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.

ECO8011 Global Issues in Environmental Management and Sustainability

Semester 2, 2012 External 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: Geoff Cockfield

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


Mankind, through population growth and anthropogenic changes to natural ecosystems, is beginning to endanger the sustainability of its own habitat. Mitigation of anthropogenic natural systems change is proving costly, and in some cases cannot be achieved by countries or groups of countries acting alone. New process technologies, alternative fuels, new materials technologies, more enlightened patterns of production, income distribution, and consumption, and more careful attention to the preservation of non renewable resources: all of these are being investigated for the countervailing benefits they might bring. Countries are cooperating under the aegis of intergovernmental agencies to develop coordinated preventive strategies and joint implementation of those strategies. Business is being pressed to play its part by modifying its production and resource usage activity to complement a just transition to sustainable development. This course provides an opportunity to learn about harmful global phenomena impacting on present generations and about how industry, through sustainable business behaviour, and invention and innovation, might profitably contribute to the amelioration of such harmful phenomena.


This subject investigates major phenomena perceived to be threatening planet earth's environment and consequently the progress of industrialisation and the standard of living in both rich and poor countries alike. Topics may include phenomena such as: climate change, population growth, food insecurity, ocean degradation, loss of biological diversity, acid rain, ozone depletion. Business responses to these problems are discussed including productivity strategies business might develop as part of society's attempts to countervail such threats to its habitat.


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

  1. understand the nature of the impact of human activity on the environment and analyse the implications of this for society and business
  2. understand climate change, population growth, loss of biological diversity, ocean degradation, food insecurity, ozone depletion, acid rain, and land and forest degradation as limits to social and economic growth and design and/or implement countervailing adaptation and mitigation strategies that might lessen their harmful effects
  3. derive and apply sustainable business strategies consistent with the adaptation and mitigation regulations enacted by governments and actively promote beyond compliance sustainable development behaviour in industry
  4. communicate an acute and keen sense of the need for green innovation and change and practice problem solving and creative initiative in the environmental industry that is developing in response to the growth limiting phenomena specified in objective 2.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction: overview of the course and explanation of how the topics fit together 5.00
2. Climate change and sustainable business 25.00
3. Population growth, food insecurity and loss of biological diversity 20.00
4. Acid rain; ozone depletion 15.00
5. Land and forest degradation 15.00
6. Ocean degradation 15.00
7. Conclusion: reprise of the introduction and explanation of how the course complements other courses in the specialisation 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.

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.
  • If reference materials are considered necessary they will be named at the end of each module. This course is at master level and students are encouraged to develop their own skills for searching the rich information sources available on the web through URL pages and through streaming and webinars.

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 10 Aug 2012 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 2 30 30 21 Sep 2012 (see note 2)
ASSIGNMENT 3 40 40 26 Oct 2012 (see note 3)

  1. film review or critical essay
  2. critical essay
  3. critical essay or construction of teaching kit

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    If you are an international student in Australia, you are advised to attend all classes at your campus. For all other students, 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:
    Students must attach an application for late submission to any assignment sent to the university after the due date.

  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 assignment 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) The examiner will not accept submission of assignments by facsimile. (v) Students who do not have regular access to postal services or who are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements. (vi) 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