Uploaded by Jack Coffin


Environmentally Sustainable Business
Week 1 Lecture
Module Leader: Katerina Kosta, Teaching Fellow.
Welcome to the Anthropocene
The Anthropocene is the idea that the Earth is entering a new epoch in its geological history, in
which human beings have for the first time become the primary agents of change on a planetary
Anthropocene is derived from the Greek for ‘human’ and stands alongside other geological epochs,
such as the Holocene which began at the end of the last Ice Age around twelve thousand years ago.
Although various origins have been suggested for the Anthropocene, the emergence of the
Industrial Revolution in Britain during the eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries is one of the
most widely accepted by historians.
Source: National Trust, 2019.
The story
What is the Great Acceleration
and when does it start?
Source: http://anthropocene.info/short-films.php
Sustainable Development
'Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present
without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs'.
United Nations, 1987. Our Common Future - Brundtland Report. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
'Economic activity that recognises the finite or vulnerable nature of the Earth’s
resources and the need to use them judiciously. It seeks to pace development in a
manner that does not jeopardise the ability of future generations to meet their
own needs'. World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987.
Paris - COP 21
 The Paris Climate Agreement aims to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees Celcius compared
to pre-industrial levels, aiming for 1.5 degrees.
 In 2015 and for the first time, 192 nations and the EU united under the common cause of combating
climate change.
 Each country sets voluntary and nationally determined targets to reduce CO2 emissions.
 The targets are not legally binding as there are no penalties for countries that fail to meet their
nationally determined targets.
Katowice – COP 24
What is Greta Thunberg’s
most convincing
The Sustainable Development Goals
‘The government sees
sustainability as the
biggest industrial
opportunity of our times’
(GOV.UK. 2017: 42).
Reframing the SDGs
Source: www.stockholmresilience.org
'Sustainability is fast
becoming the lens through
which a business is judged
by its customers,
workforce, society,
governments and even its
investors' (PWC, 2019).
Module Structure
Week 1: The Sustainable Development Goals
Week 2: Nine Planetary Boundaries
Week 3: Systems Thinking
Week 4: Doughnut economics
Week 5: Environmental Management Systems
Week 6: Sustainability Reporting
Week 7: Sustainability Strategy
Week 8: Circular Economy
Week 9: Green Supply Chains
Week 10: Reverse Logistics
Week 11: Sustainability at Oxford Brookes University
Week 12: Assignment drop-ins
Assignment 1: 1000 words
28 February 2020 at 13:00
(30% of your mark)
Analyse the environmental impacts and sustainability issues/challenges relevant to your company (1000
words, excluding title page and references):
 Introduce your company, its key stakeholders, its sector and (where relevant) its competitors
 Identify the key environmental impacts for which your company is responsible and analyse the key
sustainability issues or challenges facing the company and the sector/industry it is part of
 Use appropriate concepts, frameworks and theories to support your analysis – at a minimum you should
show an understanding of the Nine Planetary Boundaries Framework, the SDGs and systems thinking
Assignment II: 2000 words
02 May 2020 at 13:00
(70% of your mark)
Critically review the environmental sustainability strategy and performance of that same company and
make recommendations
 An introduction that summarises key company and environmental impacts information from your first
 A critical evaluation of the environmental sustainability strategy and performance of your company. Some
questions you may wish to address include:
What is the stated sustainability strategy of the company?
How does the company use environmental management systems and performance measures?
What does this say about their commitment to their strategy?
II. How well does the company apply the principles of the circular economy to its operations and supply
chain management?
III. How comprehensive, transparent and successful does the company appear to be in dealing with
sustainability issues?
 Use of appropriate concepts, frameworks and theories that are embedded in your critical evaluation.
 A conclusions section that sums up your evaluation and makes recommendations for improvements.
Environmentally Sustainable Business
Week 1 Seminar
Seminar aims
 Get to know each other
 Form small groups for class activity
 Discuss Module Assessment in detail
BMGT5007 Environmentally Sustainable Business
Introduce the person sitting next to you
 Talk to the person next to you for 3 minutes
 Introduce this person to the class
 Their name
 What does sustainability mean to them?
BMGT5007 Environmentally Sustainable Business
Group activity
 You have 5 minutes
 Get into groups of five
 Introduce yourselves to each other
 Give your group a funny title
BMGT5007 Environmentally Sustainable Business
Johan Rockström on the Anthropocene
In your groups and after watching the video discuss the
following questions.
What have you learnt from this clip that you didn’t know
before? Share impressions.
Why do you think that governments and the public in
general find it so difficult to act on the scientific
Why is the role of business potentially so important in this
BMGT5007 Environmentally Sustainable Business
Module assessment
 2 Assignments both focused on one company
 You choose your company
 Assignment 1 due Week 6  Monday 28 February 2022 at 13:00
 Assignment 2 due Week 12  Monday 2 May 2022 at 13:00
 In assignment one (30% of module mark) you will analyse the environmental impacts and
sustainability challenges facing your company.
 In assignment two (70% of module mark) you will critically review the environmental
sustainability strategy and performance of the company and make recommendations
Four ways to choose a company
1. United Nations Global Compact website where their members lodge their Communication on
Progress Reports
2. World Business Council for Sustainable Development list of members
3. International Portal for Sustainability Reporting
4. Via other sources
You can also source company reports in other ways, but do make sure that they have a sustainability
report that includes environmental reporting.
Important Note
Some of the reports you find will include material on labour standards, community
support, staff volunteering, corruption, whistleblowing and other areas of
corporate social responsibility etc. Read this material for useful background
information but for your assignments you must focus only on the company’s
environmental sustainability commitments and performance.
Exclusions: You are not permitted to choose Oxford Brookes University, Arup, Land
Securities, BP, Shell, Amazon or Coca Cola as your focus organisations for
assignments, as these organisations may be the basis of module case studies.
• Read two items from from the Reading Lists of Weeks 1 and
• Make yourself familiar with the Module Handbook, read the
assessment tasks, especially the first part of the assessment.
• Allow plenty of time to investigate the various ways we have
given you to find a company to focus on for your
assignments. This is your choice and you need to make it