in ANGU 354
In a business context, environmental management describes the
set of tasks related to developing, implementing, and monitoring the
firm's environmental strategy. This course is about formulating
corporate environmental strategy in a world characterized by
unprecedented environmental challenges such as climate change, air and
water pollution, water scarcity, health risks, as well as the
challenges posed by resource depletion and the increasing need to
change from carbon-based energy sources to renewable energy sources.
In order to understand corporate environmental strategy, it is
necessary to explore economic principles underlying environmental
policy, environmental law, the managerial practices that respond to
policy interventions, and the environmental technologies that
facilitate pollution prevention and pollution abatement. Corporate
environmental strategy is multi-layered as it touches upon the entire
life-cycle of products as well as the entire value chain.
A firm's environmental responsibility starts with the
sourcing of inputs but does not simply end with the sale and
distribution of its products, but rather the eventual disposal at the
end of a product's life-cycle. Corporate environmental strategy can be
active (focusing on environmental competence such as new
environmentally-friendly goods and technologies) or reactive (reducing
the firm's environmental footprint through reduction of emissions),
and needs to be implemented and monitored through an appropriate
environmental management system that facilitates reporting, auditing,
and adaptation. ISO-14000 certification will take a central place in
the related discussion.
In order to appreciate environmental management in practice, a closer
look at environmental technology and engineering practices is both
useful and necessary. Which technologies are available to prevent, abate,
or eliminate pollutants? What are the economic trade-offs to be
considered? How should companies interact with stakeholders in society?
This course aims at exploring both theory and practice. Students
taking this course will gain an appreciation of the complexity of
designing corporate environmental strategy in the presence of diverse
and competing stakeholder interests. Stories taken out of recent
newspaper coverage will often provide the lead-in for discussions.
The module is taught using a combination of lectures, small case
studies, independent reading, and team work. Small student teams will
be given the opportunity to analyze new environmental technologies or
managerial challenges of existing firms and present their findings in
class. These in-class presentations are intended to facilitate debates
about opposing views or competing technologies (e.g., micro-hydro in
BC pro and con, incineration versus landfills, hybrid cars versus
electric cars, nuclear energy versus coal with carbon-capture and
storage, and so on). The purpose of the group work is to explore and
discuss competing approaches to corporate environmental strategy.