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NBS8650 : Sustainability Management and the Natural Environment

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Cristina Neesham
  • Lecturer: Dr Irene Chu
  • Owning School: Newcastle University Business School
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to provide broad knowledge about global sustainability as a key condition for addressing grand environmental challenges facing human society today – in particular, climate change, pandemics, and chronic scarcity of natural resources. Focusing on how international business and globalisation affect and are affected by these challenges, students will be empowered to use insights from ecological economics and the broader social sciences to examine the role of interdependent individual and group behaviours, social norms and institutional-regulatory regimes in generating global-systemic environmental problems, and to explore strategies for developing and managing sustainability solutions that can be delivered by and for global business.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will cover:
1. Evolution of modern concepts and theories of sustainability
2. Markets, organisations, externalities and the natural environment
3. Globalisation and global-systemic environmental problems: climate change, pandemics, resource scarcity
4. The role of international business in sustainable development and the SDGs
5. Planetary boundaries, environmental sustainability transitions, and principles of sustainability management
6. Sustainability management drivers and strategies in international business, stakeholder networks and cross-sector partnerships (technology, regulation, culture)
7. Human behaviour and social change as sources of global sustainability

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture101:0010:00PIP lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading122:0022:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching32:006:00PIP sessions
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time21:002:00online assessment surgery and module talk
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures and seminars introduce the concepts and theories, as well as the real-world issues to which these need to be applied. The seminars will focus on problem-solving and policy development in specific contexts.
Online sessions are to support assessment preparation.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Case study2A100Case Analysis Report, 2000 words
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2MFeedback is provided during seminars on activities related to the core material that supports the final assessment.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Case Analysis Report tests the students’ knowledge and skills in (i) defining and addressing global sustainability problems from the perspective of international business organisations in interaction with their stakeholder networks; and (ii) developing viable sustainability management strategies for an environmentally responsible business.

Reading Lists