- Code LAWS8110
- Unit Value 6 units
- Offered by ANU Law School
- ANU College ANU College of Law
- Course subject Laws
- Areas of interest Law
- Academic career PGRD
- Mode of delivery In Person
Traditionally, industry has been accused of sacrificing sustainable development to the pursuit of short-term profit. Yet today, under the banner of Corporate Environmental Responsibility (CER), a growing number of business organizations are claiming to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem. So what is this emerging phenomenon of CER and what does it aspire to achieve? How pervasive is it and what are its implications for both business and the environment? This course assesses the evidence as to what extent corporations are seeking to “do well be doing good” and explains why some companies have gone down this path when others, similarly situated, have been unwilling to do so, having regard in particular to the relationship between corporate environmental strategy and competitive advantage. In essence it asks: what has CER accomplished, what can it accomplish and what is beyond its reach. The course includes a variety of case studies and workshops, and is designed to complement LAWS8111.
Environmental concerns have a powerful (but within Australia, little understood) impact on business success. To maintain their competitive advantage, corporate managers must stay ahead of the curve, focusing on environmental strategy and positioning themselves to be ‘environmentally responsible’. This course is concerned with how business can and should respond to environmental challenges and with how corporate environment responsibility can be linked to positive economic outcomes. New technologies, untapped markets and regulatory innovations all present business opportunities to be seized by companies with foresight. The question is how to turn environment to a strategic advantage. The course explores the effects of environmentalism on corporate management, examining recent thinking on the role of environment in business, how environmental forces are driving change, how best to respond to external pressures, and how business managers can think about environmental issues in a strategic way. In particular, how can business can best respond to the pressures of regulation, markets, financial institutions, consumers and NGOs? The course will be of particular value to business managers at all levels, to government officials, policymakers and regulators, to corporate environmental lawyers, to environment consultants, NGOs and to a variety of other environmental stakeholders.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- Explain the relationship between the law, economic incentives, organisational structure, non-legal policy tools and decision-making processes for corporate environmental responsibility;
- Compare, contrast and reflect on key policy tools and processes relevant to environmental management and performance in the private sector, and understand the role of organisational issues and key business strategies for engaging with environmental issues;
- Critically examine the importance to reputation-sensitive business of social licence and the inter-relationship between business and civil society, including business-NGO partnerships;
- Analyse what corporate environmental responsibility has accomplished, what it can accomplish and what is beyond its reach; and
- Research, critically examine and communicate in writing about a problem or specific aspect of corporate environment.
- Class participation (10) [LO null]
- Research Essay (6,000 words). (90) [LO null]
In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle.
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Classes offered in non-standard sessions will be taught on an intensive base with compulsory contact hours (approximately 26 hours of face to face teaching). The course will also require advanced preparation through assigned readings. In total, it is anticipated that the hours required for completion of this course (class preparation, teaching and completion of assessment) will not exceed 120 hours. Classes offered during semester periods are expected to have 3 contact hours per week.
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Requisite and Incompatibility
Students must rely on the approved Class Summary which will be posted to the Programs and Courses site approximately 2 weeks prior to the commencement of the course.
An-brick will be available on the Wattle course site
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- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
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