Certificate Programme in Integrative Sustainability Management (SuM-HSG)

In the Integrative Sustainability Management (SuM-HSG) certificate programme, bachelor students learn to build partnerships, make decisions, develop solutions, and implement initiatives essential to driving progress towards a sustainable future.

Why SuM?

Why SuM?

The SuM-HSG certificate equips you with the skills you need to build partnerships, make decisions, find solutions, and implement initiatives that will contribute to a sustainable future within planetary boundaries. Align your studies and career with purpose – and with the future of business.



The programme curriculum consists of:

  • two compulsory courses: the Base Camp course takes place prior to the semester start (calendar week 37), and the Introduction to Sustainability Management course is delivered over the semester; 
  • a set of electives in social, environmental, and systemic sustainability from across various disciplines taught at the University of St.Gallen;  
  • a mandatory collaborative final project, in which you will work directly with businesses and other organisations to make a systemic impact on sustainability, either with a stronger social and/or environmental focus.

Important Information for Your Study Planning

Autumn Semester 2024

The certificate programme starts with the mandatory Base Camp course, which runs from 9 to 13 September 2024 (one week prior to the semester start) in an off-site location.

To complete the certificate programme in Integrative Sustainability Management (SuM-HSG), a total of 24 ECTS credits must be earned.

Of these, 16 ECTS credits must be earned in courses that are open and compulsory for SuM students only (Base Camp, 4 ECTS; Introduction to Sustainability Management, 4 ECTS; Final Project, 8 ECTS).

Elective courses worth 8 ECTS credits can be taken simultaneously in the major and in the SuM. However, this is only possible for courses that can be counted as electives in the SuM.

You can submit your application via Compass from mid-March until 30 June 2024.

All compulsory courses in the SuM are taught in English only. Electives can be taken either in English or German.

The certificate programme is open for students of all bachelor programmes (majors) after successful completion of the Assessment Year. 

To apply for the SuM certificate, submit your one-page personal essay, your one-page CV,  your current grade transcript, and your signed declaration via Compass by 30 June 2024.

Please hand in one PDF file with the required documents in the following order: “Personal Essay – Curriculum Vitae – Grade Transcript – Personal Declaration”. Name your file according to the following format: LastName_FirstName_SuM.pdf

Your essay must be no longer than one page and needs to address one of the following questions:

  • What aspects of your life experiences and character enable you to make a contribution to the peer community fostered in the SuM?
  • The SuM establishes a community of learners who are open and curious – and want to leverage that to make an impact on sustainability. When was a time in your life (academic or personal) you recall being deeply excited to learn? What excites you most thinking about the SuM?
  • Collaboration is a key tenet of the SuM learning journey, and requires getting to know our collaboration partners as people. Write a letter to a future SuM classmate that will help that person get to know you.

Please note that your essay will be treated confidentially within the selection team and will only be used for the purpose of this application process.

Please note that SuM is limited to a maximum of 50 participants.

Your SuM application provides us with a holistic view of you as an applicant: from your CV we gain an understanding of your experiences, interests, and activities; your transcript shows us your academic achievements; your essay helps us gain insight into your ideas and what’s important to you. We aim to accept a cohort of students from across HSG’s bachelor programmes with diverse backgrounds, interests, and worldviews. We want to learn how the SuM could support you in your journey, and in turn what you would bring to the SuM.

There are no additional costs for students regularly enroled in one of the HSG's bachelor programmes.

About the Certificate Programme

About the Certificate Programme

Leaders and managers across sectors are facing growing demands to drive social and environmental sustainability forward in their organisations and respond decisively to a growing global crisis – but how can we do this? We live in an increasingly complex world. The sustainability challenges we face exist at a nexus of interconnected stakeholders, systems, and perspectives. How can we develop and drive solutions for the biggest challenges of today and tomorrow in a context of rapid change and uncertainty?

The SuM-HSG enables students to accompany their bachelor studies at the University of St.Gallen with a certificate programme that provides the tools and skills to understand and effectively tackle complex sustainability challenges. Through coursework and applied projects, students will gain hands-on experience making decisions, collaborating across sectors and generations, and building practical interventions to drive progress on sustainability from a systemic perspective.


Certificate Programme Integrative Sustainability Management (SuM-HSG) 
Institute for Economy and the Environment (IWOe-HSG)
University of St.Gallen (HSG)
Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 6/8
CH-9000 St.Gallen

Prof. Dr. Judith Walls, Academic Director
Dr. Rachel Brooks, Programme Director
Dr. Annette M. Baertschi, Executive Director
Zsuzsa Borsa, Programme Manager

Please feel free to contact us by email at any time: