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The 7 Best Sustainability Courses Online

The best sustainability courses online can empower you with the essential knowledge and practical skills needed to drive impactful environmental change, both in your professional sphere and in the broader community.

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By Fatima Mansoor

best sustainability courses online

These days, sustainability has become a crucial aspect of professional development across industries. That’s why I’ve put together this comprehensive guide to the best sustainability courses online for professionals eager to deepen their understanding and application of sustainable practices.

We’re huge proponents of online learning here on this site because it offers a ton of advantages over in-person classes, like affordability, flexibility, and convenience. I understand that the right course can be a game-changer in your career, which is why my rankings are meticulously based on several key factors — the quality of the curriculum, the credentials of the instructors, student reviews, and, importantly, the price (click here to learn about our entire Editorial Process & Methodology for product reviews).

Whether you’re looking to integrate sustainability into your current role or pivot your career towards a more eco-conscious path, this curated list of online courses will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to get started.

The Top Sustainability Courses Online

1. University of Cambridge Business Sustainability Management (GetSmarter)

Business Sustainability Management | Corporate Sustainability | University of Cambridge Online Short Course Business Sustainability Management | Corporate Sustainability | University of Cambridge Online Short Course

This course is a comprehensive guide to sustainable business practices, ideal for those seeking to make a significant contribution to sustainability in the business world.

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8 weeks

This course is not just an educational opportunity; it’s a pathway to a brighter future. University of Cambridge’s Business Sustainability Management online short course is thoughtfully structured, with modules released weekly, allowing you to digest and apply each section’s insights progressively. 

With the support of an experienced course convenor, Martin Roberts — an expert in sustainability and business leadership, his passion about using technology for impactful education, it is safe to say that you are in for an life-changing educational journey. 

Whether you’re a future entrepreneur, career shifter, or a current leader, it’s designed for you. It is perfect for those who want to expand their knowledge in sustainability across various sectors, such as business, consulting, environmental, social, and governance. 

The course culminates with strategies for effective change in your business environment. You’ll learn topics like sustainability’s importance for business, international policy, production, consumption, design, technology, communication, marketing, and collaboration. 

By completing this course, you will have an action plan to integrate sustainability into your organisation’s value chain. It does not stop there; the skills and knowledge you learn will apply to design, innovation, and leadership competencies in your team or organisation.

You can take this class through GetSmarter, one of our favorite online course websites. Check out our GetSmarter review to learn more.

2. University of Cambridge Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions (GetSmarter)

Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions | Cambridge Online Course Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions | Cambridge Online Course

This online short course offers an in-depth approach to managing climate change risks and opportunities, guiding professionals to lead the shift to net zero emissions and restructure business models for long-term resilience and value.

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8 weeks

Why wait to make an impact? Sustainability isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a fundamental aspect of modern business. The Business and Climate Change: Towards Net Zero Emissions online short course from the University of Cambridge is a great opportunity to enhance your skills and knowledge in the field of climate change and business resilience. 

You’ll be learning from experts in the field, like Dimitri Zenghelis and Martin Roberts. They bring a wealth of knowledge and experience in sustainability leadership and business strategies related to climate change. Whether you’re looking to innovate, design strategies for long-term resilience, or rewire your business model for a sustainable future, this course is tailored for you. 

You’ll explore various modules that cover everything from understanding the impact of climate change on society and the economy to envisioning a net-zero future, repurposing the economic system, and leading a transition towards net zero emissions. These modules provide a comprehensive view of the challenges and opportunities presented by climate change.

3. UoC Leading Sustainability: High Impact Leadership

Leading Sustainability: High Impact Leadership | University of Cambridge Online Short Course Leading Sustainability: High Impact Leadership | University of Cambridge Online Short Course

This course empowers you to become a transformative leader, equipping you with the insights and skills to unite teams towards achieving organizational objectives and driving sustainable growth.

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8 weeks

Are you aiming to lead a sustainability revolution in your organisation or make a significant impact on the world? University of Cambridge’s “Leading Sustainability: High Impact Leadership” online short course is your stepping stone. 

Experienced course convenors, Martin Roberts and Zoë Arden will guide you through the course and provide valuable insights into high-impact leadership and sustainability. You’ll have the opportunity to learn from their extensive knowledge and experience.

With this course you get to develop your entrepreneurial mindset and encourage innovation in your organisation. You can also equip yourself with the skills and values to lead sustainability in our ever-changing world. Furthermore, it allows you to drive change in your organisation and learn strategies to engage with stakeholders. By the end of it, you will gain insight into sustainability leadership and apply systems thinking to business challenges. In short, you’re gearing up to become a sustainability superhero! 

To top it off, the course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Certification Service, and it’s recognized by UK-based professional bodies — making it a sparkling addition to your resume.

4. Corporate Sustainability: Understanding and Seizing the Strategic Opportunity (Coursera)


Free to audit (paid upgrades available with the Coursera pricing model)


3 weeks

Want to understand how businesses can thrive while making a positive impact on the world? Corporate Sustainability: Understanding and Seizing the Strategic Opportunity” course offered by Università Bocconi is all about it. 

Maurizio Zollo, the instructor, is like a guru of strategy and sustainability. He’s a Dean’s Chaired Professor at Università Bocconi and has enough credentials to fill a library. His expertise shines through the course content.

The course is structured into 6 modules, each tackling the complex world of corporate sustainability. It’s like building a puzzle of economic, social, and environmental development as per the UN’s Agenda 2030. The best part is that it’s all in English, although some content might not be translated.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to speak the language of sustainability. You’ll understand why businesses should care about it and, most importantly, how to put it into action. This course isn’t about preaching; it’s about doing. The cherry on top is the mix of case studies, high-quality videos, and engaging discussions with classmates. 

5. Strategy and Sustainability (Coursera)


Free to audit (paid upgrades available)


3 weeks

Business and sustainability aren’t likely to go hand in hand. Business often chases profits in the short term, while sustainability asks us to think about the long-term well-being of our planet. With the Business Strategy and Sustainability course offered by IESE Business School on Coursera, you will learn how to balance these opposing worlds. 

Your guide through this journey will be Mike Rosenberg. He’s an Associate Professor at IESE Business School, with a boatload of real-world experience as a Management Consultant. This course offers a fresh perspective, backed by Rosenberg’s recently published book. He blends academic wisdom with real-world examples, making it all practical and relatable.

This course isn’t just for tree-huggers or ruthless executives. Neither is Rosenberg’s course just about saving the planet; it’s about fulfilling your responsibilities to shareholders and other stakeholders. It’s the kind of knowledge that can make you a responsible and forward-thinking leader.

Business often chases profits in the short term, while sustainability asks us to think about the long-term well-being of our planet. It offers a well-rounded, thought-provoking, and engaging learning experience, vital for current and aspiring managers and business leaders alike. 

6. Sustainability Management (Udemy)


Regularly $69.99 (Udemy pricing often includes sales)


5 hrs

In today’s rapidly changing global landscape, the course Sustainability Management for Future Leaders

provides a comprehensive overview of sustainability and its significance. It emphasises the importance of creating value for all stakeholders, including shareholders, by integrating Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) factors into business operations. It’s not just about profit; it’s about creating a positive impact on society and the environment while ensuring long-term financial sustainability. 

Haritha Wedathanthirige, with over 20 years of experience in sustainability management, is the perfect guide. His background in organisations like the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) brings a wealth of knowledge to the course. He combines various teaching methods, including lectures, workbook exercises, practice quizzes, and a final assessment. This varied approach ensures that you not only grasp the theory but also gain practical skills. 

This course is perfect for young executives, practitioners, graduate students, and interns who are passionate about sustainability. Whether you’re already working in the field, just starting out, or pursuing a career in sustainability, this course caters to your needs. It equips you with the knowledge and skills required to address sustainability challenges and transform your organisationy.

7. Climate Change Leadership (FutureLearn)


FutureLearn pricing is $39.99 a month for unlimited access


5 weeks

With instructors Alexis Engström, Friederike May, Daniel Mossberg, and Jakob Grandin, in this course you dive into the nitty-gritty of climate change leadership. What exactly does it mean? What skills define a climate change leader? With that learn how to lead effectively within the complex world of climate change.

The Centre for Environment and Development Studies: Climate Change Leadership teaches you how climate change leadership isn’t just about international agreements. You’ll explore how it applies at local levels, making it relevant to your own context. Imagine developing a climate change leadership plan for a cause you’re passionate about.

Uppsala University has brought together experts from various fields – scientific, social, and cultural – to guide you. These folks aren’t just talking heads; they’re the real deal! With their insights, you’ll be well-prepared to tackle climate change issues in your personal and professional life.

Plus, anyone can join, making this course versatile for working with a small business, an NGO, a government office, or just someone curious about climate change. 

Final Thoughts

The journey towards a sustainable future is both a personal and professional commitment. I truly believe that the online courses I’ve highlighted in this article represent the best in the field, offering comprehensive curriculum, expert instruction, and real-world applicability.

By choosing to enhance your knowledge and skills through these top-rated sustainability courses, you’re not only investing in your career but also contributing to a more sustainable world.

Have any questions about this guide? Are there any other online sustainability courses you’ve tried or want our opinion on? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

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