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Business Sustainability Management

Online short course

Integrate sustainability management into your business strategy and become a leader in a field that is fundamental to business success across all industries, anywhere in the world

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About this course

Increasingly, businesses recognise the need to respond to global pressures such as climate change, resource scarcity, and social inequalities. The concept of ‘sustainability’ is no longer confined to NGOs and activists, it is now integral to ensuring that businesses can continue to operate on a planet with finite resources. The successful businesses of the future will be those that proactively responded to the global challenges of today, taking advantage of the innovations in technology to drive impactful change and gain a competitive edge.

Sustainability in business is also not the sole responsibility of a designated sustainability manager. Instead, it needs to be integrated into business operations throughout the value chain and across every business function. This University of Cambridge Business Sustainability Management online short course provides individuals working within the private and public sector with a working knowledge of key areas of sustainability management, covering what sustainability is, why it is important from an economic, social and environmental angle, and how a business can go about integrating it into their operations.

This course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and may be applicable to individuals who

 

are members of, or are associated with, UK-based professional bodies. The course has an estimated 100

hours of learning.

Note: should students wish to claim CPD activity, the onus is upon them. The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership and GetSmarter accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming

or validation of hours or points

Testimonial

Great first time experience hiking on a glacier! Christian was a great guide! Thank you!

Kai Schmidt,

Consultant

Testimonial

Superbe ascension du glacier avec Christian notre guide, tres experimente avec 30 ans de carriere! C’etait une premiere fois pour moi et malgre les conditions difficile (neige et vent fort) je me suis senti en securite. Prevoir de bonnes chaussures de grimpe (eviter les baskets!). Experience unique vívement recommandee.

Loïc B,

Novice grimpeur Sept 2022

Testimonial

Un guía muy amable y gentil. Lo recomiendo.

Fernando huertas hurtado,

Client

Testimonial

Christian is an highly-skilled and technical mountain guide as well as a recognized nature photographer ready to deliver a great experience to his clients. Pure joy!

Alessandro Freitas,

Client

Testimonial

O melhor!!!Super indico!!???☝️

Viviane,

Client

Testimonial

Just founded a nice website ‘ mountain happiness’ and I hope that you will give me a new experience along the alpine trip

Nobpakao Soonthonklamp ,

Client

Testimonial

The best high mountain guides in the area. Christian is well trained, several years of experience, highly professional and really care about safety. He also speaks English.

Tony Gabranovich ,

Client

What this course covers

Over eight weeks, you’ll gain verifiable and relevant knowledge of sustainability, centred on the notion that sustainability is integral to ensuring businesses stay resilient in a changing world while delivering benefits to both shareholders and society.

Guided by industry experts, you’ll investigate the argument for sustainability, how to integrate sustainability across the value chain, the role of innovative design, planning, and technology in facilitating a sustainable business, and how to effectively communicate sustainability strategies and goals to internal and external stakeholders. This will also be put into practice through the development of your personalised action plan for overcoming the barriers and seizing the opportunities to create meaningful change within your context.

A powerful collaboration

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) is collaborating with digital education provider GetSmarter, a 2U, Inc. brand, to provide an interactive and supported learning experience, equipping you to lead with impact in a changing business world.

Gain access to the CISL International Alumni Network

The CISL Network is made up of 27,000 senior leaders and leading practitioners who represent business, the public sector and civil society in every industry, on every continent. Upon successful completion of this course, you’ll be invited to join this prestigious global community. This forum includes students from CISL’s executive education and graduate programmes, members of its business platforms and expert faculty and contributors to its work. Through it, CISL aims to provide opportunities for members of its Network to keep up to date with the latest thinking and action, the space to debate ideas and share experience and the chance to collaborate and influence change.

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About CISL

CISL is an institution within the University of Cambridge that strives to challenge, inform, and support leaders from business and policy to deliver change towards sustainability.

CISL helps individuals, major organisations, and whole sectors develop strategies that reconcile profitability and sustainability, and to work collaboratively with their peers not only to develop solutions to shared challenges, but also catalyse real systems change.

Learn more about CISL here.

What you’ll learn

ORIENTATION MODULE: Welcome to your Online campus

You’ll be welcomed to the course and begin connecting with fellow students, while exploring the navigation and tools of your Online Campus. Be alerted to key milestones in the learning path, and review how your results will be calculated and distributed.

You’ll be required to complete your student profile, confirm your email address for the delivery of your digital certificate and submit a digital copy of your passport/identity document.

MODULE 1: Sustainability challenges and opportunities

The global state, what needs to change, and how to bridge the sustainability gap through rewiring the economy.

  • Identify the key systems pressures and trends that are affecting the economy and society
  • Discuss the impact of industrialisation and population growth on the widening gap between the rich and the poor
  • Identify the impact and dependencies of the private sector on natural and social capital
  • Identify the key scientific findings that highlight the need to act on climate change and the degradation of natural capital
  • Discuss how economic, social, and environmental challenges can only be met through rethinking the current growth model
  • Illustrate how government, business, and finance each individually, and in collaboration, have a role to play in delivering sustainable outcomes
  • Investigate the impact of current global economic, social, and environmental pressures on business in a global context
MODULE 2: The business case and leadership for action

Why sustainability is good for business and the importance of good leadership in achieving change.

  • Discuss the sustainability-related risks and opportunities that businesses are currently facing and the commercial imperative for sustainability
  • Show how businesses can create shared value through their operations and supply chain
  • Illustrate how sustainability initiatives act as a driver for innovation and competitive advantage
  • Debate the role of business in promoting sustainable development
  • Contrast the different perspectives on sustainability leadership
  • Debate why there is a perceived shortfall in leaders to champion sustainability within organisations
  • Identify the range of potential levers of change that could be applied to achieve sustainability goals
  • Argue the business case for sustainability for your own organisation
MODULE 3: Regulatory environment and international policy

Policy instruments, international agreements, and the role of business and civil society in shaping a zero carbon economy.

  • Identify the range of policies and frameworks that are applied to achieve a range of sustainability goals
  • Discuss the degree to which current policy addresses sustainability challenges facing society
  • Review the progress in policy regulation and voluntary actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to date
  • Analyse how the outcomes from recent global agreements on climate change and emissions will affect business as usual across different sectors
  • Identify the important role that civil society and business play in shaping sustainability policy and practice
MODULE 4: Production and consumption

The value chain: Implementing business models and processes for sourcing, producing, and consuming sustainably.

  • Recognise the range of different approaches to sustainable production and consumption that companies can influence
  • Discuss how companies can challenge current production and consumption practices
  • Show how sustainable production practices might be applied in other business contexts
  • Identify the degree to which businesses have a responsibility to educate and influence stakeholders on sustainable consumption to shape future consumption patterns
  • Analyse the tension between global strategies to reduce consumption and responding to the aspirations of a growing middle class in developing and emerging economies
  • Justify the importance of integrating sustainability across an organisation’s value chain to ensure long-term value creation
MODULE 5: Design, technology, and planning for sustainability

The role of innovative design, planning, and technology in facilitating sustainable business.

  • Recall what is meant by sustainable design and the role of technology in supporting a sustainable future
  • Identify how optimisation approaches and business models of a circular economy can contribute to a more sustainable business
  • Identify the case for incorporating disruptive innovation into business strategy to create new sustainable business models
  • Demonstrate the importance of product footprinting, and impact and dependency measurement to track the success of sustainability initiatives
  • Illustrate the importance of careful planning in the pursuit of financial, environmental, and social outcomes during design of new products and services
  • Discuss the important role that design of products and processes can play in creating circular economy business models
  • Illustrate the importance of the context in which technology, design, and innovation is applied
  • Assess the potential of innovative design and technology to enable sustainable business
MODULE 6: Communication and marketing

How to effectively communicate sustainability strategies and goals to internal and external stakeholders.

  • Recall the importance of careful planning in the pursuit of financial, environmental, and social outcomes during design of new products and services
  • Recognise the key principles that underpin effective sustainability-related communication in business
  • Identify how companies can influence progressive policy and practice by demonstrating a commitment to action
  • Investigate the case for organisations to invest in educational programmes to achieve their sustainability objectives
  • Discuss the benefits of and challenges to effectively communicating a common narrative across a company and to its stakeholders to achieve its sustainability goals
  • Identify the role of branding in achieving customer buy-in for sustainable products and services
  • Identify the impact and implications of a company’s sustainability-related actions on its commercial reputation
  • Defend the use of sustainability as an aspect of marketing to enhance a company’s brand and reputation
MODULE 7: Collaboration and partnerships

How businesses can work together with corporate, government, and non-profit actors to bring about large-scale change in the sustainability space.

  • Recognise the different forms and functions of contemporary business partnerships
  • Discuss the risks and opportunities associated with business-business and business-other partnerships and the efforts to measure their success
  • Apply stakeholder and context mapping, and partnership tools theory to a practical business scenario
  • Asses the opportunities that come from collaborating with key stakeholders and entering into partnerships to create new value
MODULE 8: Rewiring your business approach

Learn how to be an effective change agent, overcome barriers to change, obtain networking support, and create a personalised sustainability action plan.

  • Explain your role as a change agent within your organisation or sphere of influence
  • Identify the barriers to adopting operational change and taking action within your organisation
  • Illustrate the importance of gaining internal support for overcoming barriers to organisational culture change
  • Investigate different approaches to financing your sustainability strategies
  • Identify members within your network that can assist you in influencing sustainability-related change within your organisation
  • Investigate a range of support mechanisms beyond your existing network that would help you be more effective in your current role
  • Develop an action plan for leveraging your support network to reach your personal sustainability objectives within your organisation or sphere of influence
  • Reflect on how your views on sustainability have changed since the start of the course

Who should take this course

Sustainability is the responsibility of all members of an organisation and can no longer be designated to a single role. This online short course is therefore aimed at professionals from all fields, whether you’re in an organisation looking to incorporate sustainability practices, or are an entrepreneur wanting to start a business and understand more about the role and importance of sustainability in your operations. You’ll be given the tools to adopt a practical approach to sustainability challenges by developing a unique action plan for your context. This not only highlights current global pressures and megatrends affecting business, but also gives you the knowledge and confidence to help colleagues and other stakeholders adapt and identify new sustainable social, economic, and environmental opportunities.

This course is for you if you want to:

Validate your knowledge

Get proof of your competencies in business sustainability management by earning a digital certificate of completion from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Drive change

Enhance your leadership skills and learn new tools to effectively argue the business case for sustainability

Improve your business

Build a practical action plan for overcoming barriers and seizing the opportunities to embed sustainability in your business

Grow your network

Engage with an international cohort of business leaders to develop your global perspective and create opportunities for collaboration and innovation.

About the certificate Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll earn a digital certificate of completion from a world-leading sustainability institution, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL). Assessment is continuous and based on a series of practical assignments completed online. In order to be issued with your digital certificate, you’ll need to meet the requirements outlined in the course handbook. The handbook will be made available to you as soon as you begin the course. Your digital certificate of completion will be issued in your legal name and sent to you via email. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of the University.

About the certificate

Upon successful completion of the course, you’ll earn a digital certificate of completion from a world-leading sustainability institution, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL).</p> <p>Assessment is continuous and based on a series of practical assignments completed online. In order to be issued with your digital certificate, you’ll need to meet the requirements outlined in the course handbook. The handbook will be made available to you as soon as you begin the course.</p> <p>Your digital certificate of completion will be issued in your legal name and sent to you via email. All certificate images are for illustrative purposes only and may be subject to change at the discretion of the University.

Who you’ll learn from

This subject matter expert from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership guides the course design and appears in a number of course videos, along with a variety of industry professionals.

Your Course Convenor

Chirstian is the Instructor director at the Assosiation of Specalized Mountaineering Guides, where he helps companies with a global reach to derive value from embedding innovative approaches to sustainability across their organisation and their supply chains. Christian has extensive experience working with companies and NGOs on sustainability challenges, with particular expertise in the food, agricultural, utility, tourism, and extractive sectors. He has lived in several African countries working with governments and the private sector to tackle the resource challenges of today and the future.

Guest Lecturers

Santos Cochachin

Senior Associate, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.

Dame Polly Courtice

Founding Director, the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

Mike Barry

Sustainability Advisor, former Head of Sustainable Business, Marks & Spencer

Dr Nancy Bocken

Associate Professor, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, Tu Delft

Will Day

Sustainability Advisor, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) Chairman, Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)

Philippe Joubert

Executive Chair, Global Electricity Initiative Senior Advisor and MD of Energy and Climate, WBCSD

 

Craig Bennett

CEO, Friends of the Earth (England, Wales, and Northern Ireland)

Tony Juniper

Leading author and environmentalist

James Stacey

Fellow, Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

How you’ll learn

Every course is broken down into manageable, weekly modules, designed to accelerate your learning process through diverse learning activities:

  • Work through your downloadable and online instructional material
  • Interact with your peers and learning facilitators through weekly class-wide forums and reviewed small group discussions
  • Enjoy a wide range of interactive content, including video lectures, infographics, live polls, and more
  • Investigate rich, real-world case studies
  • Apply what you learn each week to quizzes and ongoing project submissions, culminating in a personalised sustainability action plan for your organisation

Your success team

GetSmarter, with whom CISL is collaborating to deliver this online course, provides a personalised approach to online education that ensures you’re supported throughout your learning journey.

Head Tutor

A subject expert who’ll guide you through content-related challenges.

Success Advisor

Your one-on-one support available during University hours (8am–4pm GMT) to resolve technical and administrative challenges.

Global success team

Available 24/7 to solve your tech-related and administrative queries and concerns.

Testimonial

Great first time experience hiking on a glacier! Christian was a great guide! Thank you!

Kai Schmidt,

Consultant

Testimonial

Superbe ascension du glacier avec Christian notre guide, tres experimente avec 30 ans de carriere! C’etait une premiere fois pour moi et malgre les conditions difficile (neige et vent fort) je me suis senti en securite. Prevoir de bonnes chaussures de grimpe (eviter les baskets!). Experience unique vívement recommandee.

Loïc B,

Novice grimpeur Sept 2022

Testimonial

Un guía muy amable y gentil. Lo recomiendo.

Fernando huertas hurtado,

Client

Testimonial

Christian is an highly-skilled and technical mountain guide as well as a recognized nature photographer ready to deliver a great experience to his clients. Pure joy!

Alessandro Freitas,

Client

Testimonial

O melhor!!!Super indico!!???☝️

Viviane,

Client

Testimonial

Just founded a nice website ‘ mountain happiness’ and I hope that you will give me a new experience along the alpine trip

Nobpakao Soonthonklamp ,

Client

Testimonial

The best high mountain guides in the area. Christian is well trained, several years of experience, highly professional and really care about safety. He also speaks English.

Tony Gabranovich ,

Client

Technical

Requirements:

Basic requirements

In order to complete this course, you’ll need a current email account and access to a computer and the internet, as well as a PDF Reader. You may need to view Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, and read and create documents in Microsoft Word or Excel.

Browser requirements

We recommend that you use Google Chrome as your internet browser when accessing the Online Campus. Although this is not a requirement, we have found that this browser performs best for ease of access to course material. This browser can be downloaded here.

Additional requirements

Certain courses may require additional software and resources. These additional software and resource requirements will be communicated to you upon registration and/or at the beginning of the course. Please note that Google, Vimeo, and YouTube may be used in our course delivery, and if these services are blocked in your jurisdiction, you may have difficulty in accessing course content. Please check with an Enrolment Advisor before registering for this course if you have any concerns about this affecting your experience with the Online Campus.

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