Please note! Course description is confirmed for two academic years, which means that in general, e.g. Learning outcomes, assessment methods and key content stays unchanged. However, via course syllabus, it is possible to specify or change the course execution in each realization of the course, such as how the contact sessions are organized, assessment methods weighted or materials used.


- Understanding the concepts of sustainable business and corporate responsibility
- Understanding the central tensions in corporate sustainability
- Identifying sustainability challenges and introducing strategic approaches to respond to them
- Understanding sustainability in different business functions and the management instruments available;
- Developing critical thinking about how to deal with different stakeholders in advancing sustainability;
- Recognizing how enterprises can innovate to develop more sustainable businesses.

Credits: 6

Schedule: 07.09.2020 - 15.10.2020

Teacher in charge (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022): Patrick Shulist

Teacher in charge (applies in this implementation): Samuli Patala, Patrick Shulist

Contact information for the course (valid 11.08.2020-21.12.2112):

Dr. Patrick Shulist:

Dr. Samuli Patala:

Please copy both professors on any email inquiries.

CEFR level (applies in this implementation):

Language of instruction and studies (valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022):

Teaching language: English

Languages of study attainment: English


  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    This course focuses on the role of business in addressing the vast sustainable development challenges faced by the world.  There is a complex relationship between business and sustainability, as business has historically been the source of many of these challenges (e.g. climate change, inequality, pollution), and yet business must also be part of the solution, given the size and scope of global business activities.  Against this backdrop, there has been an undeniable shift in business attitudes towards sustainability, with corporations increasingly wanting to act sustainably. However, these companies are constrained by the competitive pressures that speak to the core of the sustainability challenge: on the one hand, a more sustainable company does good for the world, but on the other hand if done incorrectly, sustainability shifts undercut the financial viability of a company. Put another way, even the world’s most sustainable company does no good if it goes out of business.

    With this in mind, the focus of this course is first on understanding the nature of this tension, and second on understanding how to develop business strategies that are simultaneously better for the environment, society, and a company’s finances. To truly pursue the needed sustainability shift, companies must creatively address the needs of their diverse stakeholders so that they can find win-wins.

    Overall, the course will cover expansive ground, including business strategy, supply chains, sustainability management and communication instruments, innovation for sustainability, and the circular economy. Simulations and cases will be used to highlight the underlying complexity.

Assessment Methods and Criteria
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Final project (50%), Assignments (Group/Individual) (50%)



  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Contact teaching 33h (70% lecture attendance requirement, or you cannot get credit for the final assignment)

    Independent work and assignments 123h

  • Applies in this implementation:

    Classroom sessions (55 hours)
    Contact teaching: 11 sessions of three hours each (33 hours total)
    Class preparation time: Average of two hours per session, though this will vary by session (22 hours total)

    Assignments and projects (80 hours)
    Individual reflections and comments: 15 hours total
    Group-based case studies: 
    15 hours each (e.g. in a group of four, you are expected to spend 48 hours total amongst the group)
    Group-base presentation:  five hours each (e.g. in a group of four, you are expected to spend 20 total hours amongst the group)
    Group-based final report: 45 hours each (e.g. in a group of four, you are expected to spend 180 total hours amongst the group)

    Free time to be allocated as seen fit be the student: 25 hours

    Total: 160 hours (6ECTS)


Study Material
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    A selection of articles. Required pre-readings for each lecture (1-3 articles per lecture).

  • Applies in this implementation:

    The course materials will vary by session but will include:

    • Simulations
    • Journal articles
    • New articles
    • Short videos
    • Quizzes

    The overarching goal of using this material is to support the 4-5 key learning points for each session.

Substitutes for Courses
  • Valid 01.08.2020-31.07.2022:

    Replaces the course 21E16000 Sustainable Business and Consumption

SDG: Sustainable Development Goals

    4 Quality Education

    7 Affordable and Clean Energy

    8 Decent Work and Economic Growth

    9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

    11 Sustainable Cities and Communities

    12 Responsible Production and Consumption

    13 Climate Action


Details on the schedule
  • Applies in this implementation:

    Monday and Thursdays during period I from 13:15-16:00

    First class is on Monday, September 7th, with the final class being on Thursday, October 15th.

    Note: there is no class on Thursday, September 10th

    The final projects will be due on Friday, October 23rd.

    All sessions will be held remotely online.