What is Sustainable Learning Content?

What is Sustainable Learning Content?

In the last year there has been a massive increase in people requiring sustainable learning content. So what is sustainable learning content, what are it’s benefits and what is driving this trend?

Sustainable learning content refers to learning materials that are designed and developed with a focus on sustainability principles. It has the aim of empowering learners to make informed decisions about sustainability and take action, both individually and collectively, to change society and to take care of our planet. The content promotes environmentally friendly practices, social responsibility, is economically viable and can be shared across communities. It is important that the learning content has lasting value to the learner and encourages them to continue their learning journey, embracing lifelong learning.

The growing awareness of sustainability issues, such as climate change, damage to the environment, social inequality and the economic challenges that many countries are facing, are reasons for individuals’ desire to make as many aspects of their lives as sustainable as possible. In fact research1 has shown that 51% of students would be prepared to receive a lower salary to work for an environmentally responsible company.

So it’s not surprising that there is a greater demand for learning content that provides knowledge and solutions to address sustainability issues.

Organisations, including educational institutions, businesses and charities, are recognising their social responsibility to adopt sustainable principles and practices, and the need for a workforce that possesses sustainability-related skills and knowledge. As organisations adopt these practices, they seek learning content that helps train their staff and prepares them to navigate the challenges and opportunities associated with sustainability. Challenges that can be addressed are social issues, including equity, social justice, human rights, and community development. Sustainable learning content provides the opportunity to promote values such as inclusivity, diversity, fairness, social responsibility, environmental stewardship and ethical decision making. It can also encourage collective action which can be so powerful.

Technological advancements, particularly in digital platforms and online learning, have made sustainable learning content more accessible and scalable. Online courses, webinars, e-books, and educational platforms make it easier to distribute and engage with sustainable learning content, reaching a wider audience and promoting equal access for all individuals, regardless of their role, position or background.

However, the wide availability of online learning can mean that those planning learning and development for staff are reactive, rather than proactive; arranging training for a current need, rather than planning for continuous learning and growth of individuals, which develops a sustainable learning culture.

Training resources can be a valuable resource for developing our agility and adaptability, which play a crucial role in improving sustainability. These skills enable us to:

  • anticipate and adapt to environmental challenges, such as climate change, resource scarcity, or regulatory changes.
  • quickly adjust strategies, practices, and technologies, meaning organisations can mitigate negative impacts and capitalise on emerging opportunities.
  • foster an environment of innovation and problem solving. When faced with sustainability challenges, organisations that are agile can quickly explore new solutions, experiment with alternative approaches, and adapt existing practices to reduce environmental impact.
  • embrace reducing waste, reusing materials, and recycling resources. Agility and adaptability enable organisations to redesign products, optimise resource use, and develop sustainable supply chains. This helps minimise waste, conserve resources, and reduce environmental harm.
  • build resilience to sustainability challenges, such as natural disasters or supply chain disruptions. Agility and adaptability help build resilience by enabling organisations to respond quickly to disruptions and recover from sustainability-related shocks.
  • navigate sustainability regulations and policy changes which are continuously evolving to minimise legal risks and avoid penalities.

Knowledge sharing, and online communities that facilitate collaborative learning and the exchange of ideas, are features of sustainable learning content. They are also features essential to the development of skills in a business environment. Through practical activities, collaboration, interaction, and education and training, sharing knowledge creates new knowledge. It’s new knowledge that will lead to new solutions to save our planet, whether it’s to better understand ecological changes, better understand the intelligence gathered or improve scientific studies.

In summary, sustainable learning content is gaining popularity as a means to educate, inspire, and mobilise individuals and organisations towards a more sustainable and resilient future.

If you’d like to develop your knowledge and understanding of environmental sustainability why not take a look at our IEMA accredited online courses for managers and employees.


  • 1 – https://climatechampions.unfccc.int/why-sustainability-is-crucial-for-corporate-strategy

The multi award winning eLearning Marketplace is the UK’s largest provider of immediate access online training with customers in over 50 countries. Courses range from compliance and professional development to vocational qualifications up to Level 7. We work with subject matter experts and large e-learning publishers to bring our customers a unique catalogue of over 3500 online courses with a price match guarantee. Customers have free private use of cloud based software to track, manage and evidence staff training, allocate licences to users and run sophisticated reporting.
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