Insegnamento a.a. 2023-2024


Department of Management and Technology

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 24 - 31
CLEAM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08) - CLEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08) - CLEACC (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08) - BESS-CLES (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08) - WBB (6 credits - I sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/08) - BIEF (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08) - BIEM (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08) - BIG (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08) - BEMACS (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08) - BAI (6 credits - I sem. - OP  |  SECS-P/08)
Course Director:

Classes: 24 (I sem.) - 31 (I sem.)

Suggested background knowledge

To feel comfortable in this course, you should be familiar with basic concepts regarding management, organizations, and the global economy.

Mission & Content Summary


Sustainability connects old concerns for economic growth and social equity with a concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems. The course explores how sustainability is becoming an existential challenge for humanity – due to such alarming issues as climate change or growing social inequality – and a source of instability for companies. Organizations are rethinking their role in society and increasingly choosing to exceed the legal requirements they face and to take action to address social and environmental problems. Students are confronted with the theoretical bases of sustainability, seen as a perspective that shapes the role of the organizations within society and promotes sustainable development and the challenges of incorporating this perspective into the practices of organizations. A strategic approach to sustainability is more complex than a traditional strategy because it requires managers to engage with the non-market environment, including regulators, activists, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The course is oriented around understanding the conditions under which sustainability can benefit all stakeholders.


  • Sustainable development and corporate sustainability
  • Climate change and the road to Net Zero
  • The business case for sustainability
  • Circular economy and sustainable business models
  • Sustainable supply chains and human rights
  • Sustainability in the marketplace
  • Sustainable finance, ESG (environmental, social, and governance) criteria, and purpose-led shareholders
  • Sustainability metrics and reporting 
  • Embedding sustainability in organizations

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Describe the global sustainability issues that challenge today's and tomorrow's business models.
  • Describe how sustainability penetrates the different activities of the firm and its relationships with stakeholders.
  • Identify sustainability issues in the various parts of organizations and their value chains.
  • Understand the organizational challenges of adopting sustainable business models.


At the end of the course student will be able to...
  • Examine the extent to which different types of sustainability initiatives are strategic.
  • Analyze the sustainability impacts of firms on value chains and business models.
  • Identify ways of improving processes and products in the direction of enhanced sustainability.
  • Assess the practices adopted by the organizations that want to perform on the financial, social and environmental dimensions.

Teaching methods

  • Online lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Group assignments
  • Interactive class activities on campus/online (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


The course is based on active teaching methodologies to maximise students’ participation. In addition to theoretical sessions, students discuss case studies and exercises based on real-world examples. Guest speakers will provide a practical perspective on how sustainability is becoming a necessary element of strategies of firms. Theory and practice are combined dynamically, allowing in-class assignments to apply concepts.

Specific learning activities (which may consist of questionnaires, reflection papers, pre-readings, in-class exercises, and so on) complement each class and stimulate the active involvement of students in the course.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
x   x
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Group assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


Students qualify as attending if:


  • they complete at least 75% of the learning activities (individual assignments, self-evaluation quizzes, case discussions, etc.) that are carried out in the sessions
  • they participate in the group project


To be considered complete, a learning activity must be submitted by the deadline and be of acceptable quality.


The final grade will consist of the following components: 


  • Short tests: 25%
  • Group project: 25%
  • Final exam: 50%


The short tests are quizzes (including multiple-choice and reasoning questions) held during classes and focus on the student's ability to apply knowledge and understanding of all course concepts.


The group assignment tests students' ability to apply the course concepts. Your task is to focus on a specific industry, company, or case and analyze/develop realistic solutions that can be adopted to solve significant sustainability problems.


The final exam tests the knowledge you obtained by attending classes and studying materials. It will consist of a mix of multiple-choice questions and some short-essay questions (e.g. concept questions or cases analysis).


Written exam to test knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues, their systemic and organizational implications, as well as the ability to apply concepts to concrete problems. The exam is based on the required readings for non-attending students, including the textbook. The exam consists of multiple-choice questions and some short-essay questions.

Teaching materials


  • A collection of readings, case studies, and slides provided through Blackboard and listed in the syllabus.


  • A collection of readings provided through Blackboard and listed in the syllabus.
  • R. Hahn (2022), Sustainability Management: Global Perspectives on Concepts, Instruments, and Stakeholders, (ALL CHAPTERS).
Last change 31/05/2023 16:23