What can you expect from an MBA in sustainable leadership | Top Universities

What can you expect from an MBA in sustainable leadership

By Chloe Lane

Updated July 27, 2022 Updated July 27, 2022

Sponsored by Charles Darwin University  

An MBA in sustainable leadership is designed to help professionals gain a deeper understanding of sustainable business practices. The programme will give you the skills needed to lead a business profitably while leaving a positive impact on society, the economy and the environment.  

At Charles Darwin University (CDU) in Australia, the MBA in Sustainable Leadership is a two-year full-time programme comprising of a range of sustainability-focused core units, traditional MBA business competencies and specialist electives. 

“The MBA in Sustainable Leadership provides more profound knowledge of the sustainable approach to business administration and opportunities to engage with industries to gain hands-on experience of the sustainability-related issues enterprises face,” said Dr Maneka Jayasinghe, Chair of Business at the Asia Pacific College of Business at CDU. 

TopUniversities spoke to Dr Jayasinghe to find out what candidates can expect from this diverse, highly relevant MBA. 

Develop the essential knowledge and skills needed to lead future-facing businesses 

The MBA in Sustainable Leadership will prepare you to run businesses of all sizes with an economically, socially and environmentally conscious approach. Organisations are increasingly seeking out employees who are well versed in these sustainable business practices.  

“The MBA in Sustainable Leadership is carefully developed to give our students the essential knowledge and skills required to lead future-facing businesses,” said Dr Jayasinghe.  

Charles Darwin University’s MBA in Sustainable Leadership offers candidates a solid overview of these sustainable practices, including how to develop effective sustainability and CSR strategy and how to design and implement sustainability initiatives.  

Alongside these competencies, you will learn more general skills and knowledge that you can use in a variety of industries. These include:  

  • Business analytics 
  • Branding and marketing  
  • E-commerce 
  • Governance 

CDU MBA in Sustainable Leadership student Sushan Khatiwada wanted to start a business to make an impact in his community in Nepal, but soon realised he first needed to acquire knowledge and experience to achieve this goal.  

CDU’s MBA in Sustainable Leadership stood out to Sushan because of its blend of knowledge of sustainable practice with traditional profit-driven business concepts.  

“I have learned how to integrate innovativeness with sustainability and how to craft a practical sustainable strategy so that profit and sustainable practice go hand-by-hand,” he said. 

Sushan liked that he could specialise in practical modules that would help build up the skills needed for social entrepreneurship, such as social innovation, business analytics, design thinking and global markets.  

“I could see that this degree can be a steppingstone for someone looking to start an enterprise with a focus on sustainable practice and social wellbeing,” he said. 

Understand how to actively contribute to the UN’s sustainable development goals 

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a collection of 17 interlinked global goals launched in 2015 to help design a more sustainable future. There is an increasing pressure on organisations to prioritise these goals in their business decisions, alongside more traditionally stated goals such as strong financial performance.  

“I think a business that focuses solely on profit and ignores the social, economic, and environmental aspect is bound to be obsolete in the near future,” said Sushan. “In a pool of cut-throat competition, a business practicing sustainability will naturally have a competitive advantage, especially among the ecologically sensible group of global customers” 

The heightened focus on these SDGs means that graduates with a solid background in sustainability are in high demand. 

Charles Darwin University wants to meet this global demand by creating leaders who can successfully run organisations in a way that supports the environment, the economy and society. 

“The MBA in Sustainable Leadership will set you up to make a positive impact globally as demand for professionals with solid sustainability credentials peaks,” said Dr Jayasinghe. 

However, the programme also caters to professionals looking to start their own businesses, helping them gain the experience and knowledge about sustainable business practices needed to succeed as modern entrepreneurs. 

You can tailor the degree to suit your career goals and personal interests  

Candidates can tailor CDU’s MBA in Sustainable Leadership to meet their individual career aspirations.  

At CDU the programme is comprised of core electives, such as sustainable business practices, economics, business analytics and entrepreneurship, as well as specialist electives, enabling you to dive deeper into topics that most interest you. 

There are several specialised electives to choose from, including: 

  • Accounting 
  • Finance 
  • Law 
  • Environmental management 
  • Disaster management 
  • Public health 
  • Public policy 

CDU’s MBA in Sustainable Leadership is one of the most affordable in Australia and can be completed in as little as two years. 

Enrich your CV and build valuable connections with industry experience  

The MBA in Sustainable Leadership places a strong emphasis on building practical skills through experience in industry.  

“Through workshops and projects, the degree has helped me build connections with professionals across various industry, which has enriched my networking ability and professional public relations,” said Sushan. 

Alongside internships and work placements, students at Charles Darwin University have the opportunity to complete a social enterprise and consulting project as one of their specialist electives.  

During this placement, you will consult with industry professionals to provide recommendations and organisational solutions on a social enterprise strategy or project. If you are working while studying, this can be completed with your current employer. Alternatively, the university will help you secure a placement.  

“MBA in Sustainable Leadership students will be able to speak with confidence to employers and seek out new opportunities with a qualified understanding of the risks and rewards,” said Dr Jayasinghe. 

The social enterprise and consulting project helps candidates gain the expertise needed to make a positive impact in business and put their MBA learnings into practice.  

“With CDU’s outstanding graduate employability performance, together with the industry engagement opportunities provided in the MBA programme, students will be positioned in a significantly better place in the job market as MBA Sustainable Leadership graduates,” said Dr Jayasinghe. 

Alongside the social enterprise and consulting project, Sushan also completed the Design Thinking for Sustainable Innovation elective, where he identified a sustainability issue in a business project, brainstormed possible creative solutions, and devised a prototype.  

“The practical elements of the programme have enhanced my creative thinking ability, innovativeness, professionalism, communication skills and leadership ability, which are the foundational support for my future entrepreneurial journey,” said Sushan.

This article was originally published in July 2022 .

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Written by

As Content Editor for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Chloe creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. Chloe has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 


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