Otago Polytechnic

Adding Sustainable Value

Learn to drive lasting change 

Adding Sustainable Value is a practical sustainability training programme that enables organisations to plan for real and lasting success. The programme framework and unique team approach helps you make strategic decisions that will shape the future of your business.

The Adding Sustainable Value programme is proudly brought to you by three of the leaders in applied sustainability education - Otago Polytechnic, the Sustainable Business Council and The Natural Step.

You can read more about our Adding Sustainable Value Level 5 on our Central Otago website.

Key benefits to your business        

The Adding Sustainable Value programme provides you and your business with an internationally successful framework that will accelerate your sustainability journey – guaranteed.

  • Apply an internationally successful framework that will accelerate your sustainability journey – guaranteed.
  • Get the critical thinking, analysis and planning skills you need to create success from new opportunities and drive innovation
  • Learn with and from industry peers, expert speakers and leading practitioners
  • Reduce risks and costs as you target new opportunities
 Workshop locations and 2016 dates:

Lower North Island

16 June

14 July

11 August

8 September


23 June

21 July

18 August

15 September


2 August

6 September

4 October

1 November

Central North Island

7 July

4 August

1 September

6 October


28 July

25 August

22 September

20 October

Courses run subject to demand in a variety of locations

 Programme fees

Domestic students - $3,060 (plus GST) unless a subsidy applies*

International students - $10,170

*Qualifying businesses in some locations may be eligible for up to 50% subsidy. Please contact us for more information.

 Three for the price of one

At no extra cost, invite three colleagues along to the workshops. This enables you to work collaboratively, share the learning and accelerate progress.

Maximum of 12 registrations per course.

Preference will be given to applicants who demonstrate senior management support.

 What's involved

The programme runs over 19 weeks and includes:

>Four one-day workshops delivered by The Natural Step’s team of accredited Associates
>The use of open-source tools to collaborate and build momentum between workshops
>Professional mentoring and individual support throughout
>Practical assignments between workshops to ensure you’re planning for real and lasting success
>Development of an integrated strategy and an action plan that creates a clear pathway.

Successful completion results in tangible outputs for your business, as well as a Certificate in Sustainable Practice (Level 5) which may be credited towards a Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice.

Programme overview

 Programme components Benefits

Module 1

  • Introducing an integrated business planning framework for sustainability
  • Sustainability: designing for people
  • Map relevant trends and drivers of change

  • A framework that improves internal collaboration and innovation opportunities
  • Focus on adding commercial value beyond being ‘green’
  • Gain risk perspective and find missed revenue opportunities 
Module 2
  • Map current platform assets
  • Create inventory of impacts and prioritise
  • Apply a systems approach to value chain and life-cycle assessment
  • Develop your performance baseline
  • Evaluate current performance and inform strategic decision-making
  • Identify priority areas of focus and find innovation hot-spots

Module 3

  • Create a compelling vision of long-term success
  • Use back-casting techniques to ensure a strategic future-focus
  • Articulate core sustainability challenges / goals

  • Galvanise team focus and collaboration around a set of agreed, measurable goals
  • Identify key contributions required from partners and external relationships
  • Set a clear strategy that matches future-focused initiatives with current business goals

Module 4

  • Align sustainability objectives with current business goals
  • Develop short-term winning plays
  • Develop a business case for an acceleration project

  • Align opportunity hot-spots and priorities with business strategy
  • Commit to action plan that drives progress
  • Prove the value proposition for investment in future-focused initiatives
 Learn with New Zealand's best
 Profile Simon

Simon Harvey

Lead tutor Simon Harvey is a management consultant, trainer and keynote speaker specialising in transformational strategy for sustainable enterprise. As a recognised expert in the field of organisational strategy and sustainability, Simon has provided advice, training and coaching to over 100 businesses, as well as a diverse range of public sector agencies. Taking a ‘people first’ approach to sustainability, his work focuses on connecting strategy to effective risk management and value creation by increasing the internal capability and understanding of client teams. All Simon’s work is underpinned by a commitment to openly share his knowledge, expertise and skills in delivering solutions that foster internal ownership of decision-making and accelerate internal momentum. Simon is a Senior Associate of The Natural Step and a Director of the BusinessLAB collaborative strategy consultancy.

 Profile Steve

Steve Henry

Steve Henry is a specialist educator with over 20 years’ experience. As a Senior Advisor with The Natural Step, he has been working to embed sustainable practices into businesses and local government over the last 10 years. Steve’s approach focuses on enabling people and organisations to reconcile their true purpose with delivery in a sustainable future, and creating practical pathways from here to there. Steve has developed a number of practical and applied training approaches for sustainable practice, and over the past 10 years he has enjoyed working with hundreds of people in many organisations to deliver and refine the method. Steve is currently the programme director at the Centre for Sustainable Practice and is based in Turangi.

Profile Alexa 

Alexa Forbes

Following a career in journalism, broadcasting and Public Relations, Alexa Forbes completed her Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice in 2012.  She now works for the Centre for Sustainable Practice as a Sustainability Advisor and also serves as a Councillor on the Queenstown Lakes District Council.  A member of the Institute of Directors, Alexa works to drive future focused change through community organisations and governance structures. She brings communication skills and a broad understanding of organisational development to the programme.

Barbara Emmitt
Barbara is the Campus Coordinator at Otago Polytechnic’s Centre for Sustainable Practice. She manages all logistical organisation for the Adding Sustainable Value programme, and provides support for use of the online programme materials.

Expert speakers and mentors
Throughout the programme, you will benefit from expert speakers in the field of sustainability and have access to leading practitioners who will act as your mentors between workshops.

 Our partners 


The Natural Step is a non-profit organisation that seeks real-world solutions for society to thrive within nature's limits. For over two decades, The Natural Step has been at the forefront of international research and dialogue about sustainable development and has provided advisory services to hundreds of businesses, including brand leaders Nike, Electrolux, InterfaceFLOR, IKEA, and Pratt and Whitney Aerospace, as well as local New Zealand firms such as Les Mills, Sovereign Assurance and Comvita. The Natural Step’s proven, science-based framework enables communities and businesses to integrate a strategic approach to sustainability in a way that is focused on enhancing value and reducing risk.    The Natural Step


The Sustainable Business Council (SBC) is the voice of sustainable business in New Zealand, connecting and inspiring New Zealand businesses to find solutions to sustainability challenges. SBC is part of Business NZ, which has its roots in four large regional organisations – Wellington Business Central, the Employers and Manufacturers Association, the Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and the Otago-Southland Employers’ Association – who guide and contribute to policy development through consultation with thousands of member businesses. The Sustainable Business Council


EMA is based in Auckland, with offices also in Whangarei, Hamilton and Tauranga. The largest of the regional associations, EMA serves many thousands of member businesses in the upper North Island. The EMA AdviceLine answers around 40,000 advice calls a year on issues including employment relations, leave, health and safety and remuneration. EMA runs more than 700 training courses and events annually, holds regular member briefings in 30 locations, and lobbies for better business policy with local and central government, especially on regional business issues. EMA (Employers and Manufactures Association)


Business Central is based in Wellington, with offices in New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Napier, Wanganui and Nelson. It serves a vibrant community of businesses, state agencies, and not-for-profit organisations throughout the central region.  Each year Business Central answers over 8,000 free AdviceLine calls from members for employment relations consultancy and legal advice. With a team of employment lawyers and consultants specialising in employment relations, human resources, and health and safety, this organization focuses on offering practical solutions to businesses. Business Central also offers conferences and over 500 training courses annually throughout the central region on a wide range of topics. Members based in Wellington get access to our advocacy and international business support services and networking opportunities.Business Central


The Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce (CECC) continues to support and assist businesses in the region to recover and thrive.The team of advisers offers advice on a wide range of business issues including human resources, health & safety, employment law, exporting, manufacturing, finance and business strategy. CECC training courses, cover all aspects of business operation, and assist in providing businesses with the skills, knowledge and tools necessary to build business capability and confidently operate in the regions changing environment.CECC (Canterbury Employers’ Chamber of Commerce)


Established in 1892 and servicing the large southern area of New Zealand, the Otago Southland Employers’ Association provides member organisations with employment law services, health and safety advice and training, together with a comprehensive range of over 120 professional development and business-oriented training programmes. Advice and training on exporting, manufacturing and business lobbying and advocacy form part of the specialist offerings. The Association has offices in Dunedin and Invercargill and specialist staff in other locations across the two provinces.OSEA (Otago Southland Employers’ Association)

 Book your place now!

The Adding Sustainable Value programme includes an NZQA qualification (Certificate in Sustainable Practice (Level 5)). When you select APPLY you will be taken to the Otago Polytechnic Application Form for the Certificate in Sustainable Practice (Level 5). Please complete this application which will automatically register you into the Adding Sustainable Value programme. You will need to have your IRD number handy to complete the application process.

Select Apply APPLY NOW

  1. Fill out your personal details.
  2. Fill out your citizenship details.
  3. You will see a blue box with a list of locations. Please select the location you wish to study this programme in. 
  4. Fill out the final few steps and press ‘Submit my application now’. An automatic email will be sent to you acknowledging your application.
 Sustainability at Otago Polytechnic

Sustainability plays a major role at Otago Polytechnic, influencing both our day-to-day operation and our future decision making. Our Centre for Sustainable Practice meets the growing needs for a new approach towards business, farming and industry practices. The Centre is building a nationwide hub for business industry groups and government agencies. Find out more about our vision for sustainability here

 Contact us

For more information, please contact:

Barbara Emmitt
Free phone: 0800 765 9276
Email: addingsustainablevalue@op.ac.nz


While every effort is made to ensure that this sheet is accurate, Otago Polytechnic reserves the right to amend, alter or withdraw any of the contained information. The fees shown in this document are indicative ONLY. Both domestic and international fees are subject to change and are dependent on the development and implementation of Government policies. Please note that additional fees may from time to time be required for external examination, NZQA fees and/or additional material fees.