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Corporate Sustainability. Understanding and Seizing the Strategic Opportunity

Università Bocconi via Coursera


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The achievement of a balanced economic, social and environmental development - as expressed in the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development - is recognized as one of the major challenges humanity is facing today. What is less clear is whether and how organizations can generate business opportunities and value for their stakeholders while tackling such challenges. In this course, thought leaders in a wide variety of management and economics fields illustrate how to assess and seize the opportunities offered by these global emergencies. They will offer new ways to understand the purpose and the logic of success of the business enterprise in this new context, providing ideas and examples on how to manage the transition process to realize the value creation potential from corporate sustainability for all involved stakeholders. Learning objectives The course will allow you to: - Understand What the macroeconomic and microeconomic consequences of both climate changes, poverty, hunger, gender or race discriminations, lack of communication between the State, Civil Societies, and businesses, etc are. - Understand Why it is important for businesses to tackle sustainability issues in order to create more and better business opportunities; - Learn How each individual, organization and system can start to analyze its behaviors and change towards more sustainable practices and models.


  • Understanding the Sustainability Challenge: the Systemic Level
    • This section will introduce the course and frame the complex set of issues that the course aims to tackle. You will learn about some of the most important global sustainability challenges within the framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and how to reflect on their implications for business.
  • Understanding the Sustainability Challenge: the Business Level
    • In this section you will learn the core concepts of corporate sustainability and the key dimensions that distinguish a sustainable organization. Instructors will discuss the foundations of the stakeholder-based view of the firm, and the logic for and against the primacy of shareholder value maximization as guiding purpose for firms' existence. We will then explore sustainability challenges and opportunities for organizations across some of the key dimensions of business, and conclude with a roundtable discussion on the nature of the sustainable enterprise.
  • Why Corporate Sustainability? Assessing the Strategic Opportunity
    • This module consists of two different parts. In the first part we will explore why corporate sustainability could be paramount for corporate success. In the second part, you will learn about successful cases of organizations focusing on a business model designed around sustainability principles and mindsets.
  • Seizing the Strategic Opportunity: Managing Sustainability Transitions across Business Functions
    • In this module, you will learn to assess the challenges related to the management of the integration of sustainability-related processes in business organizations. This transformational change challenge is assessed across some of the key business functions and will allow you to frame and address similar challenges and opportunities within your own business context.
  • Transitioning Organizations to Sustainable Enterprises: Developing the Road-Map
    • In this final part, you will learn how to approach the challenge of developing a roadmap to realize the stakeholder value creation potential in sustainability transitions at three different levels. It will entail the integration of change initiatives in the development of sustainability mindsets and behavior in managers and employees - individual level - with initiatives related to transformational change in the organizations we are working in - organizational level -, and the equally critical initiatives to transition towards sustainable behaviors and outcomes in the political, social and economic systems - systemic level -.

Taught by

Maurizio Zollo



4.6 rating at Coursera based on 797 ratings

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