Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability


Human existence is being threatened, as the planet continues to get hotter and hotter. To save humanity and Earth, it is essential that every member of future generations has opportunities to learn about global sustainability. The education of sustainability should encompass all disciplines and subjects and should go far beyond classroom teachings. It should be focused on real-world skills to improve the planet and not individuals, and should deeply engrave an understanding and feeling for the wellbeing of the planet and all species and generations.

The Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability offers an opportunity for all UTM undergraduate students to have such education  of global sustainability, which includes all aspects of the planet and human wellbeing covered by the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including  poverty, hunger, health, education, gender and social equality, clean water and energy, sustainable consumption, economic growth, climate change, environmental conservation and more.


Professor Shashi Kant, Director - MScSM Program; Associate Director, IMI

Check out our feature in The Medium: https://themedium.ca/learning-about-global-sustainability-at-utm/

The main objectives of the Certificate of Completion are to:

  1. Provide an intellectual and practical understanding of the holistic nature of global sustainability to transform the student’s ability to engage in systems and integrative thinking;
  2. Develop applied and managerial skills to address real-life sustainability issues;
  3. Enhance employability for summer and full-time roles.

The Certificate of Completion will be available to all actively enrolled UTM undergraduate students who have completed 4.0 credits. There is no additional fee of the certificate for actively enrolled UTM students.

Certificate Requirements

Completion of the Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability will include successful completion of 3 required modules and 3 elective modules.

Time Commitment

Each module will be approximately 10 hours (most will be five 2-hour sessions).  Modules will include workshops, group discussions, analyses of real-life sustainability problems/issues, and exploration of diverse approaches to potential solutions. Students must participate in all 10 hours to receive credit for the module.

Modules will be offered on evenings or weekends or during special events/periods (such as UTM’s Sustainability Week and Reading Weeks), in the Fall, Summer and Winter terms. Students can plan their own schedules to complete the six modules any time before graduation.

Required Modules

Students must complete all three modules to be eligible for the certificate of completion. The required modules are focused on objectives 1 and 3.

  1. Sustainable Consumption
    This module will be “about doing more and better with less” and it will examine sustainable consumption from a variety of different perspectives, including the marketing view, the policy maker’s view, the corporation’s view, and the ethical view. Students will evaluate various theories of consumer behaviour, such as social influence, social dilemma, and collective effort. Finally, students will investigate the need for proactive consumer social responsibility and explore key channels through which action(s) can be taken to combat consumerism on a global scale.
  2. Systems Thinking and Global Sustainability
    This module will focus on transforming the typical student’s lens from reductionist thinking to systems, integrative, and critical thinking. The module will include the concepts of systems analysis and design, integrative thinking, and critical thinking, and their applications to analyze and design local and global sustainable systems. Systems Thinking is a skill that is increasingly in demand in the labour market, and enables sustainability professionals to be profoundly effective in their roles.
  3. Inter-disciplinary Perspectives on Global Sustainability
    This module will focus on inter-disciplinary perspectives and approaches (including natural science, social science, and humanities approaches) related to global sustainability. The module will also include complementarities and conflicts between the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and their global implications.

Elective Modules

Students must complete three (3) modules of their choice. These modules are focused on objectives 2 and 3. Each year, 3-5 elective modules will be offered on rotation basis. The possible elective modules include:

Sustainability Engagement and ReportingGreenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories
Waste Management SystemsGlobal Sustainability Culture
Global Sustainability CommunicationScience-based Targets for Carbon Emissions
Circular EconomyLife Cycle Analysis
Change ManagementLeadership in Global Sustainability
Sustainable TourismSustainable Cities and Communities
Global Policies related to SustainabilityGender and Wellbeing: Local and Global
Sustainable ProcurementSustainable Food Systems
Carbon-free EnergyInternational Relations of Sustainability

Students will be able to check Quercus for the complete and up-to-date listing of module offerings.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Certificate of Completion?

The certificate of completion is an optional not-for-credit offering that is awarded solely based on successful completion of 6 (3 required and 3 elective) modules in global sustainability offered by IMI. The certificate will not appear on your transcript, but your will receive a separate certificate with the names of modules completed included in the certificate.

Who is eligible for the certificate and/or for the registration in a module?

Every actively enrolled UTM undergraduate students who have completed 4.0 credits. There is no minimum GPA/CGPA to register for a module and/or the certificate.

How do I register for a module and how much do they cost?

You will be able to register for each module via Quercus, once you have completed 4.0 undergraduate credits at UTM. You will be able to find the Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability on your Quercus dashboard when you become a registered student. You do not need to enroll via ACORN to participate.

The Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability as well as individual modules are free for all actively enrolled UTM Undergraduate students who have completed 4.0 credits.

Can I register for a module/certificate if I am not an actively enrolled UTM undergraduate student?

Not at this point. Maybe in the future.

How often are the modules offered?

Modules will be offered in Fall 2023 and Winter 2024. Fall 2023 modules are now open for registration on Quercus!

Each required module will be offered at least once every academic year. 3 to 5 elective modules will be offered once every academic year.

How will the modules be delivered?

For the 2023-2024 academic year, modules will be virtual and synchronous. You will be able to access, enroll, and attend sessions all online. We plan to have in-person modules in the future years.

What if I’m interested in some module(s), but not looking for a certificate?

Modules are open to any student who is interested in the topics that are being offered. You’re able to register in any module without registering for the certificate. For the certificate, you have to successfully complete 3 required modules and 3 elective modules.

What does successful completion of a module mean?

Successful completion of a module will require attendance and active participation in all 10 hours of the module and completion of the required work. No grades will be assigned. 

Is this open to students on all campuses?  What if I am registered at St. George or UTSC but I am taking classes at UTM?

The Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability is offered only to UTM students at this time.

How do I get the Certificate?

Upon completion of the requirements of the certificate, students will apply to IMI for their Certificate of Completion. The Director of IMI will issue a Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability once the requirements have been verified.

I am ready to register for some modules, what should I do?

If you have completed 4.0 credits and you are actively registered UTM student, you should be able to find the Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability on your Quercus dashboard. Click on the Certificate of Completion and register for the modules. Please reach out to us to be added to the Quercus shell if it does not appear on your dashboard!

Note: The Quercus shell of the Certificate of Completion in Global Sustainability will be updated with information for module offerings in Fall 2023 and Winter 2024 in late July 2023.


Get in touch at imi.globalsustainability@utoronto.ca

Winnie Ren
Events & Sustainability Outreach Coordinator

Shashi Kant
Associate Director, IMI; Director, MScSM; Professor, IMI