Course code BUS311

BUS311 Environmental Management and Sustainability Reporting

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Ståle Navrud
Teachers: Joachim Scholderer
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Spring parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in the Spring parallell.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2008-2009
Preferential right:
Course contents:

Companies can gain a competitive advantage by managing environmental, social and governance issues in a systematic and well-documented manner: it allows them to adapt proactively to demands of key stakeholders (regulators, customers, investors, society as a whole), manage operational risks, and develop business strategies that are more sustainable in the long run. The course will introduce participants to modern environmental management instruments and sustainable reporting standards. The course will consist of four parts:

·       Conceptual foundations (sustainable development, ecological and eco-efficiency, life cycle assessment, corporate social responsibility (CSR), triple bottom line),

·       Sustainability reporting (environmental accounting and reporting, CSR reporting, environmental/social/governance (ESG) disclosure),

·       Corporate environmental management systems (ISO14001, EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), Eco-Lighthouse Scheme, the certification process, costs and benefits), 

·       Sustainable finance (sustainable investment approaches such as exclusions, best-in-class, ESG integration, impact investing, and their performance).

Hands-on work on real and current cases is a key part of the course. Participants will work in teams    on a semester-long project assignment in which they analyse the environmental management strategy of a private or public company and develop suggestions for improvement and future development.

Learning outcome:


·       Understand the conceptual foundations of environmental management and sustainability reporting,

·       Know how to address the demands of customers, regulators and investors through appropriate environmental management instruments and reporting routines,

·       Be familiar with corporate environmental management systems such as ISO14001 and EMAS,

·       Know the empirical relationships between the environmental management and reporting practices of a company and its financial performance.


·       Be able to plan and implement environmental management projects in a company,

·       Be able to develop indicator systems and routines for the sustainability reporting of a company,

·       Be able to produce environmental reports and CSR reports for a company.

·       Be able to compile ESG information for potential investors,

General competences

·       Work in interdisciplinary and cross-functional project teams.

Learning activities:
Lectures and extensive supervision of participant groups during their work on the semester-long project assignments. Participants will present their projects in class and receive feedback from their fellow participants and the lecturers. In addition, there will be an exercise in the evaluation of environmental accounts from selected firms, with presentation and feedback in class.
Teaching support:
Extensive supervision of participant groups during their work on the semester-long project assignment.

Borglund, T., H. De Geer and S. Sweet (2017): CSR and Sustainable Business. 1st edition. Sanoma Utbildning, Stockholm, Sweden. 366 p.

In addition, the readings will include a selection of journal articles and case studies. Details will be announced on the web page of the course in the beginning of the semester.

Recommended prerequisites:
Mandatory activity:
Semester-long project assignment (conducted in groups of four participants). The semester assignment counts 100 % of the grade, A-F. The assignment can be written in Norwegian or English. No continuation exam will be arranged (If the assignment is failed the course has to be taken again).
Nominal workload:
150 hours.
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse, GSK)
Type of course:
  26 hours plus supervision of the group assignment
The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course. Bachelor-students can also take the course.
External examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers.
Examination details: Term paper: A - E / F