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Full-time/Part-time Advanced Certificate 5090ascert

Sustainable Business Leadership

Many people are passionate about environmental issues and sustainable business practices, but only a relative few are making a career with that passion. With BCIT’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 BCIT diploma from one of the programs listed here, and have been accepted into the BCIT 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 BCIT Bachelor of Business Administration program or to fulfill the BBA elective requirements. You can arrange for a pre-entry assessment by contacting 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 BCIT
  • Are passionate about environmental issues
  • Want to improve corporate social responsibility
  • Hope to become a leader in sustainability
If this sounds like you, visit our Program Entry to apply today.

What grads can do

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, BCIT 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.

Learn more about the career opportunities open to BCIT 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.

Program Entry

The Advanced Certificate in Sustainable Business Leadership provides opportunities for individuals who are planning to complete, or have completed, a diploma at BCIT or at a recognized post-secondary institution, and who wish to further their education.

Candidates should apply to the BCIT Sustainable Business Leadership program after completing or when nearing completion of their diploma or degree.

Application processing

Full-time: open to applications beginning October 1st.*

Part-time: applications are accepted throughout the year.

*or next business day

Entrance requirements

Sustainable Professionals in industry that may be interested in taking courses and not the entire program please contact 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.

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 Canadian services may be considered.

Read more about how to meet BCIT’s entrance requirements

Applicants currently enrolled in the last term of their degree/diploma must be on track to complete by May. To apply submit both of the following documents from your post-secondary institution:

  • Transcript of completed courses
  • Confirmation of enrolment letter verifying your current course enrolment and registration in the final term of your degree/diploma

International applicants

Full-time: This option is available to international applicants.

Part-time: This option is not available to international students. View available programs

Apply to program

To submit your application:

  • Include proof of meeting all entrance requirements.
  • Convert all transcripts and supporting documents to PDF files.
  • Have a credit card ready to pay the application fee.
Apply Now

Learn more about how to apply

Scheduled intakes

Full-time: September each year.

Part-time: January and September


Within two business days of submitting your completed application, BCIT will send a message to your personal and myBCIT 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.

Costs & Supplies

Tuition fees

Please see the Fees, Payments and Refunds section of the website for information on full-time and part-time tuition fees.

Books and supplies

$800 (General estimated cost, subject to change)


Earning your BCIT 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.

Class hours

Classes are held three evenings a week at BCIT's Downtown campus. Portions of the courses will also be delivered using BCIT's online learning portal.

Program delivery

The SBL program involves online and face-to-face instruction at the BCIT 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.

Program matrix

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Term 1 (Fall) Credits
  BSUS 7401 Scientific Research Methods and Capstone Project Development 6.0
  FMGT 7130 Sustainable Accounting and Finance 3.0
  LIBS 7028 Selected Topics in Liberal Studies 3.0
  ORGB 7160 Sustainable Organizational Change Management and Leadership 3.0
  BSUS 7010 Cooperatives and Community Based Economic Development* 3.0
  EENG 7000 Introduction to Climate Change, Ecology, and Systems Thinking* 3.0
*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.
Term 2 (Winter) Credits
  BSUS 7300 Selected Topics In Sustainable Business Leadership Circular Economy 3.0
  BSUS 7402 Scientific Report Writing and Capstone Project Delivery 8.0
  BUSA 7120 Values Based Entrepreneurship and Intrapreneurship 3.0
  ECON 7100 Ecological Economics 3.0
  MKTG 7010 Cooperative Marketing and Community Engagement 3.0
  OPMT 7150 Sustainable Operations Management, Measurement and System Methods 3.0
Total Credits: 41.0

Check current availability of courses for this program.

Transfer credit

Do you have credits from another BC/Yukon post-secondary school? Do you want to know if they transfer to courses here at BCIT? Check out BCIT's Transfer Equivalency Database to find out.

Program Details

In BCIT’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 BCIT, you’ll prepare to become a leader in any number of industries to champion the responsible use of our resources.

Program length

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 Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) - the Disciplinary Association Network for Sustainability (DANS).

Program location

Courses will be taught at the BCIT Downtown Campus and supplemented through Online Learning.

Downtown Campus
555 Seymour Street
Vancouver, BC

Continue your education

If you have a BCIT diploma from one of the programs listed here, and you have been accepted into the Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree at BCIT, 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 BCIT or to fulfill the BBA elective requirements. You can arrange for a pre-entry assessment by contacting the BBA department.

Graduating & Jobs

Your training at BCIT 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:
  • Sustainability Manager
  • Independent Sustainability Contractor
  • Operations Manager
  • Production Analyst
  • Distribution Coordinator
  • Sustainability and Responsibility Consultant

Graduate employment outcomes

The BCIT 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 2017-2019 BCIT Outcomes Surveys of 2016-2018 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 BC Student Outcomes website.

To view these results, you may need to have the Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in your Web browser.

Capstone Projects

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.

2019/20 Capstone Projects

Food Services: Single-Use Items vs. Reusables
The global climate and ecological crises are motivating organizations, businesses, and governments to review their operations to minimize their environmental impact. A major concern for the food service industry is single-use takeaway items, which are energy and resource intensive to produce and ship, as well as burdensome on our waste streams. BCIT Food Services, operated by Chartwells, currently use a variety of plastic, bioplastic and fibre-based single-use cutlery and containers. While recognizing the potential to reduce their environmental impact by exploring other options, BCIT wants to be clear about the optimal financial and environmental solution before moving ahead.

Chartwells, BCIT Food Services, and the BCIT Institute Sustainability have asked the SBL Capstone project team to investigate possible dishware and utensil options for their facilities, including reusable, fibre-based, and plastic items both alone and in various combinations. With this research, they hope to understand the costs and benefits of each possibility and identify which option would fit best with BCIT’s food service needs while demonstrating environmental sustainability leadership.

Unbuilders and Vancouver Economic Commission: Deconstruction Impact Analysis
There is significant potential to transition the construction industry from its current linear structure towards a circular model that prioritizes repurposing of materials and diversion of waste from landfills. Deconstruction is an industry alternative to demolition that diverts construction materials from becoming waste by salvaging, recycling, and reusing them in new building projects. Through deconstruction, buildings are disassembled with a goal of minimizing the construction industry’s environmental footprint.

Based in Vancouver, Unbuilders is the first deconstruction business of its kind in Canada. Unbuilders has partnered with the Vancouver Economic Commission, the economic development agency for the City of Vancouver, to evaluate the scalability of a shift towards deconstruction in Metro Vancouver. Working alongside these clients, the Capstone project team will produce an analysis of social, economic and environmental impacts of this shift. The team will compile information regarding deconstruction market size, potential job creation, and materials salvaged and recycled in Metro Vancouver to inform the development of future policy.

Scius and Vancouver Economic Commission: BC’s Construction Technology Ecosystem
Environmentally, inefficiencies in construction and operation processes result in buildings being responsible for over 50% of greenhouse gas emissions in Vancouver and 30% of solid waste to landfills. As the construction industry in BC slowly shifts from analog to digital processes to improve efficiency and reduce waste, opportunities are emerging for tech and construction companies to form partnerships and embrace a wide range of innovations.

The Capstone project team will work with Scius and the Vancouver Economic Commission to bridge the knowledge gap between the construction and technology industries in Metro Vancouver. Through the project, the team will undertake relevant primary, secondary research, and technical analysis to produce a detailed inventory and map of current and developing construction technologies in the region. The team will also conduct research to assess barriers and opportunities in the construction technology space.

2018/19 Capstone Projects

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 BCIT. 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 @watercomm.

Contact Us

Kim Petkov
Program Assistant
604-432-8860 |

Tessa Jordan
Program Head, Sustainable Business Leadership
604-454-2294 |

Contact a Program Advisor with the BCIT program name in the subject line if you have a question about:
  • Program selection and program planning
  • Applying for transfer credit and advanced placement
  • Job placement and graduate outcomes
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