Competence development

Empowering sustainability change agents

The Natural Step educates and supports people on how to integrate sustainability principles into their decision-making and actions. We have been doing this with great enthusiasm for more than a quarter of a century. Our competence development is designed to improve and increase awareness, commitment and competence, so that you really understand the meaning of being sustainable. Even experienced participants who have worked within the sustainability field for some years tell us how happy they are with the clarity, structure and completeness of our course contents.

Apart from showing the logic behind our systems thinking and practice, which is based on meaningful and verifiable scientific facts and figures, our courses and trainings want to touch people emotionally. This unique combination of “head and heart” has already motivated thousands of individuals to act and collaborate with like-minded people. You can start in your inner circle of friends, your organisation, your community and with us, The Natural Step Germany.

Our open course programmes

Over the years, we have built up a network of engaged facilitators from around the world. They conduct our courses derived from extensive experience in large and small organisations, communities and businesses. They draw upon The Natural Step’s almost 30 years of practical sustainability expertise in researching, developing and refining our competence development programme with countless global clients and partners.

Each course we offer is designed as a hands-on, participatory and interactive experience that allows you to learn quickly, apply concepts to real situations and transfer what you have learned to your business, community or organisation in no time.

open course
open course
open course


This open course is an opportunity to learn how to apply the core concepts of sustainability. In this compelling training you will work through a case study using The Natural Step’s Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development, FSSD. This will give you the knowledge, methods and tools to better understand the meaning of sustainability. You will learn how to apply our systems approach to planning and managing sustainability initiatives, campaigns and projects.

Our Level 1 course addresses people with the goal of influencing sustainability-related change processes, irrespective of their level of experience of sustainability. Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate.

open course
open course
open course


This open course invites you to immerse yourself in the application and practice of sustainable change management, exploiting the potential that sustainability definitely offers for promoting innovation and value creation. It has been designed for people who believe that there is a simpler way to guide organisations and communities towards sustainability at a more strategic level.

The course has been guided by The Natural Step’s Framework and its practical application for almost 30 years. It will help you to understand sustainability as a concrete destination, giving you the skills to lead your organisation and others there. It has been designed for sustainability professionals and those seeking to enable sustainability-related change processes. Upon completion of the course, you will receive a certificate.

Our Award-winning e-learning


It doesn’t matter if you are individually interested in sustainability issues or represent a community, city or company. There are many good reasons for speeding up your journey towards sustainability. The Natural Step Germany offers you unique access to a comprehensive knowledge base, which is summarised in our e-learning modules and based on decades of practical experience in working for a sustainable future.

If you want to learn within a group, just motivate your colleagues and collaborators! Our courses have been placed on dozens of intranet sites of corporations, companies and non-profit organisations. Individuals and educational institutions around the globe are enthusiastic about using them, some continuously, and have integrated them in their own sustainability programmes. In addition, we also provide customisations of our web courses, so that you can integrate them in your specific sustainability programme.

offerings e-learning
offerings e-learning
offerings e-learning


This web course is the introduction to The Natural Step’s concept of sustainability. It provides you with thorough science-based knowledge, making you familiar with the fundamentals of a sustainability-inspired strategy.

This module has been designed for those wanting to get a better understanding of the true meaning of sustainability and of what sustainable development, based on a systems approach, is all about. It shows various strategies for redirecting your organisation, municipality or business towards greater ecological, social and hence economic sustainability.

At the end of the course, you can download a summary and additional material.

offerings e-learning
offerings e-learning


This e-learning course has been created for those who want to deepen their knowledge after having gone through the first module. The Natural Step’s key objective: all parties involved in the sustainability journey share a mutual understanding of what sustainability means so that a common language can be established.

By the end of this web course, you will be able to plan strategically towards sustainability and take the right decisions to move on. This module is of great help in transforming problems into opportunities. It makes you basically familiar with our key concepts and methods, such as how to apply the sustainability principles and to backcast from them. It also shows clear examples of how this procedure has been successfully applied in various organisations, sectors and industries.

Interested in joining our award-winning e-learning programme?

Launch your own e-learning programme


The Natural Step Germany gives you the opportunity to start your online course with a customised part about your organisation’s sustainability efforts. This 10- to 15-minute section usually comes with our first module, The Sustainability Journey. Within this time window, you will be able to present your organisation’s sustainability vision, strategy and achievements so far.

This kind of customisation has proven to be highly effective and affordable. It is an easy way to increase both the level of knowledge and involvement within your organisation. Our marketing communication specialists would love to design this part individually for you.

You want to know more about it?

We can also completely customise your e-learning programme, either by branding your course portal or by customising the visual appearance and the complete content. This is usually part of a transformation programme with courses and workshops adapted to your individual requirements.

To get an idea of how to launch and follow-up your own e-learning programme, The Natural Step Germany has developed a practical guide that you can use for planning in detail.

offerings e-learning phases

You want to know more about it?

Our digital education programmes are one of many ways to get started or to deepen your knowledge of sustainable development. The Natural Step Germany has much more to offer.

Ready to know more?