Sustainable Management & Operations: KLU´s new part-time degree program

Training future experts for the logistics sector is an important topic, and continuing education is broadly considered to offer companies the key to maintaining a highly qualified workforce and remaining innovative. Kühne Logistics University (KLU) will soon offer support in the form of a new part-time degree program: in the Sustainable Management and Operations (SuMO) program, which will be rolled out in 2023, employees will have the opportunity to flexibly and effectively learn the fundamentals of sustainable management. Markus Olligschläger, CEO of the Germany-based association Bundesverband Wirtschaft, Verkehr und Logistik (BWVL), spoke about it with Prof. Dr. Johannes Meuer, the program’s Academic Director.

Markus Olligschläger: Mr. Meuer, the economy has to change and will change, moving towards climate-neutrality – that’s perfectly clear. But how can companies address this from an operational standpoint?

Prof. Dr. Johannes Meuer: Beyond an honest desire to tackle the sustainability transformation at their own company, what’s called for is above all competent and suitably trained managers who are capable of planning, implementing and communicating with employees about such a complex project. Ten years from now at the latest, you won’t find any CEO or Board member who doesn’t have a firm grasp of corporate sustainability. We at KLU have developed a continuing education program for precisely this trend: SuMO.

Markus Olligschläger: SuMO? What does it entail?

Prof. Dr. Johannes Meuer: SuMO is short for “Sustainable Management & Operations” and is a new continuing education program exclusively designed for practitioners. It is intended for managers from all functional areas who are responsible for the transformation of processes, products or entire business models. In SuMO, we will share the latest academic findings, offer guidance, and promote exchanges not only with academic experts, but also with peers from other sectors. And above all: as part of their studies, every participant can painstakingly plan and implement a real-world project, which we call their “Sustainable Impact Project.”

Markus Olligschläger: And how does that work?

Prof. Dr. Johannes Meuer: Every student contributes a concrete project from their own company. In the course of the program, they work together with other practitioners and under the supervision of our academic specialists to prepare an investment memo that includes detailed proposals, alternatives and a cost plan. They can subsequently implement the project at their company. SuMO consistently focuses on these corporate application scenarios and uses them as real-world examples of how sustainability in all its facets can be achieved: from the strategy, to governance and communications questions, to operational implementation with the help of cutting-edge technologies in logistics and supply chains.

Markus Olligschläger: In other words, SuMo is a project-based degree program that combines continuing education for employees and added value for their companies. How can our partner companies benefit from it?

Prof. Dr. Johannes Meuer: That’s simple: by joining in, by sending us employees who are ready and willing to learn, by openly sharing their issues and questions, and by taking part in the mutually generated know-how that SuMO will deliver. We welcome all employees who are ready to pursue the SuMO path with us. There’s not a doubt in my mind that companies’ future-readiness depends to a critical extent on their managers’ and staff’s expertise in Sustainable Management and Operations.

SuMO in brief:

  • Part-time certificate program, optional: Master’s degree
  • Duration: 12 months
  • Online sessions & modules at regular intervals in Hamburg
  • Rollout: March 2023, deadline for enrollment: end of 2022
  • Costs: €14,900
  • Special discount for enrollments received by August 15, 2022

More information:

The interview above was conducted following Sustainability Day, held in early April in Düsseldorf. At the event, representatives of the BWVL, Kühne Logistics University’s Center for Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chains (CSLS), and the newspaper Deutsche Verkehrs-Zeitung (DVZ) shared the stage. The topics discussed included the question: “How can the transformation to sustainable logistics and supply chain management be achieved?”

Copyright: Annika List