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Introduction to Sustainability and Business Value

Adopt sustainability practices in your organisation that drive value creation and financial returns.

600 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Explore the components of business sustainability with CPA Australia

Organisations are increasingly required to disclose their approaches to improving sustainable operations using Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting.

On this two-week course, you’ll trace the evolution of sustainability as a primary business concern, with growing demand from stakeholders for organisational transparency. You’ll explore the drivers of sustainability and learn how sustainability practices can result in value creation.

Investigate the business applications of sustainability in different contexts

Organisations need a tailored approach to ESG, suited to their size and business needs.

Using a range of case studies, you’ll examine sustainability initiatives in practice and learn how they have added value to each business.

You’ll learn to explain the importance of focussing on sustainability in your strategy, business model, risk management, and reporting.

Data suggests sustainability measures contribute to improved company performance, new opportunities, and revenue growth.

You’ll discover five ways that sustainability can add value to an organisation, from top-line growth to reduced regulatory interventions.

With this knowledge, you can consider sustainability measures that manage sustainability requirements and deliver a competitive edge.

Learn how to embed beneficial sustainability practices into your organisational strategy

You’ll explore various sustainability frameworks, equipping you with the practical tools to begin your sustainability transformation.

By the end of this course, you’ll be able to identify the environmental and social impacts of your organisation’s processes and have gained the knowledge and tools to adopt strategic sustainability practices that add value to your organisation.


  • Week 1

    The Case For Sustainability

    • Welcome to Sustainability and Business Value

      Welcome to Week 1! In this section we will introduce the course and the big questions we will explore.

    • The history and business case for sustainability

      An organisation’s pursuit of environmental and social sustainability has traditionally come at the cost of financial value. Could the increased business value of intangibles mean there is now a business case for sustainability?

    • The components of sustainability

      When thinking about sustainability in a business context it’s useful to break it down into three components. How an organisation views these components influences their approach to value creation.

    • Sustainability Frameworks

      There are several sustainability frameworks being used around the world. Let's explore some of them.

    • How Different Organisations Apply Sustainability

      Three case studies show how different organisations have applied sustainability. A further case study shows how business advisors can support clients to meet ESG targets through financial tools.

  • Week 2

    Sustainability and Value Creation

    • Drivers Of Sustainability

      We will look at what is driving sustainability in business and how it has changed in recent generations.

    • Linking Sustainability To Business Value

      We look at five opportunities for organisations to add value to their business through sustainability.

    • Sustainability Improves Financial Performance

      We look at data that supports the idea that sustainability improves financial performance.

    • Apply your Sustainability Knowledge

      Test your knowledge and judgement with a quiz and interactive scenario.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Discuss the evolution of sustainability and its main goals.
  • Apply the three components of sustainability and Integrated Reporting Framework capitals in reviewing an organisation's sustainability impacts.
  • Explain how the organisational drivers of sustainability can be leveraged to meet stakeholder demands.
  • Develop recommendations on the integration of sustainability practices into an organisation's strategy to drive value creation.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for financial professionals with responsibility for external reporting in their organisation.

It will benefit those working in many different financial roles including finance managers, financial accountants, financial controllers, and CFOs.

Small-to-medium business owners who want to further their knowledge of sustainability and the value it can create within their business will also find this course useful.

Who developed the course?

CPA Australia

CPA Australia provides online education, certification and member services as well as a complete range of finance, accounting and business information consulting.

  • Established

  • Location

    Melbourne, Australia

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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