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Corporate Sustainability : The Environmental Perspective

  • Teacher(s): A.Ionescu
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 3 credits
  • Schedule: Spring Semester 2018-2019, 2.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  séances
  • Related programme: Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management

 

Objectives

This course will focus on the environmental dimensions of corporate sustainability strategy building and implementation. Specifically, it addresses the challenges that companies experience when building strategies to go beyond compliance in the area of sustainability, and in rolling out these strategies. The significance and relevance of environmental issues for the firm will also be explored, as well as the stakeholder interest in assuring that firms take responsibility for a number of key environmental issues such as climate change, deforestation, overuse of natural resources (including water), pollution, impacts of new and old technologies and so on.

Contents

Week 1

Introduction to Environmental Economics: Theory of externalities, Tragedy of the Commons, Triple Bottom Line

The triple bottom line and theory of externalities: the environmental impacts of business and industrial activity.

The “Smart Zone” and the business case for sustainability

Week 2

Environmental Economics (continued): Precautionary principle (cases: marine resources, chlorofluorocarbons)

State of the planet and relationship to corporate activitiy: biodiversity/deforestations, species extinction, GMOs, endocrine disruption/pollution/plastics.

Week 3

Strategic relevance of sustainability issues for business: Prioritization and mapping of issues in diverse industry sectors

Week 4

Stakeholder pressure Part 1: The influence on companies of NGOs, governments, media, cities and communities. (Case studies: Union Carbide-Bhopal, Monsanto and GMOs, Shell/Brent Spar, BP, Volkswagen, Shell Nigeria, Nestlé/Greenpeace)

Week 5

Stakeholder pressure Part 2: The influence on companies of consumers, corporate customers and, suppliers, financial institutions/investors, unions (Case studies Marine Stewardship Council, Global Forests and Trade Initiative/Forest Stewardship Council)

Week 6

Value drivers: What makes companies tick when it comes to tackling environmental issues beyond compliance? What are the drivers behind business cases for sustainabilty? The difference between incremental improvements and radical innovation.

Week 7

Climate change: Video material with class discussion: The Kyoto Protocol, Carbon funds and reducing carbon imprint (Case studies: Trump era ambiguities, Volkswagen)

Week 8

Agriculture and agribusiness: Case studies: Monsanto (GMOs), multi-stakeholder challenges - WWF chellenges agribusines: Saving Spain's Coto Donana through industry partnerships

Week 9

The interconnectivity of sustainability issues: Food, climate; poverty, global health, water, biodiversity. System effects

Systemic innovation: New business model paradigms for the future. New systemic shifts around mobility, food, consumption, etc.

Week 10

Corporate sustainability management Part 1: Embedding sustainability in the company (Corporate culture, vision, values, mindsets of managers, structure, environmental risk management, pilot projects, training)

Week 11

Corporate sustainability management Part 2:

Environmental health & safety – (Case studies: Chernobyl/BP)

Environmental management and regulatory compliance. Measuring environmental/social impacts

Week 12

Corporate sustainability management Part 3: Sustainability partnerships: Climate change, sustainable food – Case examples

Week 13

Master Class: Guest speaker(s): NGO speaker

and one corporate environmental manager. Class discussion

Week 14

Exam preparation

References

Steger, U. (Ed.)2004 The business of sustainability: Building industry cases for corporate sustainability, Palgrave Macmillan, UK

Ionescu-Somers & Steger, U. (2008)Business logic for sustainability, Palgrave Macmillan UK

Evaluation

First attempt

Exam:
Written 2 hours
Documentation:
Not allowed
Calculator:
Not allowed
Evaluation:

This course examination will consist of two main questions with sub-questions focused specifically on the course material. The questions will require an essay format response with diagrams as appropriate. The end of course examination will constitute 100 per cent of the marks required in order to pass this option.

Retake

Exam:
Written 2 hours
Documentation:
Not allowed
Calculator:
Not allowed
Evaluation:

This examination will consist of two main questions with sub-questions focused specifically on the course material. The questions will require an essay format response with diagrams as appropriate. The end of course examination will constitute 100 per cent of the marks required in order to pass this option.



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