Valparaiso University’s Graduate Sustainability Certificate Program recently received the United Nations Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) certificate training in sustainability in Cleveland, Ohio.

The GRI Process is the most widely used standard for corporate sustainability reporting worldwide to assist with ethical, social and environmental protocols. The participants received two-day Signature Training from Brown Flynn Learning center, the first certified GRI training consultant in the United States.

Continued participation and certification in this program adds to Valpo’s status a world-class leader in sustainability.

“This is a practical, hands-on opportunity to receive specialized training in developing and implementing management strategies in sustainability” said sustainability professor Lauren Riga, who attended the training with her students.

The dedication of Elizabeth Gingerich, associate professor of business law, has enabled the Valpo MBA Sustainability program to make great strides since entering the Matchmaker Program in 2008. Valpo has reviewed corporate GRI reports, authored sustainability publications, developed a widely used Corporate Sustainability Report (CSR) and hosted a cutting-edge sustainability conference in2009.

GRI established the Matchmaker Program to bring together reporting companies and academic institutions. The Matchmaker Program pairs companies that have prepared or desire to prepare sustainability reports with universities who can deliver grading, analysis and feedback. The partnership can enrich the academic learning experience while providing reporting organizations with constructive and tailored feedback on their GRI reports.

“Valuing sustainability in today’s business landscape is not only the right thing to do, it has rapidly become imperative to success by strengthening the three pillars of sustainability, people, planet and profit, your company can significantly impact its bottom line,” Gingerich said.

Individuals do not have to earn an MBA degree to participate in Valpo’s Sustainability Certificate program: An undergraduate degree in any field of study is the only pre-requisite.

“As most companies and corporations (including Valpo) are recognizing the importance of the ‘triple bottom line’ approach of conducting business, by offering this degree, we are able to graduate students possessing this desperately needed skill in the business world,” said Gingerich.

For more information about the Sustainability Certificate or the MBA, please contact Cindy Scanlan at ( 219)465-7952 or, and please visit the website at

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