Module code: MANM405

Module Overview

Stakeholder pressure from investors, shareholders, community and customers has significantly increased in recent years. By managing and improving environmental, social and economic performance throughout supply chains, companies can conserve resources, optimize processes, develop product innovations, save costs, increase productivity and promote corporate values. More and more companies are extending their commitment to responsible business practices to their value chains, from subsidiaries to suppliers and are doing so through innovative technology to manage increasing turbulence. They do so not only because of the inherent social and environmental risks and the governance challenges the supply chain poses, but also because of the many rewards supply chain sustainability can deliver. The disruption of typical supply chains in the energy, manufacturing and service sector will see the way we live our lives changed forever. Indeed, sustainable supply chain management can be a strong driver of value and success, for business as much as for society. The business case for supply chain sustainability is growing but implementations can prove more difficult. This module develops the students’ abilities to analyse, understand and justify the adoption of sustainable practices in global supply networks, considering the circular economy.

Module provider

Surrey Business School

Module Leader

COLE Rosanna (SBS)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code: N240

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:
1. Societal and environmental supply chain responsibility
2. Risk management
3. Supply chains in a circular economy
4. Product design, technology and sustainable packaging initiatives
5. Green warehousing and distribution
6. Reverse logistics and recycling
7. Global or local? The ethical debate
8. The role of consumers
9. The effects of a digital ecosystem on environment
10. Digital revolution & sustainability

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Coursework (2000 words) 50
Oral exam or presentation Group presentation 50

Alternative Assessment

Virtual Individual oral-examination or presentation possible for retaking students.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their achievement regarding the learning outcomes. The summative assessment for this module consists of two components: the first is a piece of coursework (2000 words) the topic of which can be picked from a list or agreed with the module organiser. The second is a group based annotated presentation that makes a persuasive case for change towards greater sustainability supply chain management in a company.

The first assignment is due during the first half of the course and the group presentation will be assessed at the end of the module.

Formative assessment and feedback
Tutorials and/or workshops will be provided prior to both assessment submissions with feedback provided.

Module aims

  • To understand the rationale for operating sustainably and be able to identify and manage appropriate different definitions and perceptions of risk
  • To have an appreciation of the complex issues involved with sustainable production, distribution and reverse flow
  • To understand how environmental and social impacts across the value chain affect business and supply strategies
  • To acquire a sound knowledge of a circular economy perspective of supply networks
  • To consider supply chain systems distruptions and how the IoT contributes to this
  • To apply sustainability considerations to global or local sourcing strategies
  • To analyse the consumer role in the progression of sustainable supply chains

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Debate environmental and social drivers of sustainable supply chain management
002 Understand the complex issues involved with sustainable production and distribution by recognising the business risks and any solutions sustainable practices provide
003 Apply meaningfully the core principles a circular economy perspective of supply networks
004 Present a business case towards sustainability management
005 Show an awareness of the wider sustainability implications of supply chain management K
006 Organise and communicate their ideas

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 114

Lecture Hours: 12

Seminar Hours: 24

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

The module adopts a partly case-based learning strategy that presents, after a lecture on the material, a case that offers direct application of the concepts and ideas. Emphasis is given to foster opinions and ideas on the material to apply the learning material in a direct, practical and business-relevant manner.

The learning and teaching methods include: Lectures, seminar discussions, practical applications, company case studies (3 hours per week)

Practical action-learning sessions will apply the principles learnt in this course to design and develop sustainability supply chain strategies for business.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Operations and Supply Chain in the Digital Era MSc 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.