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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Green Business Strategy

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera


Course Overview:

The global environment will continue to degrade until there are significant changes in business practices. In this course, we look at how some firms are responding positively to environmental concerns with new strategies.

We look at 'best practices' of companies across countries and industries from different perspectives. We introduce a very helpful framework to structure your thinking about environment and business strategy. We explore why current destructive business practices are so 'sticky' and resistant to change.

You don’t have to be an environmentalist or a tree-hugger to benefit from this course.

Businesses should respond to change, environment is one of these changes. If you have an interest in the environment and some understanding of business strategy then this course should be useful to you.


  • Why Be “Green”?
    • In this module we look at the problem of business and environment through various lenses. What does it mean for a firm to be “green”? Why would a firm decide to go green and pursue environmental activities? Why is a social license to operate important for green business?
  • How to be green: Environmental Strategy
    • This short module is very important. The first video in this module asks the question does it pay to be green? If it were that simple then all firms would be green. Which is why we need to consider under what circumstances an environmental strategy can be successful. In the second video we introduce a very useful framework for environmental strategies.
  • Case studies in environmental strategy
    • In this module we give examples of businesses that will help you understand more about how the environmental strategy framework works in practice. This will help you identify the most appropriate environmental strategy for a business.
  • Looking Back and looking ahead in green business
    • This is a very unique module and one I find motivating. It takes you back in time to understand how we ended up in an age where business and environment are in conflict. Here we find the origins of the institutions that hold us back from finding solutions.

Taught by

Paul Forster

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4.3 rating, based on 113 reviews

Start your review of Green Business Strategy

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I like the course that it gives really thorough explanation of how the whole system works from history to problem to the solutions with case studies. I appreciate that the Prof gives us the resources to learn more about what other firms are doing and how we can incorporate this in work. However, I am really disappointed with the online quiz as it never tells you the correct answers even if you passed it so that I can never know what mistakes I have made. I just try the answers one by one for the sake of passing but cannot really understand why my original answer to wrong. I hope something can be done with it so that the online learning experience can more satisfactory.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course was great and I will no doubt use what I have learned during this course in my future endeavors. The content was interesting, the videos packed with great content and the quizzes at the end of each module were a great way to test how much you'd...
  • Anonymous
    One of the best courses to start exploring the field of business with taking environment into context. I would really recommend this course
  • Anonymous
    The content of the module is very enlightening! I once thought that one had to choose between supporting sustainability or supporting business; black or white. But, this course taught me that there is in fact a wide spectrum in between, and that businesses...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    The course has great content and I like the delivery bu the professor however, the quizzes are unnecessarily frustrating; the language is particularly tricky and the multiple choice options don't always match the material.
  • Anonymous
    A well scripted course which explains in detail, from the history of business, how the resistance to change has caused man-nature conflict; which is still continuing now, why it's time to adopt the 'change' element now, why we need to do green business; and how to reap out it's benefits, what strategies to embrace to be different from the competitors, and even many more...

    The case-studies and other references are also provided, encouraging a practical way of learning and great thanks to the facilitator, authors and to Coursera for providing this course, which is on one of the most prevalent topics in the current scenario.
  • Anonymous
    Really enjoyed the course. It gave a lot of insights as to why companies feel the need to take environmental action and that these decisions can help your business succeed despite the extra steps or extra money it costs to do the right thing. I found the prof. very informative and enjoyable to listen to. He seems to care deeply about the topic and it makes you care deeply about it as well. I recommend this course to anyone, even if you're familiar with these types of business practices.
  • Anonymous
    The professor and his material are like good french wine. It leaves one hanging and wishing for a bit more. In this case, a lot more. Each of the topics merit a course to itself, especially if we want to lead and guide our organizations/firms towards...
  • If you loved Mother Earth, enrolled on this course. Although it takes virtue and perseverance to finish it. The quiz questions are catchy, you have to take down notes in order not to be lost.
  • Anonymous
    This course helped me in understanding the issues and factors that pervades in our present business models which pay lip service to the environment. Expounded on strategies that can work for businesses to position as a green entity, and how businesses can start on the journey to becoming green and profitable. Critical thinking is required to pass this course.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This Course was incredibly insightful and thorough in providing the platform to engage business and the environment. In a time where the entire world has complete stopped, it is courses like Green Business Strategy that can help us map out how the Post-COVID 19 world should strive to making a low-carbon economy possible. I will definitely be using what I have learned here in my Masters thesis to come.

    - Koaile Monaheng,
    African Climate Development Initiative
    University of Cape Town
    South Africa
  • Oluwatoyin Ojo
    I really liked the course. The instructor used simple language and was quite easy to understand. I absolutely loved the use of existing examples to demonstrate each business strategy that was taught. It made the course real time to me.

    Looking forward to an extension of this course should one exist. Thank you.
  • Anonymous
    It's really great courses, give me an enlightenment to the things that I never thought before. Environmental problems are a problem that businesses made, face, and fighting for in the future. We need to make a choice, take a step, be a leader, build our own competitive value and make a impact.
  • Anonymous
    It's really great courses, give me an enlightenment to the things that I never thought before. Environmental problems are a problem that businesses made, face, and fighting for in the future. We need to make a choice, take a step, be a leader, build our own competitive value and make a impact.
  • Anonymous
    The course has great content and I like the delivery the professor very articulate and kept the content interesting , however I would have liked to see more on how to develop a green strategy, ROI or KPI's if we could . It is a great starter though for beginners though.
  • Anonymous
    This is a comprehensive course in sustainable business strategy that focuses on some key points and ideas that are required for the concept to be successful all around the world. It provides a lot of reading material for reference which is an added advantage.
  • Anonymous
    This course has really thought me strategies to balance environmental sustainability and economic profit. I has also given me an insight into the history of businesses and how they evolved to become more sustainable.
  • Anonymous
    This is a very updated course for this era, Because of human activities earth conditions are going to the hell, By this course we can adapt to the environmental friendly way, and consume resources more efficiency
  • Anonymous
    the course is very Interesting, well structured, not flattened on the dominant thought, stimulating. definitely useful both as general culture and as improvement of professional skills. Recommended!
  • Anonymous
    This course covered a lot from the history to present day, putting business behaviours in context which was very interesting. Recommend to anyone looking at green business strategies.

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