Continued economic growth within the limits of our planet is untenable. We must continue to develop as a society but in a way that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainable development of the economy means qualitative improvement without increase, without growth in the quantitative throughput of energy and materials.
Companies can also explicitly choose to organize their business in a context of sustainable development where profit is generated without ethical and ecological boundaries being perceived as a burden.
This course will first address the ethical and ecological issues that a business is confronted with. Subsequently, it is investigated why economic growth alone is insufficient to meet these challenges. Methods for evaluating the sustainability of a business or developed product are discussed in more detail. Methods that are discussed include techno-economic evaluation, life cycle analysis and uncertainty analysis. Students will learn how to link these results, taking into account ethical issues. In addition, they will learn how models for sustainable business operations can look like through theory and applications, both in a national and international context. In addition, they will come into contact with real-life sustainable business models through guest speakers who present their business operations.
On the basis of a group assignment, the students will analyze the operations of a specific company and link it to the concepts and methods provided during this course. Results and recommendations will be presented to a jury.