10 Leading Executive Education Courses In Climate & Sustainability For 2024

10 Leading Executive Education Courses In Climate & Sustainability For 2024

Almost a quarter century ago, the United Nations launched its Global Compact, a public recognition that governments alone cannot solve the world’s most pressing problems. The private sector is a large contributor to challenges surrounding human and labor rights, climate and environment, extreme poverty and more, and the private sector must be part of the solutions.

Today, business leaders are tasked not just with delivering a healthy bottom line to stakeholders, but to be good stewards of the environments in which they operate – both in regards to natural resources and society at large.

Leading B-schools around the world are adding a range of executive education courses to train leaders on business sustainability. Below, Poets&Quants For Execs reveals 10 such courses you can take in 2024.

1. Sustainability Strategies: Develop Initiatives to Transform Your Business

School: Stanford Graduate School of Business
Duration/dates: 8 weeks, beginning March 14, 2024
Format: Online 4-6 hours per week
Cost: $2,688 before March 7, $2800 after

This certificate course aims to help executives put sustainability initiatives into practice, especially in regards to the climate crisis.

Key takeaways include an understanding of impacts and root causes of climate change, identifying business opportunities when transitioning to environmental sustainability, and proactive change leadership.

It is geared to leaders and professionals who are building sustainability strategies in their organization, communicating sustainable business efforts, and who want to lead on the transition to more sustainable business models.

Learn more.


2. Executive Program For Energy Leaders

School: McCombs School of Business, The University of Texas at Austin
Duration/dates: 9-12 months, beginning March 25, 2024
Format: Online and live online
Cost: $18,000

Climate change, geopolitical tensions, and decarbonization pressures are transforming the business of energy. Executives now must balance growth with innovative, sustainable solutions.

Core modules include Navigating the Uncertain Energy Landscape;
Identifying, Selecting, and Executing Risky Capital Projects; and Delivering the Business Plan. Executive students will also select two electives in profitability and sustainability, risk management for energy professionals, and managing the energy transition. The course includes a two-day, in person networking event on the UT campus.

With the final capstone project, executives will leave with an actionable plan for a related initiative in their own organizations.

Learn more.


3. ESG Investing

School: Columbia Business School
Duration/dates: 7 weeks, beginning August 1, 2024
Format: Online, 4-6 hours per week
Cost: $2,600

In 2021, Bloomberg predicted that ESG assets could reach a third of managed global assets by 2025. This course, designed for senior executives and mid-career finance managers and analysts, professes to help critically evaluate ESG investments.

Students will examine the origins of the stakeholder movement, learn industry-appropriate ESG reporting frameworks, analyze ratings and other data to make sound investment decisions, examine how organizations are responding to climate risk.

A CBS Executive Education certificate of participation will be awarded upon completion, and is good for two credits towards the Certificate in Business Excellence.

Learn more.


4. Wharton ESG Executive Certificate for Senior Leaders

School: The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Duration/dates: 2 months, April 1 – May 31, 2024
Format: Live online
Cost: $7,000

This advanced certificate program begins with Wharton’s ESG Essentials, which can also be taken as a stand-alone course, laying the foundation of ESG fundamentals in the corporate context. A month of specialized management training follows, propelling corporate leaders to the forefront of ESG decision making.

The course is a mix of self-paced and live online sessions, with virtual classes weekly. Students will get the opportunity to personally engage with the program’s world-renowned instructors.

Upon completion, participants will be able to incorporate ESG considerations into risk management and governance strategies of their organizations, navigate conflicting stakeholder demands, prepare for future economic and geopolitical realities, and evaluate climate risk, green marketing claims, and more.

Learn more.


5. Circular Economy and Sustainability Strategies

School: Judge Business School, University of Cambridge
Duration/dates: 6 weeks, beginning April 2, 2024
Format: Online, 4 – 6 hours per week
Cost: £1,564 (~$1,980) (Apply before March 12)

This course is for professionals at any level who are interested in finding sustainable solutions to business challenges. Participants will learn the three dimensions of sustainability (society, environment, and economy), plot and implement a sustainable business model, and demonstrate the value of impactful investments.

“The overexploitation of natural resources required to achieve economic growth and development has negatively impacted the environment and adversely affected their availability and cost. So, it is easy to see why the idea of a circular economy, which offers new ways to create a more sustainable economic growth model, is taking hold across the globe,” reads the course description.

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6. Oxford Social Finance Programme

School: Saïd Business School, University of Oxford
Duration/dates: 5 days, beginning September 16, 2024
Format: In person
Cost: £7,500 (~$9,500)

Through a mix of finance and leadership skills, this course is aimed at executives looking to create solutions to some of the world’s most vexing issues: climate change, poverty, hunger and loss of life. Executives will learn about finding and supporting solutions at scale to address the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Participants will use real-time cases from around the world to cover topics including catalytic philanthropy, concessionary capital, impact investing, development finance, and environmental, social, governance (ESG) traditional investments. They will also learn to navigate finance and technology to tap new resources, negotiate systems change in climate finance and nature-based solutions and examine capital resources of the future.

Students earn lifetime membership to the Oxford Business Alumni Network.

Learn more.


7. Building Board Expertise on Sustainability

School: Ross Business School, University of Michigan
Duration/dates: May 6-June 21, 2024
Format: Online
Cost: $3,000

ESG issues are no longer just the purview of C-suite executives. Board members of a variety of corporations, non-profits, and public institutions face an increasing range of sustainability risks and opportunities.

This course is designed for current board members or senior executives who are looking to join boards as well as professionals from a range disciplines likely to be impacted by sustainability issues including law, public affairs, communications, and more.

Participants will come away with a better understanding of the fiduciary role of overseeing climate risk, the evolving disclosure landscape, and integrating strategy and sustainability. It is taught by experts from Michigan Ross, the Erb Institute, and nonprofit leaders in sustainable business.

Learn more.


8. Sustainability Leadership and Corporate Responsibility

School: London Business School
Duration/dates: 6 weeks, May 8-June 26, 2024
Format: Online, 4-5 hours per week
Cost: £1,900 (~$2,405)

This program is designed to teach mid to senior level managers the fundamental knowledge of sustainability, corporate responsibility, and ESG. It also covers the real trade-offs when implementing sustainable business practices, overcoming sustainability business challenges, and how to generate profit through creative solutions.

Students will learn to influence other executives and contribute to discussions on embedding sustainability into corporate strategy.

Participants will earn a London Business School certificate of completion.

Learn more.


9. Sustainable Enterprise Executive Education & Development (SEED)

School: Villanova School of Business/College of Engineering, Villanova University
Duration/dates: 10 weeks for five mini-courses (2 weeks per course), beginning March 13, 2024
Format: Live online, 2-5 hours per week
Cost: $4,495 for full five-course package or $999 per course

This certificate program is offered through the Villanova University College of Engineering and Villanova School of Business. It consists of five mini courses which can be taken one at a time, or students can enroll in a package for a 10% discount. Each mini-course meets online three times over a period of two weeks. Students who complete all five courses will earn a certificate in Sustainable Value Creation.

Courses include:

  • Understanding Sustainability & Making its Business Case
  • Tackling Sustainability Frameworks with a Systems Mindset
  • Designing Resilient Value Chains
  • Developing ESG Metrics and Reporting & Influencing the Investor
  • Leaders as Drivers for Sustainability Engagement & Enterprise Transformation
  • Program is geared to business leaders as well as mid-level professionals in technical and sustainability roles.

Learn more.


10. Business Sustainability Strategy: Technology and Management

School: Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Duration/dates: 6 weeks, beginning March 6, May 15, or July 24, 2024
Format: Online, 6-8 hours per week
Cost: $2,950

This self-paced course focuses on navigating the trade-offs and tensions in sustainability transitions while using innovation and behavioral change to reach sustainability goals. Participants will analyze the most prevalent sustainability challenges that businesses face including climate change, dematerialization, and the causes of market failures. Lessons are taught by Sloan faculty as well as industry experts.

It is designed for decision makers such as business leaders and functional managers, investment professionals, and others interested in driving the value of sustainability in their organizations.

Learn more.



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