• Class Number 7385
  • Term Code 3260
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • Dr Gary Buttriss
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 25/07/2022
  • Class End Date 28/10/2022
  • Census Date 31/08/2022
  • Last Date to Enrol 01/08/2022
SELT Survey Results

Business as usual is no longer an option, to meet the increasing formal (regulatory) and informal (community) expectations relating to their impact on society and the natural environment along with meeting the challenge of climate change implementing sustainability has become an increasingly important strategic intent of corporations.

The course takes the perspective of an individual corporation operating in a dynamic competitive environment in a capitalist economy, that seeks to: examine both its internal and external environments to determine the range of sustainability issues that it faces, including climate change; 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 for corporations, of:

  • fundamental concepts of sustainability and the importance to individual corporate entity of corporate sustainability;
  • the impact of social and environmental risk
  • the business case for sustainability and the factors both driving and guiding sustainability strategy
  • how a sustainability strategy is potentially a source of competitive advantage and productivity growth
  • pathways for and business opportunities in transitioning to net zero and beyond
  • ways of creating value by pursuing a net zero strategy through innovation business model, product and process innovation
  • the impact that climate change has on organisations operations and strategy.
  • key drivers and inhibitors, both external and internal to the corporation – including climate change, of the natural environmental and social aspects of corporate sustainability;
  • the inter-relationship between the natural environmental, social, and economic aspects of corporate sustainability;

and to provide an overview of:

  • the principal ‘toolkits' currently used by practitioners to recognise and resolve natural environmental and social sustainability issues in pursuing sustainable business strategy; and
  • contemporary issues in corporate sustainability

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Identify issues that relate to the relationship between the corporation, its natural environmental and social sustainability
  2. Apply sustainability concepts in the business context
  3. Discuss contemporary issues driving business model innovation for sustainability
  4. Argue the business case for sustainability for an organisation
  5. Interpret intervention options for organisational change in pursuit of corporate sustainability
  6. Devise appropriate actions and tactics to address sustainability strategies for the organisation

Research-Led Teaching

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.

  • Seminars will be pre-recorded and made available on Echo360 and Wattle
  • Participation is expected in all classes and assessments

Field Trips

There are no field trips planned.

Additional Course Costs

There are no additional class costs.

Examination Material or equipment

There is no 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 required textbook.

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. Sustainability and the net zero imperative Course introduction Defining corporate sustainability Net zero
2 Seminar - Week 2: Climate change literacy Climate change Climate change simulator Thinking in systems
3 Seminar - Week 3: Dematerialisation and value creation New models of consumption Product - service systems (PPS)
4 Seminar - Week 4: Making the business case The business case Drivers of sustainability and net zero transformations Shared/Extended Producer Responsibility
5 Seminar - Week 5: Managing climate related risks Social risk How do we perceive risk? Outrage Environmental risks and pressures The Precautionary Principle Transitional risk
6 Seminar - Week 6: Benchmarking & Reporting Sustainability Benchmarking & Reporting Input-output Analysis Quiz 1 (online after seminar)
7 Seminar - Week 7:The Circular Economy Eco-efficiency v Eco-effectiveness Closed Loop Systems Climate Simulation Project due 4pm Monday 19th Sept
8 Seminar - Week 8: Waste equals Food Sources of waste Recycling Waste Hierarchy
9 Seminar - Week 9: Product Innovation Design for Sustainability (DfS) Biomimicry
10 Seminar - Week 10: Supply Chains Supply chain management Reverse logistics Remanufacture
11 Seminar - Week 11: Natural Capital Eco-systems services Environmental accounting Carbon capture sequestration and utilisation
12 Seminar - Week 12: Leading Change Corporate environmentalism Corporate citizenship Corporate omnipresence The future of the organisation TBL Project Due 4pm Monday 31st October Quiz 2 (online following seminar)

Tutorial Registration

There are no tutorials for this course. All activities will be conducted within the weekly seminar.

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Quiz 1 (20%) 15 % 01/09/2022 02/09/2022 1,2
Simulating limate Futures (30%) 30 % 19/09/2022 04/10/2022 1,2,3
Major Project (35%) 35 % 03/11/2022 01/12/2022 1,2,3
Quiz 2 (20%) 20 % 27/10/2022 01/12/2022 1,2

* 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.


Seminars will be delivered far-to-face on campus.

Participation is expected in all classes and assessments


There is no examination for this course.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 15 %
Due Date: 01/09/2022
Return of Assessment: 02/09/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Quiz 1 (20%)

Individual assessment

Online Quiz (15 Marks)

30 Multiple Choice Questions - covering ALL material from readings and activities week 1-6 inclusive

Due: Online window following Week 6 seminar.

Return of marks: at close of quiz - by end of week 6

Assessment Task 2

Value: 30 %
Due Date: 19/09/2022
Return of Assessment: 04/10/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Simulating limate Futures (30%)

Individual Assessment

Students will work with the En-ROADS simulation model developed by Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan Sustainability Initiative to create a scenario that can mitigate global warming to the internationally agreed target of less than 2°C. In addition, you will consider the implications for business along with the economic, political, and social issues relevant to successful implementation of your policies.

The project is designed to test critical thinking, analytical, and research skills. Students are expected to develop a scenario to meet the goals using the simulator supported by research evidence and theory from scholarly journal articles.

Harvard referencing is required, a guide is available at: https://library.sydney.edu.au/subjects/downloads/citation/Harvard_Complete.pdf

Word limit: 3,000 words.

Assessment brief: Available on Wattle

Rubric: A marking rubric will be available on WATTLE.

Due date: Monday, 19 September 2022 Week 7

Return of marks: within 2 weeks of due date.

Assessment Task 3

Value: 35 %
Due Date: 03/11/2022
Return of Assessment: 01/12/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2,3

Major Project (35%)

Individual Assessment

Students will evaluate a business by determining the organisations ecological footprint using Input/Output Analysis. Based on their analysis students then undertake a strategic assessment and develop a net zero strategy for the firm.

Assessment brief: Available on Wattle

Rubric: A marking rubric will be available on Wattle

Due: Monday, 7th November 2022 - submitted via Turnitin link on Wattle

Return of marks: Released with final grades on 01 December 2022

Assessment Task 4

Value: 20 %
Due Date: 27/10/2022
Return of Assessment: 01/12/2022
Learning Outcomes: 1,2

Quiz 2 (20%)

Individual assessment

2 Parts

Part A (15 Marks)

30 Multiple Choice Questions - covering ALL material from readings and activities week 7-12 inclusive

Part B (5 marks)

1 Short answer question

Due: Online window following Week 12 seminar.

Return of marks: Released with final grades on 01 December 2022

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 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. 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 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 utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

Late submission is not permitted for tasks 1 and 4.

Assessment task 2 and 3 - Late submission of assessment tasks without an extension are penalised at the rate of 5% of the total 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.

All requests for extensions to assessment in RSM courses must be submitted to the RSM School Office with a completed application form and supporting documentation. The RSM Extension Application Form and further information on this process can be found at https://www.rsm.anu.edu.au/education/education-programs/notices-for-students/extension-application-procedure/

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 refer to the details for each assessment task.

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

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

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 organizations business model; consumer behaviour and how we become sustainable and ethical consumers; and how markets and organizations evolve in response to technological, environmental and social forces. My latest research project involves studying the process of Canberra evolving to be a sustainable city.

Dr Gary Buttriss

Thursday 14:00 15:00
By Appointment

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions