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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Custom programmes


Businesses are operating in an increasingly volatile and uncertain context, one that is affected by social, environmental and economic change. CISL’s customised programmes help organisations anticipate and respond to these changes, finding ways to benefit society and the environment while building commercial value.

Delivered to Boards and senior executives, specific functions (eg marketing, HR or finance) and high-potential individuals, our tailored sustainability training helps global organisations in every sector achieve commercial benefit. Drawing on our extensive network of international experts, from business and beyond, we work with you to design and deliver an effective and inspiring journey that is participatory and outcome-orientated, enabling you to achieve your organisational needs.


Is customised training right for my organisation?

Creating a new strategy, rolling out the existing one, or having the skills to implement it is a challenge. Our bespoke sustainability courses are carefully crafted to equip individual learners with the skills, knowledge and confidence to develop a shared vision and organisational response.

Each course is unique. We convene suitable contributors from a range of different disciplines to ensure that you have insight that is relevant to your market. Find out more about how other organisations have used customised training by reading our recent case studies.


How we work with you

Our customised sustainability training builds on 25 years' experience designing and delivering education courses. Working closely with you to understand your business and its culture, identify the shape of your industry, and agree your objectives, we design a unique learning experience – one which is outcome-orientated and links individual stakeholders with your organisation's strategy.  

Our programmes draw on the latest scientific information to provide insight into key economic, environmental and social trends. We examine and critically evaluate systems such as finance, energy and social development to help participants evaluate their operations, and provide insights into how other organisations are promoting sustainable business.

Typically, programmes are delivered to audiences of 24–35 people, but they can be tailored to cater for smaller or larger delegations depending on programmes’ objectives.


Who else has benefited from our tailored education programmes?

We work with over 600 global businesses every year. Through our leadership programmes, we help individuals and teams deliver results at scale and pace. Leading organisations including multinational companies, development banks, industry associations and governmental agencies have used CISL’s customised programmes to improve organisational performance. Read more about our clients' approaches to driving transformative change within their organisations and deliver the future we want.



Leading organisations including multinational companies, development banks, industry associations and governmental agencies have used CISL’s customised programmes to improve organisational performance.

Recent clients include Interface, Kingfisher, the Lloyds Market Association, Network Rail, Saint-Gobain, Sainsbury’s and Tata Sons. Read more about our clients' success stories below.


Case studies

Developing a growth strategy in a low carbon economy


Chief Executives and Managing Directors at major international conglomerate Tata build organisational resilience to climate change.

Enhancing social performance in different regions

Anglo American

Building the leadership capacity of executives to enhance Anglo American's contribution to social development in the regions in which it operates.

Translating the Sustainability Development Goals into local action

Bogota Columbia

In February 2016, the first Colombia Sustainability Leadership Programme gave business leaders, politicians and members of civil society an understanding of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the implications for Colombia and a personal action plan for delivering them.

Network Rail

Delivering a transformative sustainability strategy to achieve long-term growth and ongoing progress in the Network Rail Infrastructure Projects Southern Division.

Transforming supply chains through new business models


Helping leading carpet manufacturer Interface eliminate its entire environmental impact by engaging suppliers and introducing sustainability metrics.

Future-proofing business and embedding innovation

Jaguar landrover

Translating Jaguar Land Rover's business vision into clear and quantifiable objectives by decoupling business growth and environmental impact.

Informing investment decisions


Supporting Nedbank, one of South Africa’s largest financial institutions, with the skills for responsible innovation of products and services, resulting in a new lending criteria for the bank to seize sustainable growth opportunities.

Identifying new business opportunities


Equipping key individuals in the African Development Bank from mainstream roles with the knowledge and skills to integrate climate change into existing policies and operations.

Building leaders for the 21st century

Bank of communications

Promoting innovation, strategic management and leadership in the Bank of Communications during times of exceptional change.

Deepening awareness of systemic risks

Brazil insurance

Informing leaders (including CFOs, CEOs and Heads of Sustainable Finance) in the Brazilian Insurance Industry to critically evaluate sustainability risks and opportunities to maximise the positive impacts of this rapidly changing sector.

Reviewing traditional manufacturing for a more sustainable future in Guangdong


Exploring the role of industrialisation and technological innovation with Chinese Mayors, Vice Mayors and senior departmental leaders from the Guangdong Provincial Government.

Read more case studies on our CISL Conversations page.

CISL coversations

In these conversations we draw fascinating insights from leaders we work with on the approaches they have taken to drive transformative change within their organisations and deliver the future we want.



"This programme is an important catalyst for climate action within the Bank. We now have the knowledge, skills and confidence to engage colleagues and clients – skills that are essential if we are to promote green, inclusive growth across Africa."

Dr Balgis Osman-Elasha, Climate Change Expert (Program Task Manger), African Development Bank