Course description

CSR, Innovation and Strategy for Sustainable Business

Introduction

Sustainable management and corporate social responsibility (CSR) have increased in importance over the past 20 years. Civil society, media and governments increasingly expect that companies should look beyond short-term profit toward a broader goal of long-term sustainable value creation.

The risk of sustainability and CSR failures is well-illustrated through many CSR-related scandals. The purpose of CSR engagement, however, is not only to reduce risk. Addressed appropriately, CSR and sustainability provide opportunities to improve day-to-day business, develop a competitive advantage, and improve reputation and brand. Sustainability and CSR are strong drivers of profitable innovation which will be a key element in this course.

The course addresses how to approach CSR and sustainability in day-to-day business – and align these considerations with overall business strategy. Issues addressed are: climate and environment, human rights, ethics, sustainability, corruption, supplier relations, community involvement, relevant international laws and regulations, interaction with stakeholders like government and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and media, social responsible investment (SRI), as well as reputation and branding. Innovation, implementation and communication related to CSR will have a central role in the course.

  • This course and GRA 6841 Energy in Green Transition: Markets, Policies and Business Innovation can be taken individually or be combined.

Course content

The course will be based on faculty and guest lectures as well as group work and discussions. These are the six key topics covered:

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, basic concepts and development
  2. Innovation and strategy for sustainability
  3. Practical sustainability and CSR stakeholder strategy, management and implementation
  4. Stakeholdership and partnered governance in the global economy
  5. Attitude and behavior nudge and media management
  6. Socially Responsible Investment

Learning outcome knowledge

This course is designed to provide:

  • Basic knowledge of the CSR and sustainability concept from different perspectives
  • Knowledge of relevant tools (UN Global Compact, Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)), laws and regulations, national and international
  • Knowledge of the concept and role of CSR as regards employees, media, risk and reputation
  • Insights into innovation and business models for turning CSR and sustainability into a value driver
  • Understanding the societal challenges to business in the global economy
  • Analytical thinking and problem-solving – including dilemma training

Exam organisation

  • Class participation: 30%
  • Written assignment: 70%