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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)


There has never been a more urgent time to understand sustainable business and how it can be achieved. This
business course provides a foundational understanding of
global sustainability trends, including risks, opportunities, and actionable insights.

It supports learners looking to develop their knowledge of sustainable business and provides insights into individual and collective action that leads to a sustainable transition. 

The learning is rooted in the latest sustainability thinking and
can benefit users across all levels, functions and industries
within the business ecosystem.




Online, asynchronous

Learning time

Self-paced, typically 6-8 hours


£139 + VAT, discount available for bulk purchase

Materials & equipment

  1. sufficient internet speed and stability for video streaming (2 Mbps up/down)
  2. a compatible web browser

Assessments & retakes

The course is assessed through in-learning quizzes and an end-of-course survey. Learners can retake all assessments as required throughout the 12 month licence period.

Course access

Learners have access to the course for 12 months from the date of purchase.



I am an individual

If you are looking to book for yourself or
up to five learners on Sustainable Business Foundations.

I am an organisation

If you are a group or organisation looking
to book more than five learners on Sustainable Business Foundations.


I want more information

Find out more about how we support organisational transformation through digital learning.




Who is this course for?

This business course is designed for individuals in all professions and organisations of all sizes looking to gain a critical foundational understanding of global sustainability trends and the urgent purpose-driven strategies and action needed. It supports professional development at an individual and organisational level and delivers the introductory understanding needed to unleash sustainable business practices to innovate, collaborate and lead for the future.

  • Learners looking to start their sustainability journey, refresh their understanding with the latest knowledge in sustainable business practices and who want to deliver impact within and beyond their business.
  • Organisations and individuals looking to deliver impact within and beyond their business through skills development.
  • Organisations looking to build a foundational understanding of sustainable business practices in specific teams or across their organisation.


What will I learn from the course?

Through 5 modules delivered by experts from industry and academia, this course enables you to:

  • Understand the impact of current global economic, social, and environmental pressures on your business sector.
  • Apply systems thinking to determine the ways in which systems shape societal outcomes.
  • Appraise the value of integrating sustainability across your organisation, operations and supply chains.
  • Evaluate how best to manage the risks and opportunities relating to your organisation's impacts on, and dependencies on, society and the environment.
  • Create a personal action plan to contribute to the necessary change in your organisation or sphere of influence.


Key modules

This course supports professional and personal development equipping you with introductory understanding of essential sustainability themes. With this knowledge, you can unleash sustainable practices to innovate, collaborate and
lead for the future.

  1. Sustainability challenges: systems pressures and trends
  2. The impact on business: risk and opportunities & the
    business case
  3. The role of business in rethinking and rewiring economies
  4. What 'good' looks like: examples of best practice
  5. Your personal action plan: How to drive sustainability in
    your organisation

Learning Experience

Over a 12-month period, you can complete the course in your own time, progressing through modules which may contain videos, notes, self-assessments, case studies and quizzes. Benefits of the self-paced learning courses include: 

  1. Flexible learning throughout the year, with recommended reading and optional content available to supplement your learning.
  2. Access to course content for the full 12-months, allowing you to revisit the learning even once your course is complete. 
  3. Develop a Foundational Action Plan to determine the steps needed to contribute to change in your role.
  4. When you successfully complete the course, you will be awarded a digital badge from the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership.



Meet your subject matter expert

This online learning course has been created in collaboration with leading sustainability experts from across a range of sectors, regions and areas of expertise, led by a Course Convenor and lead Subject Matter Expert.

Businesses today cannot deliver sustainability through a small team of specialists, it needs to be integrated into the core of the business, in every function. We are equipping people within organisations to take sustainability and apply it to their own roles, so the individual can thrive and the business as a whole can thrive.

Oliver Dudok Van Heel
Course Convenor and Subject Matter Expert, Sustainable Business Foundations



Ready for your next steps

To book up to 5 learners onto the course, or to request a quote for
up to 100 learners

To speak to a member of the CISL team about upskilling your organisation 

Find out more about how we support organisational transformation. 


We work with organisations looking to develop core sustainability skills within their teams, unlocking innovation, and supporting their existing and future business challenges. Get in touch with the team to find out how we can help.

CISL’s self-paced online courses are delivered in collaboration with the University of Cambridge Online, a digital education provider. The FAQ button will take you to their website.

Additional course options

Sustainable Finance Foundations: Banking, Investment, and Insurance 

This self-paced online course supports professional development, decision making and strategic planning for financial institutions looking to embed impact and sustainability risk mitigation into practice. 

Find out more


Business Sustainability Management

This 8-week, tutor-led online course is designed for  professionals wanting to act as an agent for positive change and lead sustainability across an organisation.

Find out more