Course overview

The Principles of Sustainability course is suitable for anyone interested in how society and business can best combine social and economic development with environmental enhancement. The “Natural Capital”, “Ecosystem Services”, “Planetary boundaries” and “Circular Economy” approaches are some of the methods being used to address food production, greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss in the context of other societal challenges. 

The course includes a one day workshop on per capita energy and food consumption.

Learning outcomes

By the end of this course you will be able to:

  •  Explain and critique terms such as “sustainability”, “ecosystem services”, “biodiversity”, “human well-being”, “circular economy”, “per capita energy use”, “natural capital” and “doughnut economics”.
  • Explain the role of energy and feedback systems in natural systems.
  • Explain how natural capital and ecosystem service approaches can help guide businesses and society to make decisions regarding the use of ecological resources, with a focus on biodiversity, greenhouse gases, and water use.
  • Explain how we can enhance the stability, resistance and resilience of natural systems.
  • Explain how the “circular economy” provides commercial opportunities
  • Use a per capita approach to explore the synergies between food, feed, wood, and renewable energy production to guide decision making and identify opportunities in the context of a case study.
Additional Course Information

Areas covered will include:

  • Definitions of sustainability; moving from an “Empty World” to a “Full World”
  • Natural capital, ecosystem processes and succession; the role of energy; feedback systems; biodiversity and system restoration
  • Using ecosystem services and “doughnut economics” approach:
    • quantifying trade-offs and synergies
    • improving water management
    • reducing greenhouse gases emissions
    • enhancing stability
    • resistance and resilience
    • issues of equity
  • Introduction to the circular economy:
    • opportunities for businesses.
  • How design, manufacturing practice and management can contribute to a circular economy
  • Case study:
    • trade-offs, synergies, and opportunities to enhance well-being and ecosystem service provision in terms of energy, food, feed and wood for a case study area.

Key facts

Course Dates
14 - 18 Oct 2019
Short Course - 5 Days.
Entry Requirements
Degree in a related subject. Relevant workplace experience may, in some circumstances, be accepted as qualification for entry to this course. Enquire directly to see if you qualify.
IFST Membership
Your course enrolment also entitles you to one year of free membership to the IFST (Institute of Food, Science and Technology).
Course Provider
Cranfield University
Course Arrangements
Full joining instructions will be confirmed by the course provider.
Course Location
Cranfield University
Mixed Cohort
My AFTP training course has given me greater confidence day-to-day and more insight into the impact of new techniques and technologies.
Andy Russell - Fresh Produce Technologist, Bakkavor

Our partners