MBA in Sustainable Commerce | Gordon S. Lang School of Business and Economics

MBA in Sustainable Commerce

photo of windmills

Grow your career with Canada's leader in sustainable business education

In today’s global and complex economy, businesses need to focus their efforts on more than just the financial bottom line. The MBA in Sustainable Commerce emphasizes responsible social and environmental business practices as well as traditional financial drivers for growth and sustainability. This approach allows you to develop your skills as a leader in sustainable commerce. Let us show you how to build triple-bottom-line focused strategies to help your organization thrive.

The University of Guelph is known across Canada for its commitment to sustainability and developing leaders with a social conscience. With our MBA specialization in Sustainable Commerce you will explore what social and environmental sustainability means within an organizational context. You’ll become a leader within your industry that inspires positive change, and supports the growing demand for socially responsible businesses. This MBA specialization draws participants from a variety of different industries, including finance, hi-tech and agribusiness.

Learn to:

  • Develop an advanced understanding of how sustainability can be integrated into an organization 
  • Enhance your leadership and management abilities by learning from faculty who have developed game-changing research on sustainability and corporate social responsibility
  • Elevate your career potential by specializing in a business segment with a growing demand


MBA number 9 in the world for sustainability


We inspire you to improve life by focusing on sustainability, ethics, and community engagement, helping you to bring these values into your organization and become a ‘force for good’. The Lang MBA was recently ranked as one of the world's top programs for its focus on sustainability via Corporate Knights.









Alumni Profile: Preet Bassi, MBA '16

Preet Bassi started the "I Rock Pink" initiative, has helped raise nearly $100,000 for healthcare causes.

Working at RBC as a Commercial Account Manager for Healthcare Professionals, Bassi remains committed to continuing the conversation about cancer. She sits on the William Osler Health System’s Holi Gala committee, which raises funds for the hospital and healthcare community. She also serves on City of Brampton’s Economic Development Master Plan Steering Committee and City of Brampton’s Economic Development Advisory Committee. 

"It's not only a career or community involvement, it's a personal commitment to healthcare."


Descriptive transcript


Sustainable Commerce MBA Courses

Business Practices for Sustainability: This course focuses on exploring critical managerial and strategic issues related to sustainability and aims to introduce students to emerging concepts linking organizational strategies and sustainability principles. It explores how managers can integrate consideration of the environment and society into business strategies and practices for competitive advantage and create environmental, social and economic value.

Many businesses are striving to improve their social and environmental performance as well as their economic performance and are driven to apply sustainability strategies and principles into their strategic action, and are increasingly applying strategic management tools to incorporate considerations of sustainability into decision-making and operations. While some businesses incorporate sustainable practices due to an ethical conviction to do well for society and the environment, most are motivated to address pressures from stakeholders such as regulators, shareholders, customers, communities and competitors, and to exploit knowledge and experience for long term competitive advantage. Businesses and their leaders are addressing sustainability generally for reputational reasons, to cut their cost and for sustained competitive advantage. Industries are also recognizing the need to become sustainable to respond to the global environment and the changing needs of their constituents.

This course aims to introduce students to sustainability topics to increase their knowledge of strategies related to corporate sustainability and business practices to align the corporation with sustainable commerce. 

Governance for Sustainability: This course introduces MBA students to the rise of environmentalism and state-led environmental management, and the more recent emergence of environmental governance as made evident by the growing authority of non-state actors (e.g., ENGOs, business associations, etc.) and the use of new mechanisms of management (e.g., voluntary standards, third party certification, etc.). These core topics are presented as both opportunities and challenges for private firms such as climate-related disasters and fisheries decline. Students will critically evaluate past and contemporary environmentalism, and approaches to environmental governance and creatively conceive of alternative governance approaches that are consistent with the interests of sustainable commerce. This course provides students with an opportunity to conceptualize environmental issues, various governance strategies and the competing agendas that seek to address them.

Marketing Strategy: An advanced course in marketing and consumption, students will explore topics including marketing theories, models, and specific subsets of marketing such as pricing, consumer and industrial-buyer behaviour, distribution, services, and service-delivery concepts. Students will be expected to identify and prioritize strategic marketing challenges and objectives and understand the importance of market intelligence and core competencies of the organization to develop a successful marketing strategy, recommend and justify competitive marketing strategies, design and critique marketing tactics that are consistent with an organization’s marketing strategy. As marketing principles are not unique to any industry, students enrolled in sustainable commerce, agribusiness & hospitality, food and tourism will participate in the same concept discussions and work on same case studies.

Core MBA Courses

Foundation of Leadership: This course will enhance students' interpersonal skills, expand their knowledge and understanding of the theory and research behind leadership, and explore the impact of effective team management and collaboration in the organization. Experiential approaches are used to enhance managerial skills.

Sustainable Value Creation: This course is designed to provide an introduction to the relevance of sustainability as a strategic framework for driving value creation and to enhance critical thinking skills that will enable students to more effectively identify and formulate strategic sustainability initiatives for organizations.

Financial and Managerial Accounting: This course emphasizes the gathering and use of financial information to facilitate effective financial and management decisions. Cases are used to approach the subject from the perspective of the user of accounting information rather than that of the supplier.

Foundations of Human Resource Management: This course examines the essential human resource management functions of planning, staffing, employee development, compensation, health and safety, labour relations, and legal compliance, in a variety of organizational settings.

Management Communications: Examination of the theory, function and practice of managerial communications with particular emphasis on developing communication strategies and skills.

Research Methods for Managers: Students learn to formulate a research problem, undertake a literature review, and to select and use appropriate quantitative and qualitative techniques for the collection and analysis of relevant data.

Financial Management: The course takes the viewpoint of the senior financial officer of a commercial enterprise. The focus is on the management of cash, accounts receivable, inventories and capital assets, as well as on the sourcing of funds through short-term liabilities, long-term and owners' equity.

Strategic Management: An integrative course which draws together the conceptual theories and models of the graduate program core. Utilizes conceptual, analytical, problem identification, and problem-solving skills.

Operations Management: This course applies operations research theory and practices to management problem solving and decision-making. The focus is on modeling service and product delivery systems and major emphasis is placed on managerial problems in food and agribusiness organizations.


Have a question? We're here to help!


Talk to our admissions team:

Phone: 1-888-622-2474

Book a one on one chat

Book now