Sustainable Economics for the Real World

Sustainability requires us to integrate economic considerations with environmental and social factors in the short and long term. Unfortunately, traditional financial and economic techniques are often poorly equipped to do this.

This course provides an overview of key concepts in sustainable economics and finance. You’ll discuss practical tools and techniques that will aid planning and decision making in your sustainability projects. You’ll also learn new financial and economic concepts and techniques that will help you build a business case for programs with sustainability goals.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Vancouver 2 TBA $650.00 25 -

* This course is available as part of the Sustainable Community Development Certificate (core course) and on an individual basis.

What will I learn?

In this course, you’ll do the following:

  • Learn about practical, real-world approaches and tools that harness economic and financial arguments to make cities more sustainable.
  • Understand how to create a compelling financial argument for your sustainability work (e.g., net present value, pro formas, and environmental fiscal reform).
  • Develop an understaning of how you apply structured decision-making techniques for meeting the triple bottom line of economic, social, and environmental goals.
  • Better understand how the private sector views sustainability and hear about case studies that allow you to be more relevant and persuasive.
  • Hear about cutting-edge thinking on approaches to drive thriving local, liveable, green economies. 

Download a sample course agenda (pdf).

How will I learn?

  • Lectures
  • Case studies
  • Small group discussions and exercises
  • Group presentations
  • Assignments

Who should take this course?

  • Planners, architects, and landscape architects
  • Engineers, developers, builders, and real-estate professionals
  • Elected officials
  • Transportation professionals
  • Staff of non-profit organizations
  • Biologists, agrologists, and other environmental professionals
  • Local, provincial, and federal government administrators and project managers
  • Lawyers, financiers, and community advocates
  • Current and future leaders committed to creating positive change

How will I be evaluated?

Your grade will be based on a take-home assignment.

Textbooks and learning materials

We will provide custom course materials.

Professional development credits

AIBC CES participants, PIBC members and BCSLA members may self-report for continuing education learning unit consideration.


SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development