BBUS 460: SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS (5 credits) – OPEN TO ALL MAJORS
SPRING 2015 (SLN #10773)
Professor Kevin Laverty
Becoming more environmentally sustainable without forgoing traditional indicators of success (e.g., profit margin and return on invested capital) is one of the critical challenges facing contemporary business. It is clear from weekly and even daily news about business that many companies are taking steps to reduce toxics and limit greenhouse gases, and are developing new products and services and business processes to become more “sustainable.” At the same time, many start-up firms in energy and other sectors see opportunities to embrace sustainability as a core value central to their business model.
All this is very exciting, but at the same time, executives deeply involved in sustainability initiatives will tell you that it is hard work. There remain challenges that are fundamental in all areas of business, from manufacturing to marketing to accounting and beyond.
We will take on these challenges in this course. We will look at the literature and hear from industry leaders in sustainable business. We will examine specific problems and opportunities in industry sectors such as energy, transportation, manufacturing, and food.
Students who take the course will understand and be proficient in discussing and writing about the challenges of sustainable business. The course will address these challenges from perspectives of the business, of stakeholders, and various professional disciplines. Students will have the opportunity, either working as part of a team or independently, to design and complete a research project on a company, industry, of topic of personal interest.
This course is open to all majors.