Fall 2023 Undergrad Courses in Sustainable Business

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Stern undergraduate students concentrating in Sustainable Business examine the unique role of the private sector and gain a broad understanding of how embedding sustainability into core business strategy benefits financial performance and management practices. To learn more about the Concentration and its course requirements, click here.


To assist undergraduate students as they design their schedules, CSB has assembled the following list of Sustainable Business courses offered in the upcoming Fall 2023 semester. 


Foundational Course (Required for Specialization)

BSPA-UB 68: Sustainability for Competitive Advantage
Professor Whelan | MW 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM | In-Person
This course is designed to assist students in developing the knowledge, skills, and perspective they need to understand and address environmental and social challenges in business, so that as leaders they reduce risk, create competitive advantage, and develop innovative services, products, and processes, all while building value for society and protecting the planet.


Issue Area

BSPA-UB 41: Social Entrepreneurship
Professor Taparia | W 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM | In-Person
Social Entrepreneurship is an emerging and rapidly changing business field that examines the practice of identifying, starting and growing successful mission-driven for profit and nonprofit ventures, that is, organizations that strive to advance social change through innovative solutions. This course is designed to provide a socially relevant academic experience in order to help students gain in-depth insights into economic and social value creation across a number of sectors/areas including poverty alleviation, energy, health and sustainability. Essentially, students will have the opportunity to find and test new ideas and solutions to social problems, create sustainable business models (using lean startup principles), identify funding options and alternatives, learn how to measure social impact as well as scale/grow a social enterprise to name a few. We provide students with a toolkit and frameworks that can be used in a social venture or within an existing organization to influence social change.


BSPA-UB.43: Economic Inequality: Perspectives and Practices
Professor Statler | TR 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM | In-Person
This course invites students to consider the causes and consequences of economic inequality from a variety of analytic perspectives, to judge the current situation based on their own ethical values, and to take concrete actions to bring about positive change in the world. The format includes a discussion seminar and two major research projects. In the seminar, students become familiar with relevant terms and concepts drawn from disciplines including economics, political science, sociology, organization studies and philosophy.


BSPA-UB 52: Flourishing 
Professor Haidt | M 5:00 PM - 7:45 PM | In-Person
People are like plants: if you get the conditions right, they will usually flourish. So what are those conditions, and why are so many members of Gen Z (born 1997 to 2012) failing to flourish? We will look at research in social and positive psychology on happiness, virtue, self-change, and personal growth. We will also look at ancient wisdom––insights into mind and heart passed down to us from many cultures because they work. The goal of this course is to help students understand the conditions that lead to flourishing, and then to develop specific habits that will help them to thrive at NYU, at work, and in their personal relationships.


BSPA-GB.2306: Social Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Food Business
Professor Taparia | R 9:00 AM -10:40 AM | In-Person
This course is designed to put the idea of teaching social entrepreneurship to its ultimate test, with a focus on identifying and solving problems in the food industry through the vehicle of entrepreneurship. The objective of this course is to incubate a food venture that has the potential to be a viable business and positively impact public health and/or environmental outcomes.


BSPA-GB.2308: Driving Market Solutions for Clean Energy
Professor Gowrishankar | W 6:00 PM -9:00 PM | Online
This course is designed to provide students with a rich understanding of the economy-wide energy transitions that are needed in the United States to help curb climate change, with an emphasis on how the private sector can drive such changes. As relevant background, the course will cover energy-related macroeconomic concepts and trends, and provide environmental and international context. It will draw on the instructor's diverse experiences, readings and other media, classroom discussions, case studies, visiting speakers, and group projects, to explore and debate how such ambitious but necessary transformations may be brought about.


ECON-UB.225: Business and the Environment
Professor Moerenhout | MW 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM | In-Person
This course examines several environmental issues at local, national, and international levels, with a particular focus this year on energy and climate change, but also briefly on water and population. Drawing on the theories of externalities, market failure, and mechanism design, it explores the causes of these problems and some of the potential remedies, including government regulation, "cap-and-trade," and carbon taxes, as well as potential related business opportunities.



BSPA-UB.44: Innovations and Strategies for Building a Progressive Social Enterprise
Professor Hollender | R 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM | In-PersonThe course is designed and committed to equipping you to be more effective in that pursuit. This course will provide you with some of the fundamental capabilities required to become a social entrepreneur such as systems thinking, an understanding of the various frameworks that will allow you to more deeply understand and reconcile sustainability, capitalism, and the new economy, and build your knowledge to become conversant with how to leverage business for transformative societal and environmental change.


FINC-UB.77: Climate Finance: An Economic and Financial Approach to Climate Change
Professor Stroebel | TR 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM | In-Person 
Climate change presents one of the central challenges of our generation, with a wide range of possible effects on financial markets and the broader economy. This class: (i) Thinks about the effect of climate change on the overall economy; (ii) Studies the risks and opportunities that climate change holds for firms and financial institutions (distinguishing between a variety of types of risk, including transition risk and regulatory risk); (iii) Discusses how financial markets can help transfer and hedge climate risk; (iv) Explores the economic and financial foundations of potential climate regulation; (v) Analyzes how climate risk interacts with other risks, such as the risk of future pandemics.


FINC-GB.6075: Managing Climate, Cyber, Geopolitical, and Financial Risk
Professor Berner | MW 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM | In-Person
Businesses and governments now face a growing and immediate array of nonfinancial risks, including climate-related, cyber and operational, and geopolitical risks. Precisely because these critical risks are hard to measure and analyze, firms are putting new resources – people and money– to work to anticipate, manage and mitigate them. To address cybersecurity risks, for example, JP Morgan alone has 3000 employees and spends $600 million annually. Firms are only starting to grapple with existential climate-related risks. And startups are mushrooming to provide assessments to businesses.



BSPA-UB.45: Sustainability Impact Consulting in Costa Rica
Professor Kowal | T 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM | In-PersonStern students will have the opportunity to work with small businesses in Costa Rica to help further develop their innovative sustainability programs. Pending the safety and feasibility of international travel, this course also will include an 8 day January 2023 trip to Costa Rica during which students will test their hypothesis on the ground with local partners and become immersed in Costa Rican culture.


BSPA-UB.51: Marketing for Impact: Strategies for Sustainable Business
Professors Taparia and Bemporad | R 6:20 PM - 9:00 PM | In-Person
The American corporate landscape is under assault. The average lifespan for a company in the S&P 500 is shorter than ever, approval ratings for corporations are lower than ever, and consumers are increasingly skeptical of advertising and corporate social responsibility messages that attempt to divert attention from unethical business practices. The ideas of stakeholder theory and shared value are gaining ground and increasingly being seen as necessary constructs for corporations. As part of this, the field of marketing is also undergoing significant change. This course will attempt to explore this “new normal,” study the evolution of the consumer, and explore what brands, both old and new, are doing and might do to succeed in the years to come.

BSPA-UB.103 Social Impact Consulting
Professor van Loggerenberg | M 2:00 - 4:45pm | In-Person
This course is an experiential learning seminar involving project-based collaboration among students, faculty and nonprofit organizations in New York City. Its two objectives are to provide students with an occasion to put the lessons learned in the Social Impact Core Curriculum into practice as consultants; and to produce project outcomes that have meaning and value for participating stakeholders.