BENVGED8: Business and Sustainability

Course Leader: Marco Aponte-Moreno

MODULE PROFILE at a glance

This module is designed to help students develop an in-depth understanding of how sustainability can create value for businesses. It introduces students to the necessary principles to measure, manage, and report corporate sustainability performance in terms of the Triple Bottom Line (TBL). Also, the module analyses the role played by sustainable and responsible investments in the overall performance of businesses, and establishes the link between businesses’ sustainability obligations and financial success factors.

In addition, the module explores the role of sustainability in companies’ risk management efforts, and looks at ways to hedge climate-change related risks. It also explores sustainability accounting, examines how and why sustainability should be reported, and assesses different strategies for sustainability improvement. Finally, this module addresses practical applications of TBL principles to management issues in four different sectors: extractive, energy-intensive, land/water-incentive, and consumer products/demand sectors.

The aims of this module are:

i) to engender comprehension of the nature of sustainable business and the inherent challenges;

ii) to develop and apply appropriate business strategies to a range of sectors;

iii) to assess investment proposals against both financial and non-financial criteria: financial, social and environmental;

iv) to develop metrics to measure the success of investments in financial, social and environmental contexts.

The module organizer is Dr Marco Aponte-Moreno from Department of Management Science and Innovation, UCL.

Lectures & Seminars

Delivery comprises a mixture of lectures (18 hours) and seminar presentations by students (9 hours).

Module Assessment Summary

Type Description Weighting%
CW One essay (2,000 words)  50.0
CW Team project (2,000 words per student)  50.0

Outcomes

Successful completion of the module will enable students to:

- Understand how sustainability can create economic, social and environmental value

- Acquire detailed knowledge of the principles to measure, manage and report corporate sustainability performance in terms of the TBL

- Develop a critical understanding of sustainability business practices derived from business models and/or adopted by businesses and other organisations

- Understand the role played by sustainable and responsible investments in the overall performance of businesses

- Understand the role of sustainability in companies’ risk-management efforts, and acquire solid knowledge on ways in which climate-change related risks can be hedged

- Critically evaluate performance metrics used to measure sustainability, and acquire a good understanding of sustainability accounting and reporting

- Develop a critical understanding of different strategies for sustainability improvement

- Acquire a practical understanding of TBL principles applied to different sectors: extractive, energy-intensive, land/water-incentive, and consumer products/demand sectors