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Environmental Sustainability - ENV00094M

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Adrian Gonzalez
  • Credit value: 5 ECTS
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23
    • See module specification for other years: 2021-22

Module summary

It is clear that business needs to move from being an originator of environmental sustainability issues to a leader in the creation of sustainable solutions and innovations. This module will explore the relationship between environmental sustainability issues and business practice. It will discuss sustainability indicators like the SDGs and the issue of materiality from a business perspective, as well as approaches to manage environmental impact in a business context. A case study approach will allow students to focus on a key environmental sustainability issue each week. Broad topics which will be covered include energy systems, consumer electronics, travel and mobility, land use change, water quality and the “plastics problem”.

Students will learn about the fundamental principles which underlie the issue and, through problem-based learning discussion sessions, will explore the associated drivers to business practice and innovations. Through joint problem-based learning discussions with the cohort in the partner institution (York or Maastricht), students will gain an international perspective on environmental sustainability issues and the role of business as both their creator and solver.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

The aim of this module is to equip students with an appreciation of the fundamental principles which underlie key environmental sustainability problems, and associated drivers for change to business practice and innovations including policy, consumer and wider public pressure.

Skills:

  • Undertake advanced research on environmental sustainability issues and their links to business practice

  • Analyse complex sustainability problems

  • Online, international collaboration

Module learning outcomes

Students who complete this module successfully will be able to:

  • Critically discuss and undertake advanced research to establish the fundamental principles which underlie key environmental sustainability issues;

  • Establish and evaluate the drivers for change to business practice and innovation to solve environmental sustainability issues;

  • Analyse complex environmental sustainability issues and critically assess the role of business in creating and solving associated problems;

  • Discuss and debate environmental sustainability issues in an international setting.

Module content

The module is taught over seven weeks. The timetable for the module will include a one hour weekly lecture, and a mix of face-to-face PBL session with the home cohort and online PBL sessions with students in the partner institution (York or Maastricht). All sessions within a given week will focus on exploring one key environmental sustainability issue.

  • Lectures: 8 hours

  • Seminars: 14 hours

  • Assessment: Essay (80%), participation and contribution (20%)

  • Private Study: 128 hours

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Coursework - extensions not feasible/practicable
PBL Participation and contribution
N/A 20
Essay/coursework
Essay - Environmental Sustainability
N/A 80

Special assessment rules

Non-compensatable

Additional assessment information

Formative work:

  • Formative essay plan

Summative assessment:

  • Essay (80%)
  • Participation and contribution (20%); based on seminar input. This includes evaluation of weekly team presentations summarising PBL research and findings and individual weekly reflective summaries of each PBL topic.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Coursework - extensions not feasible/practicable
PBL Participation and contribution
N/A 20
Essay/coursework
Essay - Environmental Sustainability
N/A 80

Module feedback

Formative verbal feedback on presentational style and content will be provided in weekly PBL seminars. Summative feedback will be provided on written feedback sheets.

Indicative reading

Albareda, L., Bocken, N., Ritala, P., and Verburg, R. (eds.) 2019. Innovation for Sustainability: Business Transformations Towards a Better World. Springer International Publishing.

Cardona, J. L. 2014. Sustainability: a history. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Chancel, L and DeBevoise, M. 2020. Unsustainable Inequalities. Harvard: Harvard University Press. I

Merchant, C. 2020. The Anthropocene and the Humanities: From Climate Change to a New Age of Sustainability. Yale: Yale University Press.

Schwartz, D. T. 2010. Consuming Choices: Ethics in a Global Consumer Age.



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.