Excerpt from course description

Sustainability in Practice


Today's companies must relate to sustainability. This is expected from various stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, employees, authorities etc. New laws in the field place increasingly stringent requirements on companies in the field of sustainability, including reporting. Both at national and international (EU) level, the authorities place increasing demands on sustainable operation and reporting. At the same time, there are requirements in the supply chain to ensure that companies can document that they relate to social responsibility and sustainability. This is often a prerequisite to obtain contracts. The UN's sustainability goals are the framework that the company and the various actors must adhere to, and the environment and social conditions play a central role.

The course deals with the corporate strategy for integrating sustainability in a way that is good for both the environment and the economy. Integration strategy, innovation, circular economy, life cycle analysis, management, employees, stakeholder analysis, risk management, dissemination, finance (ESG), reputation and anti-corruption work are some topics that will be addressed during the course. Management and organization of sustainability will also be addressed.

The course is practically oriented and representatives from the business community will be involved and contribute to dialogue and sharing of experiences. There will also be an international digital dialogue. The course will help get a well-established overview of sustainability from different perspectives. Sustainability is an interdisciplinary field and it is necessary to understand the whole and to be able to collaborate with different actors. Avoiding silo mentality is central to sustainable development.

Course content

The teaching will be in the form of lectures, cases, group work, presentations, guest lectures, business cases and multimedia tools. The following are topics that will be covered, but changes and updates may occur. There is constant development within this field and this will be taken into account in the course content.


  • Where we are today in relation to environmental and social conditions - and how did we end up here? Economic theory and sustainability; history and development, innovation and system change.
  • UN sustainability goals; what do they mean and how to apply / integrate in the company. Various tools for sustainability and business, as well as certification. Relevant laws and regulations in the field.
  • How to develop a sustainability strategy - step by step and implementation, Management Theory and organizational change in relation to sustainability, innovation.
  • "Business case for sustainability" - from ignorance to business opportunity: tomorrow's winners, with a competitive advantage. Circular economy, life cycle analysis and climate accounting.
  • Customers' relationship to sustainability - attitude, behaviour and nudging, how to get the customers on board. The role of government in sustainability - laws, rules, fees and incentives, effect of various measures.
  • Employees and sustainability - when is sustainability commitment positive for employees - and when is it not. Get employees involved and on board.
  • Sustainability in an international perspective; the supply chain and compliance with procurement requirements and laws.
  • How can cooperation and partnerships with non-profit organizations (environmental and social) contribute to sustainable development - nationally and internationally.
  • Who is responsible for what? Ethics and morals related to social responsibility. Developing of ethical guidelines - and ensuring that employees know them and follow them (anti-corruption).
  • Business development in developing countries / emerging economies in relation to environmental and social conditions, Business opportunities and challenges, digital solutions.
  • Sustainability and finance - Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) and ethical investments and impact assessment.
  • How to relate to the media when all is well - and how to deal with the media when something happens (scandal / tragedy). Training.


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.