Are you an entrepreneur, student, or simply anyone wishing to learn in detail about sustainability? Then this article is for you.

One of the best ways to learn sustainability is through online courses.

With many online courses on sustainability available on the net, it isn’t easy to find the right one.

Being a sustainability enthusiast, I have compiled a list of the 7 best online courses on sustainability for you.

1. Introduction to Sustainability

About the course –

This course focuses on the sustainability challenges of the twenty-first century.

It explores these topics from a wide variety of disciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives. It also talks about spanning natural sciences, social sciences, engineering, and humanities.

The course includes lectures on the impact of the increasing human population, climate change issues, and more.

It also covers aspects of changing energy production & usage. It also talks about how policymakers should consider sustainability.

Why is this course suitable?

  • It talks about the current sustainability challenges with real examples.
  • It gives actionable steps to ensure sustainability in various aspects.
  • Students will learn in-depth aspects of climate change issues, which is a topic that most sustainability courses don’t go into much detail about.

Who is this course for?

  • Anyone who wants to understand the basics of sustainability
  • Sustainable development practitioners who like to take a refresher on basics

Course offered by:

  • Coursera
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Duration – 25 hours

Level – Introductory

2. Driving business towards the Sustainable Development Goals

About this course

This course helps businesses to understand their part in encountering climate change. It aids by lecturing on how to create a sustainable business culture.

It will help you understand the scope of sustainable development, its relevance to your organization’s strategy and operations

It covers in detail the fundamental principles of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). The course also talks in detail about the challenges faced in attaining SDGs and how to overcome it.

With this course, you can better understand the role of business in sustainability. And the need for sustainable development, from both a global and local perspective.

Why is this course good?

  • It’s a comprehensive course that includes assignments, challenges & quizzes. 
  • It also covers actionable steps to implement on our daily life sustainability challenges.
  • It’s an award-winning course. It received a ‘MOOC Award of Excellence’ by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network and the SDG Academy in September 2019

Who is this course for?

Sustainability practitioners and managers who want to embed sustainability into their organization’s strategy and operations.

Course offered by:

  • Coursera
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam

Duration – 15 hours

Difficulty – Advanced

3. Sustainability Science – A Key Concept for Future Design

About this course

This course is designed to give a holistic view of various aspects of sustainability. This also gives an understanding of sustainability issues of the past & present.

You will understand how to reestablish this human-nature connection through sustainable development. It also includes a wide range of topics like urban-rural issues & environmental governance.

Overall, this course talks about Japanese and international issues on sustainability & initiatives that are proven to help improve them.

Why is this course good?

  • Gives an in-depth understanding of sustainability with practical applications around the world.
  • It also explores more focused concepts like ecosystem-based disaster reduction, creating effective sustainable cities

Who is this course for?

Anyone who wants to learn more about international aspects of sustainability and how it relates to our daily lives.

Course offered by:

  • The University Of Tokyo
  • EdX

Duration – 6 weeks

Level – Introductory

4.Cities and the Challenge of Sustainable Development

About the course

This course covers a broader aspect of sustainability. It talks about creating sustainable development as a community.

The lectures teach you how to make a sustainable city. You can also learn about the issues & challenges faced by local government in creating this sustainable development.

Why is this course good?

  • You get to know more factual information on sustainable development initiatives in cities.
  • You can learn the real-life challenges of a government in making sustainable changes. This will help you understand the large-scale impact of the small things you can do.

Who is this course for?

  • Smart cities & sustainable cities enthusiasts
  • Graduate students in city development fields like architecture, real estate, etc…
  • Sustainable development practitioners

Course offered by:

  • EdX
  • SDG Academy
  • UN SDG:Learn

Duration – 1 week

Level – Introductory

5.Foundation Course: Healthy Materials and Sustainable Products

One other important aspect of sustainability is to know what are the various sustainable materials & products. This course gives an overview of sustainability by focusing on knowing what healthy materials and sustainable products are. It also helps in understanding how these resources align with design.

It covers details on various types of healthier materials. And talks about what makes a material sustainable.

It also guides you practically with the full process of designing healthier products.

Why is this course good?

  • It has one full module dedicated to giving you professional guidance in creating healthier sustainable products.
  • You get comprehensive knowledge of healthier design protocols.

Who is this course for?

People aspiring to become professionals in the field of healthy materials & sustainable products.

Course offered by:

  • SOS – School of Sustainability
  • Keystone Online Studies

Duration: 4 weeks, 2 units/week

Level – Difficult

6. Environmental and Natural Resources Economics

About the course:

This course is about the way humans use and impact nature. It will give you a framework for understanding how people’s decisions affect natural resources, agricultural practices, environmental quality, sustainability of ecosystem services, and economic growth.

You’ll study these issues from an interdisciplinary perspective that combines economics with ecology, geology, and other sciences to investigate solutions to problems

Why is this course good?

  • Educates you with an in-depth economic analysis of agricultural aspects of sustainable natural resources.
  • Includes a very detailed evaluation of current environmental policy. This can help you create an impact on a community level.

Who can take the course?

  • Those who have a bachelor’s degree or related 5 years experience in the field
  • Unfortunately, learners from Iran, Cuba, and the Crimea region of Ukraine will not be able to register for the course.

Course offered by:

  • College of Business
  • EdX

Duration – 8 weeks, 12-15 hours/week

Level – Intermediate

7. Circular Fashion: Design, Science, and Value in a Sustainable Clothing Industry

About the course

The course discusses the challenges of recycling, designing for circularity, alternative textiles through biobased innovation. It also talks about how to bring innovations to the market.

It talks about the MOOC Circular Fashion, biobased innovations & much more. And about the versatile task of transitioning the textile industry towards it.

Why is the course good?

  • The clear segmentation of the course helps with a better understanding
  • It gives so much research-based information which will be extremely beneficial.

Who is this course for?

  • Anyone with an interest in the sustainable fashion industry
  • Anyone who wishes to understand and rectify challenges in circular fashion

Course offered by:

  • EdX
  • Wageningen University & Research

Duration: 5 weeks, 8-15 hours per week

Level – Introductory

Are online courses on sustainability worth it?

One of the most important aspects of sustainability is looking at it from a global perspective. There are actually lots of benefits that come with online courses.

Helpful to understand the challenges faced by different countries or regions. They help you make sense out of all that information with ease.

They stop time constraints like attending classes every day for one-hour long periods.

You can take these sustainable courses in online format anytime. No need for physical attendance.

More interactive with lectures, readings, and multimedia presentations. This will equip students with knowledge about each dimension of sustainable development.

Most courses also offer certificates. This would be advantageous for getting good jobs in sustainability fields.

Conclusion –

The courses we’ve highlighted here are a good place to start if you are interested in being environmentally friendly and sustainable.

These courses will also be great if you are aspiring sustainability consultants or related positions.

If you don’t know where to begin, these classes should be able to give you the knowledge and tools for making positive changes in your business practices today. Check them out!