Sustainability Management (SMGT)
This is an introductory course designed to teach students without any background in environmental science the fundamentals of environmental science which is the prerequisite knowledge needed for the Sustainability Management program core courses. It covers basics of environmental science, calculus, chemistry, and other relevant topics that represent a needed foundation for the other courses in the program. Students with prior education in environmental science or related subjects could be waived out of this course with approval from the program director.
Environmental policies, the main tools that governments use to achieve environmental goals, cut across a wide swath of pollutants, industries, and stakeholders. Environmental policies affect the daily activities of every citizen and every business. Governments use environmental policy to protect their citizens' health, develop industries, preserve resources, increase national security, and more. This course introduces students to the major rationales for government intervention in environmental affairs, the academic theories on which these interventions are based, the variety of policy approaches that various levels of government often use to address environmental issues, the benefits and drawbacks of various approaches, the political processes involved in the enviromental policy-making process, the tools that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness and tradeoffs of policy alternatives, and how these policies may affect government and business competitiveness. In addition, the course examines new directions in environmental policy, both policies gaining popularity and those not yet adopted.
This course introduces students to major federal laws that govern the environmental performance of regulated facilities, sites, and activities. The course describes why these laws were enacted, how they are implemented by regulatory agencies, and the practical measures regulated entities must employ to achieve compliance. These laws include the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Water Act, the Clean Air Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Recovery Act. The review of these major federal laws will be informed by international and state initiatives that also affect decision making on environmental matters. The course will include a series of case studies and skill development sessions to introduce students to the practical realities of environmental management in a complex regulatory context.
Greening organizations benefit both firms and society as a whole by eliminating/reducing pollution, inventing new processes, and reducing risks. This course focuses on the design and development of environmental management strategies specific to industrial operations and economic development activities in order to make them more competitive and sustainable. Specifically discussed in this course are the techniques and tools for mapping and characterizing industrial operation and economic development activities, identifying sources and types of environmental pollution, and defining steps involved with designing pollution prevention/control strategies and their alternatives (i.e., changing inputs, increasing efficiency, promoting innovation, or adopting new technologies to either prevent emissions or treat residuals). The economics of the pollution prevention/control including cost valuation and cost-benefit analysis are covered in addition to discussing the limitations and risks.
This course introduces the students to the philosophy of industrial ecology and how this systems-based approach can move society toward a more sustainable future. Industrial ecology is an interdisciplinary field involving technology (science and engineering), public policy and regulatory issues, and business administration. The major goal of this course is to promote creative and comprehensive problem solving as it might be applied to product, business, and systems models. The course introduces tools such as industrial metabolism, input-output analysis, life cycle assessment, and design for the environment. Individual and team projects are a significant part of the learning experience in this course.
The emerging field of environmental finance provides businesses an opportunity to approach environmental challenges in a financially sustainable and often profitable manner. The course will introduce students to fundamental concepts of microeconomics, macroeconomics, and accounting in order to prepare them for studying finance and other SMGT courses. It will explore implications of environmental finance on the financial sector ranging from banking, insurance, investments, financial services, sustainable investing, and social enterprise. The role of hedging devices for pollution and energy and the role of corporate advocacy in environmental policy and standards will be addressed from a corporate competitive business strategy perspective. The interrelationship between financial and environmental performance will be discussed with a focus on corporate risk management and impact on stock and bond ratings. Format will comprise of introduction of basic concepts, discussion of select current publications from corporate and academic thought leaders, and cases or examples that provide hands-on experience.
The aim of this course is to teach the modern multi-faceted approach of the management of solid waste focusing on the generation and prevention (emphasis is on understanding what waste is, where it comes from, how/why it is generated, and how generation of waste can be reduced), re-use and recycling (once waste is generated, what can be done to make use of those waste components that are of economic interest), treatment (discuss the three most important treatment/disposal methods presently in use both in the less and the more developed world, landfills, incineration, and mechanical/biological treatment), and disposal of waste (examples include analysis and environmental impact assessment of land-filling and incineration). RCRA technical and regulatory points of views are covered, and discussed are evolution of RCRA legislation, components of RCRA, and its interrelationship to other environmental statutes CERCLA, SARA, and DNR hazardous waste permitting. Also discussed are the fundamentals of remedial actions, Brownfield's redevelopment, and renewable energy. The emphasis would be on the economic, social, and environmental costs of waste generation, recycling, treatment, and storage.
The course provides an overview of the tools and techniques used to (1) assess environmental (human health), ecological, and occupational risks associated with exposure to environmental pollutants resulting from natural phenomena, economic development, and industrial growth, (2) examine current risk management and mitigation methods and strategies, and (3) design visionary risk management strategies grounded on a framework of operations in line with the principles of sustainable development.
An overview of the modeling market process is provided focusing on externalities, environmental problems, and environmental quality. Economic solutions to environmental problems are discussed using a market approach which includes modeling emission charges, modeling a product charge, modeling per unit subsidy on pollution reduction, and modeling pollution permit trading systems and practice. The course examines institutional economic solutions to address environmental problems such as climate change, global warming, and water scarcity.
The corporate scandals and implosions of the past decade, climaxing in the recent global financial crisis and environmental disasters, have highlighted how critical ethical, environmental, and socially responsible decision making and leadership are to the long-term survival and success of both individual businesses and society. Concomitantly, the role of business is transforming from meeting a social contract to realizing tangible economic gains by creating shared value. In today's global environment, societal needs are defining markets, and key issues include poverty, hunger, water, sustainability, climate change, and MNC roles in developing economies. Ethical issues include bribery, fraud, and green washing all the way to a culture of corruption. Corporations and leaders have to manage corporate social responsibility not just as a moral obligation or risk/reputation management exercise but as an integration into their global strategy. This course will endeavor to teach students how these issues get integrated in business through strategy and structure and how to build new competencies in managing transparency, accountability, stakeholder engagement, ethics culture, and social innovation that are critical for business success in the next economy.
With increasing focus on sustainability factors from marketplace (regulators, investors, financiers, and consumers), corporate sustainability reporting is shifting from voluntary to vital. Advances in enterprise systems are making it feasible for corporations to track, trend, and transform sustainability performance. Materiality of these seemingly non-economic impacts is the critical link between sustainability and business strategy. This course provides insight into how to determine which environmental metrics are material to them and relevant to their business through application of environmental performance analytics. Format will comprise of introduction of basic concepts, discussion of select current publications from corporate and academic thought leaders, and short cases or examples that provide hands-on experience. Students completing this course will develop a better understanding of the materiality of interrelationships between business and sustainability. In particular, they will equip themselves with the ability to apply data collection, analytics, and quantitative justification to promote select sustainability improvements that are consistent with corporate strategy. This will help them to be better prepared to take on greater responsibilities in a consulting or advisory role to the corporate sector.
Students will be presented with models and practices that minimize supply-demand mismatch and therefore maximize companies' own profitability as well as models and practices of collaboration with other companies in a supply chain that minimize risk and environmental costs and therefore maximize the supply chain's sustainability. This course will have an emphasis on the integration of business and technology aspects. We will first introduce an integrated view of the production and logistics functions in organizations such as capacity analysis, inventory management, and logistics management. The course then discusses topics involved in the interaction of a firm with others players in a supply chain such as valve of information, supply contracts, and risk sharing. Finally, the course will introduce models/tools enabling sustainability actions plans, for example, reducing waste in the supply chain, both upstream and downstream.
This course gives students a practical introduction to the exciting and rapidly growing field of social entrepreneurship. The course will begin by introducing students to contemporary understandings of poverty, its causes, and traditional poverty alleviation strategies. It will then turn to key concepts regarding social ventures including entrepreneurship, organizational structure (for-profit, non-profit and hybrid), financing, marketing, and performance assessment (social and environmental impact). The course will also examine the challenges that are faced in creating and operating social enterprises in different parts of the world. The course includes guest lectures by other Stuart School of Business faculty and social entrepreneurs working in different areas (such as health, education, and environment). Students will gain hands-on experience by either developing a business plan for a social enterprise to address a specific real world problem or assisting an existing social venture in developing a business plan geared towards an expansion of its services; it is expected that the plans can be entered into a variety of social venture competitions. Through the course, students will learn how to do the following: (1) evaluate gaps and opportunities in a given context; (2) develop appropriate objectives and strategies for a social venture; (3) put together a business plan for a social enterprise; and (4) engage others and foster buy-in to their plans.
This course explores how individuals, firms, nonprofits, and others advocate in order to achieve environmental goals using a broad range of advocacy tools in the legislative, regulatory, administrative, political, judicial, and educational arenas. The course examines when, where, and how advocacy can be effective, strategies for framing policies, how to evaluate legal and ethical factors, and how to use traditional as well as grassroots, social networking, and other evolving new media methods to support an advocacy campaign.
This course provides students with the opportunity to experience the practical realities of being an environmental professional by working on actual cases under the supervision of a faculty member who is an experienced environmental attorney with a Chicago-based practice. The course includes weekly classroom sessions to build the skills environmental professionals must possess. Students apply these skills to cases in the Chicago area in which the faculty supervisor represents non-governmental organizations. The Clinic includes opportunities to participate in site visits, client interactions, a variety of professional meetings, and regulatory and enforcement proceedings. Students will engage in fact gathering, compliance analysis, client communication and case preparation activities, working alongside their faculty supervisor.
A significant focus of this course will be on what environmental managers and business managers need to know regarding the technical aspects of energy management -- energy efficiency and fossil and renewable energy technologies. The thrust of the course will be in understanding current and emerging technologies in this rapidly growing area of business and industry. However, students will not need to have technical or engineering background to do well in this course.
Students will see the big picture economics of energy management -- cost of production/distribution, financing renewable investments, climate change, etc. Students will understand the economic, strategic, and management issues surrounding energy management and have an opportunity to learn new tools and techniques.
This course covers contemporary or cutting edge topics in the sustainability management field offered on an irregular basis typically in a seminar style. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
Students can conduct in-depth research, usually on an independent and solo basis, under the guidance of a full-time faculty member. Typically, a student signs up with a faculty member who is willing to supervise his/her independent research on a particular sustainability management-related topic. The student has to complete the independent study form, develop a one-page proposal outlining the purpose, process, and product (expected outcomes) of the independent research project, get the faculty member's approval, and submit it to the program director for approval. Prerequisite: Instructor and program director approval.