USQ LogoCourse specification
The current and official versions of the course specifications are available on the web at
Please consult the web for updates that may occur during the year.

ECO8010 Corporations and Sustainable Development

Semester 1, 2012 Online Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Business and Law
School or Department : School of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Ian Eddington
Moderator: Khorshed Alam

Other requisites

Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at


Nature is issuing pressing reminders of the short time left for society to effect sustainable development based, among other things, on carbon constrained production and consumption. Governments around the world are approaching the need for change in different ways. Depending on the issue, some lead, some follow and some wait and see. Industry is being encouraged to adapt its conduct and performance to the requirements of sustainable development. Some industries have taken the lead and are enhancing their profitability through green value chain initiatives and new product and process opportunities. Other industries remain more inert and insensitive to the need for change. A sizable proportion of the population remains sceptical about the need for, and the possible success of, sustainable development and its attendant climate change component. This course provides an opportunity to learn about sustainable development and its implications for business.


This course examines green management theory in the context of the Rio Principles, Agenda 21, and the International Labour Organization's safe and decent work ethic. Topics may include, but not be limited to, green management theory; environmental management systems for business; sustainable development opportunities for business; green profits and sustainability - business as unusual; global initiatives in sustainable business; green skills, safe and decent work, the just transition to sustainable development; and the role of business in the global sustainable development initiatives of intergovernmental agencies such as the Commission for Sustainable Development.


On successful completion of this course, students should be able to:

  1. understand the nature of sustainable development and derive its implications for business conduct and performance
  2. apply green management theory in business organisations and in critical analysis of sustainable development opportunities for business
  3. understand the nature and purpose of environmental management systems and implement and manage them in practice
  4. engage with the Rio Principles, Agenda 21 and the Commission for Sustainable Development (CSD) documents and design and apply sustainable business responses to interventions governments make to fulfil their CSD responsibilities.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction: overview of the course and how the course topics fit together 5.00
2. The nature of sustainable development and corporate responsibility for it 20.00
3. Managing corporate sustainable development in theory and practice: sustainable development opportunities 20.00
4. Environmental management systems 20.00
5. Government policy, business and sustainable development 20.00
6. The Rio Principles, Agenda 21 and the Commission for Sustainable Development; the International Labour Organization and Safe and Decent Work 10.00
7. Conclusion: reprise of the introduction and comment on how the course complements other specialisation subjects 5.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • A selection of readings will be provided.
  • Text book to be advised.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • The ILO safe work, decent work protocols available from the ILO pages.
  • The Rio Principles and Agenda 21 widely available on the Web.
  • This course is a master level course and students are expected to develop their own search capabilities to access the wide variety of reference materials available.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 80.00
Private Study 85.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 30 30 30 Mar 2012 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 30 30 04 May 2012 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 3 40 40 08 Jun 2012 (see note 3)

  1. book review or critical essay
  2. critical essay
  3. case study or applied technique

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students' responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks. (Depending upon the requirements in Statement 4 below, students may not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to receive a passing grade in this course.)

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without prior approval of the examiner, then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Assignments: (i) The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the examiner. (ii) Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within 24 hours if required by the examiner. (iii) In accordance with university policy, the examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances. (iv) In the event that a due date for an assignment falls on a local public holiday in their area, such as a show holiday, the due date for the assignment will be the next day. Students are to note on the assignment cover the date of the public holiday for the examiner's convenience.

  2. Referencing in assignments: Harvard (AGPS) is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use Harvard (AGPS) style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The Harvard (AGPS) style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide at

  3. Deferred work: Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. A temporary grade of IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up) may be granted.

  4. Make-up work: Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded the temporary grade: IM (Incomplete - Make up). An IM grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

Other requirements

  1. Computer, e-mail and Internet access: Students are required to have access to a personal computer, e-mail capabilities and Internet access to UConnect. Current details of computer requirements can be found at