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Corporate Sustainability - ENV00043M

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Fiona Dickson
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module focuses on sustainability in a corporate context.  It reflects a growing awareness of the significance for creating long-term shareholder value of balancing economic performance with practices that are simultaneously environmentally, ethically and socially sustainable.  

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Spring Term 2021-22

Module aims

Module aims:

  1. Introduce students to global trends, concepts, theoretical frameworks and guiding principles relevant to corporate sustainability;
  2. Examine the links between corporate activities, globalisation and sustainability, and in the context of stakeholders, the role of corporate governance, law and ethics;
  3. Explore the major challenges faced by decision-makers when attempting to develop and implement sustainability strategies;
  4. Build an awareness of techniques and tools deployed in the interrogation and management of environmental, social and governance matters; 
  5. Develop skills and competencies relevant to working in a professional context in the field of corporate sustainability policy and management.

Module learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to:

  1. Explain the concept of 'corporate sustainability' and present a credible case for incorporating environmental, social and ethical considerations into strategic business planning;
  2. Understand the role of corporate governance, law and business ethics in managing the relationship between corporations and their stakeholders in the context of globalisation and the goal of sustainability;
  3. Analyse key factors in developing, deploying and monitoring corporate sustainability strategies in practice (e.g. trade-offs, finance and organisational change);
  4. Critically analyse business operations from a corporate sustainability perspective and design a programme of changes to improve performance;
  5. Develop methodological approaches to identifying and managing corporate sustainability issues, apply some basic diagnostic techniques and create some bespoke management tools;
  6. Deploy some basic skills and competencies pertinent to working as a corporate sustainability professional.

Module content

The module is delivered in the autumn and spring terms.


Task Length % of module mark
Coursework Report 1
N/A 40
Coursework Report 2
N/A 60

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Reassessment: Coursework Report
N/A 100

Module feedback

Generic verbal feedback to the class as a whole and individual written feedback on assessed coursework. Feedback will be provided within four weeks. 

Indicative reading

Blowfield, M. and Murray, A. (2013). Corporate Responsibility. 3rd Edition. Oxford University Press

Crane, A. and Matten, D. (2016). Business Ethics: Managing Corporate Citizenship and Sustainability in the Age of Globalisation. 4th Edition. Oxford University Press

Crane, A, McWilliams, A et al (2008).  The Oxford Handbook of Corporate Social Responsibility. Oxford University Press

Epstein, M.J. and Rejc Buhovac, A (2014). Making Sustainability Work: Best Practices in Managing and Measuring Corporate Social, Environmental and Economic Impacts. 2nd Edition. Greenleaf Publishing

Hitchcock, D. and Willard, M. (2015). The Business Guide to Sustainability: Practical Strategies and Tools for Organisations.  3rd Edition. Routledge

Tricker, R. (2012).  Corporate Governance: Principles, Policies and Practices. 2nd Edition. Oxford University Press.


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.