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Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility

Course Code: MARK 3280
Faculty: Commerce & Business Administration
Department: Marketing
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 Weeks X 4 Hours per Week = 60 Hours
Learning Format: Lecture, Seminar
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course provides students with an introduction to the concepts of sustainability and corporate social responsibility in a business context. The course takes a managerial perspective, and incorporates a global orientation. Topics like the triple bottom line, global warming, the product life cycle, and carbon neutral are covered. Students are urged to embrace the belief that corporations need to be socially responsible, as well as sensitive to environmental concerns.

Course Content

  • Important arguments in developing sustainable business practices
  • Objectives of sustainability from a business perspective, and from a social perspective
  • Metrics for sustainability
  • Natural resources used in industry, and the social and environmental implications of their use
  • Motives for businesses to conduct themselves in a sustainable manner
  • Economic, societal, and environmental factors that drive business decisions
  • Triple Bottom Line
  • Corporate social responsibility, and the different stakeholders, local communities, and international communities that are affected by what corporations do
  • Standards and regulations for CSR – the challenges         
  • Green marketing, green consumers
  • Eco-efficiency; how saving energy and reducing waste makes sense for businesses
  • The product life cycle from a sustainability/corporate social responsibility perspective
  • Cradle 2 Cradle concepts and considerations
  • Global warming; the Greenhouse Effect
  • Arguments in favour and against radically altering the world as we know it to avoid climate change
  • Carbon neutral; Carbon offsetting; Cap and Trade; Carbon Tax
  • Benefits both corporations and individuals derive from reducing their carbon footprints
  • Political and international issues in  sustainability/corporate social responsibility

Methods of Instruction

Lectures will be used to introduce specific areas of study and to provide background information.  Case studies, discussions and videos will constitute the framework and focus of much of the course.  Students will learn through analyzing business situations and sharing ideas in class.

Means of Assessment

Term tests  25%
Midterm examination     20%
Cases, projects  25%
Participation  10%
Final examination  20%
Total 100%


Learning Outcomes

The overall objective of this course is to provide the student with a solid working knowledge of the emerging importance of sustainability and social responsibility as business considerations, and to understand how they are integrated into the vision and planning of the firm.  On successful completion of the course, the student should:

  1. Possess an in-depth understanding of the triple bottom line and how all three of its elements are equally important
  2. Understand the concept of sustainability, and how corporations might comport themselves in a sustainable manner
  3. Understand who are all of the stakeholders, and how they are affected by the actions of corporations
  4. Be able to demonstrate the different ways that concerns for the environment are demonstrated
  5. Comprehend the different ways to measure how corporations affect society and the environment
  6. Understand the whole product life cycle and how the stakeholders are affected by it
  7. Understand global warming and how all stakeholders can play their part to prevent it
  8. Know what it means to be carbon neutral and the steps that can be taken to get there

course prerequisites

MARK 1120 and BUSN 1210

OR MARK 1120 AND currently active in one of the following:

Post-Degree Diploma in Marketing or
Post-Degree Diploma in Sales or
Post Baccalaureate Diploma in Hospitality Services Management

(or special permission by instructor)

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.