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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
Cambridge Judge alumni David Block and Rina Einy discuss the circular economy and the work that they are doing in this area, in a recent livestream,The Balance Sheet.
Areas of expertise
Insight from our areas of expertise.
Localised experience with floods and heatwaves increases climate change risk perception but has no great effect on climate change concern or pro-environmental behaviour, says study co-authored at Cambridge Judge Business School.
A new Executive Education programme at Cambridge Judge Business School is tailored to senior leaders seeking to instil Environmental, Social and Governance values into their organisations, as programme leaders Eden Yin and Jaideep Prabhu explain.
Christopher Marquis was appointed Sinyi Professor of Chinese Management at Cambridge Judge in January 2022. Here he talks about his early interest in China and how sustainability is at the heart of everything he does from riding a bike to the new MBA curriculum pathway.
Professor Khaled Soufani, Director of the Circular Economy Centre at Cambridge Judge Business School, discusses the importance of supply chains and reusing waste at a conference addressed by the King of Spain Felipe VI.
Yuxia Zou, Cambridge Judge PhD student and Research Associate at the Cambridge Endowment for Research in Finance (CERF), looks at when and why an investment company would abandon its public commitment to sustainability.
Combating global warming will require removing carbon and not just reducing new emissions. A new study co-authored by Professor David Reiner of Cambridge Judge Business School identifies the most promising approaches.