Master in Sustainable Management and Operations (SuMO)

Our part-time/blended program for executives aiming for a more sustainable world.

Master in Sustainable Management and Operations (SuMO)

Our part-time/blended program for executives aiming for a more sustainable world.

18 (12) months*

Program duration


Language of instruction

Study in Hamburg

the world’s logistic’s hub

Blended learning

with online modules and six on-campus weeks

Study in Germany

Ranked first in the World Bank's Logistics Performance Index

Tuition fees

22,400 € for Master program 14,900 € for Certificate program

*Participants obtain a state-accredited "Master in Sustainable Management and Operations” (18 months incl. Master thesis). Optionally, they may receive a “Certificate in Sustainable Management and Operations” choosing a shorter program version (12 months, excl. thesis).

Discover our participants' unique perspectives on what makes the SuMO program so special for them.

Embark on a transformative journey towards sustainable leadership with insights from Prof. Dr. Johannes Meuer, the Academic Director of SuMO.

With our part-time/blended program we integrate cutting-edge scientific expertise in the fields of logistics and supply chain management with an holistic and interconnected perspective on sustainability.

Our Master in Sustainable Management and Operations (SuMO) is a high-profile part-time program for executives which offers the unique opportunity to flexibly and efficiently acquire the tools and skillsets of sustainable management and learn how to effectively transfer knowledge to create real impact for a more sustainable world of tomorrow. 

Taught by internationally renowned specialists, SuMO integrates state-of-the-art scientific expertise with a holistic and interconnected perspective on sustainability. Our blended learning format makes the best use of time by aligning innovative online learning modules with highly interactive on-campus sessions at KLU in Hamburg, Germany’s gateway to the world and global logistics hub.

Sustainability is one of KLU’s three key competence areas where we have acquired strong expertise and cutting-edge knowledge. In our dedicated research center for sustainable logistics and supply chains, e.g., our world-renowned professors and academics continuously develop new insights and know-how which they effectively transfer into the classroom.

Strongly supported by the Kühne Foundation, KLU is the world’s leading university advancing logistics, operations, and supply chain management. Located in Hamburg’s HafenCity, Europe's third-largest seaport, KLU is situated at the heart of one of the most important logistics and operations hubs in Europe and beyond. Germany regularly takes first place in the World Bank's Logistics Performance Index and is considered as one of the most advanced nations worldwide in terms of green politics and advancements in sustainability. At KLU you are in the right place to study Sustainable Management and Operations. 

If you want to make your mark toward a more sustainable and eco-responsible world, this program is the perfect choice for you!

The Market Need

Within companies worldwide the focus is shifting from only raising awareness for sustainability toward developing specific and implementable solutions and concepts. As the areas of technology and management are moving into the spotlight of attention day by day, sustainability has an economical, social and environmental dimension in today´s society. The industry confirms that there is a strong need for highly trained and skilled managers integrating sustainability in their decisions and guiding the corporate world’s transition into eco-friendly products and sustainable workflows and operations.

What's in it for you?

Through the SuMO program you will become an expert in corporate sustainability, equipped with the skills to:

  • Critically assess how sustainable an organization is;
  • Measure and report the sustainability footprint of a company and its supply chain;
  • Effectively communicate sustainability policy and measures with internal and external stakeholders;
  • Lead the sustainability agenda at the strategic and operational levels of an organization across business units and geographical locations;
  • Effectively transfer knowledge to achieve real, sustainable impacts within a business.

Employees completing the Sustainable Management and Operations program possess the ability to:

  • Build and execute your company’s sustainability strategy through the application of unique and comprehensive competences;
  • Lead and contribute to the development of sustainable products and services, enhancing your business’ brand image and improving its bottom line;
  • Assume leadership roles in your company, professionally addressing change and transformation processes;
  • Ensure your business remains compliant by maintaining an overview and understanding of industry and governmental regulations and legislation.

Program Format


Master in Sustainable Management and Operations


18 months

22,400 €

Certificate in Sustainable Management and Operations


12 months

14,900 €

Participants have the option to either pursue the Master program with the completion of a master's thesis or to obtain a certificate without a master's thesis. The curriculum is the same for both programs with the addition of a master's thesis for the Master program.

For those in the masters pathway, KLU facilities, such as the library and breakout rooms, remain available to facilitate research and writing marathons if need be. The decision to write a thesis after completing the certificate program is an opportunity to demonstrate one’s mastery of core principles and ongoing debates on opportunities and challenges in the field of sustainable management and operations. Through individually guided sessions with their academic advisors, and industry experts, if necessary, students have a chance to narrow in on an area of expertise and contribute to the theory and practice of sustainability management. In some cases, participants’ work might lead to scientific publications and the pursuit of a doctoral degree.

Module description

Beginning with the big picture, the module structure explores the relevant topics related to sustainability through interactive class discussions and teamwork, allowing the students to transfer business concepts to applications in the field of sustainability. The SuMO ‘Impact Project’ exposes the students to the substantive challenges associated with sustainability and offers an immersive, holistic, and real-life learning experience.

The Module “Big Picture” introduces participants to the field of sustainability and the role of companies in sustainability. Students will learn about the historical development of sustainability in science, industry and global politics and discuss recent developments in areas such as climate change, the energy transition, and technologies for a more sustainable economic system. The Module will also help students to critically reflect on and discuss on how corporate activities affect and are affected by the biosphere and what role companies play in a social, legal, and market environment. Together, these insights will provide students with a structured view on corporate sustainability, a concept that focuses holistically on the role of companies in the natural and social environment.

The Module “Strategy and Leadership for Sustainability” explores different aspects of strategy for sustainable business and effective leadership for sustainable business. Successfully transforming companies to become more sustainable is a challenging task that requires not only a clear strategic direction but also effective leadership to guide the transition. Module II first asks students to understand what sustainability in business is and how to design a sustainability strategy. Students will then learn about leadership approaches to effectively lead employees through sustainability strategies. Last, students will apply and translate concepts of Module II by evaluating decisions taken by managers and by designing alternative sustainability strategies.

The Module “Sustainable Supply Chains” focuses on the options that a company has to extend social and environmental standards beyond its organizational boundaries onto their upstream and downstream supply chain. Following initiatives like the German supply chain law (“Lieferkettengesetz”), students will learn how companies can effectively design and implement sustainability improvements in partnership with their suppliers or NGOs. An emphasis will be placed on organizational and technical approaches to monitor and certify the conditions under which goods like consumer electronics or chocolate are produced. Students will further dive into designing closed-loop supply chains that take care of the products also after the end of their life-cycle and facilitate a shift from a linear to a circular economy.

The Module “Green Logistics and Operations” examines how to design and manage environmentally and socially responsible logistics and operations processes from an organizational, technological, and behavioral perspective. Following initiatives like the European Green Deal, students will discuss principles, practices, and innovative concepts for developing more sustainable logistics and operations management solutions along the supply chain. The course will take a holistic perspective on this topic, including a variety of topics in this field. An emphasis will be, for example, on carbon measurement, innovative mobility services and propulsion technologies in transportation, and sustainable warehousing and storage strategies. Students will learn how to critically judge solution approaches and propose their own ideas towards sustainable logistics and operations processes.

The Module “Innovation of Sustainable Technologies” focuses on the process of designing more sustainable product and service offerings and bringing them to the market. Students will be introduced to a toolbox that supports all aspects of generating and evaluating product ideas. It covers, for example, customer need identification, translating them into product features, and selecting the best product concept. It further extends to product development, where students will learn about life-cycle analysis, cradle-to-cradle product design, and product-service systems. With the toolbox, students will be able to identify and overcome typical development challenges on their way towards a more sustainable market offering.

Organizational design needs to support sustainability on all organizational levels. Therefore, this module will discuss 1) the structure of corporate governance at the top level of organizations (i.e., board composition and the role of CSOs), 2) how sustainability can be positioned in organizational structures, and 3) how organizational structures can be designed to foster (employee) sustainability. Students will analyze different options for organizational design and discuss the advantages and disadvantages. Corporate Governance further asks companies to report how the company delivers value to its stakeholders. With regard to transparency and accounting the module therefore also deals with the challenges of choosing and using such a reporting system. It explains integrated reporting and provides an overview of key players and standards in sustainability reporting (e.g., International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC), Global Reporting Initiative (GRI)). In this context, students analyze the benefits and drawbacks of non-financial key performance indicators. After having completed this module, students will be able to analyze if organizational design fosters sustainability and to identify improvements for sustainability-oriented organizational design. Students will also have developed the ability to describe the interrelationships between organizational design, corporate culture, and non-financial reporting.

Most organizational changes including transition to more sustainable businesses fail. In the Module “Communicating Sustainability” students will learn how guide through the transition processes by focusing on three major stakeholders in the transition process to corporate sustainability: employees, investors, and customers. Such processes can only be successful, if management understands the needs and wants of a company’s different stakeholders and can clearly communicate the aims and the different steps in this transition, create common ground, and mediate between potentially conflicting interests. A successful organizational adoption of corporate sustainability requires the acceptance of new key performance indicators, new skills, and new structures by all stakeholders. Investors need to understand, where the corporation is heading and how this focus on sustainability will be aligned with the long-term profitability of the firm. Employees might resist changes because of uncertainty and organizational inertia. Finally, this transition is likely to affect the existing customer base and may conflict with their learned behavior and expectations, for example, regarding product features, packaging, service delivery, or price points. To overcome these obstacles and engage all stakeholders, students will practice communication techniques to lead their company through the sustainability transition process.

Despite allowing for large aggregate welfare gains in all countries, globalization is often blamed for its lack of social and environmental sustainability. In this module, we seek to understand both the desirable and adverse consequences of the integration of global markets and identify opportunities for improvement. We organize our discussions along two dimensions. First, how globalization impacts social equality and justice. We characterize the distributional effects of global production and trade and debate how they can undermine the very existence of open societies. Second, how globalization impacts the environment. We describe the wide variation in production emissions and use of renewable resources across countries and discuss what those differences could teach about the creation of an all-encompassing green economy. Within both dimensions, we also examine the role of global institutions, such as, WTO, IWF, or the ICJ, in building a socially and environmentally efficient globalization, for example, through regulating global markets for certificates and emission contingents or enforcing decent work standards.

This module provides students with an opportunity to work on a real sustainability problem. Students work in groups of 2-4 over the entire year.The sustainability impact project requires the students to apply their knowledge, practical experience, basic research skills, critical thinking and innovative ideas in a way similar to how they would in their career. The project needs to be practical, relevant, and address a sustainability problem of great interest to the partner. These projects are performed with a sponsoring company, NGO, or government agency. Student groups develop their analysis and recommendations during the project. In June, students prepare a one-slide outlining their project and their development so far. In December they complete the project with the delivery of a final report and presentation to academic advisors, other students and the company/NGO partner.

Together with my colleagues, I am driving forward the decarbonization of global shipping for DB Schenker. I have learned a lot on the job, and I wouldn't want to miss the input from outside our company. The lectures of the SuMO program are a good enrichment for me and my company. I am very happy about the opportunity to participate in this program. Already today, after the first week of lectures, I can apply some learnings directly in my daily job routine. That motivates me a lot.

Sophie Drakopoulos, Master in Sustainable Management and Operations, Class of 2024

Portrait photo of SuMo participant Ilkka Kujala

I am an auditor and I know that sustainability reporting will have a huge role in auditors and accountants’ profession in the future. I was looking for a training to gain a deeper understanding of all issues that should be reported under sustainability. My first impression here is quite positive, I am very inspired after these first days. The professors who are here know what they are talking about and have expertise in their area. I like the open discussion during the lessons and that we still have the chance to say what exactly we would like to learn – I’m happy that there is the chance to tailor the program to my needs.

Ilkka Kujala, Master in Sustainable Management and Operations, Class of 2024

Portrait of Lidija Peters

I was looking for a program that was not full time and SuMO's syllabus sounded 100 percent suitable. So far I like it very much, our group dynamic is so inspiring! The small group size and the way of teaching with real life examples correlate with my own learning style. I'm already looking forward to the sustainability project that we will implement in small teams during the program. This way we can directly apply what we have learned.

Lidija Peters, Master in Sustainable Management and Operations, Class of 2024

Portrait photo of SuMo participant Christina Richter

I chose SuMO because I am very interested in sustainability and would like to learn more. I work in the communications industry and believe that communicating and implementing sustainability is an important task. My impression so far has been positive throughout. From the Welcome Day to the program structure to the way we interact with each other. We are a group with very different people who would probably never have met in real life - that makes the exchange very exciting.

Christina Richter, Master in Sustainable Management and Operations, Class of 2024

Important Dates

  • Start of application period: May 1, 2023*
  • 10 % "Early Bird" discount deadline: November 15, 2023
  • Application deadline: January 31, 2024
  • Start of the program: March 11, 2024

* If you are a company interested in sending multiple candidates, please contact us directly.


  • A bachelor's degree* with at least 180 ECTS or its equivalent from a recognized university or college. We welcome applicants from all fields of study.
    • If you don't have a bachelor's degree, no worries – you can still be eligible for admission by submitting a GMAT Test (Graduate Management Admission Test).*
  • Minimum 2 years of work experience (managerial experience recommended but it is not a must).
  • English proficiency is proven by TOEFL (IBT 90), IELTS (Band 6.5), CAE/CPE (grade C) or equivalent certificate (not older than 2 years at the time of submitting the application). Please name KLU if possible, when registering for a test (TOEFL institutional code is 7373).
    • Candidates who have at least 2 years of professional experience in a company with English as its official working language can apply for an English test waiver. The proof must not be older than 2 years and must be officially issued by the company.

* For the Master's program only

Master's Program

  • Please download the application documents below.
  • Click on the "Apply now" button below to access our online application platform.
  • An application will be considered as soon as we have received all required documents. The Admissions Department checks each incoming application to determine whether the admission requirements are met.

Certificate Program

Please download and complete the following documents that are necessary for your application:

Please note that your application will be considered once you submit your final application and documents via the application platform.

Our Admissions Department will then get in touch with you to support you through the rest of the application process.

Tuition and Scholarships

  • 18 months part-time Master Program: € 22,400 
  • Optional 12 months Certificate Program: € 14,900
  • In exchange, at KLU you will benefit from studying in small classes, an international environment, and excellent contacts to the business world.
  • Your tuition fees cover tuition and services, on-campus and online classes including all course materials, on-campus IT services, access to the library and  support and administrative services.
  • As an alumnus or alumna you get a 20% loyalty discount on the tuition fee

KLU offers a variety of scholarships for SuMO applicants.

If your company is a member of the networks AGA, BVL or LIHH, KLU offers one 50% scholarship each, that you can apply for.

Graduates from Common Purpose programs are offered a 50 % scholarship. If you’ve completed one of the programs, you can apply for this scholarship.

Furthermore, KLU offers a 50 % regional scholarship for applicants from developing countries who plan on working in their home countries upon completion of their studies, as well as a 50 % scholarship for applicants who work in the humanitarian sector for NGO’s.

If you would like to apply for one of the above-mentioned scholarships, please submit the scholarship application form, a letter of motivation as well as a confirmation proving that you’re eligible for the scholarship you’re applying for.

Application deadline for scholarships: January 31.

Please note: As we also have rolling admission, please apply as early as possible (otherwise the scholarship might be given away by the time you apply for it).

Also have a look at: 

Brain Capital*
External Scholarships

*Applicable for master's students only.

Meet us

  • If you would like to get to know KLU in person, you are welcome to visit our campus. We are also happy to meet you virtually and have a chat about our program any time that suits you.
  • Join our next Open Day!

We look forward to meeting you soon at KLU in Hamburg!

At KLU you will learn from the best!

Profile image

Prof. Dr. Prisca Brosi

Associate Professor of Human Resource Management

View profile

Profile image

Prof. Dr. Alexa Burmester

Assistant Professor of Applied Quantitative Methods

View profile

Profile image

Prof. Dr. Andreas Kilian Gernert

Assistant Professor for Sustainable Operations

View profile

Profile image

Prof. Dr. Alexander Himme

Associate Professor of Management Accounting

View profile

Profile image

Prof. Dr. Johannes Meuer

Associate Professor for Sustainability Strategy and Operations, Co-Director Center for Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chains

View profile

Profile image

Prof. Dr. Moritz Petersen

Assistant Professor of Sustainable Supply Chain Practice, Co-Director Center for Sustainable Logistics and Supply Chains

View profile

Profile image

Prof. Marcos Ritel, PhD

Assistant Professor for International Trade

View profile

Profile image

Prof. Dr. Sandra Transchel

Professor for Supply Chain and Operations Management

View profile

Profile image

Prof. Christian Tröster, PhD

Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior

View profile

Ask our students

Our students come from a wide variety of countries, such as Germany, Finland, Turkey or Peru, and have up to 24 years of professional experience. They work in various industries at companies such as Schenker AG, Kühne + Nagel, NorSea Wind GmbH or Duni AG. 

Take the opportunity to get in touch with our students and find out first hand how the studies are like from their point of view by clicking on one of the profiles and writing a message to the student.

Contact us

For direct student inquiries:  For corporate inquiries: 
Profile image

Kendra Triblet

Student Recruitment Manager

Profile image

Christoph Kiese

Solutions & Development Principal Executive Education

Get in touch with us, and we’ll help to find the best solution for you.

In case you do not receive an email from us, please be sure to check your spam folder.

**Data Privacy Statement

Data privacy policy

You are free to supply your personal data on a voluntary basis, but to process your request we need at least the information marked as mandatory fields(*). Your voluntary information makes it easier for us to provide you with individual advice. We will process and use your data for the purpose you expressly indicate or to process your request. Of course, we will treat all the information you have entered as confidential. We will not forward your data and information to third parties.

Consent to data use  

I consent to Kühne Logistics University - KLU using and saving my personal data in order to inform me of the benefits of the KLU degree and continuing education programs and advise me – via e-mail, telephone or postally as well. I can revoke this consent at any time, effective at a future date, by sending an e-mail to