Master of International Affairs   Master of Public Policy  

Business and sustainable development

The role of business has been pointed out as essential to sustainable development – commonly defined as meeting present economic, social and environmental needs without compromising future ones. Yet, sustainable development means different things to different constituents and sustainable business strategies are often criticised for being self-serving. While for-profits clearly drive economic development, their role in environmental preservation and social justice is less obvious.

The overarching aim of this course is to equip you with a critical and comprehensive understanding of the responsibilities of modern business organisations in relation to sustainable development. This course will provide you with frameworks and practical examples of how to assess and address the complex issues of (corporate) sustainability in a systematic way. The course will introduce the role of business in society and for sustainable development. We will examine the associated complex social and environmental responsibilities of business organisations towards a range of stakeholders. You will learn to assess the impact of corporations on their social and natural environments. We will also examine the challenges and requirements of integrating sustainability in business operations and building sustainable products and supply chains across a wide range of contexts and industries. In addition, we will explore the different meanings of sustainability for different stakeholders and how some of these actors (governmental, non-governmental and for-profit) partner and collaborate to deal with sustainability issues.

This course is for 2nd year MIA and MPP students only.