- Class Number 4184
- Term Code 2930
- Class Info
- Unit Value 6 units
- Topic MBA
- Mode of Delivery In Person
- Guy Leedon
- 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
In the 21st century, corporations cannot ignore the impact of increasing formal (regulatory) and informal (community) expectations relating to economic, social, and environmental sustainability. 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 environmental, social, and economic aspects of corporate sustainability;
- key drivers and inhibitors, both external and internal to the corporation, of the environmental and social aspects of corporate sustainability;
- the roles of social and 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 environmental and social sustainability issues in business; and
- current best practice in corporate sustainability.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- identify and analyse, within the context of economic sustainability, issues within a corporation that relate to its natural environmental and social sustainability;
- make a case to a range of stakeholders, including managers, boards, and owners for addressing specific corporate sustainability issues; and
- develop appropriate policies and plans to address these issues.
Research-led teaching in this course takes place through four processes. Firstly, the content of the course is assembled drawing where appropriate on the latest academic and industry research, along with industry practice, especially as sustainability is an evolving concept. 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. Finally, my teaching is informed by research on promoting student learning and sustainable outcomes.
There are no field trips planned.
Additional Course Costs
There are no additional class costs.
Examination Material or equipment
There is no examination.
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.
It is desirable for Students to have access to a laptop or tablet, as well as the ANU wireless network, during class seminars, as workshop activities may draw on online content.
Staff FeedbackStudents 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 FeedbackANU 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.
|Summary of Activities
|Seminar - Week 1: Introduction to the course. What is corporate sustainability?
|Course introduction State of play Defining corporate sustainability Social and environmental pressures
|Seminar - Week 2: Stakeholders & Stakeholder Engagement
|Stakeholder theory Stakeholder engagement Drivers of sustainability for organisations Major project briefing
|Seminar - Week 3: The use and abuse of nature
|The use and abuse of nature Ecological economics Ecosystem services The tragedy of the commons
|Seminar - Week 4: Making the case for corporate sustainability
|The business case Sustainable business strategy Distributive justice Intergenerational justice Due: Major project outline
|Seminar - Week 5: Business & its Social Stakeholders
|Social risks and pressures How do we perceive risk? Outrage Managing social risk Due: Eco-social Footprint Evaluation
|Seminar - Week 6: Business & its Natural Stakeholders
|Environmental risks and pressures The Precautionary Principle Identifying and managing environmental risk Environmental Impact Assessment Due: Major project progress report Due: Quiz 1 (online following seminar)
|Seminar - Week 7: No formal class -ANZAC Day - Online discussion of content
|Sustainability Regulation, Benchmarking & Reporting
|Seminar - Week 8: Conceptual models for the way forward: integrating nature, society, and capitalism
|The “Five Capitals Framework” Natural Capitalism “The Natural Step” Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Paradox theories
|Seminar - Week 9: Process Innovation
|Life cycle analysis: cradle to cradle Circular Economy Eco-efficiency Eco-effectiveness Resource efficiency
|Seminar - Week 10: Product Innovation
|Design for Sustainability (DfS) Product Service Systems Biomimicry “fortune at the bottom of the pyramid” Due: Major Project
|Seminar - Week 11: Sustainable organisations
|What makes a sustainable organization? New Business & Governance Models
|Seminar - Week 12: Taking stock & looking forward: The future of sustainability & organisations
|Corporate environmentalism Corporate citizenship Corporate omnipresence The future of the organisation Due: Quiz 2 (online following seminar)
There are no tutorials for this course.
|Return of assessment
|Ecosocial Footprint Evaluation
* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details
PoliciesANU 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 RequirementsThe 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 AssessmentMarks 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 classes and assessment.
There is no examination for this course.
Assessment Task 1
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
In each seminar we will undertake various workshop activities (online discussion in Week 7). Satisfactory in each workshop (excluding weeks 1 and 7) is worth 2 marks for a total of 20. If you are unable to attend the workshop, your marks will be based on posting a reflection on the weeks' set readings on Wattle (500 words).
Assessment Task 2
Learning Outcomes: 1,3
Ecosocial Footprint Evaluation
Students calculate their ecological footprint and social impact of (parts of) their lifestyle, explore the impact this has on the planet and society and identify how they may achieve a more sustainable lifestyle.
More details will be made available on Wattle.
Assessment Task 3
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3
In small groups (or as individuals), students will work over the course of the semester to explore and analyse a case study, and propose a plan for improving the sustainability of the business in future.
This project will be assessed in multiple stages, which will include a stakeholder assessment due at the Week 4 seminar (21 March, returned in-class), a project plan and progress workshop in Week 6 (4 April, returned in-class), a group presentation in Week 8 (2 May, returned two weeks later) and a final report due in Week 10 (16 May, returned two weeks later). If you are unable to attend one of the in-class assessments, your group will need to provide a statement that you have contributed to that particular assessment item. People working as individuals that are unable to attend a workshop may submit online.
More details will be made available on Wattle.
Assessment Task 4
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
A short online quiz comprising multiple choice and/or short answer questions, based on readings, lectures and discussions in previous weeks. The quiz will be available on Wattle for four days following the seminar, and you will have 30 minutes to complete it from commencing.
Assessment Task 5
Learning Outcomes: 1,2
A short online quiz comprising multiple choice and/or short answer questions, based on readings, lectures and discussions in previous weeks. The quiz will be available on Wattle for four days following the seminar, and you will have 30 minutes to complete it from commencing. Grades will be released as a component of the final grade, not communicated separately.
Academic IntegrityAcademic 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 SubmissionThe 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. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
Hardcopy SubmissionFor 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 utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.
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.
Referencing RequirementsAccepted 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.
Please refer to the details for each assessment task.
Extensions and PenaltiesExtensions 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.
Distribution of grades policyAcademic 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 studentsThe 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).
- ANU Health, safety & wellbeing for medical services, counselling, mental health and spiritual support
- ANU Diversity and inclusion for students with a disability or ongoing or chronic illness
- ANU Dean of Students for confidential, impartial advice and help to resolve problems between students and the academic or administrative areas of the University
- ANU Academic Skills and Learning Centre supports you make your own decisions about how you learn and manage your workload.
- ANU Counselling Centre promotes, supports and enhances mental health and wellbeing within the University student community.
- ANUSA supports and represents undergraduate and ANU College students
- PARSA supports and represents postgraduate and research students
I am a PhD Candidate in the Research School of Management and visiting researcher at the UMR CESAER (INRA/AgroSup Dijon/Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté). My research examines the interaction of people and food in the context of social and environmental sustainability. At present, I am investigating the influence of the idea of terroir on sustainability in the French and Australian wine industries, to inform business and policy decisions. Pre-PhD, I worked in digital design, and government and management consulting.