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Leading Sustainable Business Transformation

Executive education program in English

Leading Sustainable Business Transformation (ESG.1)

Duration: 4 Days
Location: Berlin
Dates: 11. - 14. Nov 2024
4,800 €

Drive sustainable business transformation at your organization

In today's conscientious consumer and investor landscape, sustainability is a game-changer. It's no longer confined to specialized departments but woven into the fabric of successful organizations.  

Our program offers comprehensive sustainability education to executives and professionals from diverse roles, empowering them to lead sustainable transformations within their areas of responsibilities.


Leading Sustainable Business Transformation (ESG.1)

Duration: 4 Days
Location: Berlin
Dates: 11. - 14. Nov 2024
4,800 €


  • Gain comprehensive sustainability knowledge to lead sustainable business transformation in your company 

  • Learn how to implement sustainability in your business function

  • Learn from top industry leaders and sustainability experts with a wealth of practical experience 

  • Get support from your peers in applying the learnings and solving your sustainability challenges

Your profile

  • You are a senior manager or functional-level executive and want to contribute to the sustainable transformation of your company, or
  • You are leading a business unit or regional subsidiary; or are in charge of a new product, market, or major project initiative and have the ambition to integrate sustainability principles, or
  • You hold an executive role within a sustainability function and have a wealth of experience, but you have not undergone any formal sustainability education


  • Global environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) challenges 

  • Learning from scientists on climate change and biodiversity 

  • The business case for sustainability 

  • Financial risks and sustainability regulation 

  • Managing and evaluating integrated financial and non-financial performance 

  • Implementing sustainability in your area of responsibility  

  • Communicating with impact 

  • Best practice insights from industry specialists

  • Real-life examples of sustainable business transformation from the practitioners 

Why choose ESMT?

  • ESMT Berlin is consistently ranked as one of the best business schools in Europe for executive education
  • This program can be taken as part of a post-graduate diploma in management 
  • Diverse classes, interactive exercises and renowned faculty 



Faculty Insights with Hanna Setterberg

Hanna Setterberg will teach on the first day and, in this video, discusses the key topics and outcomes of her sessions.

Program Structure

Day 1: Understanding the Global Sustainability Landscape

Immerse yourself in the global discourse on ESG challenges—tackling global warming, biodiversity loss, poverty, and inequality. Our program's distinct edge lies in engaging with eminent climate and biodiversity scientists, ensuring you're armed with the latest insights.

We will discuss the business case for sustainability, navigating risks and opportunities amid stakeholder pressure. You will acquire the language of sustainability with key terminologies and frameworks. In collaboration with your peers, you will reflect on your role and responsibility within your company. 

Day 2: Mastering Sustainable Performance Management

On the second day, we will focus on financial risks and regulation, including any relevant current and upcoming sustainability regulations (e.g., EU Taxonomy, CSRD, due diligence in supply chains). You will learn how to manage financial and non-financial performance, skillfully assessing trade-offs and managing conflicting priorities. You will also learn how to integrate financial and sustainability perspectives and prepare to manage and evaluate integrated performance.   

You will discover best practices from the industry and we will introduce the individual project assignment, in which you will have an opportunity to create a sustainable business improvement for your function supported by your learning group.  

Day 3: Implementing Sustainability into your Area of Responsibility

The focus of the third day is on you, and helping you implement sustainability in your area of responsibility. You will be able to choose from two out of the following six different specializations:

  • Chief Sustainability Officer
  • Sustainable Finance and Investment
  • Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain
  • Sustainable Sales and Marketing
  • Sustainable Strategy and R&D
  • Sustainable Human Resources

Day 4: ESG Change Management and Communication

The concluding module will center on refining soft skills related to ESG change management processes, presentation of your individual assessment and celebration of the learning, experience, and collaboration network created in the program. You will advance your proficiency in impactful communication. You will have the opportunity to present your project, select the most impactful contributions, and celebrate your achievements and the "Leading Sustainable Business" certificate, alongside your fellow participants. 


  • Chief Sustainability Officer

    You will focus on the key activities of sustainability professionals, from strategy development, setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and targets, evaluating progress, and spearheading sustainability initiatives throughout the entire organization. You will stay abreast of the most recent developments in sustainability reporting and sustainability rankings and ratings, while also concentrating on optimizing your impact in stakeholder engagement, encompassing partnerships and collaborative efforts. 


  • Sustainable Finance and Investment

    You will focus on channeling capital into activities that generate financial returns while simultaneously delivering positive ESG outcomes. You will gain proficiency in navigating the ESG regulatory landscape, sustainability metrics and reporting. Moreover, you will be prepared to evaluate investments not solely for their financial potential but also for their compatibility with enduring sustainability objectives, such as carbon emission reduction, social equity promotion, and the adherence to ethical governance standards. 

  • Sustainable Operations and Supply Chain

    Your focus will be on the critical activities within operations and procurement that relate to sustainability, encompassing an understanding of sustainable operations. You will acquire insights into optimizing supply chains, considering factors beyond costs, such as carbon emissions and waste reduction. Additionally, you will delve into sustainable logistics and explore strategies for addressing key sustainability challenges within supply chains through the implementation of appropriate incentives and collaboration. 


  • Sustainable Sales and Marketing

    Delve into the creation of a sustainable marketing mix and gain insights into the design of sustainable products from a lifecycle perspective. You will explore the significance of pricing, with a particular emphasis on examining cases of companies that employ ethical pricing mechanisms. Additionally, your focus will extend to consumer communication and activation strategies, alongside an analysis of the risks associated with greenwashing. Moreover, you will acquire knowledge about measuring key performance indicators for sustainable marketing and sales. 


  • Sustainable Strategy and R&D

    Explore the key activities involved in sustainable strategy and R&D, encompassing sustainable strategy development, the creation of sustainable business models, and the innovation of products and services. You will explore vital concepts like value creation to enable collaborative approaches along the value chain. You will gain a deep understanding of how value is linked to sustainable models and will discuss the tensions inherent in short-term and long-term value creation for sustainability through innovation activities.

  • Sustainable Human Resources

    Acquire the skills to seamlessly integrate ESG practices into HR policies and operations. This comprehensive approach will encompass a deep understanding of sustainability's impact on all HR activities, from talent attraction and recruitment to employee development, training, and retention. Moreover, you will explore the topic of social responsibility, focusing on initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within the workforce while ensuring fair labor practices throughout the entire employee lifecycle. 

How will you learn?

The program follows three core principles:

  • Individualization: allowing participants to create their own learning journey 

  • Application support: encouraging practical projects for real change 

  • Peer learning: fostering collaboration among participants from various companies to share success stories and overcome challenges. 

The learning journey is designed to inspire and empower. You will: 

  • learn and discuss with top business and natural scientists. 

  • participate in workshops, tapping into the collective wisdom of your peer group and benefitting from peer consultation.  

  • gain real-world insights from industry expert panels, where professionals at the forefront of their fields share invaluable knowledge.  

We have reserved time for you to get guidance and work on your personal challenges to help you bridge theory and practical application.  

Customize your own learning journey

We want to ensure our program aligns with your needs and aspirations and invite you to co-create an experience that empowers you to tackle your sustainability challenge. Before the program begins we invite you to participate in a brief survey. Your insights will help us create customized tracks that align with your current challenges in sustainability transformation. 


Take the survey in a separate page

ESMT Institute for Sustainable Transformation

The Leading Sustainable Business Transformation program is a flagship initiative of the ESMT Institute for Sustainable Transformation, which stands at the forefront of addressing real-world environmental, social, and governance (ESG) challenges through rigorous academic research. The institute also provides thought leadership for leaders through its longstanding Sustainable Business Roundtable network, alongside initiatives to raise awareness about the pressing sustainability issue of biodiversity loss.

Learn more


Meet our teaching staff

ESMT's teaching staff is made up of internationally renowned educators with practical business experience, which means the program offers strategies, insights and ideas informed by evidence-based research and tested in real-world scenarios.  

Eric Alenius

Visiting Lecturer, ESMT Berlin

Tamer Boyaci

Professor and Michael Diekmann Chair in Management Science, ESMT Berlin

Laura Marie Edinger-Schons

Visiting Lecturer, ESMT Berlin; Professor of Sustainable Business and Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO), Universität Hamburg

Rajshri Jayaraman

Associate Professor of Economics

Vilma Luoma-aho

Professor and Vice Dean of Education, Jyväskylä University School of Business & Economics

Angela McClellan

Director, Sustainable Finance, PwC

Joanna Radeke

Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Transformation, ESMT Berlin

Hanna Setterberg

Affiliated researcher, ESMT Berlin

Merih Sevilir

Professor of Finance, ESMT Berlin and Head of the Department of Laws, Regulations, and Factor Markets, IWH

Ilka Weissbrod

Postdoctoral Researcher, Technical University Dresden

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