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Sustainability in the program

This subject runs throughout the SSE MBA program and attempts to connect CSR and sustainability issues into all of the program’s discipline-based courses.

The course itself has stand-alone parts, course interlinked joint sessions, digital synchronous online learning along with preparatory asynchronous content. Our purpose is to integrate sustainability knowledge throughout the program and into all courses as relevant. Thus, we explore the purpose of companies and organizations in society and trace the expanding boundaries of corporate responsibility from a global norm perspective. Taking a corporate strategic view, using extant knowledge from the social sciences, as well as existing best practice managerial tools from a wide range of disciplines, the course further introduces students to managing sustainable businesses based on best practice cases.

The transition towards sustainable development is considered our time’s greatest challenge. Climate change, biodiversity loss, population growth, urbanization, geopolitics and inequality are increasingly impacting or being impacted by our systems, policies and businesses. With a point of departure in sustainable development as defined in the UN Brundtland Commission (1987), this course supports critical thinking and aims to contextualize corporate social responsibility and sustainable business strategies in line with the transformation being called for.

Corporate responsibility can be defined as an organization’s obligation to consider the interests of their stakeholders such as customers, employees, shareholders, communities, and the environment – and to internalize these social and environmental externalities into company operations. By integrating sustainability into core business strategies and taking a stakeholder perspective, organizations can potentially create both social and corporate value on a sustainable basis – they can at minimum create what has been dubbed “shared value” to business and society. Corporate responsibility and sustainable business is a major strategic concern to all businesses and effective managerial action but requires an understanding of global and local sustainability challenges, global norms and codes, boundaries of firm responsibility and a myriad of sustainable business practices.

SSE MBA 2019 alumni say:

"CSR has been an integrated part of the education, as a red thread, and for me this was a fairly new area which was very interesting. I was amazed about the importance of this area and how this could be incorporated to take more responsibility and to understand that this is surely something that is needed in order for a company to be sustainable both from a business perspective but more so for the impact it has on climate, people etc."

"To be able to develop your business with a CSR perspective is becoming more and more important, and to be able to drive business innovation within this area will be a huge benefit for any business.  In this field there are many dimensions to consider, but to be able to understand what kind of trade-offs and rebound effects your decisions will result in is something I took with me from the CSR course."

"The people we met through our work with CSR has also opened my eyes on the responsibility of us as leaders in the corporate world, in changing the direction of the world. The realisation that we cannot rely on individual nations or governments to take the lead, and that it is the duty of large multi nationals, that in some sense has become more powerful than most nations, to drive this change in direction."