The Build for Purpose free online course will explore how businesses of all shapes and sizes can build their purpose, transition to a Net Zero economy and accelerate action towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The course includes regular workshops with access to relevant business improvement and impact assessment tools.

Why this course?

Global Sustainability will be “won or lost in our cities” proclaimed Ban Ki-Moon (Former UN General Secretary). To support our vibrant business community in Edinburgh and South-East region, the Business School at Edinburgh Napier has developed a free and open learning course to learn more about the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and to find ways to bring about more impact to attain them, both locally and globally. 

Our “Business for Good” team at Edinburgh Napier appreciates that the sustainability agenda (even addressing the Climate Emergency alone) is complex and messy. In Edinburgh, the landscape and support available is rich, yet: Where do we start? What can my organisation do to bring about more impact, locally as well as beyond? How can I measure and track progress?

This course will offer to journey together with other participants to make sense of the Sustainable Development Goals in context of YOUR organisation (What can you do? What support is available to you?). 

The Build for Purpose Pathway consists of seven phases, that you can follow at your own pace, to help you engage with sustainability issues and make more impact in your city. The course also offers three live workshops with access to relevant business improvement and impact assessment tools and a complementary workbook. 

Find out about the course outline and how to join the course below. 

Who is it for?

Any individual who is passionate about their communityWe aim to connect and align your organisational purpose (business goals) with the Sustainable Development Goals as primary frame of reference as it offers us a globally accepted language and framework for prosperity, planet, peace and partnership. These are contextualised and made sense of in alignment with the ambitions of the city region and Scotland’s National Performance Framework.

Our first cohort will specifically focus on the needs of Housing, Construction, and Infrastructure organisations in the city region (funded by the UK and Scottish Governments through the HCI Gateway). Yet, the content and journey-making steps will be similar whatever the sector, as our seven phases framework focuses on addressing the sustainability issues from a place-based perspective.

How participants will learn and develop

The Build for Purpose Pathway consist of seven phases (see below), you can see the course learning outcomes for more details on each phase. The course offers you a detailed description of each phase, reading materials and a description of complementary activities. You can follow the course at your own pace but there is a chat forum to connect with other participants and a discussion forum to share your ideas and deepen your understanding. We also offer three workshops (currently hosted online). They are one additional way for you to engage with course content and other participants.

Graphical representation of course structure and UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

Phase 1: Sensemaking offers an introduction to the current global and Scotland-specific challenges and how we are addressing them.   


Phase 2: Build for Purpose embodies the purpose of your organisation by addressing “WHY”, “WHAT”, “HOW” and “WHO”.


Phase 3: Assess your Baseline introduces you to the SDG Action Manager, a web-based impact management system developed by B Lab and the United Nations Global Compact to enable enterprises to take action and monitor progress on the Sustainable Development Goals until 2030.  


Phase 4: Engage with Climate Action (SDG13).


Phase 5: Assess you’re + 1 addresses relevant tools to assess at least one additional SDG, which you can select based on your purpose and priorities.


Phase 6: Take Action draws an action plan to bring about impact towards SDGs. This phase also considers the role of leadership and organisational culture to bring about change.


Phase 7: Amplify Impact identifies ways to build meaningful partnerships and getting involved in Everyone’s Edinburgh and the global Cities CAN B movement. This phase will also identify three paths to obtain further support and recognition for your impact  (Leading Excellence using the universally recognised EFQM framework for managing change and improving performance; B Leaders for those embracing the B movement following Scotland’s CAN-B Impact Journey using tools such as the Business Impact Assessment (BIA) tool and Net Zero Edinburgh – Support, resources and tools offered to help Edinburgh businesses transition to a low carbon economy, including zero waste and embracing the circular economy).

Who we are: Business for Good Team at Edinburgh Napier University

The “Business for Good” thematic cluster is based in Edinburgh Napier University Business School. We are passionate about using business as a force for good, cultivating purpose, bringing about social innovation, building cross-sector collaboration and to accelerate progress towards our Sustainable Development Goals (local to global). This will be achieved by supporting place-making through impact measurement; drawing up sustainable improvement plans; and where common issues/challenges are shared, amplify impact through partnership working. We want to work with all types and sizes of organisations in this transition and journey together.

Team includes Dr. Kenny Crossan, Dr. Miles Weaver (B4P Course Director), Dr. Hock Tan, Dr. Ana Fonseca, Dr. Andrew Bratton and Elena Pershina (B4P Manager).

Our funder

The Build for Purpose course has been supported by the HCI Skills Gateway, part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal funded by UK and Scottish Governments.

Joining instructions

It is simple to join this free course, by following the steps below.

Step 1: Create an account with Edinburgh Napier Open Moodle

Go to: and fill out the new account detail form. Such as:

  • Username: Select any username (e.g. JoeBloggs).
  • Password: Please follow the password guidance on the page.
  • Email: Please select the email that you wish to sign up with. Communication will be posted in the course page – you can opt to subscribe to these via email or not.
  • Site policy agreement: It’s important to understand and agree to this statement to gain access – it’s for your protection and us.

Step 2: Select course

You will now see a list of courses. The course that you need to select is the “Build for Purpose” option. You will need to click to “enrol” and that’s you done. The direct link is:-

For further details please contact:
Course Structure