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This introduction is repeated as you start the course, if you have arrived here a second time, you may skip reading and go into the course by clicking on 'Practical Guide to CSR and Sustainable Development' above on the left.

Duration of the course:
2.5 days or take any time you feel comfortable with.  Your registration lasts for 3 months so you have lots of time.


USD 197


Course focal point email:


No major company, institution either public or private is complete these days without a statement on CSR and Sustainability.   The course aims to address the needs of professionals in private companies, NGOs, International Organisations and Governments who are currently involved in CSR and Sustainable Development (CSR for short as our definition shows), or would like to be involved in CSR, and wish to make the concept of CSR applicable in their institution.  The emphasis is on making the business case since no company can survive without making profits.  The key issue is not profits (or efficiency in non-profits) but the way in which profits (or efficiency) are created.

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be understood as a management concept and a process that integrates social and environmental concerns in business operations as well as public and NGO institutions  with the full range of their stakeholders.

Course Objectives

The objective of this course is to introduce the participant to the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility today, operationalising the term and ensuring a cohesive definition of CSR and its applications for corporate sustainability. The learning materials and tools available through the courses allow participants acquire relevant introductory knowledge that will help them and their organizations to better address social responsibility concerns.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, participants are expected to meet the following learning objectives:

  1. To define and summarise the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility and Sustainability:
  2. To review alternative definitions of CSR and their strengths and limitations;
  3. To assess comparative needs for CSR; and
  4. To distinguish between the applications of CSR in various practical situations.

Content and Structure

The course consists of the following main modules:

  1. Introduction & History of CSR
  2. Exercise for you
  3. CSR Definitions
  4. Comments on the definitions
  5. Why CSR?
  6. Where is CSR Today?
  7. The United Nations and EU's Treatment of CSR
  8. 1950s advertisements
  9. Should CSR be compulsory?
  10. The three big elephants in the CSR room: i, ISO 26000, ii. Integrated Reporting, iii Global Reporting Initiative
  11. Integrated Reporting
  12. Is CSR philanthropy?
  13. Practical examples of CSR (Cadbury, NEC, Wal-Mart, Novo Nordisk)
  14. Communicating your CSR or Sustainability
  15. Applying definitions in practice
  16. Testing Understanding via an end of course quiz


This e-Learning course provides participants with (a) main reading materials; (b) additional reading materials; (c) bibliography of references; (d) glossary of terms; (e) external links to internet resources; (f) discussion forum; (g) one end-of-course quiz to test understanding and provide final grading.

The course requires approximately a 20-hour time investment over a period of two weeks and invites participants to read a number of articles, to watch videos, to reflect on their social and economic environment, and to go through case studies analysis that are provided throughout the course.

By the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of the need for CSR and be able to explain alternative definitions, their strengths and limitations.

There is an end-of-course quiz intended to help participants self-assess their level of comprehension. Participants who obtain a final score of at least 80% will be awarded a certificate of completion.

Targeted Audience

The course aims to address the needs of professionals in private companies, NGOs, International Organisations and Governments who are currently involved in CSR, or would like to be involved in CSR, and wish to apply and embed the concept of CSR in their institution.

Additional Information

“I like your online course, I think it is a good introduction to CSR and it is quite practical to navigate through. I like the fact that you have a quiz at the end” Rania, UNICEF.

"I really like it and I think there is a real need for such a course. Excellent layout and content, and the right balance between theory and practice. Congratulations! Dr. Thomas Osburg. Head, Corporate Responsibility, Intel, Germany, Europe. 

"I find it very informative and efficient in terms of return on effort. The introductory video is very good. It sets the tone of the course almost like in a "face-to-face" environment. I like the way to travel through the course, forwards and backwards. It is convenient. The idea of the forum is excellent as it promotes participation. Congratulations for the excellent course. I wish you plenty of the success with it." Marc. Former Director, International Schools Geneva and Senior Executive Nestle, Switzerland.