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Our team's pick: top corporate social responsibility courses

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By illuminem

· 4 min read

At illuminem, we believe that access to knowledge and resources is key to making a positive impact. With businesses under increasing pressure to address social and environmental concerns, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become more important than ever. In this article, we'll provide you with a comprehensive guide to free online CSR starter courses, covering topics from Ethical Governance to Diversity & Inclusion!


Introduction to Sustainability - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

  • Learning goal: Introduce the academic approach to sustainability and explore key knowledge areas of sustainability theory and practice, including population, ecosystems, energy, water, environmental economics and policy, ethics, and cultural history, in order to enable societies to endure in the face of global change, ecosystem degradation, and resource limitations
  • Time commitment: 3-4h per week (for 4 weeks)
  • Level: Introductory


Introduction to Corporate Sustainability, Social Innovation and Ethics - Imperial Business School

  • Learning goal: Provide a comprehensive understanding of sustainability issues, their relevance for policymakers, the role of corporations, and the implications for decision-making, focusing on corporate sustainability, business ethics, and social innovation
  • Time commitment: 2-3h per week (for 6 weeks)
  • Level: Introductory

New Models of Business in Society - University of Virginia

  • Learning goal: Explore the emerging concept of business within a societal framework and discuss new models such as corporate responsibility, philanthropy, shared value, and sustainability, explaining how profits and stakeholder value can go together, and providing guidance on how to become a stakeholder entrepreneur
  • Time commitment: 1-2h per week (for 4 weeks)
  • Level: Introductory


The Materiality of ESG Factors Specialization - University of Pennsylvania

  • Learning goal: Teach the fundamentals and history of ESG investing, the investment approaches informed by environmental, social, and governance factors, positive and negative screening, private environmental governance, corporate authenticity, the impacts of politics when building corporate ESG policy, and the importance of creating independent Directors to maintain neutrality and protect stakeholder interests
  • Time commitment: 2h per week (for 16 weeks)
  • Level: Introductory


Corporate Sustainability. Understanding and Seizing the Strategic Opportunity - Bocconi University

  • Learning goal: Teach how to generate business opportunities and value for stakeholders while tackling global challenges, including climate change, poverty, and discrimination, by providing new ways to understand the purpose and logic of business enterprise and manage the transition process to realize the potential of corporate sustainability
  • Time commitment: 3-4h per week (for 4 weeks)
  • Level: Introductory

Sustainable Fashion - Copenhagen Business School

  • Learning goal: Provide learners with an overview of business model theory and its application to real-world sustainable fashion brands, and equip learners with the knowledge and tools necessary to manage business model innovation toward sustainable practices in the fashion industry
  • Time commitment: 1-2h per week (for 4 weeks)
  • Level: Introductory


Diversity and inclusion in the workplace - ESSEC Business School

  • Learning goal: Understand the nature of diversity in the workplace, the dynamics of discrimination and how to eliminate it, and identify ways to channel the potential of diversity for better performance and innovation
  • Time commitment: 2-3h per week (for 4 weeks)
  • Level: Introductory


Principles of Sustainable Finance - Erasmus University Rotterdam

  • Learning goal: Teach how finance can be utilized as a tool to achieve social and environmental goals, by covering topics such as sustainable banking and asset management, engagement, scenario analysis, and long-term value creation toward a sustainable future
  • Time commitment: 3-4h per week (for 4 weeks)
  • Level: Intermediate


Inclusive Growth: Governance - International Monetary Fund

  • Learning goal: Help understand the importance of governance for achieving inclusive growth, review policies to improve governance, and provide examples of governance issues in key policy areas with their solutions
  • Time commitment: 2-3h per week (for 1 week)
  • Level: Intermediate


Sustainable Energy - MIT

  • Learning goal: Provide an understanding of conventional and renewable energy generation technologies, as well as their economic, political, and social dimensions, to help learners explore pathways to decarbonization and build consensus among stakeholders
  • Time commitment: 8-12h per week (for 13 weeks)
  • Level: Advanced

To stay abreast of current news, don’t forget to visit our Environmental Sustainability, Social Responsibility, Ethical Governance, Diversity & Inclusion or Sustainable Finance pages!

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