Winning Sustainability Strategies

IMD Executive Education

How long?

  • 5 weeks
  • online

What are the topics?

IMD Executive Education


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In order to keep the company that you are managing or your own business competitive, you need to have a clear plan of action, in other words, you must...


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Who should attend

You are a business executive (including C-suite), strategy practitioner or sustainability professional, interested in the business case for sustainability and its strategic implications. Your work involves strategy development, driving sustainability innovation, or embedding the UN SDGs into the company’s core strategy. You are eager to acquire new skills, competencies and tools to develop or further enhance your capabilities for designing and executing successful sustainability programs.

Your class is individually put together through a selection process to ensure that you experience the most impactful learning with a truly diverse group of global peers. Your class will become a trusted resource, encourage your learning journey and surprise you in many unanticipated beneficial ways both during and beyond your classroom experience.

About the course

Develop your sustainability plan for lasting change

  • Enhance your understanding of how to embed the SDGs into your business strategy
  • Learn about the vectoring model and its application as a key strategic tool
  • Get familiar with the concept of materiality and its implications for your business
  • Explore business opportunities arising from the circular economy
  • Create a high-level action plan to implement your sustainability strategy

Are you looking at transforming your organization towards a more sustainable business model? How do you develop a clear business case for your approach to sustainability? Winning Sustainability Strategies is designed to help you integrate sustainability in your strategy so you can maintain your competitive edge.

The program equips you with a practical framework for identifying and evaluating the relative performance of sustainability programs. You will learn to use “vectoring” as a key strategic tool to develop your own sustainability plan, embed the UN Sustainable Development Goals into your company’s core strategy, and assess the impact of sustainability programs on competitiveness.

At the end of the program, you will not only have your fully developed sustainability plan for lasting change, but will also be equipped with applicable tools and insights on driving performance and innovation through a coherent sustainability strategy.

Your Learning Journey

During this five-week journey, you will build a strong business case for sustainability, understanding better your purpose, your strengths and weaknesses and developing opportunities for innovation. You will establish the appropriate targets and monitoring mechanisms, as well as aligning systems required to propel your business forward.

Supported by your professional learning coach, you will leave with your own action plan, essential for stakeholder buy-in, plus all the tools and frameworks to confidently lead your sustainability transformation.

The program is structured in five units, covering the following topics:

Unit 1: Business in a changing world

  • Find out about the UND 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

Personalized coaching for maximum impact

You will have a dedicated executive coach, making sure you receive a highly individualized learning experience.

Your personal coach accompanies you through your 5-week learning journey on this Winning Sustainability Strategies online course. They provide support and feedback as you apply your learning directly into your workplace, where it has an immediate impact.

Their input helps you translate your learning to your particular context. By spreading this feedback regularly throughout the program, you'll be sure to embed your ongoing learning directly in your daily work.

Your coach interacts with you via video, in writing, and over the phone. You have calls and written feedback spread across the 5 weeks at intervals that consolidate your learning.

Your learning coach helps you

  • Define your learning objectives
  • Review your progress on a weekly basis
  • Overcome your challenges
  • Translate what you learn to your own context


Benoit Leleux

Dr Leleux is the Stephan Schmidheiny Professor of Entrepreneurship and Finance at IMD in Lausanne (Switzerland), where he was also director of the MBA program (2006-2008) and director of Research and Development (2004-2008). He is currently the co-Director of Foundations for Business Leadership (...

Jan van der Kaaij

Experience & Background: Jan brings deep expertise in sustainability to IMD. He is a creative sustainability expert in strategy development, DJSI and sustainable innovation, with a hands-on approach. Following a commercial career in food and telecom, Jan lastly was most recently Vice Preside...

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Winning Sustainability Strategies at IMD Executive Education

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Coursalytics is an independent platform to find, compare, and book executive courses. Coursalytics is not endorsed by, sponsored by, or otherwise affiliated with any business school or university.

Full disclaimer.

Read more about Strategy

Strategy courses contain a large amount of practice. You will be able to analyze the company's performance and make a strategic development plan. All practices are based on real cases that each of you may encounter. The courses will also introduce yo...

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