Overall Rating Gold - expired
Overall Score 72.63
Liaison Karen Oberer
Submission Date Aug. 22, 2016
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

McGill University
IN-25: Innovation B

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Bachelor of Commerce – Managing for Sustainability Major & Concentration Programs

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

Traditionally, Management education has emphasized economic value at the potential expense of ecological and social well-being. In a move toward a more holistic approach to Management, the Desautels Faculty of Management, the McGill School of Environment, and the Department of Geography collaborated to advance sustainability in Management curricula.

The result was two new “Managing for Sustainability” (MSUS) undergraduate programs offered through McGill’s Bachelor of Commerce degree. The two MSUS programs, officially launched in September 2014, align with the university's sustainability vision of educating, preparing, and equipping McGill graduates to address pressing and complex challenges.

The Managing for Sustainability (MSUS) Major and Concentration Programs are aligned with the goals and objectives outlined in McGill’s Vision 2020 Sustainability Strategy (Education Category) vision, where:
• MSUS students graduate with a strong understanding of what sustainability means and how it relates to their particular stream of study. Students pursuing marketing, finance, accounting, operations, information systems, or strategy paths are able to view their functional area through a sustainability lens.
•The Major includes over 21 course credits to be taken with the McGill School of Environment and Geography Department. This develops graduates who can combine and integrate traditional business skills, environmental knowledge, and social sensitivity. Through diverse course offerings across two different faculties, graduates acquire the knowledge and skills to equip them to work across various boundaries.
• To facilitate opportunities for applied student research, students must complete a three-credit “Experiential Learning Component” where they must translate classroom knowledge to real-world consulting, internship, or research applications.

Positive Outcomes of the Programs

The effects of these programs is transformative for students entering the world as the decision-makers of tomorrow. The program’s first graduates convocated in May 2015, though students are not the only ones to benefit directly from the Managing in Sustainability Programs. In the last year, many staff members have attested to gaining a new perspective and dimension to their roles. Student academic advisors can now speak to the basic concepts of sustainability and career advisors are equipped to provide guidance on green career paths.

Faculty members who had pondered creating sustainability courses not only had their ideas supported and legitimated, but found like-minded colleagues across multiple areas. Several new courses were co-proposed by faculty members from different areas and are currently co-taught.

Success of the program has been made possible through extensive collaboration and cross-cutting cooperation. Faculty members and staff of the Desautels Faculty of Management and the McGill School of Environment have worked through curriculum, learning outcomes, and administrative processes together. In conceiving the program, 11 student representatives were consulted on future career aspirations and 18 external sustainability practitioners from private, public, and non-profit sectors provided insight on the knowledge and skills required of graduates.

When career advisors were meeting with MSUS students keen to secure jobs in the green economy, they recognized that specialized support was needed for those enrolled in the program. Discussions were held with career services and a “Sustainability Careers Handbook” was developed to complement the academic programming. This lesson of empowering career services staff was shared publicly through a feature article by the Network for Business Sustainability.

These two academic programs are innovative in that they seek to teach undergraduate Bachelor of Commerce students about issues pertaining to sustainability. To our knowledge, none of McGill’s peer institutions offer a program similar to MSUS. The Marcel Desautels Institute for Integrated Management (MDIIM) and Desautels faculty members were also named recipients of the 2014 Dr. Alfred N. and Lynn Manos Page Prize for Integration of Sustainability Issues in Business Curricula, for conceiving and implementing the new Managing for Sustainability Major and Concentration (MSUS) programs for Bachelor of Commerce students at McGill University.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :

The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

Data source(s) and notes about the submission:

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