MGMT 302 - Business Sustainability and the Environment

An introduction to business theory revolving around social and environmental sustainability. This course will introduce concepts relating to  business sustainability, including systems thinking, complexity and resilience, corporate responsibility, materials and energy flows and transformations, and economic and market mechanisms. These topics will be analysed through the five major business functions of finance, accounting, strategy, marketing, and operations.


Credits: 3


Hours: 45 (Lecture Hours: 45)


MGMT 104; OR permission of Chair.


Non-Course Prerequisites:




Detailed Course Content, Topics and Sequence Covered:
- Implement sustainable business frameworks and apply core sustainability concepts
- Minimize the Impact of business practices on the environment
- Evaluate the Government's role in sustainable business practices
- Explain the importance of accounting for ensuring sustainability
- Review strategies for and investing in innovation to achieve sustainability
- Construct marketing for sustainability                                                                                                                     
- Organize operations for sustainability
- Outline financing activities for sustainability

Learning Outcomes:
Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to: 
Implement sustainable business frameworks and apply core sustainability concepts 
- Explain what it means to be a sustainable business and the relationship of profitability and sustainability 
- Explain what is meant by the triple bottom line for businesses in relation to sustainability 
- Discuss the barriers that businesses can encounter in adopting sustainable business practices 
- Describe what it means to have a systems perspective 
- Describe why a systems perspective is useful for guiding sustainable business practices 
- Discuss the social responsibilities of businesses 
- Explain the role of consumers in motivating sustainable business practice 
- Explain how sustainable business practice can be a source of competitive advantage for businesses 
- Explain what it means for a business to create shared value 
Minimize the Impact of Business Practices on the Environment 
- Discuss the key interrelationships among human, earth, and natural systems and why these are important for sustainable businesses 
- Explain the main ways that businesses and individuals affect ecosystems and the environment 
- Describe the energy use by businesses in modern society and why this is relevant for sustainable businesses  
- Discuss two common views of limits to growth and understand how both views are relevant for sustainable businesses 
- Describe basic concepts of the Earth’s history and ecology 
- Describe the interaction between ecosystem services and human well-being 
- Discuss what factors affect climate change and what the current trajectory and implications of climate change are for the next century  
- Discuss the role of population, affluence and technology in driving human impacts 
- Evaluate how green economy activities relate to business sustainability 
Evaluate the Government's role in Sustainable Business 
- Explain how public policies and government influence markets for sustainable businesses 
- Explain how private businesses can influence government and public policies to serve their interests 
- Explain some of the factors that can influence public policy, including public opinion, economic conditions, technological change, and interest groups 
- Identify ways that different stakeholders can influence the operating context of sustainable business 
- Explain how businesses try to influence government and the types of responses by businesses to their legal, social and political environment 
- Define market failures 
- Discuss how government efforts to address market failures can be justified to achieve desired social outcomes, such as sustainability 
- Describe the general process and difficulties of policy making and describe how policy levers can help shape business sustainability  
- Compare U.S. policies to address climate change with those in Canada and discuss the implications for sustainable businesses in the different nations 
Explain the importance of Accounting for Ensuring Sustainability 
- Discuss the core areas that are part of sustainability reporting 
- Explain radical transparency and how it pertains to sustainability  
- Identify the four steps in the sustainability reporting process 
- Describe and define sustainable performance indicators and be able to provide examples of them 
- Discuss the organizational resources necessary for sustainability reporting and provide examples of tools and techniques 
- Discuss the role of certification in relation to sustainability reporting 
- Describe life cycle management and explain the role that life cycle assessment can have in sustainability reporting 
- Discuss the key considerations in carbon and water footprint analysis 
- Explain the benefits of assessing the supply chain for sustainability 
Review Strategies for and Investing in Innovation to Achieve Sustainability 
- Explain the different motivations for sustainable business entrepreneurs 
- Describe intrapreneurship and discuss its relationship to entrepreneurship 
- Discuss the relationship between social networks and innovation in sustainable business 
Construct Marketing for Sustainability 
- Explain green marketing strategies and how to best incorporate a green strategy into a company’s overall vision 
- Discuss ways to effectively market a sustainable brand 
- Describe sustainable marketing and how it differs from traditional marketing 
- Define the size of the sustainable product and service market and its growth potential 
- Explain the key challenges in sustainable marketing and how they can be overcome 
- Identify key growth drivers of sustainable marketing 
- Understand the market barriers to sustainable products and how they can be addressed with marketing 
- Identify and discuss the three primary barriers to sustainable product sales growth 
- Discuss the risks associated with sustainability marketing 
- Discuss why marketing a sustainable brand is different from marketing a mainstream product 
- Discuss ways to effectively market a sustainable brand 
Organizing Operations for Sustainability 
- Discuss how operations management that incorporates sustainability principles can reduce costs and improve profits 
- Describe how sustainable operations management practice can contribute to cost reduction and enhance a company’s competitive position 
- Highlight best practices for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in an industry 
- Show how lean manufacturing principles can contribute to sustainable, effective, and efficient management of a company’s carbon footprint 
- Describe how sustainable supply chain management can be a source of competitive advantage 
- Describe how one company conducts business in economically and socially disadvantaged regions of the world based on the values of its founder and senior management 
- Explain how success in business sustainability and success in overall business performance can be related 
- Define global supply chain 
- Discuss what it means to have a supply chain that is sustainable 
- Explain the market drivers behind the growth in Fair Trade Certified (FTC)  
- Explain supply chain management (SCM) 
- Describe how SCM can contribute to sustainable business practice 
- Explain the economic value added by supply chain management 
Outline Financing Activities for Sustainability 
- Discuss socially responsible investing (SRI) and its relationship to sustainability 
- Describe how SRI compares with traditional investment approaches 
- Explain the key elements of SRI 
- Describe the size of the market for SRI, both absolute size and relative size to total investment market 
- Discuss SRI market growth prospects 
- Explain the key challenges of implementing a socially responsible approach to investments 


Grading System: Letters


Passing Grade: D (50%)


Textbooks are subject to change.  Please contact the bookstore at your local campus for current book lists.