Graduate Story: Martin Beasley

Graduate Story Martin Beasley

“All areas in the course were covered by people who had been there and done it”

Martin Beasley
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council 
Diploma in Business Sustainability Graduate

Why did you decide to do a sustainability course?

We’ve received quite a lot of enquiries from local businesses relating to decarbonisation and sustainability. Another element of our work is with a company called Barnsley Business Innovation Centre. It is a business centre with space incubation providing business support. 

My colleague Matt Smith and I completed the course to get some idea of what areas we should work in tandem with. We developed a project in collaboration with Barnsley Business Innovation Centre to be funded through UK Shared Prosperity Funding. What this means is we are supporting SMEs to look at creating plans to help decarbonise their businesses. 

We started this project about 12 months ago and quickly had to get educated on sustainability to bring this together. We also landed a project called Barnsley Net Zero, where we support businesses on their decarbonisation journeys. How it works is they put a plan together to try and embed sustainability within their business plans. Then, if we feel there is a need, they can apply for a grant to look further at decarbonisation to begin counting the carbon savings, and we report this back to the government. 

Did you enjoy the course? What were your biggest takeaways?

Myself and my colleague Matt Smith completed the Diploma in Business Sustainability Course. I think the way the course is structured in terms of distance learning and also mixing up theory with practical examples has been incredibly useful. Witnessing the results and impact from people who have implemented these strategies has been wonderful and it brought that subject matter to life. All the areas covered were by people who had been there and done it. 

What has been the impact of doing the course with the Institute of Sustainability Studies?

The course has helped me pursue another career opportunity because Barnsley Business Innovation Centre is trying to build a home of net zero for Barnsley. This is not only just around supporting businesses, but there is a wider agenda regarding how the Centre decarbonises itself. 

With this in mind, I’m leaving Barnsley Council and taking up a Chief Executive role with the Barnsley Business Innovation Centre. I feel the reason I was able to do this was partly because of the ISS qualification. The qualification is very specific and stands out on my CV. People have certainly shown an interest in it, and not a lot of people have this kind of experience. 

The teachings from the course have also helped me to constantly innovate and ultimately mould the Barnsley Net Zero Projects. I’m actively mirroring areas covered in the course to try and pass my newfound knowledge on businesses approaching sustainability.

I don’t feel I would be able to support businesses in Barnsley in this way without having the course under my belt. There are several things the course shined a light on that I want to look into further when I take up the new role, including applying for B Corp status.

What specific modules stood out for you?

Some standout topics covered in the course that have been particularly helpful for what we are doing include biodiversity, the circular economy, green finance, decarbonisation, and supply chain management.

Would you recommend the course to others?

I advocate doing the course, especially for councils and local governments. The course gives a great overview of ESG and has made me feel more comfortable speaking with colleagues and businesses about it. I think local authorities should do it. The Diploma gives you around 40 hours of quality core content with many more additional readings and masterclasses, all delivered by an expert faculty for such a low cost. 


If you are interested in gaining a comprehensive and practical understanding of key sustainability concepts and learning to implement sustainability best practices to confidently lead sustainability initiatives within your organisation, or advance your career in sustainability, start your learning journey today with the Diploma in Business Sustainability.


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