This course focuses on successful techniques used by industrial designers and business managers to concurrently increase profits, eliminate waste and toxins, and increase human social capital, especially in the local community. The course includes a number of presentations by West Michigan business leaders who currently implement sustainable business practices in their companies.

Sustainable Business Management using triple bottom line principles has evolved from niche to mainstream. The course will focus on the strategies, processes, methods and measurement tools which have evolved in the world of sustainable business from 1990 to the present.

Understanding of the Natural Step System Conditions and applying sustainable practices in the work place requires an understanding of the tools available and techniques required in order to bring positive change to small and large organizations alike. An exploration of regional leadership efforts involving local companies and organizations will be done through research and case studies.

This course examines the role of social capital in building sustainable organizations and communities. The key elements and various forms of social capital will be explored by looking at the different ways that communities develop and how the human relationship with ecological systems can be sustained and enhanced. Ways to measure social capital will also be addressed in order to strengthen the understanding of this component of sustainability and foster its application in the
workplace.