Sustainability is the future, and it’s at the heart of everything we do at Central. Learn to drive lasting change and implement sustainable practices in your organisation or your life.

Central is the centre for sustainable practice. All of our programmes integrate sustainability, and our specialist programmes will inspire you to find new approaches to meeting our needs while looking after the resources and future of the earth.

Our sustainability programmes are accessible nationwide – to be truly sustainable we bring them to you through online study, block courses and short courses in many centres.

If you want to transform your business, join our Adding Sustainable Value programme. Study one of our Certificate or short courses. Or, for those wanting to lead the way, the Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice will build your ability to effect change through experiences and projects in real organisations. 

We’re passionate about changing the future – join us.

Adding Sustainable Value (Certificate in Sustainable Practice (Level 5))

  • Location varies
  • 19 weeks
  • Level 5
  • Starts on various dates
  • Apply anytime

Adding Sustainable Value is a practical sustainability training programme that enables organisations to plan for real and lasting success. The programme framework and unique team approach helps you make strategic decisions that will shape the future of your business. The Adding Sustainable Value programme is proudly brought to you by three of the leaders in applied sustainability education - Otago Polytechnic, the Sustainable Business Council and The Natural Step.

Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice

  • Blended delivery - a combination of face-to-face through block courses and supported video conferencing*
  • 1 year full-time*
  • Level 7
  • Starts February, May or July
  • Apply anytime

Gain the knowledge to promote and implement sustainable leadership in your community and workplace. Examine the social, economic, political and environmental implications of sustainability. Compulsory block courses are a requirement. Please note that this programme is available to international students enrolling for programmes starting in February or July 2018.

Creating Living Buildings

  • Online with a block course in Christchurch, Auckland or Dunedin
  • 5 months part-time
  • Starts 2018 dates to be confirmed
  • Apply until start date

This is New Zealand’s first education course designed to transform and improve the standard of this country’s built environments; a step towards achieving a shared vision of triple net zero and restorative building practices becoming the norm in New Zealand.

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"The Adding Sustainable Value programme has given THL a solid framework to fast-track our sustainability strategy and build the understanding of our team about how that will underpin our future commercial success. We prototyped the framework with Kiwi Experience, and it has been so successful that we are now rolling it out to all our other businesses. From this programme we now have a clear method to demonstrate our leadership commitment in being a responsible tourism operator."

Grant Webster
Chief Executive Officer
Tourism Holdings Ltd

Quick Links

For more information about sustainability, and news and upcoming events, here are some other websites you may be interested in:

The Natural Step
Living Future Institute

The big picture for sustainability

“I gained a much better appreciation of ‘the big picture’ and learned to look at things from a systems perspective.”

Amelia Smith was among the first graduates from the Otago Polytechnic’s Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice, a qualification focusing on implementing sustainable practice within businesses and organisations.

Amelia currently works as an Evaluation Advisor for EECA (Energy Efficiency Conservation Authority). She found the science based, systems focus on the course particularly useful: “This is important in my work, in evaluating the effectiveness of energy efficiency programmes.”


Engaging with communities

“The ability to engage on many levels within communities and organisations is what allows systemic change to begin.”

Having studied sustainability at Otago Polytechnic, Sophia Robinson says the inspiration programme offered a way of practically and positively working on some of the major issues facing the world today.

The design of the programme supported the development of her skills in cross cultural and organisation engagement, skills Sophia has found very useful in her current role at Upper Hutt City Council. “In my role, I engage with stakeholders of all kinds,” she says, “from community groups, to youth organisations and governmental departments.”

Stronger communities

“As more people graduate with this qualification, we build a stronger community of people who understand the language of sustainability and can apply the frameworks to any given situation.”

Otago Polytechnic Sustainable Practice graduate Dave Watson has already been involved in projects such as setting up Auckland’s Sustainability Streets, and implementing sustainability initiatives for music and arts festival, Splore.

Dave is in no doubt as to the effectiveness of the programme. “The Diploma has offered an effective, strategic framework for sustainability that I can apply to the businesses and community groups I work with – as well as to my own consultancy business.”

The Adding Sustainable Value framework simplified the complex challenges presented by sustainability. The systems thinking approach unlocked potential opportunities and encouraged innovation both in terms of our own operations and the services we provide. This course is a must for any business interested in future-proofing against the challenges that lie ahead.

Kathryn McDonald
Environmental and Sustainability Consultant
Opus Consultants

Adding Sustainable Value has given me the tools to frame a sustainability conversation in our company in a way that makes sense to management. The programme has forced us to undertake an honest review of where our core business activities are currently unsustainable, and helped us set challenging goals on what ‘doing good’ would look like.

Environmental and Quality Advisor
Fulton Hogan Auckland

Directing Sustainability

Jean Tilleyshort is the Director: Sustainability and leads the development and implementation of the strategic framework for sustainability at Otago Polytechnic.  

Her key areas of this work focus on developing sustainable practitioners among staff and students, modeling sustainable practice across all Otago Polytechnic operations, encouraging communities and enterprises to embed sustainable practice, and ensuring Otago Polytechnic’s actions benefit its communities.

"It is a privilege to live and teach in a wonderful community within an outstanding natural environment. Our aim is to ensure our systems support improvements where we need them, and to protect what we never want to change."

The ASV programme provided a robust framework to our fledging sustainability initiative, allowing a new level of evaluation, focus and direction. This ASV is truly value-adding for any company that is serious about sustainability.


Compliance and Improvement Manager
New Zealand Pharmaceuticals