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Sustainable Business Innovation - ENV00098M

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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: 2021-22

Module summary

This module will introduce students to theories and advanced functions of business and topics such as supply chain management, sustainable finance and environmental psychology. It reviews the core functions of business, such as R&D, production, supply chain management, marketing, and finance, and the leading sustainability responses. It features topics like environmental psychology as a lever to transform marketing for sustainability, and topics like sustainable supply chain management and sustainable finance. In this way, it explores how companies at the forefront of sustainability have transformed their business for sustainability and what leadership approaches might look like. Following a case study approach, this module discusses in depth the spectrum of sustainable innovations from a business perspective, with innovation at the technology, product, business model, value chain and systemic ecosystem level. It focuses on strategic responses by business to implement innovations at the different levels, with a different business function and key sustainability innovation considered each week. Recent developments such as the Circular and Sharing Economy will also be spotlighted.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module aims to familiarise students with functions of business, their (changing) role to address sustainability challenges and the different levels of innovation.


  • team working

  • critical thinking

  • visual communication

Module learning outcomes

Students who complete this module successfully will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of relevant concepts related to the field of sustainable innovation as well as the role of different business functions. (Knowledgeable and aware)

  • Critically reflect on the business responses (Analytical thinker)

  • Actively participate in discussions of business functions for sustainability based on scholarly literature and leadership responses. (Effective Communicator)

  • Develop a sustainable business innovation case taking into account multiple business functions perspectives (Innovator, Effective Communicator)


Task Length % of module mark
Case study analysis
N/A 70
Case study video
N/A 30

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Summative assessment consists of:

Case Study Analysis (70%) and Case Study Video (30%).

This is a module delivered by Maastricht University and will be subject to Maastricht Education and Examination Regulations.

The module will appear as Pass/Fail Module on your York transcript (and for award purposes), Maastricht will provide a transcript detailing your assessments for this module.


Task Length % of module mark
Case study analysis
N/A 70
Case study video
N/A 30

Module feedback

Formative feedback will be provided in weekly workshops. Summative feedback will be provided on written feedback sheets.

Indicative reading

Adams, R., Jeanrenaud, S., Bessant, J., Denyer, D., & Overy, P. (2016). Sustainability-oriented innovation: A systematic review. International Journal of Management Reviews, 18(2), 180-205.

Baldassarre, B., Keskin, D., Diehl, J. C., Bocken, N., & Calabretta, G. (2020). Implementing sustainable design theory in business practice: A call to action. Journal of Cleaner Production, 123113.

Ceschin, F., & Gaziulusoy, I. (2016). Evolution of design for sustainability: From product design to design for system innovations and transitions. Design studies, 47, 118-163.

Dewick P, Bengtsson M, Cohen MJ, Sarkis J, Schro¨der P. Circular economy finance: Clear winner or risky proposition? J Ind Ecol. 2020;1–9.

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.