Corporate Sustainability Accelerator

Explore next-generation sustainability initiatives in a highly interactive setting with a diverse set of thought leaders, industry experts, and world-renowned faculty


APR 3 - 5, 2017 | $4,950
The program fee includes all meals and lodging (group discounts available)

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Molly Nagler

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Sustainability presents a fundamental challenge to businesses: either innovate new products and operating models that fit the constraints of our modern world, or continue business as usual and fall behind. There is no more middle ground for global business. 

The Yale Corporate Sustainability Accelerator  is a 2.5-day program exploring new sustainability initiatives based on tailored, personalized feedback from Yale faculty that will enable you to immediately produce results for your company or organization.  The program is highly customized and interactive. Yale faculty and researchers will evaluate your organization’s sustainability plan on multiple criteria. Through one-on-one review sessions and peer interactions, you will learn where your gaps and opportunities lie and what to do next. 

This program will deliver new skills and insights that you can apply immediately— for designing next-generation sustainability initiatives, leading cross-functional teams, and driving revenue with innovation. You will receive tailored, personalized feedback on your organization’s sustainability approach and will have time each day to workshop this feedback into new action plans. 

Who should attend?

Past participants of the  program include: Sustainability VPs, directors, and managers, Director of environment, energy, and safety, Director of corporate social responsibility, Risk managers, Chief operating officers, and Corporate sustainability councils.

program details styles

  • Curriculum

    Pre-Arrival Module (short videos)
    • Climate change communication
    • The Millennial workforce view of climate change
    • Natural capital
    • Framing design and innovation

    Opening Night

    Your Sustainability Plan

    Sustainability Plan Review Meetings and Benchmarks

    Several weeks before the program begins, you will submit your organization’s sustainability plan for review by a team of Yale faculty and researchers. On opening night, you will meet with your team to hear their analysis and recommendations. Together, you will brainstorm next steps. You will come back to your plan during the program to apply what you have learned.

    Day 1

    Mega Trends, Models, Metrics, and Tools

    Session 1
    Mega Trends: The Context for Business Today
    Professor Brad Gentry

    This introductory session discusses global megatrends in sustainability—climate change, resource constraints, urbanization, etc.—and how these represent both challenges and enormous opportunities. We will discuss the scientific findings regarding these trends and explain how businesses can respond by working toward solutions that address both the bottom line and the needs of society. 

    Session 2
    New Models of Regulation in the 21st Century
    Professor Dan Etsy

    While environmentalists fret over the looming prospect of global warming, rising sea levels, more intense hurricanes and typhoons, changed rainfall patterns, intensifying flood and drought risks – and the failure of the global community to respond to these threats with greater vigor, Professor Esty argues that the “outcome” of the recent Paris Climate Change (“CoP21”) Conference (which goes beyond the formal “Paris Agreement”) offers the foundation for a rampedup global response to climate change. He sees a shift from a top-down approach focused on nation states toward more of a bottom-up strategy that draws cities, states/provinces, and companies into the global effort as promising. He also welcomes the move away from “targets and timetables” as the central element of global policymaking to a “solutions” focus that emphasizes incentives for action. As the one of the US Environmental Protection Agency’s negotiators of the  1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change, Professor Esty will offer a 25-year perspective on the evolving legal and policy frameworks that have shaped the world community’s response to climate change – and reflect on prospects that the CoP21 Agreement represents an inflection point. 

    Session 3
    Metrics, Standards, Systems
    Professor Todd Cort

    You will be introduced to the wide variety of standards and initiatives used by businesses to address the sustainability challenge. From management systems and audit protocols to financial, risk, and performance metrics, this session will be a top-level snapshot of the current “state of play” in corporate sustainability. 

    Session 4
    Industrial Ecology and the Circular Economy
    Professor Marian Chertow

    Industrial ecology has emerged since the 1990s as a multi-disciplinary field at the nexus of environmental science, engineering, business, and policy. With an intensive focus on the physical flow of materials and energy through systems at different scales, it also examines the influences of economic, political, regulatory, and social factors on the flow, use, and transformation of resources. This session highlights the great potential in cycling resources – which has gained currency as “the circular economy.” Using examples at the international and national levels, and also at the firm and industrial cluster levels, we will explore the history, principles, and practices underlying these topics.

    Day 2

    Influence and Innovation

    Session 5
    Sustainability Plan Workshop

    This is your chance to integrate what you learned on Day 1 into your sustainability plan. In small, cross-industry peer groups, you will brainstorm ways to take your organization’s sustainability initiatives to the next level.. 

    Session 6
    Influence Without Authority: Getting Your Sustainability Goals Accomplished
    Professor Zoë Chance

    Seven principles of interpersonal influence can greatly increase the chances that a change initiative will succeed. Professor Chance will review these seven principles, give examples, and ask you to apply these principles to your own work context. 

    Session 7
    Systemic Sustainability and Nexus Technologies
    Professor Julie Zimmerman

    This session looks forward to leaps in green technology and how this type of innovative thinking can be brought to life in your organization. What do breakthrough green technologies have in common? Where do they come from? How can businesses foster a culture in which breakthrough technologies become more likely? 

    Session 8
    Reframing as a Tool for Innovation
    Professor Rodrigo Canales

    Professor Rodrigo Canales will review the growing need for companies to innovate in today’s marketplace. He will teach a powerful tool for innovation called Reframing, in which leaders use customer archetypes to generate insights and new ideas. Several participants will be selected to present a real problem they face at work; the problem must require decisions within their span of control. These participants will then become the “client” to be advised by a “team” of their colleagues.

  • What to expect

    The program kicks off with private meeting with your Yale faculty team.  Yale faculty and researchers will evaluate your organization’s sustainability plan on multiple criteria. Through one-on-one review sessions and peer interactions, you will learn where your gaps and opportunities lie and what to do next. On day 1, the program focuses specifically on mega-trends, models, metrics, and tools required to build next-generation sustainability initiatives. On day 2, you will learn the leadership, influence, and innovation skills to drive these new initiatives forward.

    After this program you will be able to: 

    • Build your next-generation sustainability initiatives. based on tailored, personalized feedback from Yale faculty
    • Innovate new products and business models at the frontier of sustainability
    • Lead initiatives that connect disparate parts of your organization
    • Influence others to advance your sustainability agenda
  • Faculty

    Dan Esty

    Prof. Dan Esty is the author of Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage. Dan is the Hillhouse Professor at Yale University with appointments in both the Environment and Law Schools. He also serves as the Director of the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy and serves on the Board of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale, which he founded in 2006.

    Marian Chertow

    Prof. Marian Chertow is the Director of the Industrial Environmental Management Program at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Her research and teaching focus on industrial ecology, business/environment issues, waste management, and environmental technology innovation. 

    Zoë Chance

    Assistant Professor of Marketing at Yale School of Management and an expert in persuasion and decision making. Zoë works passionately to understand how people can lead happier, healthier, more fulfilling lives. Her research has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Scientific American, and Psychology Today.

    Bradford S. Gentry

    Professor in the Practice, Co-Director of the Center for Business and the Environment at Yale; Director of the Research Program on Private Investment and the Environment

    Julie Zimmerman

    Donna L. Dubinsky Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering; Professor of Green Engineering; Assistant Director for Research at Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering.

    Todd Cort

    Lecturer in Sustainability at Yale School of Management and Faculty Co-Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment.

  • Testimonials

    Leaders from travel, entertainment, defense, manufacturing, technology, and other industries gave high ranks to the program across the board. 


    “A fantastic opportunity to think a new about value propositions and implementation strategies for sustainable solutions.”  
    – Peter


    “It is incredibly evident the amount of time put into this program. The level of expertise from faculty is invaluable. The collaboration with peers was excellently framed. One week very well spent.”
    – Amy

  • Admissions

    Dates: April 3 – 5, 2017
    Location:  Yale School of Management, New Haven, CT, USA
    Tuition: *$4,950 – includes program materials, meals, and lodging 


    • 10% discount for YALE UNIVERSITY ALUMNUS
    • 15% discount for members of the Sustainability Consortium
    • 15% discount for 3 or more people

    For questions,  please contact


Yale Center for Business and Environment (CBEY)

The Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) provides a platform for generating, incubating and launching new connections, approaches, courses, areas for research and other initiatives at the intersection of business and the environment primarily for the benefit of students and to help us sustain and restore the critical resources on which we all rely. These include the human and natural systems that provide the energy, water, food, land, materials and wide range of other goods and services that we use. 

The center joins two world-renowned graduate schools—the Yale School of Management and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies —with a network of internal and external leaders working at the interface of business and the environment. Professors, students, alumni, guest scholars, and affiliates of each school contribute to the center’s mission through an integrated set of activities that address business approaches to the world’s most significant environmental issues. Our work spans perspectives in finance, innovation, marketing, operations, and strategy on issues involving energy, water, carbon, forests, environmental health and safety, development, and policy.

Center for Industrial Ecology(CIE)

The Center for Industrial Ecology (CIE), established in September 1998, is a pioneer in the rapidly growing field of industrial ecology.  Industrial Ecology uses a systems approach to provide understanding of sustainability issues of industry and society and to assess solutions, providing the principal methods to evaluate resource management issues, quantify carbon footprints, and specify the environmental impact of products using lifecycle assessment and other tools.  The Center is internationally recognized for its cutting edge research, its strong interaction with corporations and policy makers, as well as for hosting the International Society for Industrial Ecology and the Journal of Industrial Ecology.  The Center brings together Yale faculty, staff, students, visiting scholars, and practitioners to address climate change mitigation, focusing on the demand for and utilization of energy and materials; industrial symbiosis – resource exchange across clusters of companies; metal cycles; critical materials; and waste management and the circular economy.

center for green chemistry and green engineering

The mission of the Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering at Yale is to provide practical solutions to sustainability challenges. We believe that "green" means not just understanding and monitoring environmental problems: it also requires design of innovative technologies that provide enhanced performance while simultaneously meeting social, economic, and environmental goals.   

We are unique in the academic community in that our team is fully integrated across multiple disciplines—our staff are drawn from the fields of chemistry, chemical and environmental engineering, materials science, environmental studies, biology, toxicology, health sciences and policy.  While industrial partnerships have played a major role in Center activity, helping to focus our efforts on processes that affect the environment on a large scale and to enhance the adoption of our solutions, we have also launched several new ventures based on our discoveries. Our team is active in the community—from New Haven and the local region to China, India, and East Africa—with a history of organizing workshops and educational opportunities for students of all ages, workers, and professionals. We strive to raise awareness of emerging issues and frontiers in Green Chemistry and Green Engineering.