Application deadline

Don´t miss our application deadline until November 30th! Apply now for the Certificate Program Sustainable Management and Operations.

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Certificate in Sustainable Management and Operations

Part-time program

Certificate in Sustainable Management and Operations

Part-time program

12 months (optional to extend to 18 months*)

Program duration


Language of instruction

At the center of logistics Hamburg

Blended format

6 five day on campus sessions


5 online learning phases

(24-40 hours per phase)

Tuition fees

14,900 €

 *Starting in January 2023, students will have the option to obtain a “Master in Sustainable Management and Operations” with the completion of a master’s thesis. Program accreditation expected in 2022.

General information

Our Sustainable Management and Operations Program (SuMO) is a part-time certificate program which offers professionals the unique opportunity to flexibly and efficiently acquire the conceptual foundations of sustainable management and learn how to effectively transfer knowledge to create real impact. SuMO integrates state-of-the-art scientific expertise with a holistic and interconnected perspective on sustainability. Our blended learning format makes the best use of time by effectively aligning innovative online learning modules with highly interactive on-campus sessions at KLU in Hamburg. Beginning with the big picture, the module structure explores the relevant topics related to sustainability through interactive class discussions and teamwork, allowing the students to transfer basic business concepts to applications in the field of sustainability. The SuMO ‘Impact Project’ exposes the students to the substantive challenges associated with sustainability and offers an immersive, holistic, and real-life learning experience. Through SuMO, the professionals acquire the necessary skills for a career in sustainable management and operations and learn how to effectively tackle grand challenges.

The Market Need

Within companies the focus is shifting from raising awareness for sustainability towards developing specific solutions. As the areas of technology and management are moving into the spotlight of attention day by day, sustainability has an economical, social and environmental dimension in today´s society. The industry confirms that sustainability and the transition into sustainable products and workflows is very much a relevant area where broader insights need to be gained.
As Sustainability is a key competence area of the Kühne Logistics University, we decided to offer a an educational program to train professionals to leverage their knowledge into their companies. It focuses on supporting professionals and managers to lead the sustainability efforts of their companies and develop sustainable solutions for future business. The insights they will gain will provide students with a structured view on corporate sustainability, a concept that focuses holistically on the role of companies in the natural and social environment.

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Target Group

  • Young professionals and managers with leadership ambition
  • Minimum of 2 years of work experience
  • Previous degrees in management/economics or engineering/information systems
  • Program will be taught in English
  • Blended teaching format to ensure flexibility
  • Teaching in block face-to-face seminars as well as online


The program is composed of nine modules, master thesis optional (program accreditation expected to be completed in 2022).

  1. The Big Picture
  2. Strategy and Leadership
  3. Sustainable Supply Chains
  4. Sustainable Logistics and Operations
  5. Technology and Innovation
  6. Corporate Governance
  7. Communicating Sustainability 
  8. Global Trends and Impact
  9. Sustainability Impact Project

Module description

The Module “Big Picture” introduces participants to the field of sustainability and the role of companies in sustainability. Students will learn about the historical development of sustainability in science, industry and global politics and discuss recent developments in areas such as climate change, the energy transition, and technologies for a more sustainable economic system. The Module will also help students to critically reflect on and discuss on how corporate activities affect and are affected by the biosphere and what role companies play in a social, legal, and market environment. Together, these insights will provide students with a structured view on corporate sustainability, a concept that focuses holistically on the role of companies in the natural and social environment.

Module II “Strategy and Leadership” explores different aspects of strategy for sustainable business and effective leadership for sustainable business. Successfully transforming companies to become more sustainable is a challenging task that requires not only a clear strategic direction but also effective leadership to guide the transition. Module II first asks students to understand what sustainability in business is and how to design a sustainability strategy. Students will then learn about leadership approaches to effectively lead employees through sustainability strategies. Last, students will apply and translate concepts of Module II by evaluating decisions taken by managers and by designing alternative sustainability strategies. 

The Module “Sustainable Supply Chains” focuses on the options that a company has to extend social and environmental standards beyond its organizational boundaries onto their upstream and downstream supply chain. Following initiatives like the German supply chain law (“Lieferkettengesetz”), students will learn how companies can effectively design and implement sustainability improvements in partnership with their suppliers or NGOs. An emphasis will be placed on organizational and technical approaches to monitor and certify the conditions under which goods like consumer electronics or chocolate are produced. Students will further dive into designing closed-loop supply chains that take care of the products also after the end of their life-cycle and facilitate a shift from a linear to a circular economy.

The Module “Sustainable Logistics and Operations” examines how to design and manage environmentally and socially responsible logistics and operations processes from an organizational, technological, and behavioral perspective. Following initiatives like the European Green Deal, students will discuss principles, practices, and innovative concepts for developing more sustainable logistics and operations management solutions along the supply chain. The course will take a holistic perspective on this topic, including a variety of topics in this field. An emphasis will be, for example, on carbon measurement, innovative mobility services and propulsion technologies in transportation, and sustainable warehousing and storage strategies. Students will learn how to critically judge solution approaches and propose their own ideas towards sustainable logistics and operations processes.

The Module “Technology and Innovation” focuses on the process of designing more sustainable product and service offerings and bringing them to the market. Students will be introduced to a toolbox that supports all aspects of generating and evaluating product ideas. It covers, for example, customer need identification, translating them into product features, and selecting the best product concept. It further extends to product development, where students will learn about life-cycle analysis, cradle-to-cradle product design, and product-service systems. With the toolbox, students will be able to identify and overcome typical development challenges on their way towards a more sustainable market offering.

Organizational design needs to support sustainability on all organizational levels. Therefore, this module will discuss 1) the structure of corporate governance at the top level of organizations (i.e., board composition and the role of CSOs), 2) how sustainability can be positioned in organizational structures, and 3) how organizational structures can be designed to foster (employee) sustainability. Students will analyze different options for organizational design and discuss the advantages and disadvantages.
Corporate Governance further asks companies to report how the company delivers value to its stakeholders. With regard to transparency and accounting the module therefore also deals with the challenges of choosing and using such a reporting system. It explains integrated reporting and provides an overview of key players and standards in sustainability reporting (e.g., International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)). In this context, students analyze the benefits and drawbacks of non-financial key performance indicators. 
After having completed this module, students will be able to analyze if organizational design fosters sustainability and to identify improvements for sustainability-oriented organizational design. Students will also have developed the ability to describe the interrelationships between organizational design, corporate culture, and non-financial reporting.

Most organizational changes including transition to more sustainable businesses fail. In the Module “Communicating Sustainability” students will learn how guide through the transition processes by focusing on three major stakeholders in the transition process to corporate sustainability: employees, investors, and customers. Such processes can only be successful, if management understands the needs and wants of a company’s different stakeholders and can clearly communicate the aims and the different steps in this transition, create common ground, and mediate between potentially conflicting interests. A successful organizational adoption of corporate sustainability requires the acceptance of new key performance indicators, new skills, and new structures by all stakeholders. Investors need to understand, where the corporation is heading and how this focus on sustainability will be aligned with the long-term profitability of the firm. Employees might resist changes because of uncertainty and organizational inertia. Finally, this transition is likely to affect the existing customer base and may conflict with their learned behavior and expectations, for example, regarding product features, packaging, service delivery, or price points. To overcome these obstacles and engage all stakeholders, students will practice communication techniques to lead their company through the sustainability transition process.

Despite allowing for large aggregate welfare gains in all countries, globalization is often blamed for its lack of social and environmental sustainability. In this module, we seek to understand both the desirable and adverse consequences of the integration of global markets and identify opportunities for improvement. We organize our discussions along two dimensions. First, how globalization impacts social equality and justice. We characterize the distributional effects of global production and trade and debate how they can undermine the very existence of open societies. Second, how globalization impacts the environment.  We describe the wide variation in production emissions and use of renewable resources across countries and discuss what those differences could teach about the creation of an all-encompassing green economy. Within both dimensions, we also examine the role of global institutions, such as, WTO, IWF, or the ICJ, in building a socially and environmentally efficient globalization, for example, through regulating global markets for C02 certificates and emission contingents or enforcing decent work standards.

This module provides students with an opportunity to work on a real sustainability problem. Students work in groups of 2-4 over the entire year.
The sustainability impact project requires the students to apply their knowledge, practical experience, basic research skills, critical thinking and innovative ideas in a way similar to how they would in their career. The project needs to be practical, relevant, and address a sustainability problem of great interest to the partner. These projects are performed with a sponsoring company, NGO, or government agency.
Student groups develop their analysis and recommendations during the project. In June, students prepare a one-slide outlining their project and their development so far. In December they complete the project with the delivery of a final report and presentation to academic advisors, other students and the company/NGO partner.

Important Dates

  • Start of application period: September 
  • Application deadline: November 30
  • Start of program: January 2022


  • A bachelor’s degree with 240 ECTS or equivalent from a recognized university or college
  • If the applicant does not hold a first academic degree, admission may be made subject to the condition that the applicant takes an entrance examination (a passing grade on the GMAT)
  • Admission on the basis of 180 or 210 ECTS is also possible. Please get in touch with us
  • 2 years of work experience, managerial experience is recommended
  • English proficiency proven by TOEFL (IBT 90), IELTS (Band 6.5) or CAE/CPE (grade C). The TOEFL, IELTS or an equivalent certificate must not be older than 2 years at the time of submitting the application
  • Applicants who completed their entire degree in English in Canada (excluding Quebec), USA, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia or New Zealand do not need to complete a language proficiency test
  • Please download the application documents below and apply online via the "apply now" button to proceed with your application via our online application platform.
  • An application will be considered as soon as we have received all the required documents. The Admissions Department checks each incoming application to determine whether the admission requirements are met.

Please download the following documents that are necessary for your application process as soon as you apply via our online application platform:

  • Copy of undergraduate degree
  • Copy of complete university degree
  • Copy of English proficiency document
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Confirmation of work experience

Confirmation of work experience
Employer´s statement​​​​​​​

Please note: Your application will be considered, once you submit your final application and documents via the application platform.

Our Admissions Department will then get in touch with you to support you through the rest of the application process.

Meet us

  • If you would like to get to know KLU in person, you are welcome to visit our campus. We are also happy to meet you virtually and have a chat about our program any time that suits you.
  • Join our next Open Day!

We look forward to meeting you soon at Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg!

Meet our professors

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Prof. Dr. Moritz Petersen

Assistant Professor of Sustainable Supply Chain Practice

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Prof. Dr. Maria Besiou

Professor of Humanitarian Logistics & Dean of Research

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Prof. Dr. Christina Raasch

Associate Professor for Digital Economy

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Prof. Dr. Prisca Brosi

Associate Professor of Human Resource Management

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Prof. Dr. Alexander Himme

Associate Professor of Management Accounting

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Prof. Dr. Sandra Transchel

Professor for Supply Chain and Operations Management

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Prof. Dr. Niels Van Quaquebeke

Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior & Head of Department of Leadership and Management

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Prof. Dr. Christian Barrot

Professor of Marketing and Innovation & Dean of Programs

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Prof. Christian Tröster, PhD

Associate Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior

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Prof. Marcos Ritel, PhD

Assistant Professor for International Trade

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Dr. Johannes Meuer

Group for Sustainability and Technology (SusTec) at the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics

Contact us

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Lauren Rondestvedt

Program Manager (SuMO Program)


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