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2016/17 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5041M Standards and Tools for Business, Environment and Corporate Social Responsibility

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Prof William Young

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2016/17

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Business today has to tackle issues from waste to child labour. Where to start and how to make sure you do not miss anything? This module uses workshops to understand and discuss the voluntary standards and tools that companies can implement to improve their corporate social responsibility standing. From ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems through to Fairtrade standards, students will learn about the pros and cons of these standards and tools. The module leader is a research expert on this topic advising UK and international standards development organisations such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO). This gives you the advantage of learning about the latest developments in this area. Students chair workshops as well as present and write business reports critically evaluating these standards and tools. This module will also use social media tools in class and as part of assessments to introduce students to use in the profession. Suitable for Masters level students with business or environmental backgrounds who want to work in business and consultancies.


On completion of this module, students should be able to:
- demonstrate a broad understanding of the environmental management, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable management tools available for business to tackle environmental, CSR and sustainable development issues, demonstrate an understanding of the principles behind implementing each environmental, CSR and sustainable management tool in a company.
- understand the various standards and guidelines available for each tool;
- be able to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of each environmental, CSR and sustainable development tool in deciding which is appropriate for different companies facing different issues;
- understand the experiences of companies implementing these tools from examples and case studies.
- be able to use appropriate social media tools for professional work.


This module will use a combination of lectures and seminars to provide an understanding of the environmental, CSR and sustainable management tools being developed and implemented for and by business.

The module covers:
- environmental/sustainable policies and charters
- environmental management systems such as ISO14001 and EMS
- sustainable management
- environmental/social/sustainable auditing
- life cycle assessment
- eco/ethical labelling
- environmental/social/sustainable development indicators
- environmental/social/sustainable development reporting
- environmental/ethical/sustainable supply chain management
- social/sustainable accounting
- stakeholder dialogue/management
- labour standards
- fair trade standards.
- social media tools such as Twitter, Linkedin and 2degrees network.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours123.00
Total Contact hours27.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

- workshops preparation (55 hours)
- communication and use of social media tools (15 hours)
- report preparation (53 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Feedback on workshop work and use of social media tools.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report5,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 17/04/2015


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