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

Postgraduate Course: Climate Change and Business (online) (PGGE11274)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
Course typeOnline Distance Learning AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryClimate change is a strategic challenge for business, creating new risks, but also opportunities. In this course we discuss what role(s) business/industry may/should have in the climate change adaptation and mitigation debate, and the management practices and tools that are emerging to help businesses find a path through the changing landscape in which they operate. Students will explore the financial and operational drivers behind these risks and opportunities, how they have changed over time, and what the future may hold.
Course description 'Climate change is the single most important strategic issue facing business in the next fifty years.' (Professor David Levy, University of Massachusetts, 2009)

Climate change is now widely regarded as a strategic issue with significant operational and financial implications for business. These implications form a complex web of interactions between climate change science, policy and economics. 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.

'Solving' the climate crisis requires input and involvement from the business sector across the globe. This course aims to provide students with an opportunity to explore, analyse and communicate the myriad of impacts of the climate crisis for business, the ways in which business can respond, and the wider implications of their responses for a range of stakeholders including the environment, shareholders, employees and consumers.
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:  None
Course Start Block 5 (sem 2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Online Activities 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework 100%

Assignment 1 (individual report - 50%) - due week 7
Assignment 2 (group report - 50%) - due week 11
Feedback Not entered
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 adaption 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
Required and further readings for this course generally take the form of reports from industry/government/NGOs and peer-reviewed journal articles. Due to nature of this course, there is no single volume textbook that covers the range of material presented.

Details of required and recommended further reading for individual lectures can be found in several places: the full course reading list on Learn and the Welcome page on the VLE, and; lecture specific readings on the Welcome page of that lecture.

Self-selected Preparatory Reading could include:
Packard, K. and Reinhardt, F. (2000) 'What Every Executive Needs to Know about Global Warming', Harvard Business Review, July-August, pp. 129-135

Lash, J. and Wellington, F. (2007) 'Competitive Advantage on a Warming Planet', Harvard Business Review, March, pp. 95-102

Hoffman, A. (2007) Getting Ahead of the Curve: Corporate Strategies that Address Climate Change, Executive Summary (pp v-vii) and Synthesis Report (pp 1-7)

Porter, M. & Kramer, M. (2011) The Big Idea: Creating Shared Value, Harvard Business Review.

Goldman Sachs Sustain (2009). Change is coming: A framework for climate change- a defining issue of the 21st century, pp 1-17.

McKinsey & Company (2009) Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy. Version 2 of the Global Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Curve, pp 190.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Cognitive Skills:
Through this course, students will have the opportunity to develop business analytical skills, numerical skills, research and synthesis skills, and presentation skills. These will be developed throughout the course via reading and reflecting on academic and business literature; the content of the lectures; discussion with other students and facilitators, and; assessment preparation and presentation.
KeywordsBusiness,Strategy,Climate Change
Course organiserMrs Erika Thompson
Tel: (0131 6)51 7048
Course secretaryMs Heather Penman
Tel: (0131 6)50
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