Thinking about Sustainability


Adopting more sustainable business practices gives businesses a real edge, building up their capabilities, maximising returns from resource usage, and making them more efficient and competitive. This course provides the first step towards developing more sustainable practices.

This one-day course covers the fundamental principles of sustainability, and how these principles may be put into practice. This is a suitable introductory course for people or organisations who want to learn more about how sustainability can shape their businesses or professional practice, and what they can gain from starting to engage with sustainability.

The course introduces attendees to the main sustainability issues that they are likely to encounter and raises awareness of considerations that can lead to more sustainable decision-making. It will equip participants with the skills that they need to start assessing decisions that improve sustainability, as well as the ability to leverage value out of more sustainable practices.

Programme details

This one-day course offers an introduction to sustainable thinking and prepares attendees for sustainable change.

The course includes:

  • An introduction to the fundamentals of sustainability
  • An overview of common sustainability issues
  • Strategies for more sustainable decision-making
  • How to start generating returns from sustainability
  • The foundations to start identifying opportunities afforded by sustainability

Intended audience

This course is suitable for employees of both small and large businesses who wish to unlock the potential afforded to them by adopting more sustainable practices. For those looking for more comprehensive sustainability training, this course is the first in a five-part programme and gives the broad underpinnings of sustainability.

Pre-requisites: no specific pre-requisites, but an interest in improving sustainability is essential.

This is part of a series of courses on Integrating Sustainability:

  1. Thinking about Sustainability

  2. Serious about Sustainability

  3. Measuring Sustainability

  4. Corporate Sustainability Frameworks

  5. Sustainability Reporting


Participants who attend the full course will receive a University of Oxford certificate of attendance. This will be presented to you prior to the end of the course wherever possible.

The certificate will show your name, the course title and the dates of the course you attended.


Description Costs
Course fee £395.00


Fees include course materials, tuition, refreshments and lunches. The price does not include accommodation.

All courses are VAT exempt.

Register immediately online 

Click the “book now” button on this webpage. Payment by credit or debit card is required.

Request an invoice

Send a completed application form to the course administrator by email or post. Please do not send card details via email.


Dr Nigel Mehdi

An urban economist by background, Nigel is a chartered surveyor working at the intersection of information technology, the built environment and urban sustainability. Nigel gained his PhD in Real Estate Economics from the London School of Economics and he holds postgraduate qualifications in Politics, Development and Democratic EducationDigital Education and Software Engineering.

He has a long standing involvement in professional education both as a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors where he is a member of the Global Education Standards Board and with the Institution of Engineering and Technology where he is panel member for the accreditation of UK Engineering Council programmes in higher education.

Nigel is a Fellow at Kellogg College and was previously a Visiting Fellow in the Spatial Economics Research Centre at the London School of Economics and a Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and of the Higher Education Academy.


Nigel is part of the core team for the Masters in Sustainable Urban Development with responsibility for the economics stream since its inception and in 2017 he was awarded OUSU Outstanding Tutor within the Department for Continuing Education. Outside of the Department he teaches on the Software Engineering programme in the Department of Computer Science.

Research & Consultancy

Nigel acts as a consultant for both public and private sector organisations, including government, NGOs and global corporations. His research interests span the field of real estate economics and applications of digital technologies to the urban realm. This includes the measurement, reporting and computer modelling of sustainability in the built environment; spatial big data; intelligent buildings and smart cities. He is also interested in the application of digital education to the challenge of Education for Sustainability.

He recently completed a major research project for the UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (2016) and he is currently engaged on a project defining and developing metrics for the measurement of sustainability in the smart city.

Recent publications

2017 Big Data, Smart Cities and Intelligent Buildings. Insight Paper, RICS Publications November 2017.

2018 Principles of Property Investment & Pricing. (co-authored with W.D. Fraser) 3rd Edition. Macmillan Education. Forthcoming.


Although not included in the course fee, accommodation may be available at our on-site Rewley House Residential Centre. All bedrooms are en suite and decorated to a high standard, and come with tea- and coffee-making facilities, free Wi-Fi access and Freeview TV. Guests can take advantage of the excellent dining facilities and common room bar, where they may relax and network with others on the programme.

To check prices, availability and to book rooms please visit the Rewley House Residential Centre website.