Surrey University Stag

CORPORATE SUSTAINABILITY - 2023/4

Module code: ENGM305

Module Overview

The course evaluates and discusses the way environmental and social concerns have affected organisations in the private sector, and how such organisations have affected the content, shape and direction of the public debate. Particular emphasis will be paid to corporate sustainability strategies, the distribution and organisation of roles within an organisation, the contribution of different departments, as well as the industrial perspective towards industrial ecology and sustainable consumption.

Module provider

Centre for Environment & Sustainability

Module Leader

WEHRMEYER Walter (Civl Env Eng)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

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

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 10

Independent Learning Hours: 95

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 8

Tutorial Hours: 9

Guided Learning: 8

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:

- Introduction to the Module
- Introducing corporate sustainability
- Corporate Policies and Strategies
- Cleaner Production, Materials Use and Waste Management
- Risk and The Genesis of Industrial Accidents
- Embedding Sustainability: Management Systems?
- Industrial Ecology
- Socially Responsible Investment
- Product-based Supply Chain Management
- Environmental Reporting and Stakeholder Management
- Transitions Outlook: What are companies for?

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Pre-module essay 30
Coursework Final essay 70

Alternative Assessment

NA

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 short essay (about 1000 words) the topic of which can be picked from a list or agreed upon with the module organiser, due at the start of the module. The second is either a business improvement plan that makes a persuasive case for change towards greater sustainability in a company or an essay picked from a selection, usually due a fortnight after the module. Both assessments rely on reflective essays, where students are encouraged to develop their own views on the topic at hand, as well as develop their abilities to present their views in a cogent manner, informed by relevant literature.

Thus, the assessment for this module (both summative and formative) consists of,: a 1000 word pre-module reflective essay. (30%) and a 3000 word post-module reflective essay or company report. (70%) For both essays, students can either pick from a list of topics or identify, and seek approval for, their own topic. This is often done to reflect personal preferences, employment opportunities for part-time students (and future full-timers), develop further confidence in a favoured part of the module or to challenge ones thinking. There is also an ungraded group assessment (developing a 5-minute video on how a national public challenge can be addressed) for which formative feedback will be provided, but this does not form part of the assessment / grade. This Programmatic Change Challenge is designed to allow students to think radical and develop cogent transition plans to address a particular environmental or social challenge. It is not graded because graded group work tends to average out student marks with some lower-mark students enjoy a mark uplift by working with higher-mark students and vice versa.

Formative assessment and feedback: Feedback will be provided as part of the seminars and tutorials (peer and from the module organiser), as well as in the formative and summative assessment. Feedback on the Programmatic Change Challenge is in the form of peer review in plenary, as well as the award of a prize for the best video.

Module aims

  • To provide students with a critical understanding of contemporary corporate sustainability and environmentalism
  • To understand and conceptualise business practices toward environmental protection
  • To understand how and why companies and organisations implement corporate sustainability strategies
  • To critically assess corporate sustainability in a practical context.
  • To understand the varying levels of corporate sustainability that are applied by different organisations
  • To develop both essay and report writing skills on a corporate sustainability related topic

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Critically engage with the complex ethical, managerial, organisational and economic issues involved with sustainability in a private sector organisation KC
002 Identify and apply a range of corporate strategies and control mechanisms C
003 Develop and understand the appropriate action that an organisation may need to conduct to address a specific set of environmental issues KC
004 Be able to place specific corporate activities into the context and literature of Corporate Sustainability KT
005 Developing Master Level essay writing and media-related transferable skills CPT
006 Appreciate why companies pursue Corporate Sustainability KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategies are designed to: The module adopts a case-based learning strategy that presents, after a lecture on the material, a case (often using videos) that offers direct application of the learnt concepts and ideas. Emphasis is given to fostering 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, and company case studies. The full lectures will be held live with short pre-recorded summaries provided as part of the pre-module preparation. A particular feature is the presentation style of industry case studies. Practitioners will be asked to not prepare a monologue that will be followed by polite questions, but to shortly present their company, and then ask specific questions to the students, who are then prepare their answers in small groups. A subsequent plenary allows the sharing of the ideas with the presenter, as well as direct feedback from the presenter and peers in the class.

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENGM305

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience, in line with Surrey¿s Curriculum Framework]. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Employability - The knowledge and techniques that are developed in Corporate Sustainability during this module are useful for employability. There are various job opportunities relating to Corporate Sustainability / ESG and this sector is continuing to grow. The knowledge students gain about why and how Corporate Sustainability techniques are applied by companies is attractive to employers within this field. The module aims to develop effective group work skills in the context of Corporate Sustainability.

Global and cultural capabilities - This Corporate Sustainability module helps students develop an understanding of the different types of companies that operate to do social good. It examines the range of companies that operate from strictly for-profit, all the way to non-profit. It examines why companies have Corporate Sustainability strategies, and how these strategies can be fruitful for both themselves, society and the environment at the same time. Care is taken to explore cases from many other countries and cultures as well as from private and public sector organisations. In addition, preference is given to past students now in employment, to allow greater cultural and ethical affinity between the students and the presenter.

Sustainability - This module explores the importance of Corporate Sustainability to businesses, especially in a world that is underpinned by many unsustainable practices. This module helps students realise the importance of the triple bottom line of economy, society and the environment for businesses to be truly sustainable. The unit may help students realise that it is possible to achieve gains in all three sections and gives real-life examples of this occurring.

Resourcefulness and resilience - The module's assessments, module content, and pre-course reading encourage students to develop key independence and resourcefulness skills. The pre-course assignment and reading help students proactivity learn about a topic without much guidance. The module content and structure allows students to develop self-awareness, confidence, and team working capabilities to complete tasks and partake in discussions. This refers to small group discussion as well as the non-graded group work. The post-module assignment allows students to develop these skills and further independence.

Digital capabilities - The module requires students to produce a video presentation on the topic of Corporate Sustainability to be shown in class at the end of the week. Students are allowed the freedom to produce the video any way they please. It allows students to develop videography and editing skills as well as role-play.

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 2023/4 academic year.