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Certificate in Smart and Sustainable Business: innovation for sustainable development

Certificate in Smart and Sustainable Business : l’innovation au service du développement durable
Published on
11 May 2020

The Certificate in Smart and Sustainable Business draws from Grenoble Ecole de Management’s long standing expertise in the management of technology and innovation. Aimed at entrepreneurs, business leaders, managers and consultants, this continuing education program is part of GEM’s social commitment to become a School for Business for Society.

Developing sustainable processes is a key factor for many companies. “Younger generations are more sensitive to issues related to sustainable development and they have become important factors in terms of a brand’s attractiveness for recruitment purposes. In addition, major players such as Renault, whose cars are 85% recyclable, are guiding forces for entire sectors to develop virtuous business cycles,” explains Michele Coletti, in charge of the program and a researcher and professor at GEM specialized in innovation and the environmental transition.

Creating virtuous processes

How can companies move towards virtuous strategies in various markets? This is the goal of the Certificate in Smart and Sustainable Business. “The program aims to implement innovation as a means of developing sustainable economic and societal solutions through sustainable design, manufacturing and sales processes. This continuing education program breaks away from the traditional gap that exists between new technology and sustainable development because technology tied to innovation is neutral in and of itself,” highlights Michele.

The program is designed for managers who wish to learn how to integrate sustainable development in their work. The program is not designed to train participants to become experts of the transition. The program is comprised of several modules built around development models that have proven their worth. Examples include:

  • Designing innovation products and services while analyzing their economic and social impact
  • Developing a circular economy
  • Mobilizing a supply chain to implement overall sustainable development processes. What alliances can be beneficial? What legal framework?
  • Promising business models for sustainable development
  • New market models in Europe and around the world

Best practices and shared experience

The Certificate in Smart and Sustainable Business was created alongside a specialized MBA at GEM that teaches methods and skills for sustainable product development. “There is no single solution or method. Instead there are many perspectives and the program relies on real case studies and input from numerous experts. It’s essential to have various points of view as this opens one’s perspective and spirit,” underlines Michele.

For example, a team from the company A.Raymond (a global supplier for the automobile sector) shared its processes for implementing a circular economy for the design and manufacturing of components for the automobile industry. Experiences shared by industrial players help highlight the various challenges of implementing such processes for clients and major brands. Other shared experience include Seb, which shared its interest in reducing packaging and ensuring a second-life for its products. “We also work with clusters such as Plastipolis, which share their experience in terms of how industries can adapt their offer to match the transition,” says Michele.

In 2019, 8 students participated in the Certificate in Smart and Sustainable Business. In 2020, participation jumped to 18 students. Given the program’s international perspective, all classes are taught in English. “The program brings together various campuses from various companies and ensures a wide diversity of profiles and backgrounds,” concludes Michele. The program is a full week of part-time class delivered in February, March and April.

View the program

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