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2023/2024  KAN-CCMVV2307U  Climate Change and Business Transformation

English Title
Climate Change and Business Transformation

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Autumn
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and GMA (CM)
Course coordinator
  • Michele Acciaro - Department of Strategy and Innovation (SI)
Main academic disciplines
  • CSR and sustainability
  • Management
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 16-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
At the end of the course, the students should be able to:
  • - Describe, identify, and critically contribute to current academic, policy and industry debates on the business impacts of climate change, in particular in terms of competitiveness, profitability and regulatory compliance.
  • - Describe, structure, identify, and analyse how firms deal with climate change and what transformational capabilities they require to deal with the climate crisis
  • - Describe, apply, and combine the concepts, theories, and methods of strategic management, economics, and international business in relation to business transformation
  • - Develop and apply capabilities to define and evaluate business models adaptable to climate change
Course prerequisites
Climate Change and Business Transformation:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Group exam
Please note the rules in the Programme Regulations about identification of individual contributions.
Number of people in the group 2
Size of written product Max. 25 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Release of assignment Subject chosen by students themselves, see guidelines if any
Duration 2 weeks to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Winter
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
In case of re-exam a new case needs to be submitted. If a student is ill during the the preparation of the written product, and is unable to submit by the deadline, they can submit the same product for the make-up exam. If the whole group fails a new product ar an edited version of the previously submitted products can be submitted.
Description of the exam procedure

The students are assessed through a case study based on a company of their choice. In the discussions the students need to investigate how the company is being impacted by climate change and critically assess the risks and opportunities deriving from climate change. A plan for transforming the firm into a more resilient and climate-change aware business should also be included. Students will present a draft of their report in class as to be able to gather feedback from the lecturer and their peers before the final submission.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The phenomenon of climate change has brought about a need for businesses to undergo a process of transformation in order to remain competitive in today’s market. As the effects of climate change become increasingly visible, businesses must transition from traditional practices to more sustainable, eco-friendly approaches that can ensure their long-term success. This transformation involves both changes in the way business is conducted and a shift in the type of products and services that are provided. For example, businesses must adopt strategies such as reducing their carbon footprint, increasing their efficiency, and investing in renewable energy sources. Additionally, businesses may need to focus more on creating products that are environmentally friendly and can help to reduce the impact of climate change.


The course provides advanced business knowledge placed in the context of a rapidly changing, climate, regulatory and economic context. It focuses on how businesses need to transform to better respond to the climate crisis and build on the opportunities that climate change can offer. Moreover, it aids students in reflecting on the implications that climate change has on a variety of business types, from energy multinationals, to transport and tourism, agriculture, and electronics. Many of the examples and cases discussed in the course highlight the tension between short-term profitability, that is often driving companies, and longer-term societal goals that should be rooted on sustainable development principles. During the course, students learn to make complex business decisions under uncertainty, evaluate innovative approaches to address climate change issues in the various sectors, communicate the need for change and drive change in their future organisations.

During the course, using a variety of examples and theories students will learn how climate change impacts consumer behaviors, marketing and product development, financing, employee retention and choices of production location.


The curriculum is structures around four main themes: (1) Reshaping value chains; (2) Organizational resilience and adaptation; (3) Shifts in work and life; (4) Societal shifts. Module 1 focuses on how businesses can leverage on climate change to increase their competitiveness, either by providing products with lower carbon footprints, marketing solutions to climate-change-driven problems, or strengthening their brand. In module 2, students learn how companies need to develop resilience approaches, so that their business can successfully adapt to climate change. Module 3 focuses on how climate change is likely to change work practices and lifestyle attitudes, so that firm can find new opportunities to respond to these changing societal needs. Module 4 deals with the societal shifts resulting from climate change, and how firms should shape their strategies to respond to these changes.  


Each session combines theoretical readings with case study discussions on existing climate change challenges and strategies for firms and encourages students to understand and apply abstract frameworks but also discuss their limitations. The students will learn how to integrate ideas and concepts to solve complex realistic problems. They will also learn how to select and acquire relevant knowledge for dealing with climate change at a business level. Through the analysis of how climate change issues have been dealt with in the past, students explore how executives were able to recognize opportunities for innovations and translate them into strategy or adapt their operations to account for a changing environment.

Description of the teaching methods
Teaching methods include case study analysis, group discussions and lectures, based on frontal teaching and blended learning. Students are expected to prepare readings and cases prior to each session and actively participate in class.
Feedback during the teaching period
Feedback will be given in class in group work based on group discussions and presentations
Student workload
Lecture 33 hours
Preparation 125 hours
Exam 48 hours
Expected literature
Last updated on 16-02-2023