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363-1060-00L  Strategies for Sustainable Business

SemesterFrühjahrssemester 2019
DozierendeJ. Meuer
Periodizitätjährlich wiederkehrende Veranstaltung
LehrspracheEnglisch
KommentarLimited number of participants.

Registration will only be effective once confirmed by email from the organizers.


KurzbeschreibungIn this course, students will learn to critically analyze strategies for sustainable business through exploring case studies on three main questions:
1. What is sustainability in business?
2. How do I design a sustainability strategy?
3. How do I implement a sustainability strategy?
LernzielAfter the course, you should be able to:

1. Understand and explain sustainability challenges companies are facing;
2. Critique sustainability and related strategies;
3. Evaluate decisions taken by managers;
4. Suggest alternative approaches;
5. Develop action plans;
6. Reflect on strategies for sustainability in their own organizations.

You will also learn to apply a range of strategy concepts to sustainability challenges, including leadership, stakeholder management, diversification, and organizational change.
InhaltAlthough many companies nowadays report on their sustainability actions, only few successfully integrate sustainability into their business operations. In this seminar, we will cover three main questions that will help you to critically analyze and develop strategies for sustainable business:
1. What is sustainability in business?
2. How do I design a sustainability strategy?
3. How do I implement a sustainability strategy?

We teach the course with the case method developed at Harvard Business School. The case studies will allow us to explore from multiple perspectives the many tensions involved in developing strategies for sustainable business. We will distribute case study materials before the sessions, as well as guidelines on how best to efficiently and effectively prepare for case study discussions. You will need to read the materials and to submit short assignments before each class.

The sessions are interactive and allow you to step into the role of decision-makers as they face key challenges in integrating sustainability. For example, we will look at the challenges of Fairphone in combining both social and economic goals. Why and how would Patagonia want to encourage customers to buy less rather than more clothing? We also step into the shoes of RWE's CEO Peter Terium as he grapples with ensuring a profitable and sustainable future for the German utility. And using a change management simulation, you will experience why certain approaches to implementing a sustainability initiative in an organization are more successful than others. Our case discussions will help you to apply strategy concepts to real-world sustainability problems and will also serve as a basis for thinking about sustainability in your own company.
LiteraturWe will provide case study material and guidelines for analyzing cases to participants by email several weeks before the seminar.
Voraussetzungen / BesonderesAfter signing up you will first be placed on the waiting list. We will contact all students on the waiting list by 1 March 2019 to confirm their participation in the seminar. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Johannes Meuer (jmeuer@ethz.ch).