Sustainability Fundamentals

Fast-track to a sustainable business model and become an actor of change in your organisation.
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Solbosch Campus + Online
8 weeks
November 2023 > January 2024
1 day/week
Thursday evenings (3 hours)
€ 2.200 No VAT
Registration deadline: 01/11/2023 | Programme start: 09/11/2023

Who is the programme aimed at?


This programme is designed for professionals wishing to acquire the foundations of sustainable practices and become actors of change in their organisation:

• You are working as a consultant, junior to senior level manager. You wish to implement sustainable practices within your organisation and update your scientific and business knowledge to remain relevant and competitive in a rapidly changing environment.

• You are freshly graduated and willing to develop your knowledge of sustainability before engaging in your professional journey.

The Sustainability Fundamentals programme helps you discover and reflect on the key concepts of sustainability and how to apply them within your business.

Key admissions criteria

  • This programme is intended for junior, mid- and senior professionals;
  • English proficiency.

A comprehensive understanding

Of the current environmental, social, and financial challenges related to sustainability based on the latest data available.

A holistic view

The programme will develop your sustainability mindset and will provide you with the knowledge and tools to see the big picture of your business - as well as evaluate the impact that you have on your stakeholders. 

Your pathways to sustainability

You will reflect on your role as leader and your ability to affect change. You will have the opportunity to discuss your own business case and identify some pathways leading to sustainability.

Another string to your bow

Thanks to a 360° vision of sustainability, and implications across key business functions.

Innovation and change

Think differently, with a new perspective on business development that will allow you to seize flourishing opportunities in a sustainable future.


This programme is a unique opportunity to exchange with experts on Sustainability but also share experiences and create contact with others actors of the sector.

Structure of the programme

A 24-hour programme designed to learn and share with experts and professionals dedicated to sustainable development.

1 . Welcome to the Anthropocene

Location: On campus

Date: 9 November 2023

Duration: 3 hours

We will review the current state of the Earth to learn about the major dynamics that are taking place in ecosystems and understand how we are impacting our planet.

2 . Socio-ecological systems

Location: Online

Date: 16 November 2023

Duration: 3 hours 

To highlight the connections between our activities and the state of the planet, we will focus on the two human activities that have the largest impact on the environment: agriculture and the energy sector. 

3 . Sustainable development: from concepts to quantification

Location: Online

Date: 23 November 2023

Duration: 3 hours

Now familiar with the main concepts and big pictures of our impacts, we will introduce quantification methods, starting with the carbon footprint. 

4 . Why is sustainability difficult to achieve ?

Location: On campus

Date: 7 December 2023

Duration: 3 hours

In this session, you will take part in a simulation game which puts you in charge of a company (a fishery) whose success relies on utilising resources from a shared pool (the fish stocks), which is also exploited by other companies.

5 . Policy perspectives

Location: Online

Date: 14 December 2023

 Duration: 3 hours

You will understand what makes eco-sociological systems unsustainable, and how proper governance can re-establish sustainability. The following topics...

6 . Corporate Social Responsability

Location: Online

Date : 21 December 2023

Duration: 3 hours

You will learn about how the role of business in society has evolved and the frameworks that corporations (have to) use to integrate and respond to these changing demands. 

7 . Business transformation and leverage points

Location: Online

Date: 11 January 2024

Duration: 3 hours

At the end of the module, you will be able to identify structural leverage points for business and industry transformation. You will also learn about the current...

8 . Leading for change

Location: On campus

Date: 18 January 2024

Duration: 3 hours

In the last module, there will be an exchange with 2 business leaders who will testify how they have transformed their business sustainably. After this first part, you will be introduced to who is best placed to accelerate societal change, and how to overcome resistance to change. 

More programme features

Programme features

This programme is based on interactive dynamics and hands-on learning methodology. It aims at developing the mindset and the key skills to face the transition of our business world towards sustainable business models and facilitating interactions and conversations between participants having different backgrounds and functions across sectors.

This programme develops an active, practical, and interactive learning dynamic. The cases and the material are discussed in class and in groups, under the supervision of the faculty.

Sharing experience and expertise between participants is an important educational asset of the programme and an excellent way to form a network of committed professionals.

The participants will have the opportunity to become officially certified as Carbon Literate by the Carbon Literacy Project, an internationally recognized accreditation organisation based in the UK.

This programme also offers :

  • A cutting-edge programme: an opportunity to learn and share with experts and professionals dedicated to Sustainability.
  • Working across disciplines to bring a diverse and multifaceted point of view and led by an interdisciplinary team of scientists, economists, and business managers, this programme is based on the synergy of the complementary expertises at the core of Sustainability: Environmental Sciences, Social Impact, Governance Strategy, and Business Management.


The 101 training has been essential for our office to create a common understanding of sustainability and help us integrate sustainability into all our work. Even though I have a background in environmental science, this course was really enlightening. Not only did it refresh some of the basic principles behind climate change, biodiversity, etc., it also provided very relevant perspectives on public and private ESG governance through specific sessions, case studies and guest speakers. Insightful!

Sustainability is on the agenda of all our clients today. In order to have meaningful and impactful discussions on the topic, many people lack the basic required knowledge though. The Sustainability 101 course does provide this basic knowledge and also offers a robust framework to think forward and act in a systemic way on ESG issues. The course combines solid academic background with action oriented experience sharing. Also it gives access to a rich set of data, literature and analysis on the topic. The course is a great minimum level setting for everybody who is concerned by the societal challenge of our world. And who would not be?

The 101 sustainability course enabled us to establish basic ESG knowledge across a broad ESG spectrum, going from the case for change towards how to install this with our clients, the role of governments vs. businesses and consumers etc. In addition, the different topics were lectured by different professors depending on their expertise, enabling us to go quite deep on some client-specific situations that were most relevant for us.

This 101 training with Solvay Lifelong Learning did not feel 101 to me. I realised I had missed decades of pivotal research done in universities all over the world. I enjoyed every step of the journey, starting with the deep biological insights and the wrap up on energy to the social and management challenges. This experience has proven structural in my work – we now include externalities in all our full potential conversations and in my readings.

The sustainability 101 was a key transformative journey for our company. Starting from a solid depiction of the state of our planet, it built upon the best scientific knowledge available to shape an ambitious and engaging case for change. The course was instrumental in aligning our employees on a joint ambition to drive ESG change, and today, we actively leverage it as part of our client work.


Bertrand Collignon

Associate Professor in Sustainable Development & Deputy Director of the Sustainable Development Initiative

Academic Director

Frank Mathues


Gani Aldashev
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Member of ECARES at Solvay Brussels School and Professor at Université Libre de Bruxelles


Faced with the current state of our planet but also of our socio-economic systems, we must rethink the functioning of our society at all levels. Sustainability responds to these challenges in the face of which we all have a role to play as citizens, regulators, and of course businesses. In this context, our Sustainability Fundamentals training will give you a solid foundation to embark on this journey.
Bertrand Collignon
Deputy Director of the Sustainable Development Initiative & Academic Director

Leading Belgian business school

Any questions?

Programme Manager
Séverine Stoquart