BSc Environmental Management / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Corporate Sustainability Project

Course unit fact file
Unit code PLAN26022
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Available as a free choice unit? No


To achieve a sustainable future, businesses will be a vital component of addressing global challenges. This course unit provides students with an opportunity to understand and evaluate business attitudes and approaches to sustainability.

Central to the course unit will be a real-world scenario in which students work on meeting a brief commissioned by a (hypothetical) business client that requires the development of a sustainable solution. This will be complemented by dedicated workshops where groups of students, acting as consultants, will work through typical consultancy processes such as costing, research, data analysis, and report-writing. This element is interactive and discussion-based.

Alongside the central theme of the unit, there will be a series of lectures and industry-speakers covering core concepts such as sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, corporate accountability, stakeholder theory and the tools used to demonstrate ethical practice. The practical realisation of corporate sustainability will also be explored, using case-studies to demonstrate the differences between green-washing compared with genuine sustainability innovation.


The unit aims to:

  • Introduce core concepts, drivers for, and regulatory frameworks that underpin corporate sustainability.
  • Evaluate the tensions that exist between business / client demands and the ethical requirements of corporate sustainability.
  • Explore a client-focused approach to applying business practice to sustainability and environmental management challenges.


  • core concepts and theories underpinning business, environment and corporate responsibility.
  • The role of stakeholders and shareholders in sustainable business
  • How sustainability can influence decision-making
  • Sustainable production and supply chains
  • Monitoring, audit and reporting on sustainability
  • Project management

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture-based sessions:

Each week will have an interactive lecture, including small group and whole class discussion on different aspects of corporate sustainability.


Workshops will allow students to explore some of the core theories and their practical application. Sessions will be interactive using case-studies and pre-session tasks to initiate debate.  

Directed reading:

Each workshop session will require students to undertake preliminary preparation by accessing a range of mixed-media content provided on Blackboard, including researching case-studies, reading journal articles and engaging with interactive content on different aspects of corporate sustainability.

Independent study:

Students will carry out independent study to develop their understanding of corporate sustainability and allow students to explore particular topics that interest them in greater depth. 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Identify the key concepts and theories that underpin corporate sustainability and their translation into practice.
  • Explain business approaches to environmental management and corporate responsibility.

Intellectual skills

  • Describe how theoretical approaches to corporate sustainability can be applied to real world situations.
  • Critically evaluate the balance between business / client demands and ethical considerations, with reference to a specific aspect of environmental management.
  • Construct a reasoned argument that justifies a preferred solution to an environmental problem

Practical skills

  • Design and implement a project to meet a client brief.
  • Interpret and critique different approaches to corporate sustainability.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Collaborate effectively in a group to deliver a specified output.
  • Describe the interplay between regulation and practical implementation.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Report 75%
Oral assessment/presentation 25%

Feedback methods

  • On Blackboard through discussion board
  • Verbally, in class
  • Verbally, in one-to-one sessions

Recommended reading

  • Godelnik, R. (2021) Rethinking corporate sustainability in the Era of climate crisis: A strategic design approach. Springer Nature.
  •  Lindgreen, A., Vallaster, C., Maon, F., Yousafzai, S. and Florencio, B.P. eds. (2018) Sustainable entrepreneurship: discovering, creating and seizing opportunities for blended value generation. Routledge, London.
  • Meinhold, R. (2021) Business Ethics and Sustainability. Routledge, London.
  • Taticchi, P., Carbone, P. and Albino, V. eds. (2013) Corporate sustainability. Berlin: Springer.
  • IEMA. (2018) Driving Climate Actions through Environmental Management Systems. Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment. Available at:


  • Journal of Business Ethics - for example:

 Corbett, J., Webster, J. and Jenkin, T.A., 2018. Unmasking corporate sustainability at the project level: Exploring the influence of institutional logics and individual agency. Journal of Business Ethics, 147, pp.261-286.

Szabo, S. and Webster, J., 2021. Perceived greenwashing: the effects of green marketing on environmental and product perceptions. Journal of Business Ethics, 171, pp.719-739.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Practical classes & workshops 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 168

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