Human population growth and increased resource use per capita requires improved management of our global ecosystem. Approaches such as the “Sustainable Development Indicators”, “Natural Capital”, “Ecosystem Services”, and “Planetary boundaries” provide frameworks for businesses and wider society to resolve the synergies and trade-offs between major economic, environmental and social challenges.

The “Circular Economy” approach refers to the development of “restorative” industrial systems that are grounded on the lessons of non-linear, feedback-rich ecosystems.  The third approach is to explore the nexus between renewable energy, food, and other ecosystem services using per capita energy and food consumption. This course introduces and critiques the above frameworks and examines their application to resolve real-world problems and create commercial opportunities. 

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • DurationFive days
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost£1,400 Concessions available

What you will learn

On successful completion of this course you will be able to:

  • Critique terms liked “sustainability”, “ecosystem services”, and “circular economy”,
  • Explain how an ecosystem service approach can help society to identify and make decisions regarding the use of ecological resources, with a focus on biodiversity, greenhouse gases, nutrient loss, and water use,
  • Explain how we can enhance the stability, resistance and resilience of natural systems,
  • Explain how the “circular economy” provides commercial opportunities, and the role of design and manufacturing,
  • 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.

Core content

  • Definitions of sustainability; the Sustainable Development Goals, 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 an ecosystem services and “doughnut economics” approach: quantifying trade-offs and synergies; improving water and nutrient management, reducing greenhouse gases emissions, enhancing stability, resistance and resilience, and 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.


View timetable

Upgrade to a professional qualification

Cranfield credits are available for this short course which you can put towards selected Cranfield degrees. Find out more about short course credit points.


Dr Paul Burgess


20% discount for Cranfield alumni
£1,280 - Multiple bookings*
* Minimum of 5 delegates.

Accommodation options and prices

This is a non-residential course. If you would like to book accommodation on campus, please contact Mitchell Hall or Cranfield Management Development Centre directly. Further information regarding our accommodation on campus can be found here.

Alternatively you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world.

For further location and travel details

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.