Business and Ethical Leadership for Sustainability Online Course

Business and industry are the driving force of contemporary society. Business has provided countless benefits to humankind, but those benefits also include challenges and costs. Unfettered consumerism and capitalism threaten the environment, human health, and the fair distribution of natural resources and wealth. Businesses possess the resources and abilities to implement solutions and take the necessary steps to make life on Earth more sustainable. However, business leaders continue to make headlines globally for managing their organizations and our planet’s resources in unethical ways. Ethical business leadership is needed, and business leaders need access to tools and frameworks to guide their decision-making processes. This course will assist business employees and managers in understanding their role in contributing to a more sustainable society.

The Earth Charter is a document with 16 ethical principles to foster sustainable development. The principles and pillars of the Earth Charter provide a practical and strong foundation upon which business can build on for socially and environmentally responsible profitability.

This course has been offered since 2020.

Short Description

This course will equip participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to take business ethics and sustainability practices to higher levels by using the Earth Charter (EC) as a framework. This course helps participants develop a broad approach to sustainability and make the EC Principles actionable within business contexts.

By introducing business stakeholders to ethics and sustainability theory and practices, the course intends to help participants be prepared to develop sustainable and inclusive business in an era of uncertainty and disruption. This course offers a space to learn about the nexus between the Sustainable Development Goals, the Earth Charter, and business sustainability.

This experience seeks to build a pool of experts and consultants with a systemic and ethical approach to business ethics and sustainability, capable of providing quality support and guidance to businesses that seek to incorporate ethics and sustainability into their development and planning process. It will be an opportunity to enhance the participant’s ethical leadership skills.


Dr. Chris Beehner

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Dr. Chris Beehner is a business professor at Seminole State College of Florida, and has developed and taught courses for several colleges and universities. Prior to joining academia, Dr. Beehner was employed in the supply chain management industry, and he has also held nonprofit leadership roles. He has published, presented, and served as a panelist on workplace spirituality, sustainable business, and leadership topics. He is a community fellow at the University of Central Florida Center for Global Economic and Environmental Opportunity, where he collaborates with representatives from academia, industry, government, and nonprofits to discover the sustainable solutions necessary to attain the Sustainable Development Goals.

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