Top 10 Programs for Sustainable Business Practices

Executive Education - Studying

By Pamela Martinez

Everyone now expects companies to be responsible for their local environment, social and economic conditions. Executive education is here to deliver. 


Businesses cannot operate in a way that harms the local environment and community. When your business works sustainably, you will see its benefits quickly. Leaders won’t only save resources but also money, but will also lead to a better reputation for your company. Demand is rising for corporate leaders who consider more than just the bottom line: they include environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) factors in their organisational strategy. 

Leaders are being urged by consumers, investors, regulators, and society to shift their methods of value creation as environmental and societal concerns have grown. Sustainability is now a business imperative. And as such, a growing number of business schools provide executive education courses in corporate sustainability leadership, which cover ESG investing, sustainable supply chain management, and employee and consumer engagement. Participants will also learn how to develop innovative business models and how to disclose sustainability practices to meet increasing and conflicting stakeholder demands.

1. Sustainability Leadership Program for Senior Executives, INSEAD Executive Education

Executives and senior managers responsible for developing plans, strategies, policies, and guidelines must be aware of sustainability issues. You must take responsibility for your company’s actions and inactions. All companies now look for leaders who understand sustainability issues. INSEAD’s Sustainability Leadership Program for Senior Executives is your opportunity to understand these issues. It will help you devise sustainable strategies without losing focus on your company’s growth goals. Most consumers now demand their products and service providers follow sustainable practices. You will see low sales and reduced profitability if you are unable to meet these expectations. Gain the necessary ESG (environmental, social, and governance) skills to lead your organisation with the right strategies and learn why traditional business practices do not meet these guidelines. This course will help you take the lead in devising sustainable and profitable business models for your company.

2. Wharton ESG Essentials, The Wharton School

The stakes have never been higher for valuing and managing environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors. Leaders must navigate several cross-currents — keeping pace with an accelerating regulatory landscape, leading requisite organisational and technological change, and enacting policies to attract and retain talent, all while delivering more value for increasingly demanding and sophisticated shareholders. Wharton ESG Essentials taps the latest insights from Wharton’s leading faculty to equip participants with the tactical competencies needed to successfully link ESG to profit-and-loss statements and portfolio strategies, create and implement a solid risk management plan, and adopt proven best practices rooted in frontier research.

3. Driving Sustainability from the Boardroom, IMD

Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors have become a global imperative, placing companies under increasing scrutiny. This heightened stakeholder focus means boards are confronted with new expectations, yet few directors are equipped to govern ESG issues. IMD’s Driving Sustainability from the Boardroom is a highly experiential program that immerses you in the complex and multifaceted realities of ESG. Part of IMD’s collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), will enable you to fulfil your role of influencing and steering the integration of sustainability into your company’s strategy.

4. Strategies for Sustainable Business, MIT Management Executive Education

For decades, MIT and MIT Sloan have been business sustainability thought leaders, from Jay Forrester’s work on World Dynamics to the formation of the Sustainability Initiative at MIT Sloan, an effort that is shaping modern discourse on sustainability. Strategies for Sustainable Business connects executives with MIT professors and researchers who are currently breaking new ground in sustainability thinking and practice. Faculty combines interactive lectures, case studies, games, diagnostic exercises, and deep reflective work for a highly engaging experience. Participants place current business practices in a socioeconomic context and walk away with well-grounded strategies for making sustainability a reality in their organisations, industries, and communities.

5. Sustainability: Your Competitive Advantage, IE Business School

This new purpose program from IE Business School has been carefully designed to help you rethink your organisation’s commitment to both the environment and society as a whole. Enhance your business acumen, develop your soft skills and drive innovation while creating a better future for your business and the world. This program is a hands-on learning experience where participants will engage with other business leaders, top faculty, and renowned panellists in applied debate and workshops.

6. Sustainability and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL), Nottingham Trent University

Delivered by Nottingham Business School, this course has been developed to help SME leaders, managers, and employees manage responsibly and win business in the rapidly emerging green marketplace. SAIL is suitable for any business employee in the D2N2 region with an interest in supporting your firm’s journey towards net zero and a greater connection with nature. The course will build your leadership capacity to deliver the sustainable change needed to ensure your firm is fit for the future. This program entails completing a carbon literacy evidence form and developing a sustainability project action plan and reflective submission that explore the barriers and enablers to implementing your sustainability project.

7. Leading Sustainability Transitions, Warwick Business School

We all know that sustainability is a critical challenge that can’t be ignored. But where do you start with building a sustainability strategy in your organisation? And when you do have a strategy in place, how can you effectively implement it? Warwick Business School’s “Leading Sustainability Transitions” will provide you with the necessary skills, concepts, and tools for tackling the critical sustainability challenges that you and your organisation are facing. Through peer learning and insights from WBS experts, this course will provide you with the time and space to reflect on the issues and opportunities that your organisation needs to address, in order to become more sustainable. You will have instant access to the relevant frameworks for developing and implementing an effective sustainability strategy, with a focus on helping you transition your teams, organisation, and industry, to becoming more sustainable. 

8. Climate Change and Sustainability: Leveraging Carbon Market Initiatives For Business, NUS Business School

Sustainability and climate change are now issues that are moving beyond corporate lip service into real-world business costs, challenges, and opportunities. Many corporates have set climate-neutrality or net-zero targets and will have to decide on a pathway towards net zero. In practice, corporates will need to make step-by-step decisions on the breadth and depth of their greenhouse gas emission reductions (direct, and indirect). They will also need to decide on the role of carbon credits in their transition period, and in their steady state. This programme breaks down the issues and will help participants to understand and to take advantage of climate change opportunities today and in the near future.

9. Sustainability and Management, University of Bath

Develop your knowledge of the core business disciplines and gain a deep understanding of corporate sustainability. The Sustainability and Management program from the University of Bath is for graduates with a degree in any subject who want to develop critical managerial skills with an emphasis on sustainability. Sustainability is an increasingly essential part of corporate policy and strategy. Companies must consider the ethical, social, environmental, and economic impact of their activities. You’ll gain a deep understanding of corporate sustainability alongside core business topics. You’ll graduate prepared for a career in sustainability across a variety of industries.

10. Building and Managing a Sustainable Global Portfolio, Columbia Business School

What started as a corporate social responsibility initiative by the United Nations 20 years ago has swelled into the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) movement. Many financial institutions and organisations have launched sustainability initiatives related to its governance, but there are critical questions to ask as we evaluate ESG investments, such as “What are the key differences between public equity and public debt investing and between public and private markets?” and “What are the key regulatory efforts in ESG investing in the United States, Europe, and China?”. This program covers finance and sustainability as integrated subjects, beginning with an introduction to financial and investment principles and ending with financial analysis, financing, and valuation.

About the Author

Pamela Martinez is a writer for The European Business Review. She is dedicated to crafting timely blog pieces about business acumen, changing leadership dynamics, emerging finance and technology trends, global breakthroughs and how these spaces intersect from a millennial’s perspective. She also works as an editor and content strategist and the sister publications of The European Business Review.


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