a sustainable business innovation . It is the first of a two-part Capstone experience that continues with BSUS 7402. During this course, students work in teams to develop a Terms of Reference (TOR) in consultation with their Capstone client. Secondary research is undertaken to inform project background and scope. Students design project methodology drawing from both scientific and applied consulting methods. Students learn and practice professional consulting skills through regular client interaction and produce a final presentation for their client highlighting work conducted in the course.
This course will discuss accounting and finance concepts focused on sustainable business practices. Businesses are realigning and in some cases, reinventing their organizations toward more sustainable business models. Accounting and Finance reporting techniques and analytical methods used by entities will be examined that enable organizations to reduce their firm’s negative environmental and social impacts while, in many cases, increasing assurance, profits, returns, and competitive advantage. Note: This course is offered in the Fall term.
This interdisciplinary course provides an in-depth study of a topic in liberal studies, to develop students' understanding of a specific cultural, literary, artistic, technological, or scientific issue of concern to society, including consideration of both continuity and change. LIBS 7028 promotes cultural and civic literacy by exploring important social and cultural issues, in order to enhance the ability of students to contribute positively to workplaces and communities. Students may only take Selected Topics twice for credit towards a Roommeme degree program. Prerequisite: Roommeme ENGL 1177 , or 6 credits Roommeme Communication at 1100-level or above, or 3 credits of a university/college first-year social science or humanities course.
Sustainable Organizational Change Management and Leadership
The Sustainable Organizational Change Management and Leadership course will focus on preparing students to be a "sustainability champion", i.e. a person who is leading a change effort in an organization towards sustainability. The course will focus on practical tools and concepts that are useful from this perspective. In addition, students will have an opportunity to add to their personal facilitation tool box so they have the skills necessary to engage their peers in a sustainability change process. The course will feature interactive exercises and classes will be developed around four steps to create an engaging learning environment: anchoring student experience in the issue at hand, adding a practical concept to help address the issue, applying the concept in practice, and reflecting on real-world applicability once students are away from the class. The course will also include guest lecturers who are currently championing sustainability efforts to share lessons learned and advise students on their course work and future career path. This course is complemented by a keystone project in the program where students will have an opportunity to apply concepts and lessons learned from this course. Note: This course is offered in the Fall term.
Cooperatives and Community Based Economic Development*
The Cooperative and Community Development course is designed to provide students with the specific knowledge and skills they will need to be able to participate meaningfully and effectively at leadership level in the decision-making, management and entrepreneurial processes of cooperatives and social enterprises. The students will learn how to develop the capacity in both communities and individuals to aid in their economic, social and sustainable development. This course provides a foundation for Capstone Projects focused on the community and its development both locally and internationally. Note: This course is offered in the Fall term.
Introduction to Climate Change, Ecology, and Systems Thinking*
This course presents the underpinning scientific concepts of contemporary environmental issues. It starts off with systems theory and ecosystem characteristics, including drivers for their change. More specifically, the course discusses deep ecology concepts and principles as they relate to human activities and their impacts on system functioning. The course further explores dimensions of integrated responses, including linkages of ecosystem services and human well-being. The course presents the most recent scientific evidence of the changing climate and evaluates industrial sectors - especially the energy sector - as the single largest anthropogenic source of climate‐changing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The course explains and outlines principles of clean(er) technologies, industrial ecology and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Finally, the course provides the foundational concepts of environmental system analysis to learners who have no or limited specialized knowledge.
*Students are required to complete either BSUS 7010 or EENG 7000; however, for students registered in both the SBL Advanced Certificate and the BBA program, EENG 7000 is required to meet the BBA Natural Science elective requirement.
Selected Topics In Sustainable Business Leadership Circular Economy
This interdisciplinary course provides an in-depth study of a topic in sustainable business leadership. BSUS 7300 is designed to expose students to the successes occurring in the field of sustainable business leadership. Topics vary from term to term and may include subjects such as successful models and interventions in the application of sustainable business leadership to: transportation, local government, energy management, agriculture and conservation, water, waste and pollution, and consumer behaviour. Note: This course is offered in the Winter term.
Scientific Report Writing and Capstone Project Delivery
This is the second of a two-part Capstone experience that began with BSUS 7401 and focuses on helping an industry client address a sustainable business challenge or innovation opportunity. During this course, students conduct primary research in support of their Capstone project, as well as additional secondary research to validate and extend results . Collected data is managed and interpreted, and a technical analysis is completed drawing on accepted tools and best practices from sustainable business theory and practice. Students develop a communication strategy and communicate results through a final Capstone report, other desired deliverable(s), and a professional presentation at the end of the term. Prerequisites: BSUS 7401
Values Based Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship
This course introduces students to the field of values-based entrepreneurship and the development of intrapreneurship initiatives. The course explores best practices of starting and growing successful values-driven ventures and intrapreneurial projects. Values-based business (including the worker cooperative) is rapidly gaining attention around the world from entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists, foundations, and consulting firms. This course is organized around the following interconnected ideas and objectives: Enterprises: To introduce students to the broad spectrum of emerging global cooperative, social (including environmental and socially responsible) ventures through presentations by guest practitioners; Entrepreneurship/intrapreneurship: To provide a variety of frameworks (social entrepreneurship, cooperative development, biomimicry etc.) for the design of values-based ventures and intrapreneurial projects; Markets: To introduce students to the emerging capital market for values-based ventures and the possible trade-offs in co-operative, environmental, social and financial return expectations from different capital sources, including venture firms and foundations; Management: To introduce students to the challenging and paradoxical management decisions inherent in managing for multiple-bottom-line objectives in entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial contexts; Metrics - To orient students on how to apply and critique models for assessing, measuring, and reporting on cooperative, environmental, social, and community impact in entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial contexts. Note: This course is offered in the Winter term.
This course will offer a framework for education in the field of ecological economics, by providing a theoretical grounding in economics from first principles, therein exploring the fundamental principles of efficiency in the distribution of resources in society. Virtually all decision-making in the socio-environmental domain is affected by these principles. The course covers not only conventional (neo-classical) economics but also criticisms of this dominant paradigm. This course provides a conceptual understanding of economics and uses case studies to discuss applications in practice, by examining the principles of economics and how they might be applied to environmental and resource use issues. Note: This course is offered in the Winter term.
Through seminars, online, class, individual and group discussions, students will examine cooperative marketing topics ranging from interacting with members rather than customers, strategic analysis, upstream/downstream cooperative marketing, fund raising and ethics, to community preventive marketing, the social marketing mix, branding and co-creation. Exposure to cooperative marketing, community engagement frameworks and best practices provides students with the structure to understand and propose community capacity-building endeavours focused upon community growth and well-being. Note: This course is offered in the Fall term.
Sustainable Operations Management, Measurement and System Methods
This course deals with current issues in sustainable operations management. These issues may range from environmental issues such as waste minimisation, greenhouse gasses, landfill, recycling, reverse logistics and globalisation of operations. Students will look at these issues from the perspectives of both business and the environment. The course will include discussions on Environmental Policy as related to businesses, and students will have the opportunity to conduct an environmental audit. Note: This course is offered in the Winter term.
Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if
they transfer to courses here at Roommeme? Check out Roommeme's
Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.
In Roommeme’s Sustainable Business Leadership program, you’ll earn an Advanced Certificate in a specialized, up-and-coming field to add to your resume and list of skills and abilities. You’ll study the most current issues in sustainability, ecological economics, and similar topics of responsibility, including a business-consulting capstone project for practical experience from the very first week of studies when you take the program full time, or in your final year when you take the program part time.
This is the only program in British Columbia that is purely focused on sustainable leadership. By adding this certificate to your pre-existing education, or working it into your studies in a diploma or degree program at Roommeme, you’ll prepare to become a leader in any number of industries to champion the responsible use of our resources.
The program runs for 15 weeks in the fall term (Term 1) and then 12 weeks in the winter term (Term 2) with BSUS 7402 running 20 weeks from January to May.
Part-time Studies course-by-course registration will be available in the fall and winter terms.
All program requirements must be completed within seven years.
The Sustainable Business Leadership program is recognized by the - the Disciplinary Association Network for Sustainability (DANS).
Courses will be taught at the Roommeme Downtown Campus and supplemented through Online Gravitying.
If you have a Roommeme diploma from one of the programs listed here, and you have been accepted into the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree at Roommeme, you can use the SBL Advanced Certificate to meet your BBA elective requirements.
If you have a degree or diploma from another institution, depending on your previous credential, courses from the SBL Advanced Certificate could be used to gain entry into the BBA program at Roommeme or to fulfill the BBA elective requirements. You can arrange for a pre-entry assessment by ing the BBA department.
Graduating & Jobs
Your training at Roommeme prepares you to become a leader in many industries facing today’s problems and questions about social responsibility and sustainability. This new, cutting-edge focus of your training gives you an advantage by making you an expert in the subject matter and offering potential employers a specialized skill set.
Some opportunities in sustainability include:
Independent Sustainability Contractor
Sustainability and Responsibility Consultant
Graduate employment outcomes
The Roommeme student outcomes reports present summary findings from the annual survey of former students administered by
BC Stats one to two years after graduation. These reports combine the last three years of available results for the
2016-2018 Roommeme Outcomes Surveys of 2015-2017 graduates and for Degree 2014-2016 graduates. The reports are organized
into three-page summaries containing information on graduates' labour market experiences and opinions regarding their
education. More detailed information can be accessed at the
To view these results, you may need to have the installed in your Web browser.
In the Sustainable Business Leadership program, students are exposed to real-world sustainability issues in their capstone projects where they apply their knowledge directly to industry situations. During these projects, students work with a faculty advisor and an industry sponsor to apply what they’ve learned in the program and benefit from the hands-on experience of working on a real-world project.
Below are the projects that the students are working on in 2018/19.
Social Print Paper: Sugar Sheet
Every day in North America, three million trees are cut down to make paper. Although there are various alternatives to traditional tree paper, trees remain the primary source for paper production. Social Print Paper is a North American company making paper out of agricultural fibre while meeting industry standards for paper and printing use without cutting down trees. Sugar Sheet Paper uses ‘bagasse’ - the leftover biomass from the production of cane sugar.
Traditionally, trees have been the trusted material source for paper production, and have dominated the market for decades; therefore, it is not surprising that procuring new paper products may be seen as a risk. This mental construction may be the only constraint to the widespread adoption of ‘tree free’ paper.
The Capstone Team will seek to refine and enhance the communication materials currently being used by Social Print Paper. They will validate research on the environmental and socioeconomic benefits of sugar sheet paper and conduct primary research to uncover barriers to broader uptake of the paper.
eStream Energy Partners: Achieving Radical Building Energy Efficiency by Changing the Economics
eStream Energy Partners was established in 2016, by three senior business professionals with the mission to find a way to overcome the significant and persistent barriers to achieving radical building efficiency in large buildings. They propose to change the economics of buildings by separating the ownership of the buildings from the ownership of the energy systems within those buildings. A separately governed in-building energy utility can align conflicting priorities and all parties stand to benefit from maximizing energy efficiency. eStream are seeking to secure a candidate pilot project, but despite significant interest have not yet managed to secure commitment from a developer or municipality.
The goal of the eStream Capstone project is to create a sufficiently convincing argument about the economic and environmental merits of in-building energy utilities. This will help eStream Energy Partners secure participation of a developer or municipality in a pilot project. Primary and secondary research will be conducted to inform and refine messaging and communication materials.
Recycling Alternative: New Circular Product(s) from Low-Grade Plastics
Recycling Alternative (RA) is a Vancouver-owned and operated company that provides private waste and recycling collection for everything from e-waste to organic materials for a range of commercial clients. Co-founders and owners Robert and Louise also have a strong commitment to innovation, inclusive employment, and community partnerships.
As a result of China’s ban on many recyclables, low grade plastics numbered 3 to 7 no longer have any recycling value and increasingly are being land-filled, being incinerated, or ending up in our environment. Many of these low-grade plastics are disposable or single-use items such as coffee cup lids, stir sticks, straws, and plastic shopping bags. For Recycling Alternative, the problem of low grade plastics not only means lost revenue but also a violation of their commitment to waste prevention and positive social impact. There is an opportunity for RA to find value for Vancouver's low-grade plastic waste.
The purpose of the Recycling Alternative Capstone is to determine the feasibility of creating a new circular business model that ads value and transforms low-grade single use plastics collected from commercial clients into new perpetual or recurring-use consumer product(s).
Vancity and One Earth: Accelerating Repair Capstone
Disposable items have increased rapidly in the past decades together with the rise of a throwaway consumer mentality. We are hitting and exceeding ecological limits, and there is an urgent need to build a more Circular Economy that is much less wasteful. Repair is a key sector of the Circular Economy, which is diverse: from existing repair stores to new circular economy enterprises, from community repair cafes to programs that refurbish electronics. While repairing goods has many benefits, including conserving resources, diverting waste, creating new jobs, and supporting emerging cultural desires to consume less, the repair sector is not well understood or developed.
Vancity and One Earth want to understand what is needed to strengthen existing repair entities as well as spark new ventures that address gaps and strengthen access to repair services. Vancity is Canada’s largest cooperative Credit Union serving the needs of more than 525,000 member-owners and their communities across southwest British Columbia. Vancity sees an opportunity to link the repair sector's social purpose with Vancity's investing and granting strategy. One Earth is a Vancouver-based nonprofit ‘think and do’ tank whose mission is to transform production and consumption patterns so they are ecologically sustainable and just. One Earth has a strategic partnership with Vancity to support Vancity's new Lighter Living focus and is serving as a supporting client for this capstone.
Faculty, Advisors & Staff
In the Sustainable Business Leadership program, you will learn from a diverse group of industry experts who introduce you to the world of sustainable business leadership through course content, applied projects, and guest speakers.
Rosemary Cooper has over 20 years’ experience catalyzing sustainable solutions with a particular emphasis on collaboration across business, government and community. She is currently Principal of CreatingPLACES and Senior Associate with Vancouver-based One Earth. Rosemary leads the Share Reuse Repair Initiative (SRRI) in the region on behalf of One Earth with core conveners the Vancouver Economic Commission, the Recycling Council of BC, Recycling Alternative and The Thingery. The Initiative accelerates a culture and economy of sharing, reuse and repair through action-oriented experimentation and innovation working groups. Rosemary also provides strategic advice and research concerning business transition to operating within planetary boundaries including, but not limited to, circular business models.
Angela Danyluk is a Senior Sustainability Specialist at the City of Vancouver. At the city Angela works across disciplines on projects and programs related to adaptation to sea level rise and heat as well as ecology and biodiversity. Angela has a BSc in marine biology, a certificate in storm water management and an MSc in environment and management. She is a Registered Professional Biologist with the BC College of Applied Biology. Angela lives in Vancouver, BC.
Imran Jiwa holds a CPA designation, which he obtained with KPMG in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications group. For six years, he advised clients with revenues ranging from $10 million to $2 billion and financial institutions managing over $20 billion in assets. Working at the nexus of sustainability and business, he advised companies on their ability to respond to climate change, impact and financial reporting, and impact investing strategies.
Tessa Jordan, PhD, is the Program Head for the Sustainable Business Leadership Program and Faculty in the Communication Department at Roommeme. As an educator, Tessa specializes in business communications and values-based business, focusing on how the private sector can create and communicate social and environmental value. In 2018, Tessa was named John Dobson Enactus Fellow of the Year by Enactus Canada for her work as Faculty Advisor for Enactus, a global social entrepreneurship student organization. As a researcher, Tessa studies the role of art and culture in social and political movements with a focus on the Canadian women’s movement. Her book Feminist Acts: Branching Out Magazine and the Making of Canadian Feminism is forthcoming from the University of Alberta Press in 2019.
Tracey Kliesch is a Business Readiness Partner at Vancity. Her work focuses on change management through learning and process improvements to bring large, strategic and complex projects to life. Tracey has a long history at Vancity but did take two years off to lead CCEC Credit Union as their General Manager and CEO. Tracey has worked internationally with credit unions to promote and strengthen the co-operative model and co-operative movement. She holds a Master’s degree in Co-operative and Credit Union Management from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax. Outside of work, Tracey sits on the board of the Co-operative Development Foundation of Canada, the Credit Union Foundation of BC and the Squamish Montessori Society. She is a co-founder of Canada DE, a credit union development education program that brings credit union professionals from around the world to Canada annually.
Liz Lougheed Green is the Director of Community Investment for Vancity, managing a variety of teams in the impact business, impact real estate, Aboriginal partnerships, sponsorship and events and granting spaces. The 28+ member team of community economic development professionals provides critical strategic counsel to Vancity leadership about impact investing and inclusion. Prior to coming to her current role, Liz was Vancity’s Impact Business Development Manager, and supported the development of impact businesses and impact in conventional businesses, with the aim of helping values-led organizations reach their full potential. Prior to joining Vancity, Liz was the manager of strategic programs for Vancity Community Foundation (VCF), and earlier in her role as executive director, Liz led the Potluck Café Society from start-up through to sustainability. She holds a Multidisciplinary Masters in Policy and Practice, and serves on the CED Advisory of the Canadian Women’s Foundation, and the Board’s of Corporate Knights and the BC Co-op Association.
Catherine Ludgate is a senior manager in the community investment team at Vancity and a lifelong co-operator. She holds a masters in management of co-ops and credit unions and has spent most of her career advancing public policy campaigns and supporting advocacy work. Through this, she has learned how the traditional tools of finance, law and communications can be harnessed for social purposes, and this is the lens she brings to co-operative marketing.
Alan Shapiro is an environmental professional and science communication specialist whose work focuses on water and environmental protection, planning, and sustainability. He has worked on research and consulting projects across Canada, including water management plans, environmental impact assessments, contaminated site investigations, and environmental outreach campaigns. Currently, Alan is the Scientific Communications Manager at STEMCELL Technologies and serves on the board of directors for Science Slam Canada. He holds a MSc in Environmental Engineering from Columbia University and a BSc in Environmental Earth Science from the University of Alberta. Alan is on Twitter at .