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Executive Education Programmes in Sustainability – Customised Programs from CPSL


What is a customised programme?

CISL’s custom programmes enable individual organisations to inform strategy and identify how to deliver it. Unlike our open programmes that convene individuals from organisations, CISL’s customised programmes are designed for organisational change. These bespoke offerings contain specific content that is relevant to our client’s market, convene suitable contributors and provide delegates with challenge to create a shared vision.

Customised programmes provide a safe space for organisations to set strategy, inform decisions, and build organisational resilience.

What is unique about CISL’s customised programmes?

Building on the University of Cambridge's learning model, we empower individuals to take ownership of sustainability, making it relevant to their role in order to support organisational performance. This means that our programmes are fundamentally different from both prescriptive guides to corporate social responsibility ('CSR') and most advice from external consultancies.

By equipping individuals with the relevant information and inspiring them to act, we find that it is easier to assemble a critical mass of informed and motivated stakeholders pulling in the same direction.

How can customised programmes benefit my organisation?

CISL helps organisations to understand sustainability challenges where scientific excellence meets operational performance. Typically, our clients face some internal log-jam to creating a new strategy, rolling out the existing one or having the capacity and confidence to implement.

Our programmes aim to overcome these impediments by creating a shared vision and the impetus for people to act. We do this by enabling clients to:

  • Access the latest scientific thinking. We draw on the expertise within the University of Cambridge and beyond to source relevant contributors and research that is shaping your operating context.

  • Build capacity in decision-makers. Typically, we work with senior individuals to help them agree strategic goals and identify how they can deliver. 

  • Critically examine the current system. Our programmes enable individuals to understand how our lives are shaped by key institutions and trends; how they can likewise shape these systems; and the ways in which financial markets can support sustainable outcomes. 

  • Provide insight into leading practices. For each organisational engagement, we identify suitably inspirational and relevant examples of what organisations and individuals can do to make sustainability a business opportunity.

  • Inform strategy. Through facilitation, expert input, and the right kinds of challenge, our programmes empower delegates to create a pathway of action that will support organisational growth and resilience. 

  • Take leadership. Our programmes regularly include sessions on influence, engagement and communication to facilitate a process of individual recognition that sustainability is relevant to both their business role and their organisation’s strategy.

What are the additional benefits to alumni of a customised programme?

On successful completion of a custom programme, delegates receive a certificate of completion and are invited to join the Cambridge Sustainability Network. This enables interested delegates to continue their learning journey with CISL by accessing the latest information on our programmes and initiatives, such as our business platforms, which help set the standard for progressive business commentary and action on key sustainability issues such as climate change, natural capital and finance.

Who usually attends these programmes?

The audience changes depending on the programme’s objectives. We deliver for executive teams (especially where the aim is to inform strategy), sustainability champions (where the aim is to implement a strategy), and senior managers (where companies want to develop leaders of the future).

How many participants join a custom programme?

Typically, programmes are delivered to audiences of 24–40 people, but can they be tailored to cater for smaller or larger delegations depending on clients’ needs.

Is this a standard training programme?

CISL does not offer standard executive training courses of any kind. Each of our customised programmes is designed to meet your organisation’s specific needs. We use a four-step process to understand your culture, identify the shape of your industry, and inform the design of your programme.

Throughout the design phase, we will work closely with each client to ensure that the programme builds on existing work (no-one wants to reinvent the wheel!) and that the results exceed your expectations.

Are custom programmes applicable for all organisations?

CISL runs programmes for public bodies (including government agencies), multilaterals, civil society organisations, and large businesses.

Our customisation process means we can deliver for companies in different sectors and we have recently engaged with companies in key sectors including oil and gas, extractives, diversified industries, automotives, finance and insurance, technology, construction and the built environment, and professional services.

Can CISL deliver a programme outside the UK?

CISL has a track record of delivering sustainability leadership and strategy programmes around the world.

Our programmes are customised to fit into existing board meetings, delivered at your offices or run at facilities that are local to you. Recently, we have delivered programmes in Chile, South Africa and the United Arab Emirates.

Who delivers these programmes?

Customised programmes are delivered by CISL’s core team, Faculty, and hand-picked expert contributors. For each engagement, we carefully select Faculty from our international network (including our Senior Associates) and identify suitable subject experts.

Where can I find out more?

For further details about our programmes, please contact

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Contact Us

Paul Begley,
Development Director

T: +44 (0)1223 768850

Interested in our Executive Programmes?

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