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3 Post-Grad Programs to Boost Sustainability Skills

One of the nation's top sustainable business schools unveiled a series of certificate programs to help working professionals sharpen their skills in the energy, green building and food and agriculture markets.

The one-year certificate programs at Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Seattle will begin in winter 2012. All use what the school calls a hybrid format, which combines "face-to-face 'intensive' experiences" with distant learning between sessions.

In a statement announcing the new classes, John Gardner, dean of the Bainbridge Graduate Institute, said the certificates were also aimed at aspiring entrepreneurs. Gardner is one of the instructors for the Sustainable Food and Agricultural Systems certificate.

"These certificates distinguish themselves not only as the current state of the art -- but importantly, they engage and guide students on how to design new business models that will enable breakthrough success," he said.

Here's a quick look at the three certificate programs:

• Certificate in Sustainable Built Environment

This course is geared toward those who want to gain the skills needed to develop new products and services for the design and construction industry. Bonus: One of the instructors is Jason F. McLennan, an author, designer and founder of the Living Building Challenge.

• Certificate in Sustainable Energy Solutions

According to Bainbridge, an understanding of the complexities of the energy market, including fossil fuels, emerging renewable energy sources and consumption patterns, is key to innovation in this sector. Students will develop skills needed to take new venture ideas "through the final steps to making the 'pitch' in the sustainable energy marketplace."

• Certificate in Sustainable Food and Agricultural Systems

This program aims to drive innovation in the design and operation of businesses dedicated to more sustainable food and agricultural systems. Emphasizing whole-systems thinking, the course will focus on the business opportunities available at each level of scale, ranging from hyper-local to global.

Hands writing on paper image via Shutterstock.

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