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ABIS GlobalProjectsLeadership & Sustainability

Leadership & Sustainability

Research among senior managers shows a high correlation between the depth of a business leader’s experience with sustainability and the drivers and benefits that he or she perceives. For example, 68% of business leaders with sustainability expertise cited improved financial returns as a benefit from their organisation’s investments in sustainability initiatives, compared with only 32% for novices (Boston Consulting Group). This raises important issues for the nature of leadership development, posing the question as to the extent to which sustainability could or should be integral to mainstream leadership development.

As such, the University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainable Leadership launched a study, to explore the challenges of and opportunities for integrating sustainability into the practices of executive development. The study examined nine leading companies from the perspective of Heads of Learning/HR and Heads of Sustainability (CSOs).  It sought to capture current practice and innovation and to identify new models that might accelerate the pace of change. This study is funded by ABIS.


  1. To better understand the nature of current corporate leadership training and development programmes; 
  2. To identify the extent to which sustainability has been integrated or in any way linked to these programmes;
  3. To understand the extent to which sustainability is perceived as a unique challenge or simply another management task which needs a development response;
  4. To identify barriers to and opportunities for the integration of sustainability into corporate leadership training and development programmes; and 
  5. To learn from and share any innovations in the practices of integrating sustainability into corporate leadership training and development programmes.

The findings were launched at the ABIS Annual Colloquium in December 2014.

Members Involved

University of Cambridge

For More Information

Contact Simon Pickard, Director – General, ABIS at .

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