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Course 2021-2022 a.y.

30296 - GLOBAL SUSTAINABILITY STRATEGY

Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 31

BIG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08)
Course Director:
NICOLA MISANI

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Instructors:
Class 31: NICOLA MISANI


Suggested background knowledge

To feel comfortable in this course, you should be familiar with basic concepts regarding management, organizations, and global economy.


Mission & Content Summary
MISSION

Sustainability connects old concerns for economic growth and social equity with a concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems. The course explores how sustainability is becoming an existential challenge for humanity – due to such alarming issues as climate change or growing social inequality – and a source of change for companies. Organizations are rethinking their role in the society and increasingly choosing to exceed the legal requirements they face and to take action to address social and environmental problems. Students are confronted with the theoretical bases of sustainability, seen as a perspective that shapes the role of the organizations within society and promote sustainable development, and the challenges of incorporating this perspective into the practices of organizations. A strategic approach to sustainability is more complex than traditional strategy, because it requires managers to engage with the non-market environment including regulators, activists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The course is oriented around understanding the conditions under which sustainability can benefit all the stakeholders involved.

CONTENT SUMMARY
  • Sustainable development and corporate sustainability
  • Climate change and the road to Net Zero
  • The business case for sustainability
  • Circular economy and sustainable business models
  • Sustainable supply chains
  • Sustainability in the marketplace
  • Social sustainability in the workplace
  • Sustainable finance, ESG (environmental, social, and governance) criteria, and purpose-led shareholders
  • Sustainability metrics and reporting 
  • Embedding sustainability in organizations

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)
KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Describe the global sustainability issues that challenge today and tomorrow business models.
  • Describe how sustainability penetrates the different activities of the firm and its relationships with stakeholders.
  • Identify sustainability issues in the various parts of organizations and their value chains.
  • Understand the organizational challenges of adopting sustainable business models.
APPLYING KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING
At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Examine the extent to which different types of sustainability initiatives are strategic.
  • Analyze sustainability impacts of firms on value chains and business models.
  • Identify ways of improving processes and products in the direction of improved sustainability.
  • Assess the practices adopted by the organizations that want to perform on the financial, social and environmental dimensions.

Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)
DETAILS

The course is based on active teaching methodologies aimed at maximizing students’ participation. In addition to theoretical sessions, students are involved in the discussion of case studies and exercises based on real-world examples. Guest speakers will provide a practical perspective on how sustainability is becoming a necessary element of strategies of firms. Theory and practice are combined dynamically, making room for in-class assignments to apply concepts.

Specific learning activities (which may consist of questionnaires, reflection papers, pre-readings, in-class exercises, and so on) complement each class and stimulate the active involvement of students in the course.


Assessment methods
  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • x   x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • x    
    ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Students qualify as attending if:

     

    • they complete at least 9 of the 12 learning activities that are carried out in the sessions
    • they complete the group project
    • they participate in the final presentation of group projects

     

    To be considered complete, a Learning Activity must be submitted by the deadline and be of acceptable quality.

    The final grade will consist of the following components: 

     

    • Short tests:                   35%
    • Group project:              25%
    • Final written exam:     40%
    • Bonus points:               0 or 1

     

    The maximum grade is 31.

     

    The short tests are quizzes and exercises that are held during classes and focus on the students' ability to apply knowledge and understanding of all concepts of the course.

     

    The group assignment tests students' ability to apply the concepts of the course. Your task is to focus on a specific industry (such as steel, automotive, food, fashion, etc.) and analyze/develop realistic business models that companies can adopt to arrive at Net Zero.

     

    The final written exam tests the knowledge you obtained by attending classes and studying materials. It will consist of a mix of multiple-choice questions and some short-essay questions (e.g. concept questions or cases analysis).

     

    The bonus point will be awarded for the successful completion of all the learning activities of the course.

    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS

    Written exam to test knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues, their systemic and organizational implications, as well as the ability to apply concepts to concrete problems. The exam is based on the required readings for non-attending students, including the textbook. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and some short-essay questions.


    Teaching materials
    ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • A collection of readings provided through Blackboard and listed in the syllabus.
    • Case studies and slides used during the classes.
    NOT ATTENDING STUDENTS
    • A collection of readings provided through Blackboard and listed in the syllabus.
    • N.R Sanders & J.D. Wood (2019), "Foundations of Sustainable Business: Theory, Function, and Strategy", 2nd Edition, Wiley & Sons (ALL CHAPTERS).
    Last change 26/08/2021 21:45