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On completing the Professional Diploma in Business Sustainability, the following is expected of graduates:

  • Outline and explain business sustainability strategy and the demands it places on key stakeholders – internal and external.
  • Describe the principles underpinning sustainable development and the issues to be addressed at macro and micro levels.
  • Examine the structure and characteristics of the global food sector and identify the factors which contribute to international competition.
  • Advise on how the corporate requirements for economic growth can be balanced with the need for environmental activism/protection and societal progress.
  • Evaluate the usefulness of CSR principles in promoting business sustainability.
  • Develop and recommend strategies to ensure that business sustainability blends the efforts of all stakeholders in managing its financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities.
  • Adjudicate on the factors which help embed environmental efficiency into a firm’s organisational culture.
  • Critically appraise the approaches used by firms/organisations to ascertain the environmental and social impact of the products/inputs they use.
  • Communicate clearly (using appropriate media) to key stakeholders, the control and measurement techniques at the heart of sustainable business practices.
  • Engage in reflective practice on business/professional matters, and advance their career opportunities in the food and drink sector.

Meet the Faculty

Led by UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School, the programme includes experienced faculty from within the school in addition to industry experts from Harvard Business School and MIT. Each faculty member is a world-renowned expert in the field of sustainability, food and agri-business who delivers the latest thinking and practice in their specialist area.

Damien McLoughlin is Anthony C. Cunningham Professor of Marketing and Associate Dean at UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School. He has previously served on the faculty of the S.C. Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University and the Indian School of Business. For the past three years he has been a faculty member on the Harvard Business School Agribusiness seminar. This annual programme, attended by 200 CEOs and leaders from global food firms, seeks to highlight the best growth opportunities and most pressing challenges facing the industry. In the 2013 programme he wrote and led a case discussion on the strategy issues arising from Russia’s accession to the WTO. Damien has published more than seventy papers and a book on strategy and marketing issues. He has also written more than a dozen case studies, mainly relating to leadership and strategy issues in the food and agribusiness sector.

Dr. Edgar Blanco is a Research Director at the MIT Center for Transportation & Logistics and is the Executive Director of the MIT SCALE Network in Latin America. He has over 16 years of experience in designing and improving logistics and supply chain systems. Dr. Blanco is widely recognised as an expert on carbon footprint assessments of global supply chains and models of environmental impacts of freight transportation and logistics activities. His work on carbon-efficient supply chain balances theoretical and applied work, which has allowed him to establish strong-working relationships within academia, as well as with industry practitioners, governments and NGOs. Dr. Blanco co-led the Leaders in Environmental Assessment and Performance (LEAP) research group at MIT. Dr. Blanco is also the founder and director of the MIT Megacity Logistics Lab, a pioneering initiative in the field of urban logistics. His approach of integrating consumer and retail behavior in emerging markets, urban morphology, mobile phone technologies, visualisation and logistics analytics, has opened a new area of research currently being applied in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Prior to joining MIT, Dr. Blanco was leading the Inventory Optimization practice at Retek (now Oracle Retail). He received his Ph.D. from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His educational background includes a B.S. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) and a M.S. in Operations Research from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Noelle is Esther and Harold E. Edgerton Career Development Associate Professor in the Institute for Data, Systems and Society and the Department. Her research uses atmospheric chemistry modelling to inform decision-making on air pollution, climate change and hazardous substances such as mercury and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). She received my PhD from Harvard University in Earth and Planetary Sciences as part of the Atmospheric, where she developed and evaluated a global, 3D model of mercury pollution. Prior to her current appointment, she was a research scientist with the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. In addition to her scientific work, she has published articles and book chapters on the interactions between science and policy in international environmental negotiations, in particular focusing on global efforts to regulate hazardous substances. Previously, she was a research associate with the Initiative on Science and Technology for Sustainability at Harvard’s Kennedy School, a visiting researcher at the European Environment Agency in Copenhagen, Denmark, and worked on chemicals issues at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.




Mary holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering with High Distinction from the University of Kentucky and an MBA with Distinction from Harvard Business School, where she was awarded a Dean’s Doctoral Fellowship for research in economics and marketing.

Mary is Director of Harvard Business School’s Agribusiness Programme. She leads the annual Agribusiness Seminar in Boston which is attended by more than 200 CEO’s and senior managers from the world’s leading agribusiness firms. She has led similar programmes in Europe, Latin American and Asia. Mary is currently President of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Association (IAMA).
Mary is known as a strategic pathfinder in the global agribusiness sector. She offers a particular competency in identifying and diagnosing the forces of change shaping global agribusiness. Actively engaging with these themes, she has served as Chairman of the Board of RiceTec, Inc., a fully integrated agribusiness and packaged food company headquartered in Alvin, Texas, and on the boards of RiceTec AG, Stiftung Fürst Liechtenstein, and the USA Rice Millers’ Association. She has also authored more than 50 case studies highlighting situations of strategic change in leading global agribusiness firms. She is a member of the editorial board of the International Food and Agribusiness Management Review.

Jason Jay is a Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Director of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan. He teaches courses on leadership, strategy, and innovation for sustainable business. Jason engages students and alumni in hands-on projects with leading companies and organisations. These efforts help build a community of innovators for sustainability that includes MIT students and alumni, faculty and researchers, with partners in business, government, NGOs, and hybrid organisations. Jason's own research focuses on how people navigate the tensions inherent in the quest for sustainability, as they simultaneously pursue their own self-interest and the flourishing of human and other life. This investigation includes deep case studies of cross-sectoral collaboration and hybrid organisations that combine social and business goals. It also includes action research efforts that help people cultivate authentic, effective conversations about sustainability and escape common pitfalls of excessive moral and intellectual certainty. Energy efficiency has proven a useful context to explore these questions; Jay has conducted an ethnographic study of the Cambridge Energy Alliance, and serves as a research partner and facilitator for the EDF Climate Corps program and its network of companies. Alongside these efforts, Jason is an active leader of sustainability efforts across MIT. Through the MIT Sustainable Societies Research Group, he brings together scholars from across the Institute to examine the invention, implementation, and transformation required for a sustainable society. He has helped improve the energy and environmental footprint of the MIT campus by founding the MIT Generator and the 'Greening MIT' community engagement campaign, and serves as founding member of the Campus Energy “Walk the Talk” Task Force. Prior to MIT, Jay ran an Internet start-up, travelled around the world, taught kindergarten in a progressive preschool, and worked as a consultant with Dialogos International, where he consulted on leadership development and organisational change for major international corporations and NGO's including BP, the World Bank, and the Instituto Libertad y Democracia. He holds an AB in psychology and a Master's in education from Harvard University, and a PhD in Organization Studies from the MIT Sloan School of Management.


Patrick is the Jefferson Smurfit Professor of Strategic Management at UCD and is currently Academic Director of Executive Education at the UCD School of Business. His research, teaching and consulting interests are in the areas of Strategic Management, Organisational Change and International Business. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Strategic Planning and Policy from the University of Pittsburgh. Prior educational qualifications at Bachelor’s and Master’s levels were gained at UCD. His previous academic and visiting appointments have included Peking University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Pennsylvania State University, University of Pittsburgh, and Nanyang Business School in Singapore. Before entering academia, Patrick worked in a number of financial and corporate strategy roles with KPMG; Jefferson Smurfit Group; The Investment Bank of Ireland and An Post.


Eamonn is PwC Professor of Accounting at UCD. He has served as Dean of the Smurfit School of Business and Chairman of the Accounting Department. His primary research, teaching and consulting interests are in the areas of financial analysis, equity valuation and US securities markets. A co-author of three books, his research has been published in Accounting Organisations and Society, the Journal of Business Finance and Accounting and the Journal of Accounting Auditing and Finance. He was the founding editor of European Accounting and served as associate editor of the Journal of Accounting Auditing and Finance.
Prior to joining UCD, he held faculty positions at the London School of Economics and New York University. Visiting appointments have included UC Berkeley and Peking University. A consultant to a number of leading European, US and Asian corporations, he has also completed assignments with governmental organisations, the International Monetary Fund and the United Nations. He was the inaugural recipient of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Excellence in Education Award and has been a presenter at the World Economic Forum.

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