Business Sustainability Management online short course

Earn a certificate in business sustainability from the University of Cambridge in 8 weeks, entirely online

Course overview

This course is designed to address the growing need and prevalence of sustainability practices in business - giving you the tools to pioneer meaningful change throughout your organisation. Upon completion of the course, you will gain access to the CISL global alumni network, consisting of nearly 8,000 like-minded business leaders around the world.

Become a future-fit leader and accelerate your career with the confidence and skills to:

Articulate the importance of sustainability in business, and drive social responsibility across your organisation’s value chain.

Investigate the potential of technology, design, and innovation to enable or limit sustainable business practices.

Explore the role of marketing and communication - both internal and external - in your sustainability strategy.

Define and explore opportunities for value creation through stakeholder and partner collaboration.

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 you wish to claim CPD activity, the onus is upon you. CISL and GetSmarter accept no responsibility, and cannot be held responsible, for the claiming or validation of hours or points.

Learning model

This fully tutored and supported course is offered online for your convenience and flexibility. This personalised, people-mediated approach has resulted in a 90% certification rate.

Using relevant and practical case studies, you’ll gain insights from world-leading experts in the field, and thought leaders in sustainability:


Sustainability Manager at Jaguar Land Rover


Founder and Director of The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership


Head of Sustainable Business at Marks and Spencer


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


CISL Fellow


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


Leading author and environmentalist


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


Associate Professor at TU Delft, Industrial Design Engineering (Design for Sustainability and Product Innovation Management)

Course factsheet

8 weeks online (+1.5 weeks orientation)

12-15 hours/week

Course fees: £1,800

Course start date: 01 August 2018

Registrations close: 24 July 2018

Offered by the University of Cambridge, presented in collaboration with GetSmarter.

Student testimonials

Available entirely online, anywhere in the world, our part-time sustainability courses empower individuals and organisations to take the lead in tackling critical global challenges.

About the course

"This course should be mandatory education for every decision maker in every company world-wide. My management perspective has been fundamentally shifted."

Peet Van Wyk, South Africa
Group CEO, Keech Furnace Technologies

"With the credentials of CISL, this could well be the most successfully designed programme in the world that delivers sustainability to business management in a nutshell."

Lu-Ann Ong, Singapore
Co-founder and Managing Partner, Independent Consultants 1920 LLP

"I would recommend this course as a valuable exercise for anyone who is prepared to be an agent for sustainability change or for those needing to know more about the subject – practically everyone!"

Janey Lane, United Kingdom
Chartered Surveyor, Savills

About the learning experience

"Although I have never done online learning before, the combination of the course structure and the GetSmarter support has made the transition to online learning completely seamless."

Teresa Wooding, New Zealand
Senior Project Manager, Christchurch City Council

"GetSmarter is an ideal online platform for those who have full-time jobs. It allows for the opportunity to connect with others, work through the course content at your own pace and is very user-friendly. You also have access to a great support system (technical and non-technical) where all your queries can be dealt with timeously and effectively."

Angelique du Randt, South Africa
Process Engineer, Energy Utility in South Africa

"Because I have studied online before, an MBA and part of a PMP, I have a depth of comparability. I can see that having this amount of academic support is a definite advantage and contrasts with my prior experience."

Gayelene Bonenfant, Canada
Co-founder,; Strategic Business Consultant and Social Entrepreneur

"The cases chosen for the course were tremendously relevant. My classmates were from all over the world and had such different backgrounds that they all helped to make conversations richer."

Diana De La Torre Ugarte Diaz, Peru
Corporate Affairs Manager, CBC

"The course content is illuminating and an absolute must for all aspiring sustainability managers as well as those that need upskilling in their field."

Dirk Philippus Conradie, South Africa
Public Affairs and Sustainability Manager, Pernod Ricard

"Not only content rich and up to date, there was a logical flow in the modules which kept you sharp and motivated."

Karim el Jisr, United Arab Emirates
Executive Director, SEE Nexus Institute

How the course is useful and relevant

"The course has been very useful in terms of sustainability knowledge building, and how to use this appropriately in the company. I have already used examples etc in discussions with senior colleagues."

Jonathan Kendall, United Kingdom
President, International Institute for Diamond Grading and Research (a De Beers Group company)

"This course has empowered me to be the ‘voice’ of sustainability at my work. My colleagues now expect me to ask challenging questions about sustainability during work forums. I have gained confidence in responding to the CEO’s weekly blogs, providing my opinion to his commentaries around transitioning to a low carbon economy. This has been a result of the excellent modules within this certificate."

Rose Boyd, Australia
Senior Sustainability Consultant, Australasia Transport and Resources

"​The knowledge from this course will assist me with reworking marketing, communications, and product design strategies. It will also give me the confidence to participate further in roundtables and forums. I am also now considering a Master's in Sustainability."

Tamryn Stowell, United Kingdom
Corporate Advisor, Charities Aid Foundation (​CAF)

"The course gave me a firm foundation on sustainability, equipped me with up-to-date trends on how it is practised across the globe, and gave me the chance to meet passionate practitioners of sustainability and be inspired by the work they do."

Harris Albert Guevarra, Philippines
President and CEO, Drink

The Cambridge Business Sustainability course provides a sound academic foundation complemented with practical cases and relevant assignment to bring learning into practice."

Trijntje (Truus) Huisman, Belgium
Co-founder, Plastic Maker Hubs

"The course gave me a holistic understanding of sustainability leadership and how leveraging sustainability can create new market opportunities, fuel innovation and be the catalyst for power partnerships that increase your competitive advantage."

Jayne Harvey, Thailand
Founder and CEO, Lily & Mortimer

Download the full course prospectus

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