Sign up for IMD’s Winning Sustainability Strategies online program

Next edition of the program starts on 27 September 2021
Sign up for IMD’s Winning Sustainability Strategies online program
Publ. date 26 Jan 2021
Designed to integrate ESG in your corporate strategy, the Winning Sustainability Strategies online program from IMD Business School in Lausanne teaches how to build a strong business case for sustainability and how to develop opportunities for innovation. Due to its practical approach, the program has proven to be highly appreciated by executive and senior management level participants. Moreover, it is suitable for larger groups of corporate participants to obtain a more thorough understanding of doing well by doing good.

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The next edition of the Winning Sustainability Strategies online program starts on 27 September 2021 and is delivered by IMD Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance Benoit Leleux, and Jan van der Kaaij, Managing Partner of Finch & Beak, authors of the book with the same title. Based on Winning Sustainability Strategies, the program enables participants to develop a clear business case for sustainability in their organization.

Supported by several in-depth case studies from companies such as DSM, Unilever, Barry Callebaut and Torres wines, the program presents practical frameworks and tools for developing, monitoring and evaluating sustainability programs and initiatives in the real world. For immediate application, the program’s participants work on their own comprehensive sustainability plan throughout the program, which is completed at the end of the final week.

Watch a class excerpt:

What to expect from the program

The program lasts five weeks, calls for a time investment of 4-6 hours per week and is structured as a flexible, online format – while there are fixed start and end dates, the workload during the week can be handled as best suited. Assignments are built around real-case studies and work that participants can apply to their own organizations, supplemented with weekly coaching to support participants in their learning journey. The program is structured in five units, covering the following topics:

Unit 1: Business in a changing world

  • Find out about the UN SDGs and key global sustainability trends
  • Learn about the vectoring model and its component parts
  • Complete the sustainability scoresheet for your organization

Unit 2: Developing purpose-driven organizations

  • Understand the importance of focus on specific sustainability issues
  • Learn about the concept of materiality and apply it to your own organization
  • Reformulate company purpose

Unit 3: Reporting on targets and progress

  • Learn how to design a robust sustainability reporting framework for your own company
  • Understand how to embed the SDGs into your business strategy
  • Find out how to successfully position sustainability within a modern business context

Unit 4: Transformation toward a circular economy

  • Understand how to address opportunities and threats arising from the circular economy
  • Apply tools such as the waste hierarchy and stakeholder partnerships
  • Examine circular strategies for solution development

Unit 5: Implementing sustainability

  • Create a high-level action plan to implement sustainability strategy in your organization
  • Examine the potential of innovation platforms and collaborative networks
  • Anticipate resistance and obtain superior engagement from teams

The upcoming edition of the program runs from 27 September until 31 October 2021, and an additional edition is scheduled for the period of 15 November until 19 December 2021. Furthermore, the program can be offered as an in-house training module for corporates, which creates fertile ground for implementing sustainability programs by helping employees achieve a thorough understanding of the business case for sustainability.

Experience from previous participants

In October 2020 the program launched with its first edition. Especially positively rated were the participants’ evaluation of gaining fresh knowledge and insights, reflection on existing assumptions and practices, and gaining relevant practical tools and ideas.

Participants who act at the strategic level of their organization demonstrated to be the most suitable target audience of the program, because the program showed them the bigger picture on how to apply sustainability as an opportunity for corporate strategy. This allowed them to zero in on what is material to their company, how to respond, and how to mobilize employees. Case studies like Tony Chocolonely and Barry Callebaut were highly appreciated, as well as the peer learning in exchanges with fellow participants across different geographies and industries.

This is what three of the participants from the first edition had to say about the online program:

- “To create serious positive impact, sustainability needs to become a value creator for a company. The course was an eye opener how to develop strategies to scale impact and profitability at the same time.”

- “My experience has been great. Coming into the programme I did not know much about how to implement a sustainability plan. Learning about the various elements and the journey has provided me with the necessary tools to establish a sustainability programme. The targets and measurements that we were taught [...] provided guidance on how to monitor the implementation process. The success stories and examples provided from Ecoalf, Barry Callebaut, and Unilever gave me options that I can look at for my company. Overall very effective programme”

- ”Testing new grounds within sustainability, this IMD course has made me realize how important it is to look at your business through the lens of sustainability”

Get in touch

For more information and to apply directly, please click here to visit the program website. In case of any questions about the Winning Sustainability Strategies online program, feel free to reach out to IMD’s support team by clicking the green ‘Contact us’ button at the right-hand side of the top of the page. The deadline to apply for the next edition of the program is 13 September 2021.

About Nikkie Vinke

Multidisciplinary advisor in ESG benchmarking, sustainability strategy development and execution. | nikkie@finchandbeak.com

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