Excerpt from course description

Green Growth as Competitive Advantage


With companies such as Tesla, Novo Nordisk, Unilever, Skanska, Vestas, IKEA, Scatec Solar and Storebrand, the green growth agenda has gained momentum. International institutions such as the OECD, EU-Commission, UNEP, World Bank, WBCSD and GGGI has also pushed the opportunities of the coming green shift towards 2050. Since the British economist Sir Nicholas Stern’s (2006) report, there has been increasing economic arguments in favor of bold environmental measures as profitable and smart rather than simply as costs. Such statements have nevertheless been contested, and the economic results variable. Further it has been unclear what exactly green growth and circular economy entails. But such debates have sparked new research, practices and reporting on what green growth is and how to precisely distinguish greenwashing from genuine green growth. 

Norwegian and Scandinavian companies and institutions have in any case already started the shift towards circular economy and a strategy for greener business development. Also unions and public agencies have started calling for more green jobs and procurement. This program will give participants the necessary competencies and skills to move from rhetorics about green economics into informed practice in Nordic organisations.  The focus will be on green business models and strategy, accounting and measurements, innovation and leadership. Participants will get the tools necessary to succeed with implementing the practices of green economics for growth and profitability.

Course content

Module 1) The challenges of Green Growth (4 days)
-Introduction to Green Growth: Definitions, Current trends - future scenarios
-How big is the green economy in Norway, EU, globally?
-Green jobs & green growth in the main sectors: buildings, transport, energy, industry, public sector
-Defining "Green Economics" (Green vs Environmental vs. Ecological Economics)
-"Greenwashing: When is green a fraud?
-Circular economy and radical resource productivity - is decoupling possible?
-Leadership and motivation in the Green Economy
-Ideology and motivation: are "sustainability" and profit compatible?

Group learning process:
-Use tools to analyse how green is my job and my business? How green is our industry?
-Exploring motivation and ethics of leadership

Module 2) Green Business Innovations, (4 days)
-The innovation process in a Green Economy framework:
-Funding of green innovations: trends and pitfalls
-Entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship: from seed to growth stage – the psychological challenges
-Are "green investments" more profitable short or long-term?
-Social entrepreneurship
-Tackling Cultural and Organisational inertia: the decision-making challenge

Group learning process:
-Develop Smart Green ideas - make business models for innovations
-Identify existing elements of green strategy in own companies

Module 3) The Big Picture - and the long term future
-Understanding the next 40 years
-Climate change drivers: how serious is it?
-Earth System Science: seeing the connections in the world’s ecosystems
-Will we see a broad attitude shift in favour of green policies?
-Poverty alleviation and green economy
-Will human creativity and innovation be sufficient?

Group learning process:
Develop stunt scenarios for society and self


Module 4) Green Accounting for the 21st century
-Current legal requirements for green reporting and future trends
-Tools for assessing social and environmental impacts: Cost-Benefit Analysis, Life Cycle Analysis, Environmental Impact Assessment, ISO14001
-New approaches in accounting: Green accounting, critical accounting
-What is value and the challenges of measuring it
-What is natural capital? Valuing Ecosystem Services
-The Three Capitals approach
-The science of well-being and measurements of quality of life

Group learning process:
-Perform an energy audit of your company,
-Calculating Greenhouse Emission per Value Added

Module 5) Green strategies: implementing the theory in practice
-The Green executive and environmental management
-How to make a green strategy?
-Green ethics - corporate ethics
-Eco-labelling and environmental management systems (ISO etc)
-Policy strategies for enabling the transition: overcoming the obstacles (procurement, perverse subsidies, taxes etc)
-Nudging and behavioural economics for greening consumers
-Profiting on green economy in the Nordic countries

Group learning prosess: develop green business plans / projects for own companies/projects at specific strategic levels:
1) Outreach, 2) compliance, 3) greener operations, 4) supply chain, 5) product portfolio, 6) business models.


This is an excerpt from the complete course description for the course. If you are an active student at BI, you can find the complete course descriptions with information on eg. learning goals, learning process, curriculum and exam at portal.bi.no. We reserve the right to make changes to this description.