Sustainability pathway

The Cambridge MBA Sustainability pathway

We believe that sustainability is an essential part of business strategies and processes.

Through our MBA, we seek to educate the next generation of global leaders to pursue careers that contribute to a sustainable future in business, government, non-profit, and international organisations. Cambridge is uniquely positioned to do this, with a large set of academics across the School and University engaged on these topics, and our global business connections. 

The Cambridge MBA programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to address sustainability issues in your business career. 

We offer several opportunities for you to not only learn about sustainability and apply what you learn in real-life situations, but also learn alongside a diverse set of individuals from across sectors and geographies – a feature useful in progressing sustainability objectives in business.  

Line of MBA students.

The Cambridge MBA programme is designed to equip you with the knowledge and skills you need to address sustainability issues in your business career. 

Curriculum elements

We have designed a specialist pathway through the MBA curriculum to enable you to build knowledge and skills across the sustainability, from elective courses to projects and career development. 


Our Concentrations offer you the opportunity either to expand your skillset and explore new industries, or gain greater depth in a specific area of interest. They run in the second and third terms, and are run by by specialist coaches, who may be a member of our academic faculty or an external business professional, with particular expertise in the given field. 

In the Easter term, MBA students can select a Concentration:

This Concentration is designed to provide our students with a comprehensive understanding of sustainable business practices.

Students will learn about sustainable business strategies, supply chain management, the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and stakeholder engagement.

The impact of climate change is far wider than energy supply and demand response. Our built environment has an enormous impact on our carbon footprint and climate has profound impacts on the agricultural sector. Managers need to understand how these changing international, geopolitical, sectoral and consumer dynamics are likely to change the business environment creating threats and opportunities for them.

The pervasive nature of energy and environment across the economy and within firms means that it serves as a wonderful case study across all aspects of business education: marketing, strategy, economics, finance, operations, ethics and leadership.

Sustainability pathway electives

You can also choose Sustainability Pathway Electives. These electives provide you with the opportunity to deepen your knowledge in specific areas of sustainability. You can choose from a wide range of electives, including: 

In this course we will explore how to think strategically about sustainability. Strategies and tools for managing sustainability include those that help us think systematically about impacts, draw meaningful comparisons, and assess opportunities for change within a business’ own operations, its supply chain, and with partners. We will also consider the myriad pressures on business and how leading organisations are setting meaningful targets and aligning their sustainability actions with frameworks like the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Science Based Targets, etc. The course is structured around learning, practicing with, and critically evaluating key tools for managing sustainability issues strategically and through the lens of different aspects of business management (for example: operations, supply chain, innovation, risk, change management). Specific tools include: systems thinking, life cycle assessment, and circular economy. We use cases, in-class exercises, and role plays.

This course is designed to provide an overview of the operation of markets for energy and emissions within their public policy context. The course will cover the interactions between different energy and emissions markets, finite natural resources, energy market reforms, regulated energy networks and support mechanisms for low carbon investments. It will necessarily pay attention to recent turmoil in European energy markets. The course will, necessarily, pay particular attention to electricity markets as these are where issues of energy and climate change come together. The aim will be to combine an understanding of public policy drivers, markets and business opportunities in the energy and environment area.

The challenge of humanity’s response to climate change is in part being driven by innovation—both by large players, particularly those in the principal greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting sectors of energy, mobility, buildings, agriculture and food, and manufacturing, and by entrepreneurial players focused both on decarbonisation and on carbon removal. Regulator-, legal- and investor-driven pressures are converging as drivers for incremental and would-be-breakthrough innovations. Some entrepreneurs are seeking to provide intellectual property for the coming ‘net zero revolution’, some are trying to create new value chain nodes, some are trying to disrupt industries and some are seeking to create new strategic architectures. Meanwhile, corporates, in a way analogous to the relationship between financial services and fintech startups, are turning to the startup world for solutions to their own Net Zero journey. This course will explore how climate tech entrepreneurship is taking flight and explore emergent trends in the space. Particular attention will be given to how climate tech entrepreneurship is ‘different’ to previous waves of entrepreneur-driven innovation.

The module will appeal to those who would like to develop their abilities to think strategically in the field of energy and climate change, for example to understand both the threats and opportunities that global energy security and climate change present to their personal lives, and the fortunes of the sectors and organisations they work for (or would like to work for).

This course aim to describe, understand and discuss current developments and trends in the area of sustainable finance, with a special focus on climate risk and ESG (environmental, social and governance).

With the help of expert guest speakers, we shall look to distinguish between different types of sustainable finance products and relevant eligibility criteria. The course looks at how various ESG scoring and assessment approaches have been applied to real life case studies. It also explores how sustainable finance is evolving in emerging markets.

MBA Global Consulting Project

You can choose a sustainability-themed Global Consulting Project. In this project, you will work with top organisations to tackle real-life sustainability problems. You will apply what they have learnt in the classroom to develop innovative solutions to sustainability challenges. This project provides you with the opportunity to work with leading organisations and make a real impact in the world.

Learn more on our student blog

Careers with impact

Many of our students have made sustainability a key part of their careers with impact. They work for organisations ranging from global corporates to startups, all of them trying to solve sustainability challenges.

Rishika Daryanani.

Hear from Rishika Daryanani

Rishika Daryanani from both the UK and USA, chose the Energy and Environment Concentration and tailored her MBA Electives and her Summer Work Placement, as well as her MBA Global Consulting Project, to shape and focus her MBA year within the sustainability consulting sector and to pivot her career.

My name is rishika darianani. I’m originally from California and I now live in London. I found my job at McKinsey during my MBA year through the careers team and through structured consulting recruiting for the MBA. When I came into the MBA I came from Accenture Consulting and was thinking about what the right next move might be and through the MBA I rediscovered my love of Consulting. Through the different projects that we were able to do. I wanted to transition my career to more climate focus which I’m able to do at McKinsey which is really exciting. Consulting provides a variety of paths and career options so when I came in I knew I kind of wanted to be more climate focused, but I didn’t know exactly how and what and the consulting path has really allowed me to explore. During my MBA year I was able to specialise and concentrate in the energy and environment concentration and then I was also able to focus my project work in the ESG and climate space. So my GCP project was at Inditex and I was an MBA consultant structuring and thinking through into Texas carbon pricing strategy to be able to help them decarbonise themselves in their supply chains. I was able to attend COP27 as part of an internship I had at the end of my MBA in that fourth term. I interned for the UNF Triple C and then I was able to go to COP27 to help support some of the international negotiations. My MBA education absolutely helped me think about it from more of a rounded out perspective so you know the parts of international negotiations are very kind of political or they’re very kind of policy based but also thinking about it from a business and economics perspective really helped add some light and color to the conversation. I had my job at McKinsey secured early in my MBA career so I was trying to figure out how to add some dimension to the to my resume into my education and I wanted to do that in the public sector space and so I very intentionally kind of focused on applying to internships or project opportunities that would help round out some of that education from a business perspective in the social sector. I found my position at the UN based on a larger initiative at Cambridge called the Climate Change Society. The courses is part of the Cambridge MBA that have impacted me kind of most personally I think were the courses I took through my Concentration and energy in the environment I was able to really deeply understand energy markets I had one-on-one faculty tuition which was awesome and got to interact with leaders in the sector. Professionally I think what supported me most is my strategy class as well as kind of thinking through the role of the CEO which was one of the electives that was offered in our last term. I was able to switch location which was really important to me to be able to get more of a global person.

Hear from Rishika

Careers with impact: how the Cambridge MBA puts ESG at the forefront

On the eve of COP27, with world leaders gathering in Egypt, we explore how an MBA from Cambridge Judge Business School can equip you for leadership in the sustainability or ESG space and we meet two MBA alumni whose career goals led them into the field after their Cambridge MBA.

MBA sustainability career and student experience insights

From the prestigious Annual Energy Conference hosted together with the Cambridge University Energy Network to the Energy and Environment Special Interest Groups, we take a look at the student MBA experience, as well as the career insights from across our MBA cohort.

Sustainability career outcomes

From renewable energy in Africa to E-mobility in Europe, discover how our MBA alumni transitioned their career across the ESG and sustainability sector.

Sustainability themed speaker events

Learning from experts is an essential part of our MBA programme. Cambridge Judge Business School is a powerful convenor of top speakers with exciting ideas. Some of these speaker events will revolve around sustainability. You will learn about the latest trends and best practices in sustainability from leading experts in the field. 

Unravelling ESG measurement and greenwashing

What challenges does ESG measurement pose for companies? How prevalent is greenwashing, and what does it mean for corporate responsibility? Should companies invest genuine efforts in ESG initiatives to drive real change for a more sustainable future? Learn more about these pressing issues in this interview with Jennifer Howard-Grenville, Diageo Professor in Organisation Studies at Cambridge Judge Business School.

Circular economy

Khaled Soufani, Business School faculty and Director of the Circular Economy Centre, discussed the circular economy with MBA alum David Block (COO and CFO of circulee, an IT refurbishment startup) and EMBA alum Rina Einy (founder of Culthread, a sustainable fashion brand).

Livestream series: The Balance Sheet

The Balance Sheet series covers sustainability and other critical business issues.

View the series on YouTube

Watch livestream recordings on YouTube:

Watch 'Climate tech startups'

Watch 'Sustainability in global companies'

Areas of expertise

Insight from our areas of expertise.

We spoke to Cambridge Judge alumna Aarohi Dalal (MBA 2022), now Regulatory and Analytics Manager at VARO Energy, to find out how the MBA helped her switch industries, sectors and countries – and we hear her top tips for those interested in a career in sustainability.

Thermal energy storage may hold the key to fully electrifying UK domestic heating to cut emissions, according to research by Professor David Reiner of Cambridge Judge.

Climate Legacy Commitment, launched by 2 Cambridge MBA candidates at Cambridge Judge, mobilises leading business school students to pledge meaningful action on the climate challenge.

Study co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School finds high levels of air pollution can affect teams doing complex tasks, which holds implications for emerging economies.

Explore the journeys of 3 graduates who ventured outside the USA and Canada to study for their MBA in the UK, embracing new experiences and expanding their global network.

Business Schools for Climate Leadership, a consortium that includes Cambridge Judge Business School, offers a new online Global PhD course open to doctoral students at business schools.

Financial Times | 16 April 2024

Business school teaching case study: can green hydrogen’s potential be realised?

There are still a lot of hurdles to overcome before green hydrogen can really help in reducing carbon emissions. This quick teaching case study from Professor Jennifer Howard-Grenville of Cambridge Judge Business School and Ujjwal Pandey explores the issues.

Apply now and make a difference 

At our Business School, we believe that sustainability is not only good for business, but also good for the world. We invite you to apply to our MBA programme and make a difference in the world. Our MBA programme is designed to equip our students with the knowledge and skills they need to address sustainability challenges in business.

Join us and become a leader in sustainable business