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.

ECO8012 Tools and Techniques for Sustainable Development

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


Industries and governments alike are being called upon to facilitate a just transition to carbon constrained economic activity. They are also being challenged by non-government organisations and intergovernmental organisations to implement changes that will promote sustainable development. In many cases there is active cooperation in these endeavours. Much remains to be done. Safe and civil society movements around the world are also demanding that government and industry act socially and responsibly in their everyday transactions. The International Labour Organisation and the Trade Unions, through their global networks, insist that tax revenue and business profits should not be taken from other than safe work and decent work. Underlying all of these desired changes is nature’s own reaction to the unprecedented burning of fossil fuels and rapid population growth. Both ecosystems science and climate change science inform that there is little time left to mitigate the harmful effects of fossil fuel consumption and population growth. This subject aims to introduce tools and techniques that government, business and citizens might employ individually, nationally and internationally in pursuit of sustainable development.


This subject provides an introduction to specific tools and techniques through which individuals, businesses and governments might partly realise their responsibilities to bring forward a just transition to sustainable development. Three categories of tools and techniques are identified: (1) private sector tools and techniques applicable at process, product and systems levels within households and firms, (2) public sector tools and techniques applicable nationally to help implement sustainable development praxis, and (3) holistic design and cognitive capacity building tools and techniques which generally inform both implementation of, and response to, public and private sector tools and techniques. Private sector tools addressed might include financial tools e.g. green investment, process tools e.g. clean and green production, product tools e.g. life cycle analysis, procurement tools e.g. green purchasing, and measuring tools e.g. climate tracking, carbon footprinting. Public sector topics might include but not be limited to environmental impact assessment, climate change tracking, carbon trading and carbon taxation. Holistic design and cognitive capacity topics covered may include but not be limited to integrative green management, environmental risk management, integrated sustainable performance and design for environment.


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

  1. derive and or apply tools and techniques for managerial stewardship of sustainable development
  2. develop and manage business responses and industry solutions to governmental public policy requirements such as environmental impact assessment, carbon trading and taxation, and green skills development
  3. develop, implement and manage private sector tools and techniques strategies such as green purchasing, clean and green production, cradle to cradle processes and the like
  4. develop, implement and manage business process and procedure compatible with holistic design and cognitive capacity tools and techniques such as clean development mechanisms, REDD+, design for environment, global reporting initiatives, joint implementation strategies and the like.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction: overview of the course and explanation of how the topics fit together 2.00
2. Private policy tools: financial tools; process tools; produce tools; procurement tools; measuring tools; other tools 32.00
3. Public policy tools: environmental impact assessment, carbon trading and tracking, carbon taxation 32.00
4. Holistic design and cognitive building tools and techniques 32.00
5. Conclusion: reprise of the introduction and explanation of how the course complements the other courses in the specialisation. 2.00

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 book 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.
  • Reference materials (if any) will be provided at the level of the topics. This course is a master level course and students are encouraged to develop search capacities to locate the wide range of reference material that is available on the web through URL pages, 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
2-HOUR EXAMINATION 40 40 End S2 (see note 1)

  1. The examination is scheduled to be held in the end-of-semester examination period. Students will be advised of the official examination date after the timetable has been finalised.

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:
    This is a restricted examination. Candidates are allowed access to specific materials during the examination. The only materials that candidates may use in this examination are calculators which cannot hold textual information (students must indicate on their examination paper the make and model of any calculator(s) they use during the examination).

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Any Deferred or Supplementary examinations for this course will be held during the next examination period.

  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