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Value chain stream: Curriculum


Value Chains are an integral part of strategic planning for many businesses today. Within leading companies there may be many ‘islands’ of good practice, including, for example, responsible sourcing, cleaner production, and developing new ‘green’ products; however, to achieve an interconnected perspective, a systems approach is needed. PCSB: Value chains stream is designed to go beyond themes such as 'sustainable supply chains' and 'green procurement', and empower leaders to bring about systemic, collaborative change across value chains.

The content is explored through two workshops, supported by essential reading and practical assignments:

  • Workshop 1 builds the awareness of key sustainability risks and opportunities, exploring the strategic business case for building resilient value chains
  • Workshop 2 develops an appreciation for the variety of institutional responses to the risks and opportunities identified, and builds capacity to apply ‘best practice’ tools and techniques to achieve sustainable value chains.

Crosscutting themes such as innovation and leadership are embedded within and/or interspersed between the main sessions.


“There are many sustainability courses, but PCSB: Value Chains stream is unique. The Cambridge setting, the faculty's knowledge, the people you meet, the social and personal experience. This programme will remain a highlight in my educational career.”

Sascha Reimann, Postgraduate Certificate, Value Chains stream


Indicative themes for Value Chains stream workshops

Workshop 1

Understanding the global risks and opportunities, and what
needs to change

Workshop 2

Catalysing change in and beyond the organisation

Workshop themes 

  • Environmental, social and economic pressures and drivers
  • Systems approach to sustainable value chains
  • Building the business case for sustainable value chains
  • Critique of existing tools and enablers
  • Developing a critical and analytical mind


  • Sustainable value creation
  • Leveraging change across the value chain
  • Communication and influence
  • Leadership for change


Assignment tasks

Group Project theme scoping

Analysis Paper preparation

Group Project research and drafting

Strategic Action Plan preparation 

CISL is monitoring the Covid-19 situation and responding accordingly to UK Government and University advice. At present, we expect to deliver our Graduate programmes starting in 2021 as advertised. We are well equipped to deliver dynamic and engaging workshops remotely, should the situation demand. Find out more.

Blog: First-class graduate education in a Covid-19 world

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emma fromberg

Emma Fromberg Programme Manager