Sustainability Leadership Programme

Register for the Sustainability Leadership Programme

The Sustainability Leadership Programme gives you the skills, confidence and connections for your organisation, community and planet to thrive now and into the future.

Sustainability challenges are high-stakes and complex and require a special set of skills, including the ability to think systemically and to collaborate and influence across a diverse range of stakeholders and interests. The Sustainability Leadership Programme (SLP) not only gives you the tools to meet your challenges, it also provides an ongoing network of peers you can lean on for advice and support.

Australasia’s most comprehensive sustainability leadership programme is designed and delivered by Catapult in partnership with the Sustainable Business Council (SBC). The SBC is a member organisation made up of organisations committed to making significant progress on environmental, social, and economic sustainability issues. SBC members account for over 40% of New Zealand’s GDP.  Your organisation does not need to be a member of the SBC for you to participate in the Sustainability Leadership Programme.

Key Benefits

Customised Leadership Programme: Stage 1

Advance a real sustainability challenge facing your organisation

Customised Leadership Programme: Stage 2

Collaborate with and influence key stakeholders

Customised Leadership Programme: Stage 3

Develop a sustainability strategy

Customised Leadership Programme: Stage 4

Build connections with other sustainability change agents

Customised Leadership Programme: Stage 5

Gain the capabilities, confidence and courage to drive progress on sustainability

Who is SLP for?

SLP is for people in a position to influence their organisation’s progress on environmental, social and/or economic sustainability. The programme is suitable for entry, mid and senior-level professionals. What’s important is having a real sustainability challenge facing your organisation that you’ll focus on during the programme. Past participants have held responsibilities relating to sustainability, the environment, climate, health and safety, ESG, people and culture, strategy, operations, marketing and communications.

SLP is a leadership programme. You will learn the skills surveys show are vital to shift the dial on sustainability in Aotearoa: future thinking, systems thinking, the ability to diagnose complex sustainability challenges, collaborative leadership, influencing and storytelling. It is not about learning technical skills which differ depending on context and are covered adequately elsewhere (such as sustainability reporting and measuring carbon emissions).

2024 Programme Dates

Online Workshops Tuesdays 10:00am – 12:00pm

May 14 and 28, June 11 and 25, July 23, and August 6

Two-Day Workshop in Wellington: 2-3 July

2 July: 8:30am registration; 9:00am – 7:00pm including networking event and refreshments

3 July: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Download the SLP Brochure

Early bird discount for the 2024 SLP ends 23 February

 – Applications close 22 March 2024 –

Programme Overview

Identify a Sustainability Challenge: Identify a real social, environmental, or economic challenge facing your organisation and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) it relates to (e.g. climate change and SDG 13 climate action). You’ll need this to complete the registration form. This sustainability challenge will be your focus for applying the skills and frameworks in the programme. Many people find their challenge evolves as they journey through SLP. Here is our guide to identifying a sustainability challenge.

Format: The programme is a combination of pre-work, small group work in ‘LeaderLabs’ between workshops, 4 x 2-hour highly interactive online Zoom workshops, a two-day workshop in Wellington (July 2-3), and 2×2-hour online Zoom workshops.

Pre-Work: We carefully curate pre-work to prepare you for each session. We practice a flipped classroom method in which you are exposed to theories and frameworks before each workshop and begin to apply them to your situation. Pre-work is helpfully divided into essential and optional extra readings, videos, and podcasts. We recommend allowing around two hours of preparation for each workshop.

LeaderLabs: You will be part of a small peer learning group called a ‘LeaderLab’. We form groups of 4-5 people based on the commonality of their sustainability challenge while also aiming for diversity of perspectives. There are approximately 8 hours of LeaderLab meetings (online) between workshop sessions.

Online Sessions: 6 x 2-hour online Zoom workshops on Tuesdays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: May 14 and 28, June 11 and 25, July 23, and August 6. The online workshops use the latest learning methods for engagement. Your programme facilitator will bring theories and frameworks to life and often apply them to the example of climate change, as this is a sustainability challenge impacting all of us. We use an algorithm to work out breakout groups so that you’re in a new group in each online workshop to enable you to make connections across the cohort. Breakout sessions in small groups are designed to support networking with other sustainability change agents and for you to practice facilitating multi-stakeholder groups without formal authority.

Two-Day Workshop: The two-day workshop is a peak experience of the programme. People love the rich and enduring connections made as well as the experiential and inspiring learning environment.

Time Commitment: The total time commitment from April to August is about seven days:

  • Two hours for pre-work for each of the six online workshops (1.5 days)
  • Four hours for pre-work for the two-day workshop (.5 days)
  • 6×2 hours for the online workshops (1.5 days)
  • Two-day workshop (2 days)
  • 11 hours for LeaderLab group work (1.5 days)

Getting Started

  • Secure organisational support.
  • Identify a real sustainability challenge and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) it relates to.
  • Register online by February 23 to get an early bird discount or by March 22 latest.
  • LeaderScope 360-degree feedback (optional) in April.
  • First LeaderLab (small group) meets online in early May before Workshop 1.
  • Complete pre-work for online Workshop 1 (May 14).

Online Workshops:

  1. What is sustainability leadership? (May 14)
    Examine the evolution of definitions of sustainability, challenge common myths about leadership, and learn foundational sustainability leadership frameworks.
  2. Futures Thinking & Systems Leadership (May 28)
    Explore global megatrends that impact sustainability, Aotearoa and your organisation. Apply systems leadership to map the key players around your sustainability challenge.
  3. Leadership Backbone, Styles and Resilience (June 11)
    Discover your leadership purpose, values and vision. Learn about your leadership style and how to adapt yourself to lead on sustainability. Build your resilience and wellbeing strategies to stay the course.
  4. Diagnosing sustainability challenges (June 25)
    Learn an eight-step method from Harvard Kennedy School to diagnose complex sustainability challenges. We apply the eight steps to climate change.

Two-Day Workshop:

Two-day workshop July 2 – 3 in Wellington

  • Collaborating
    Learn how to engage and facilitate stakeholders to own the problem and solutions.
  • Co-creating Shared Purpose and Vision
    Learn how to co-create a shared purpose and vision for your sustainability challenge that inspires and guides transformative action.
  • Creating a Sustainability Strategy
    Identify focus areas for your business’s sustainability strategy.
  • Networking Event
    Engage with fellow participants and guest speakers over drinks and nibbles.
  • Leading Systems Change
    Apply systems leadership to identify the systems forces keeping your challenge in place, and identify leverage points for change. Learn how to lead the human side of change.
  • Strategic Influencing
    Learn how to influence stakeholders and decision-makers by applying the science of persuasion.

Online Workshops:

  1. Embedding Sustainability Approaches (July 23)
    Learn how to embed sustainability approaches into strategy, operations, culture, and key functions.
  2. Storytelling and Extending (August 3)
    Learn how to tell engaging stories to build trust in you as a sustainability leader, motivate action, and lead people into a sustainable future. Learn strategies for scaling up your career in sustainability.
Percent of graduates endorse the programme
Percent of participants formed valuable connections with other sustainability leaders
Percent of participants planned a new approach to their sustainability project
Percent of participants are more equipped to advance the sustainability agenda of their organisation
Percent of participants are more able to diagnose sustainability challenges

Watch the 2024 online taster session

Watch videos of SLP participants talking about why they did SLP and the key benefits so far.

Katy Glenie, Sustainability Manager, Contact Energy

Matthew Barnett, Senior Research Scientist, AgResearch

Hilary West-Reeve, Co-owner & Chief Sustainability Officer, Phoenix Metalman Recycling

Megan Gallagher, Sustainability Advisor, Sustainable Business Council

Robert Siveter, Corporate Responsibility Manager, Suncorp

Lorietta Bahr, Sustainability Advisor, Lion

Benjamin Walch, Sustainability Specialist, Abley

Hannah Walsh, Capability Development Lead, Port Marlborough

Philippe Coullomb, Transformation Designer, Openfield

Read Case Studies About SLP’s Impact

'Fast-paced concentrated boost of learning. It’s had a significant positive impact on how I work and what I have been able to achieve.'

Alison Howard Head of Sustainability, Meridian Energy

'The material, delivered, with excellence by Catapult. Kept me constantly thinking, reflecting, and engaged.'

Leon Jarden Countdown

'Given me greater self-awareness to my sustainability leadership and tools I can apply straight away and will use well after the programme.'

Sam Bridgman, Sustainability Specialist NZ Post

‘I now know I don't need to hold all the answers. Collaborating and influencing are key to driving the sustainability agenda forward.’

Miranda Struthers, Accessible Energy Advocate Electricity Retailers’ Association

'Provides a solid foundation and tools for sustainability leaders to progress themselves and sustainability within their business.’

Anthony Thompson, Sustainability Manager SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd

'Given me the tools, confidence and clarity to lead our company towards our net zero carbon goals for the built environment.’

Fiona Short, Group Lead of Sustainability Warren and Mahoney Architects

'A must for any leader serious about improving organisational sustainability.’

Cobus Kilian, Health, Safety and Environment Manager Livestock Improvement Corporation

‘Lots of resources and tools and skilful guidance on how to use them. An effective way of gaining clarity, motivation and skills to deal with sustainability challenges.’

Kath Danaher, Learning and Teaching Specialist Otago Polytechnic

Hear What Alumni Say

Jamie Henry – WasteLine Manager for OCS Ltd

Sharon Manssen – Quality, Environment & Sustainability Manager, NZ Region for Aurecon

Joshua Dorman, Stuff

Katherine Buttar, Auckland Transport

Take your leadership further

We have some great options to extend your learning and development from the Sustainability Leadership Programme.

Additional Coaching Options
Additional Coaching Options

Investing in additional coaching after the programme is a smart option. Additional coaching can help you explore specific aspects of the programme more deeply, help you transfer programme learning back to the workplace and provide you with ongoing support and challenge in your leadership development.

360-Degree Feedback
Leaderscope 360-Degree Feedback Option

Leaderscope is Catapult’s 360-degree feedback tool. It enables you to identify your leadership strengths, areas for improvement and to develop clear learning goals for your participation in the Sustainable Leadership Programme.

Programme  Cost

Earlybird discount fee for registrations received by 23 February 2024:

SBC Members: $3,950 (ex GST)

Non-SBC Members: $4,150 (ex GST)

Registrations received after 23 February: 

SBC Members: $4,590 (ex GST)

Non-SBC Members: $4,850 (ex GST)

Optional LeaderScope 360°feedback: $950 (ex GST)

Optional One-on-One Coaching: three sessions $1,500 (ex GST)

2024 Programme Dates

Four Online Zoom Workshops: Tuesdays 10:00am – 12:00pm

May 14 and 28, June 11 and 25

Two-Day Workshop in Wellington: 2-3 July

2 July: 8:30am registration; 9:00am – 7:00pm including networking event and refreshments

3 July: 8:30am – 5:00pm

Two Online Zoom Workshops: Tuesdays 10:00am – 12:00pm

July 23 and August 6

Register for the Sustainability Leadership Programme

Some Participating Organisations

Below are some organisations who have participated in the Sustainability Leadership Programme