• Class Number 2633
  • Term Code 2930
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Gary Buttriss
    • Dr Gary Buttriss
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/02/2019
  • Class End Date 31/05/2019
  • Census Date 31/03/2019
  • Last Date to Enrol 04/03/2019
SELT Survey Results

In the 21st century, corporations cannot ignore the impact of increasing formal (regulatory) and informal (community) expectations relating to their impact on society and the natural environment.  This course examines the scope of these expectations, explores the reasons behind these expectations, and evaluates the impact of these expectations on corporations operating in a dynamic competitive environment in a capitalist economy. The course takes the perspective of an individual corporation that wants to: examine both its internal and external environments to determine the range of sustainability issues that it faces; develop strategies for sustainable practices that enhance its competitive position; make a business case to a range of its stakeholders, including owners, for the adoption of those sustainable practices; and understand the principal barriers to the implementation of those practices.

This course aims to promote an understanding, within the context of a capitalist economy, of:

  • the importance to each individual corporate entity of corporate sustainability;
  • the inter-relationship between the natural environmental, social, and economic aspects of corporate sustainability;
  • key drivers and inhibitors, both external and internal to the corporation, of the natural environmental and social aspects of corporate sustainability;
  • the roles of social and natural environmental risk, and product and process innovation, in developing corporate sustainability; and
  • theoretical and practical constraints on the development of a business case for corporate sustainability;

and provide an overview of:

  • the principal ‘toolkits' currently used by practitioners to recognise and appropriately resolve natural environmental and social sustainability issues in business; and
  • current best practice in corporate sustainability.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Identify, analyse and solve, within the context of economic sustainability, issues within a corporation that relate to its natural environmental and social sustainability
  2. Make a case to a range of stakeholders, including managers, boards, and owners addressing specific corporate sustainability issues
  3. Develop appropriate policies and plans to address these issues

Research-Led Teaching

Teaching in this course takes place through three processes. Firstly, the content of the course is assembled drawing where appropriate on the latest academic and industry research, along with industry practice. Secondly, student’s will be required to examine and evaluate scholarly research to draw out the important concepts, models, and theory and apply these to contemporary practice. Finally, summative assessment in the course requires the student to undertake independent research. This will involve both primary and secondary research and require the collection, evaluation, and interpretation of quantitative and qualitative data.

Field Trips


Additional Course Costs


Examination Material or equipment

There is no final examination.

Required Resources

A 'Course Book' will be provided on Wattle that sets out your weekly readings, questions designed to guide your reading, and other useful resources. All readings and other resources required for this course will be provided via Wattle. There is no textbook.

See Course Book on Wattle

Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Seminar - Week 1: Introduction to the course. What is corporate sustainability? Course introduction State of play Defining corporate sustainability Social and environmental pressures
2 Seminar - Week 2: A Stakeholder Approach Stakeholder theory Stakeholder engagement Drivers of sustainability for organisations
3 Seminar - Week 3: Corporations and sustainability, use and abuse of nature Economic growth, free markets, and the failure of market-based policies The use and abuse of nature Ecological economics Ecosystem services The tragedy of the commons
4 Seminar - Week 4: Making the case for corporate sustainability Ethical and economic arguments for corporate sustainability The business case Sustainable business strategy Distributive justice Intergenerational justice
5 Seminar - Week 5: Business and Social Stakeholders Risk I: Social Risk How do we perceive risk? Outrage NGOs: friend or foe? Managing social risk Due: Personal Experience with Consumerism -Consumerography! - 2019-03-31
6 Seminar - Week 6: Business and the Natural Environment I Risk II - Environmental Risk The Precautionary Principle Identifying and managing environmental risk Environmental Impact Assessment Quiz 1 - In-class
7 Seminar - Week 7: Conceptual models for the way forward: integrating nature, society, and capitalism The “Five Capitals Framework” Natural Capitalism “The Natural Step” Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
8 Seminar - Week 8: Innovation I - Emerging Business Models What makes a sustainable organization? New Business & Governance Models
9 Seminar - Week 9: Innovation II: Process Innovation Life cycle analysis: cradle to cradle Circular Economy Eco-efficiency Eco-effectiveness Resource efficiency
10 Seminar - Week 10: Innovation III: Product Innovation Design for Sustainability (DfS) Product Service Systems Biomimicry “fortune at the bottom of the pyramid”
11 Seminar - Week 11: Demand-side Innovation Consumption Individualisation Consumerism Distancing Due: Value Chain Analysis - 2019-05-26
12 Seminar - Week 12: Taking stock & looking forward: The future of sustainability & organisations Corporate environmentalism Corporate citizenship Corporate omnipresence The future of the organisation Quiz 2 - In-class

Tutorial Registration

There are no tutorials for this class

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Workshop Activity 20 % 03/04/2019 31/05/2019 1,2,3
Personal Experience with Consumerism - Consumerography! 30 % 31/03/2019 14/04/2019 1,2
Value Chain Analysis 30 % 26/05/2019 10/06/2019 1,2,3
Quiz 1 10 % 02/04/2019 09/04/2019 1
Quiz 2 10 % 28/05/2019 04/07/2019 1

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.


Participation is expected in all courses and assessments


There is no final exam

Assessment Task 1

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 03/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 31/05/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Workshop Activity

Group Assessment

Details: In seminars week 2 to 11 (10 workshop activities in total), we will undertake a workshop activity. Satisfactory completion of each workshop (In-class) is worth 2 marks for a total of 20,

Students work in groups of 4.

Due: At the end of class.

Brief: Please see Workshop Activity brief on Wattle for more information.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 31/03/2019
Return of Assessment: 14/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Personal Experience with Consumerism - Consumerography!

Individual Assessment

Students will explore ideas and practices that orient lives and cultures in a consumeristic manner. The task is designed to broaden students’ knowledge and understanding of consumption in their own lives and generate insight as a future organisational decision-maker.

Brief: Students will have a choice of projects, please see Wattle for a detailed brief for this assignment

Assessment Task 3

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 26/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 10/06/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Value Chain Analysis

Individual Assessment

Students will undertake an analysis and critical evaluation of an organisational value chain and how value is currently created and captured and identify how this may change in the future.

Brief: Please see Wattle for a detailed brief for this assignment

Assessment Task 4

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 02/04/2019
Return of Assessment: 09/04/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1

Quiz 1

Individual assessment

20 Multiple Choice Questions

In-Class Week 6 - based on readings and indicative questions week 1-6 inclusive

Assessment Task 5

Value: 10 %
Due Date: 28/05/2019
Return of Assessment: 04/07/2019
Learning Outcomes: 1

Quiz 2

Individual assessment

20 Multiple Choice Questions

In-Class Week 12 - based on readings and indicative questions week 7-12 inclusive

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

Assessment items 1,2, and 3 are to be submitted using Turnitin. Please see the assessment briefs for details. The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilize the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission is not permitted for tasks 4 and 5.

Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the possible marks available per working day or part thereof. Late submission of assessment tasks is not accepted after 10 working days after the due date, or on or after the date specified in the course outline for the return of the assessment item. Late submission is not accepted for take-home examinations.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Returning Assignments

Please see relevant assessment task details above

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Resubmission of Assignments

Unless specified otherwise in the assignment requirements, resubmissions are permitted up until the due date and time, but not allowed afterwards

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
Dr Gary Buttriss

Research Interests

My research is focused on sustainable enterprise and what it means to become a sustainable organisation. This includes innovation in product and services, markets and the organisations business model; consumer behaviour and how we become sustainable and ethical consumers; and how markets and organisations evolve in response to technological, environmental and social forces. My background is in marketing so the concept of value underlies much of my thinking and research.

Dr Gary Buttriss

Wednesday 11:00 13:00
Wednesday 11:00 13:00
Dr Gary Buttriss

Research Interests

Dr Gary Buttriss

Wednesday 11:00 13:00
Wednesday 11:00 13:00

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