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2012/2013  KAN-CM_U125  Strategies for sustainable consumption

English Title
Strategies for sustainable consumption

Course information

Language English
Exam ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Course period Spring
Changes in course schedule may occur
Tuesday 09.50-11.30, week 15
Tuesday 09.50-13.20, week 16-22
Time Table Please see course schedule at e-Campus
Max. participants 60
Study board
Study Board for MSc in Economics and Business Administration
Course coordinator
  • Adriana Budeanu - Department of International Economics and Management
Administration: Birgit Dahlgren - bgd.int@cbs.dk
Main Category of the Course
  • Business Ethics, value based management and CSR
Last updated on 16-10-2012
Learning objectives
After a successful completion of the course, the students will be able to:
  • Understand and reflect on the main research and theoretical streams related to sustainability and consumption.
  • Know and apply basic concepts of sustainable consumption to real life cases.
  • Analyse trends of consumption and identify the consequences for the goals of business and policy with respect to sustainable development.
  • Identify challenges raised by un-sustainable consumption patterns for businesses and policy-makers, and suggest available strategies that could be used to overcome them.
  • Know and apply strategies that encourage the shift of consumption towards more sustainable patterns.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the models, concepts and theories presented throughout the course.
Students must have knowledge of management, strategy, and consumer behavior, or the like.
Individually written home assignment
Individual project exam/home assignment.:
Type of test Home Assignment
Marking scale 7-step scale
Second examiner No second examiner
Exam period May/June
Aids Open Book, Written and Electronic Aid is permitted
Duration Please, see the detailed regulations below
The examination is an individually written home assignment, of 10-15 pages, consisting at least in part of a case analysis.
Course content

Almost every major global corporation (such as Nike, Phillips, Nokia, Electrolux, Toyota, IKEA, SAS, etc) and numerous smaller enterprises are now offering environmentally friendly and socially acceptable options to their mainstream products and services. By contrast, only a small fraction of consumers buy and use such sustainable alternatives, fact that leads to economic and social inefficiencies. Persuading consumers to adopt more sustainable purchasing behaviours and lifestyles remains a key challenge for businesses and governments in pursuit of sustainable development. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the complex topic of sustainable consumption, through the study of specific cases of sustainable mobility and leisure, and give an understanding of the challenges of creating a shift towards more sustainable consumption patterns. The main objective of the course is to discuss how businesses can strategize to shape and steer consumer choices, towards wider social goals, such as social and environmental objectives.

The course covers four main areas of study:

  • Sociological and economic perspectives on consumption and sustainability;
  • Theory and current research on sustainable consumption;
  • Strategies aimed at shifting consumption patterns towards sustainable goals (based on real-life cases of sustainable mobility and leisure);
  • National and international policy contexts for sustainable consumption: successes and failures
Teaching methods
Through a combination of lectures, seminars with industry guests and case-based teaching, the students are exposed to real-life dilemmas related to the challenges of steering sustainable consumption, in order to get a better understanding of real-life situations and provide solutions to business challenges.
Expected literature

Course compendium and a collection of cases (the references below are only an indicative sample of the course literature; the complete list is under development):

Jackson, T. (2006) The Earthscan Reader on Sustainable Consumption, Earthscan, London

Hall, M. (2005) Tourism: Rethinking the sociology of mobility, Pearson Education Ltd., London

Verbeek, D., Mommaas, H. (2008) Transitions to Sustainable Tourism Mobility: The social practice approach, Journal of Sustainable Tourism, 16(6): 629-644

Shove, E. (2003) Converging conventions of comfort, cleanliness and convenience, Journal of Consumer Policy, 26(4): 395-418

Shove, E., (2005) Consumers, Producers and Practices: Understanding the invention and reinvention of Nordic walking Journal of Consumer Culture, March 2005, 5: 43-64

Reisch, L. (2004) Principles and Visions of a New Consumer Policy: Discussion Paper by the Scientific Advisory Board for Consumer, Food, and Nutrition Policy to the German Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food, and Agriculture, Journal of consumer policy, 27: 1-42

de Oña-Lopez J., Calvo F. Pricing Rail Infrastructure in Europe: a comparative analysis, Paper published in the conference proceedings of the European Transport Conference, 4-6 October 2004, Strasbourg, France

Last updated on 16-10-2012