Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives

Champion purposeful change in business

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Course Dates


26 September 2024

Course Duration


1 Year
Online and Live Virtual

Course Fee


€24.950 €21.500 and get €1.250 off with a referral €200 application fee

Course Information Flexible payment available

Early application benefit


This is only available to participants who apply by .

Champion sustainability leadership to drive business success

As sustainability is becoming a global business disruptor, businesses are making dramatic changes to align their operations with environmental, social and governance (ESG) targets, achieve positive impacts and stay competitive. This requires business leaders with the right skills and knowledge to approach ESG in a strategic manner and measure its impact. The INSEAD Executive Education Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives will equip you to meet the mounting demand for ESG skills as a foundation of your organisation’s future growth strategies.


of board members say that their goal is to spend more time on strategic reflection about sustainability.

Source: INSEAD Designing Sustainability Governance Report.


of leaders expect climate change to have a high or very high impact on their organisations’ strategies over the next three years.


Customised design for your success

The Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives has been professionally designed with the needs of busy senior executives in mind. It offers the flexibility to customise your learning for maximum impact, with a convenient combination of online and live virtual sessions.


Learn online at your own pace in accordance with your work schedule, and deep dive into themes relevant to your organisation with a choice of topical electives.


Develop your skills and knowledge, and grow as an executive through a highly experiential learning journey that emphasises practical application of key programme concepts.


Participate in regular live interactions with faculty, experts and peers to explore the latest research and industry insights. Gain access to an extensive global network of business leaders.

Designed with real-world practicality

The Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives will hone your managerial capabilities in four aspects critical for success in senior-level sustainability roles. The programme delivers learnings you can implement immediately to meet your organisation’s regulatory requirements while building a long-term competitive advantage.

Prepare to contribute to the governance of sustainable business strategy and raise concerns over progress at an early stage.

Understand how to effectively challenge the status quo and bring a range of perspectives on sustainability to your organisation.

Learn to broker conversations, mediate conflicts and resolve trade offs related to sustainable business practices.

Emerge ready to take the lead in delivering change and mobilise your organisation to implement sustainable business models.

Hear from the programme co-director

“Organisations today require astute leaders who can ensure their operations are environmentally and socially responsible while improving the bottom line, building brand value and deepening stakeholder trust. INSEAD Executive Education imparts the skills needed to successfully integrate sustainable practices across all aspects of the enterprise and will empower you to forge a sustainable way forward for your company.”

— Atalay Atasu
Programme Co-Director for the Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives

What you will learn in this programme

The Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives will help you:

  • Take a proactive approach to solving known and future sustainability challenges by developing innovative strategies and frameworks
  • Apply an understanding of current sustainability policies to incorporate policy developments and manage future policy developments as they emerge
  • Articulate how your organisation’s activities relate to ESG aspects of business and further link to sustainability initiatives
  • Identify change opportunities to bridge sustainability gaps and shape your organisation’s behaviour through an action plan to conduct effective sustainability initiatives.

Key programme features

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Experiential sessions

Test your understanding of concepts and reflect on decisions through digital simulations and live sessions.

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Action learning project

Develop your ability to think critically and steer sustainability strategy across your organisation.

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Guest speakers

Hear from industry practitioners to explore current trends and gain valuable insights.

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Peer interaction

Experience a high level of engagement with accomplished global peers and exchange diverse perspectives.

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Alumni status

Gain INSEAD alumni status upon completion of the programme, and receive select alumni benefits.

Programme facilitator

Craft your learning journey in line with your career goals with a programme facilitator assigned to your cohort.


The curriculum is rigorously developed on INSEAD’s groundbreaking research and expertise. It comprises a core component and three electives. The core modules are part of four overarching topic areas that will prepare you to become a transformational sustainability leader. The modules are taught online, so you can learn at your own pace with weekly along with select live sessions.
  • The Business Case for Sustainability 

    Climate change, energy use, pollution, and societal externalities are not just buzzwords; they are real issues affecting businesses today. Regulators are now setting tougher rules to protect the environment, and both consumers and investors are looking more favourably at businesses that prioritise sustainability. For businesses to succeed in this changing landscape, the path should be focused on sustainable execution. 

    • The impact of climate change, energy, pollution and societal externalities on business 
    • Sustainability as a stakeholder disruption 
    • Nature, consumers, regulators and investors as stakeholders 
    • The path to sustainable business execution 

    Sustainability as a Strategic Opportunity

    Sustainability isn't just about doing good for the planet; it's also a strategic opportunity for businesses. By aligning sustainability with business profitability, companies can tap into a new, conscious consumer base.

    • Aligning sustainability and business profitability
    • Sustainability inspired willingness-to-pay creation 
    • Creating markets for sustainable products 
    • Converting customers from non-sustainable to sustainable products 
    • Key success factors for sustainability based platforms (two-sided markets)

    Sustainability Measurement and Reporting 

    When it comes to sustainability, measuring and reporting are vital. This involves picking the right KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) that push for sustainable actions within the company. New ways of reporting, like impact-weighted accounting, are emerging to give a clearer picture of a company's environmental and social impacts. Additionally, there are government rules about what companies have to report in terms of sustainability.

    • Incorporation of sustainability in performance measurement 
    • Selection of KPIs to incentivize sustainable corporate action 
    • Design of impact-weighted accounting reporting 
    • Regulatory requirements for reporting on sustainability
    • Achieving credible reporting on sustainability 

    DEI and Societal Progress

    Business isn't just about profits anymore; the way we think about it is evolving. Nowadays, performance isn't only measured by numbers but also by societal progress. This requires making and explaining tough decisions that balance profits and principles. In turn, this requires new skills and knowledge to discuss, promote and act on these values effectively.

    • Evolution of the paradigm of business 
    • Integrating performance and progress  
    • Moral reasoning in business 
    • Making and justifying tradeoffs 
    • LOCAL model
    • DEI vocabulary 

    Sustainable Finance: This elective addresses the fundamentals of sustainable finance and provides financial services professionals with the appropriate knowledge and skills to fully integrate sustainability into their work and organisations. It covers sustainability from the perspective of key financial sector actors, including asset owners, asset managers, banks and insurers.

    Strategies for a Circular Economy – Online: Learn about circular economy business models and ways to integrate circularity into existing processes while mitigating roadblocks.

    Impactful Leadership for Sustainability: Learn to navigate the complexities of a leadership role and tackle issues through courage, emotional intelligence and an ability to read room dynamics. Gain an understanding of your leadership capacity relative to your role, and deal with changes in complex systems while recognising the inevitability of actions within dynamic systems. 

    Supply Chain Strategies for Business – Online: Gain the strategic capabilities required to navigate the complexities of today's supply chain landscape and deliver transformative change within your organisation.

    Agile Strategy Execution: This elective provides the insights and tools to bridge the gap between the rational development of strategy and real-life execution. It helps identify hidden traps, balance the rational with the emotional and build the internal capability to continue successful strategy implementation.

  • Meet your cohort peers and faculty in person on the INSEAD campus in Fontainebleau during an optional immersion and networking event. This event provides a valuable opportunity to create a lifelong community of global sustainability-focused executives.

Note: The list of topics is non-exhaustive and subject to change

Note: Participants may take around 12 months to complete the programme depending on individual schedule and programme selections.

Project work

The Action Learning Project is a key part of the programme. You will apply knowledge from the classroom to prepare an action plan that mostly focuses on identifying and solving real-life issues in your industry that the 17 United Nations SDGs focusses on. Regular, check-in sessions and feedback from your programme facilitator and peers will assist you in refining your road map.

Meet the faculty

The global team of cross-disciplinary INSEAD faculty includes experts in sustainable operations management, strategic management and business management.

Profile picture of professor Atalay Atasu

Atalay Atasu

Programme Co-Director; Professor of Technology and Operations Management; The Bianca and James Pitt Chair in Environmental Sustainability; INSEAD Sustainable Business Initiative

Profile picture of professor Lucie Tepla

Lucie Tepla

Programme Co-Director and Senior Affiliate Professor of Finance

Profile picture of professor Peter Joos

Peter Joos

Associate Professor of Accounting and Control The Barons Janssen Endowed Professorship Chair, Accounting and Control Area

Profile picture of professor Karel Cool

Karel Cool

Professor of Strategic Management British Petroleum Fellow The BP Chaired Professor of European Competitiveness

Profile picture of professor Subramanian Rangan

Subramanian Rangan

Professor of Strategy and Management The Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Court Endowed Chair in Societal Progress

Profile picture of professor Zoe Kinias

Zoe Kinias

Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Faculty Member Declan Fitzsimons

Declan Fitzsimons

Senior Affiliated Professor of Organisational Behaviour

Programme facilitator

Faculty Member Rachid Kherrouf

Rachid Kherrouf

CFO, Greenpeace

Rachid Kherrouf is a seasoned financial expert renowned for his leadership and international career journey through various esteemed organisations. Armed with a strong educational foundation and a wealth of professional experience, Kherrouf has consistently showcased his prowess in the finance sector across diverse industries.

His academic achievements include an Executive MBA in Business Administration and Management, General from INSEAD and from Tsinghua University. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) from the National University of Singapore (Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy) and a Masters in Finance and Strategy from Sciences-Po Paris.

Faculty Member Alla Idrisova

Alla Idrisova

Sustainability and Leadership Executive Coach

Alla Idrisova is an experienced senior executive and entrepreneur, adeptly merging a strong academic foundation with practical expertise in management consulting, executive coaching and various leadership roles.

Idrisova has an Executive MBA from INSEAD, an Executive Master's in International Relations & EU Law from Amsterdam University, Ph.D. in International Economics & Business from Groningen University and a Master's in Industrial Engineering from Saint Petersburg University.



Upon completion of the programme, participants will be awarded a verified digital certificate by INSEAD Executive Education.

Who is it for?

The Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives is ideal for:

  • Business owners, C-suite leaders, policy-makers and other decision-makers who are seeking to make sustainability a focus in their organisation
  • Senior executives or project management experts aiming to acquire sustainability know-how and transition a leadership role
  • Business unit or country heads wanting to respond to sustainability-related opportunities and risks.

Participants should preferably have:

  • More than 10 years of work experience
  • Be in a leadership or decision-making role with authority to influence policy.

Alumni status

Join INSEAD’s powerful global network of more than 66,000 alumni in over 180 countries, and receive select benefits, including:

  • Access to more than 1,000 events and programmes annually organised by INSEAD and the INSEAD Alumni Association
  • Access to the INSEAD Alumni Lifelong Learning programme
  • Career development for alumni, including career coaching, peer-to-peer advising and mentoring programmes
  • Preferential rates on INSEAD Open Enrolment Programmes and Open Online Programmes
  • Networking tools and a lifelong INSEAD email.

*Upon completion of the programme, graduates of the Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives will gain complimentary alumni status for a period of three years. A minimal annual membership fee will be required to maintain the status thereafter.

Sustainability at INSEAD

From teaching on environmental management in the late 1980s to exploring the circular economy in the early 2000s, INSEAD has pioneered sustainable business education and is at the cutting edge of many sustainability focus areas. The school continues to “walk the talk” by successfully integrating sustainability into its operations to meet UN SDGs.

Recent achievements include:
  • INSEAD has received a gold medal from EcoVadis for sustainable management practices
  • INSEAD is a signatory of Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), a platform supported by the United Nations to raise the profile of sustainability in schools all over the world
  • INSEAD is a major academic partner for the annual ChangeNOW Summit, the world's largest environmental and social impact summit
  • INSEAD’s research on sustainability-related topics rose from 24 percent in 2015 to over 33 percet in 2020
  • INSEAD has published 19 case studies related to sustainability in 2020
  • INSEAD has been prominently involved in many innovative and impactful global sustainability initiatives, partnerships and research projects as part of its Force for Good campaign.

Application details

programme fee

€24.950 €21.500

The fee amount is available till ,, and does not include the application fee of €200


  • The INSEAD Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives follows an immersive learning process. Participants are expected to fulfil a certain minimum criteria to earn the Certificate of Completion. This includes successful completion of core and elective activities and an action learning project.

    As participants progress through each core module and elective, reviewing the weekly content, they earn points for each activity. Participants need to have earned a certain minimum number of points at the end of each core module and elective. In addition, participants are also required to submit a core action learning project at the end of the core phase. To complete the programme and earn the certificate, participants are required to:

    • Complete a minimum of 80 percent of all in-platform learning activities
    • Submit at least three weekly action learning project assignments per core module and elective
    • Submit a timely Action Learning Plan.
  • On-campus attendance is optional for this programme. You will have the opportunity to participate in an on-campus immersion and networking event at the end of the programme. However, the curriculum is fully online and consists of a mix of recorded video and live virtual sessions with fellow participants, learning coach and faculty.

  • Yes, of course! The learning experience is especially designed to encourage interaction and simulate as close an experience to face-to-face interaction as possible. Participants can interact with each other through discussion forums, live forums, webinars and virtual networking interspersed throughout the learning journey.

    In addition, the programme concludes with an optional in-person immersion and networking event.

  • Yes, we purposefully manage class sizes to ensure ample faculty-to-participant time. INSEAD faculty will also regularly read and respond to your comments in the discussion forums. The faculty is assisted in these interactions by the learning coach, acting as a bridge between the participants and the faculty.

  • The Sustainability Leadership Programme for Senior Executives has been designed with your busy schedule in mind. You will be required to commit not more than three to five hours per week, enabling you to benefit from this impactful programme while balancing your work responsibilities. The programme offers a blend of self-paced modules and live interaction.

  • The learning journey includes live and asynchronous online sessions with renowned faculty, industry experts and global peers. You can take advantage of regular live sessions and the Slack channel to ask questions and discuss ideas with your programme facilitator and cohort participants. Real-world examples and a debrief of the programme learnings are delivered through a combination of recorded video and live online lectures.

  • Unfortunately, it is not possible to take any more electives than the specified number. The electives are designed to help you gain specialised skills in areas that are aligned with your career so that you can dedicate focused time for learning and honing those skills.

  • Yes, we provide closed-captioning and transcripts for all pre-recorded videos as well as closed-captioning for recordings of live sessions.

  • Eruditus collects all programme payments, provides learner enrolment and programme support, and manages learning platform services. INSEAD is collaborating with Emeritus (part of the Eruditus Group) to offer a portfolio of high-impact programs.

  • For the programme refund and deferral policy, please click the link here.

  • Programme fees for Emeritus programmes with INSEAD may not be paid for with (a) funds from the GI Bill, the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance Act of 2008 or similar types of military education funding benefits or (b) Title IV financial aid funds.

Connect with a programme advisor for a 1:1 session


Phone: +44 1416 732351 (UK) / +1 234 516 2703 (US) / +971 80 00321209 (UAE) / +52 55930 20507 (LATAM)

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Early registrations are encouraged. Seats fill up quickly!

Flexible payment options available. Learn more.