Sustainable Development and Business (ESDB) 619

Sustainable Development and Business

ESDB 619

Delivery Mode: Online

Credits: 3

Prerequisites: Students must have successfully completed Phase 1 of the MBA program before taking this course.

Faculty: Faculty of Business

Program: Master of Business Administration


Sustainable Development & Business (ESDB 619) is an 8-week online elective course. ESDB 619 explores the principles, issues, and applications of sustainable development in a management context. Students will discuss the concept of sustainable development as a proposed solution to a range of global and local concerns. We explore such problems as global inequity, overpopulation, over-consumption, and environmental degradation, and unpack the interrelationships among them. We study the role of environmental advocates, and the impact they have on strategic business decisions. We also examine Canadian environmental strategy and global environmental governance issues.

Please note that the course focuses on environmental concerns and how it can be incorporated in business strategy.

One of the broad goals of this course is to demonstrate how sustainable development is not an add-on, but an essential strategic consideration for developing competitive advantage. There are many issues to grasp in a short period of eight weeks; therefore, be prepared for a higher than average amount of reading.


The main topics in this course are:

  • The definition of sustainability and its applications in corporate, institutional and organizational settings.
  • Redefining the notion of value in the business sector.
  • The challenges of balancing economic vs. environmental goals.
  • The role of technology in sustainable development.
  • Corporate social responsibility and triple bottom line reporting.
  • Governance for environmental sustainability, including Canada’s approach to sustainable development.

Student Evaluation

Your grades will be based on your participation in group discussions and completion of individual assignments.

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.