The minor and the certificate each require successfully completing five of the following six courses:

The principal mode of course delivery is in-person on the U.C. Berkeley campus , however some portions of each course may be delivered asynchronously, with work completed outside of regular class hours.


Business Models for Sustainability

Instructor: Andrew Isaacs

Course number: UGBA 196SA

Units: 3

Summer 2022 course schedule: Session A May 23-July 1, 2022; Friday 9:00 AM - 11:59 and 1:00 PM - 3:59 PM

Course location: Chou Hall N170

Modality: Classes are in-person on the U.C. Berkeley campus

Zoom back-up if needed: Meeting ID: TBD;  Passcode: TBD

Requirements: None

This course is intended for students with an interest in how business, social, and environmental sustainability are intertwined.  The course focuses on matters related to climate change, specifically how business sustainability depends both on mitigating impacts to our environment and on adaptation to ongoing climate change and other elements of sustainability.  While the course does not shy away from using scientific terms, the material is easily accessible, and no prior familiarity with climate science or other technical elements of sustainability is assumed.  We will examine a range of approaches to developing business models in the context of sustainability, the actions that business can take to improve the environmental outlook, and the emergence of a sustainability-aware economy.  Students considering a career in sustainability will benefit from the deep understanding of the business issues that this course is intended to provide.

Time Allocation

The course addresses the interplay between business models and their implications for sustainability (80% of the course) integrated with some Climate Science for grounding (20% of the course).

Learning Objectives

This course is an optimistic take on the daunting issue of sustainability, primarily through the lens of climate change, and maps how business can play a definitive role in addressing the problems of sustainability.  The learning objectives for this course include:

  • Understanding the connection between business sustainability and the long-term viability of the business
  • Connecting how customer success is understood through a sustainability issue
  • Developing a longer term perspective on the value creation of an enterprise

New Skills

  • Understanding and communicating the business implications of a changing climate.
  • Developing strategies for business sustainability in the context of a changing climate.
  • Defining the actions businesses can take to improve the sustainability outlook.
  • Helping businesses prepare for the emergence of a sustainability-aware economy.
  • Engaging with changing consumer expectations in the context of sustainability.
  • Responding to the demands that sustainability issues place on corporate strategy.


Data Tools for Sustainability and the Environment

Instructor: Daniel Hammer, Ph.D.

Course number: EnvEcon 105

Units: 3

Summer 2022 course schedule: Session D, 9-11 AM MTW, 9:30-11 AM Th

Course location: Room TBD

Modality: Classes are in-person on the U.C. Berkeley campus

Zoom back-up if needed: Meeting ID: TBD; Passcode: TBD
Requirements: None, though a basic knowledge of algebra and statistics will help.

This course introduces students to data analysis for use in addressing sustainable business and policy questions. By the end of this course, students will be able to analyze real-world data within the Jupyter/Python programming environment. It will focus on real-world applications such as the White House’s environmental justice proposals; emissions monitoring; and assessing plastic waste for the Government of Indonesia.

Time Allocation

The first two weeks of the course cover learning data manipulation and programing skills. Week three shows how to plot data to analyze various environmental questions. In week four, statistical techniques are introduced and used with satellite imagery to analyze several issues. Week five examines environmental justice scores and biases that work against rural communities. Week six deals with mapping and interpolating global greenhouse gas emissions.

Learning Objectives

  • Obtain the tools to use big data to analyze some of the world’s most pressing sustainability problems.
  • Use the new tools to analyze important sustainability issues including
  • Employing satellite imagery to examine tree cover and redlining.
  • Examining how the strength of the demographic component of the White House Environmental Justice Scores creates invisible communities.
  • Mapping and interpolating models to analyze global greenhouse gas emissions.

New Skills

  • Jupyter and python programming.
  • Mapping (e.g., greenhouse gas emissions) and plotting data.
  • Statistical data analysis.
  • Using and analyzing satellite imagery.


Intermediate Microeconomics with Applications to Sustainability

Instructor: Scott Carson, Ph.D.

Course number: EnvEcon 100

Units: 4

Summer 2022 course schedule: Session C, 1-3 PM MTW; 10-12 Th

Course location: Room TBD

Modality: Classes are in-person on the U.C. Berkeley campus

Zoom back-up if needed: Meeting ID: TBD; Passcode: TBD

Requirements: Introductory economics course (such as EnvEcon 1 or Econ 1) and basic knowledge of calculus (Mathematics 16A and 16B or Math 1A and 1B), or consent of the instructor.

This course provides the microeconomic tools necessary for further study of natural resources and sustainability. This course teaches the basic microeconomic theories of consumption, production, the theory of the firm, industrial organization, public goods, and externalities.

Applications include the effects of policies and business decisions on agriculture, pollution, climate change, and natural resources markets. The course emphasizes how decisions by consumers, firms, and governments affect market outcomes and sustainability.

Time Allocation

In the first two-thirds of the course, students gain facility in microeconomic modeling of consumer and firm behavior and market outcomes. These tools are used to examine agricultural, energy, and other industries. In the remaining time, the tools are used to examine externalities (such as pollution), public goods (such as government investments in parks and clean water), renewable and nonrenewable resources, and other sustainability issues.

Learning Objectives

  • Examine how the interaction between consumers, firms, and governments affect market outcomes.
  • Understand how consumers’ and firms’ maximizing behavior can lead to sustainability problems.
  • Discover how governments’ interventions may improve or worsen sustainability problems.

New Skills

  • Be able to build microeconomic models to analyze markets and consumers’ and firms’ behavior.
  • Develop strategies for business sustainability in the context of a changing climate.


Innovation and Entrepreneurship for Sustainability

Instructor: Darcelle Lahr

Course number: UGBA 196SB

Units: 3

Summer 2022 course schedule: Session A May 23 - July 1, 2022; Tuesday 9:00 AM - 11:59 AM and 1:00 PM - 3:59 PM

Course location: Chou N170

Modality: Classes are in-person on the U.C. Berkeley campus

Zoom back-up if needed: Meeting ID: TBD; Passcode: TBD

Requirements: No prior training in business or economics is assumed.

This course is intended for students with an interest in how business entrepreneurship and environmental and social sustainability are intertwined, and developing an entrepreneurial opportunity for improving the sustainability outlook.  It examines a range of approaches to developing new businesses in the context of an increasingly sustainability-aware economy.  

Time Allocation

The course starts with a primer on the fundamentals of innovation and entrepreneurship (the first 20% of the course) before moving on to the core topic of sustainability entrepreneurship (80% of the course).

Learning Objectives

This course explores the issues of environmental and social sustainability, primarily through the lens of innovation and entrepreneurship. It maps how business creation can play a definitive role in addressing the social and environmental problems of sustainability.  The learning objectives for this course include:

  • Understanding how new ventures can capitalize on consumer and business motivations to be part of sustainable solutions
  • Understanding how to reach a new audience for a sustainable value proposition
  • Understanding how to incumbent industries can be re-tooled to address issues of sustainability that were not previously a focus

New Skills

  • Being able to understand and communicate new business opportunities for sustainability
  • Defining the entrepreneurial actions existing businesses can take to improve the outlook for environmental and social sustainability
  • Identifying new business creation opportunities arising with the emergence of a sustainability-aware economy
  • Develop means of changing social expectations concerning sustainability


Investing for Sustainability

Instructor: Anne Simpson

Course number: UGBA 196SC

Units: 3

Summer 2022 course schedule: Session D July 5 - August 12, 2022; MWF 3:30 PM - 5:59 PM

Course location: Chou Hall N370

Modality: Classes are in-person on the U.C. Berkeley campus

Zoom back-up if needed: Meeting ID: TBD;  Passcode: TBD

Requirements: None

This course is intended for students with an interest in how financial markets are responding to and incorporating environmental and social sustainability into investment decisions. While the course does not shy away from using financial terms, the material is easily accessible, and no prior training in business or finance is assumed.  It will examine a range of investment options and financial considerations in the context of an increasingly sustainability-aware economy.  

Time Allocation

The course will start with a broad introduction to capital markets including institutional investment, public finance and private capital (15%) to ensure a common understanding across the class. The second portion of the course (85%) will examine the rise of sustainability-related investing including the lens of environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing, mission-related investment, venture capital impact investing and blended finance

Learning Objectives

  • Understanding how capital markets are responding to the growth in social and environmental sustainability.
  • Raising and deploying capital for business ventures focused on sustainability.
  • Engaging with changing social expectations regarding sustainability.
  • Assessing the financial risk to investment opportunities given increased public awareness in the role of financial markets and investment in social and environmental issues.

New Skills

  • Mastering the fundamentals of risks and opportunities across various asset classes.
  • Quantifying opportunities and risks associated with sustainability investing.


The Economics of Sustainable Business and Policy

Instructor: Dave McLaughlin

Course number: EnvEcon 104

Units: 3

Summer 2022 course schedule: Session D, MTW 4-6 PM; 3:30-5 Th

Course location: Room TBD

Modality: Classes are in-person on the U.C. Berkeley campus

Zoom back-up if needed: Meeting ID: TBD; Passcode: TBD

Requirements: The course assumes familiarity with microeconomics (ideally, EnvEcon 100, ECON 100a or 101, or the equivalent).

This course examines how environmental regulation affects how private businesses operate. It provides an overview of grand environmental challenges, including climate, air pollution, and water quality, and scarcity. For each problem, the potential for value creation by private businesses that can help society solve these problems is explained, so that environmental problems can be understood as market opportunities. It provides a series of case studies that examine how the strategic decisions of businesses are shaped by environmental policy, and how businesses act to shape policy to their benefit.

Time Allocation

The first two weeks of the course introduces the relevant economic tools to analyze externalities, public goods, and market power. It analyzes the role of taxes in controlling air and water pollution. The third week addresses government regulation of markets such as cap and trade systems. The rest of the course uses these tools to examine a variety of sustainability issues. It considers a variety of complications such as employee pressure, two-sided markets, and leakage across borders.

Learning Goals

  • Understand how taxes, regulations, consumer pressure, and employee pressure can reduce pollution and other regulations.
  • Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of regulations and taxes.
  • Discover why solving social problems can be a business opportunity.
  • Examine the role of lobbying, regulatory capture, and business interests in regulation.
  • Assess the problems arising from cross-border sustainability problems.

New Skills

  • Learn new economic tools for analyzing market outcomes in the presence of externalities and spillovers, with application to topics in climate and energy.
  • Gain an understanding of market forces and government policy to explain the incentives for firms and others to create climate solutions.