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Dates announced for new accredited short course to benefit local SMEs – Sustainability and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL)

Following a pilot earlier this summer, Nottingham Business School is pleased to announce course dates for this new accredited short course from September 2020.

SAIL generic artwork

This support is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund

Following the successful pilot of a new ‘Sustainability and Inclusive Leadership’ course by Nottingham Business School (NBS) and The Green Academy, we are pleased to confirm that the course has been accredited by NTU and we are now opening enrolment for dates in September and October 2020.

The pilot ran as part of a co-design process with local SMEs, and course leaders have since developed the course in response to feedback from participants. This has ensured that the content is effective in improving the understanding and capacity of sustainability within local SMEs in the context of Covid-19 recovery.

Co-design is central to our course development approach and we encourage engagement with businesses that want to put their voice at the heart of the curriculum at Nottingham Trent University (NTU).

In August 2020, the course was also submitted for internal accreditation which was approved by NTU’s School Academic Standards and Quality Committee (SASQC) on 20 August.

Course dates and structure

We are pleased to announce initial dates in September and October 2020. Places are available for employees of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire-based SMEs, with a small number of places available to larger organisations.

  • Cohort 1 – 23, 24 and 30 September
  • Cohort 2 – 7, 8 and 14 October
  • Cohort 3 – 21, 22 and 28 October

The course is delivered completely online over three days, in a 5-hour block (9am-2pm).

This is to make the course accessible to those with responsibilities such as school-age children and other work commitments. Attendees should be aware that they will be required to attend all sessions to complete the course and gain accreditation.

This professional course has been accredited by NTU, and participants will receive 10 credits towards a level 4 (degree level) qualification. You will also receive an action plan for your business and a full certificate issued by the Carbon Literacy Trust.

What does the course cover?

The course, which is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), explores the global climate crisis, the very real impact that this will have on the economic landscape, and how important it is for businesses to be more sustainable as they work towards COVID-19 recovery.

Participants will consider personal values, ethical decision-making and health and wellbeing, before taking a more focused look at sustainability through the lens of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate action and carbon literacy.

The course also looks at the circular economy – an economic system emphasising minimal waste through re-use, sharing, repaid and recycling – and the ‘doughnut economy’ – a visual framework for sustainable development.

Course content

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
  • You, your personal values, and decision making
  • Carbon literacy
  • Sustainability and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • Leadership
  • The appropriate contemporary economic model(s) for your work and business practices
  • The science of climate change and ways to address this
  • Identification of personal and professional solutions that you can undertake related to climate change

The course has been developed to help business leaders, managers, and employees within SMEs to answer and understand:

  • how climate and COVID-19 bounce off one another
  • how business is affected by the climate, and vice versa
  • the impact different sectors, such as food and drink, have on our climate, and vice versa
  • climate change mitigation tools for your role at work and/or business function
  • recovery and change strategies
  • solutions with the highest impact in your personal life and your role at work

Learning outcomes

This professional course has been accredited by NTU, and participants will receive 10 credits towards a level 4 (degree level) qualification. You will also receive an action plan for your business and a full certificate issued by the Carbon Literacy Trust.

You will also take away the following learnings:

  1. Deciphering your own personal values and ethnical decision making for authentic leadership
  2. Linking the cause(s) of climate action to your personal and professional life
  3. Understanding the science of, and need to, address climate change
  4. Finding solutions related to both climate change and COVID-19
  5. Applying the concepts of sustainability, leadership, and the SDGs to yourself and your work and/or business
  6. Applying economic models that encourage minimal waste to your work and business practices

Sign up now

To express an interest for you or your colleagues to take part, email for information on securing a place on upcoming dates.

Please note that to be eligible for this course, you will need to be an employee of a D2N2-based SME, but a small number of places are available to larger organisations. A full eligibility check will take place prior to enrolment.

  • Notes for editors

    For press enquiries, please contact Joe Boultby-Ward, ESF Marketing Manager by email or on +44 (0)115 878 8899.

    • The High Level Skills programme is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and is made up of two complementary projects – Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs, and GRADS for D2N2.
    • The projects have received £2,201,163 (Priority Skills for D2N2 SMEs) and £7,360,994 (GRADS for D2N2) of funding from the European Social Fund as part of the 2014-2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme in England.
    • The Department for Work and Pensions (and in London the intermediate body Greater London Authority) is the Managing Authority for the English European Social Fund programme.
    • Established by the European Union, the European Social Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support skills development, employment and job creation, social inclusion and local community regenerations.
    • For more information, visit

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