Spring 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 Spring 2023 semester. 

Foundational Course (Required for Specialization)

BSPA-UB 68: Sustainability for Competitive Advantage
Professor Taylor | MW 9:30 - 10:45 AM | 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 Davis | TR 11.00 AM - 12.15 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.

ECON-UB 225: Business and the Environment
Professor Moerenhout | MW 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM | In-Person
This course is a broad overview of pressing questions regarding the relationship between business and the environment. It aims to give students a look at the major drivers of environmental change, the shifting roles of government and non-government organizations (NGOs), as well as ways in which there are business responsibilities as well as opportunities. It emphasizes the unique role of business in a rapidly changing, globalized world and gives an overview of environmental issues business leaders are facing and will face in the future.

BSPA-UB 43: Economic Inequality: Perspectives and Practices
Professor Statler | TR 2:00 PM - 3:15 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 47: Global Business & Human Rights
Professor Gu and Professor Khan | TR 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM | In-Person
This is an advanced-level class for juniors and seniors that will focus on human rights law and practice and how the human rights framework applies to business. Students will be exposed to theoretical foundations of human rights, the evolving role of business in modern society, and case studies of how companies have been challenged by human rights issues in various industries.

BSPA-UB 50: Entrepreneurship in Sustainable Protein
Professor Taparia | W 6:20 PM  - 9:00 PM | In-Person
Today, the food industry is the biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for up to 30% of emissions. A poor diet is now the leading cause of mortality in the U.S. As part of these huge global problems, animal production is arguably the biggest culprit. In recognition of this, consumers are dramatically altering diet patterns, and food entrepreneurs are rushing to solve the problem with desirable solutions. Vegetarianism and veganism are exploding and new alternative meat and dairy offerings are being launched at a frenetic pace. This undergraduate course—the first of its kind—is designed to put the idea of teaching entrepreneurship to its ultimate test—with the objective of incubating a series of ventures through the course of the semester that have the potential to be viable businesses and reverse negative externalities that arise from animal production.

BSPA-UB 52: Flourishing 
Professor Haidt | T 9.30 AM-12.15 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-UB 48: Theory & Practice of Sustainable Investing
Professor Krosinsky | MW 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM | In-Person
1st century investors face a broadening and deepening array of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) risks and opportunities. Climate change, water scarcity, community conflict, resource depletion, supply chain breakdowns, worker well-being and economic inequality pose material challenges that make sustainability an imperative for successful investors and the companies they choose to invest in. This course will couple theory with the practice of Sustainable Investing (SI). We will examine current ESG investment and corporate strategies, trends, future scenarios, players, and frameworks and integrate that theory with practical investment performance analysis, metrics, and studies of data, screens, asset classes, and diversification.

BSPA-UB 67: Accounting for Sustainability
Professor Atz | TR 3.30 PM - 4.45 PM | In-Person
Students will learn how to measure, disclose and evaluate ESG performance. They will examine how firms respond to the sustainability calls by investors, customers, employees, and governmental bodies. The course will provide the practical knowledge and insights for: 1) integrating sustainability indicators into daily decision-making from a managerial, internal perspective; 2) disclosing and interpreting sustainability information using several international reporting frameworks such as: SASB, GRI, TCFD, AA1000, and CDP; 3) assessing ESG performance from an analyst, external perspective. Please note that this is a 2-credit course.


BSPA-UB 2000: Stern International Volunteers: Ghana
Professor Kowal and Professor Taparia | T 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM | In-Person
SIV Ghana is a one-of-a-kind course that combines in-class learning with a hands-on social entrepreneurship and cultural experience. Over the past seven years, SIV Ghana has been working with its partner village, Woatze Tsatoe, in the Eastern Volta region of Ghana, to help start community-owned social enterprises. When we began work, the village had no concrete structures, paved roads or any businesses. Since then, our class has assisted in establishing several community owned businesses, including the Amenuveve Batik Center, the Tsatoe Vegetable farm, a clean water business and an emerging business focused on women’s health. Through philanthropic initiatives, the class has also helped support a variety of projects including the construction of a new school, public latrine, computer lab and library. 

BSPA-UB 70: Social Innovation Practicum
Professor Taparia | R 6.20 PM-9.00 PM | In-Person
This course is designed to help students gain actionable insights into the nexus between economic and social value creation. Specifically, the purpose is to provide students with hands-on exposure to the entrepreneurial pursuit of social impact and innovation. As a result of this course, students will gain: Increased ability to recognize and critically assess various forms of social enterprise strategies as tools of economic development and social transformation; Greater understanding of the challenges of growing and sustaining a social enterprise, as well as special insights into enterprise development and growth; Improved consulting skills, including project planning, issue analysis, formulation of strategic and tactical recommendations, and client relationship management.