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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Climate Change and Business (PGGE11273)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryClimate change is a significant strategic challenge for businesses, creating risks but also opportunities. This course will examine the role of business/industry in climate change mitigation and adaptation and students will engage in critical topics that go beyond traditional corporate social responsibility.
Course description Addressing the climate crisis requires investment and leadership from the business sector across the globe. In this course, students will examine the management practices and tools that can help businesses find a path through the changing social, economic, and political landscape in which they operate. To succeed in such a complex and ever-changing world, there is a need for business practitioners and other stakeholders (such as NGOs, government, media and the general public) to have a deeper understanding of the present and future implications of climate change for business.

The aims of this course are to provide students with the opportunity to explore, analyse, and communicate the various impacts climate change brings to the business world, ways in which businesses can respond and also understand the implications for a wide range of stakeholders (such as shareholders, employees, consumers and the communities around them). It will also address how the climate emergency is a significant existential challenge for businesses.

Topics covered in lectures will include:
- Climate change mitigation & adaptation through a business lens
- Understanding business strategy
- Challenges and opportunities for businesses to address the climate crisis
- Corporate social responsibility v. Environmental, social governance
- Business decision-making & motivations
- Introduction to the circular economy
- Gender in business and climate change
- Low carbon supply chains
- Marketing & greenwashing

Students can expect interactive activities and discussions, a wide range of case studies to draw learning from, and opportunities to engage in practical applications of the lessons.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  45
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 161 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%

Assessment 1 (30%): Critical analysis essay, 1500 words - due week 4
Assessment 2 (70%): Low Carbon Business Strategy, 3000 words - due week 10
Feedback Students will receive a combination of formative and summative feedback. Formative feedback will be given on the topics students choose for Assessment 1 & 2. Summative, written feedback will be given for both assessments.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the key theories and concepts of business leadership and strategy that can foster a low carbon transition across an organisation/business sector.
  2. Be able to identify and define climate change mitigation and adaptation practices for individual businesses and business sectors.
  3. Have the capacity to communicate complex ideas that incorporate business, climate change and sustainable responsibility to a range of audiences and stakeholders.
  4. Develop original responses to the climate crisis that are best applied in a business setting.
  5. Have a critical awareness of the current issues (social, policy, economic) affecting businesses with regards to the climate crisis.
Reading List
A select sample of core readings includes:
- (Hoffman, 2016) Communicating about Climate Change with Corporate Leaders and Stakeholders
- (Porter, 2008) The 5 competitive forces that shape strategy
- (CDP, 2019) Supply Chain Report, Changing the Chain
- (Hart, 2010) Capitalism at the crossroads: next generation business strategies for a post-crisis world.
- (McKinsey, 2019) 5 Ways that ESG creates value
- (Brander, et al 2018) Creative Accounting: a critical perspective on the market-based method for Scope 2 Emissions
- (Linnenluecke, et al 2015) Exec engagement with climate science & need for adaptation to CC
- (BCG, 2017) Total Societal Impact, a New Lens for Strategy
- (Lash & Wellington, 2007) Competitive Advantage on a Warming Planet
- (Porter & Kramer, 2011) Creating Shared Value
- (CDP, 2016) Out of the starting blocks: Tracking progress on corporate climate action
- (McKinsey, 2010) Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy
- (Adaptation Scotland, 2017) Is your business climate ready?
- (Harvard Business Review, 2018) The Different Words We Use to Describe Male and Female Leaders
- (Sjafjell & Fannon, 2018) Corporate Sustainability, Gender as an Agent for Change
- (World Economic Forum, 2020) Gender Gap Report 2020
- (Hahn, et al 2010) Trade-Offs in Corporate Sustainability
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills -Knowing: Knowledge and understanding of core concepts and debates in business and low carbon business strategy.
Acting: Experience in applying a range of strategic and analytical tools related to business practices such as SWOT, PESTEL and Design Thinking.
Being: cultivating values towards climate responsible business practices.
Keywordsclimate change,business,sustainability,business strategy
Course organiserMs Toni Freitas
Course secretaryMs Heather Penman
Tel: (0131 6)50
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