ES/IB 332 - Chile: Sustainability and Business
This course provides students with an in-depth overview of the concept of sustainability and business. It offers a framework in which students can assess the outcome of a project in sustainable development and explores how to critically evaluate how environmental policy projects impact their own communities. It is designed for students who are not necessarily environmental specialists.
Discussions and explorations of the concept of sustainable development, that is, economic development that is also socially inclusive and environmentally sustainable, will be important components of this course. It is a type of economic growth pattern where the use of resources meets the needs of human population while preserving the environment as well. Sustainable development means resources are used in such a way that both current and future human needs can be met.
Business is an integral part of sustainability, given that the relationship between them is often defined as managing the triple bottom line - a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations, and opportunities. These three impacts are on occasions referred to as profits, people, and the planet.
The social and environmental impact of business is not new. During past years we have seen renewed interest due to pressing global problems such as climate change and poverty. Businesses in general are playing an important role given their global influence and activities in which they are confronted with a range of issues, stakeholders, and institutional contexts. Their potential in being not only part of the problem, but also perhaps part of the solution, is increasingly recognized, and has come to the forefront in research interest in corporate social responsibility activities and sustainable development implications for businesses.
On account of the above, a particular theme in this course will be a focus on concepts of economic development, energy demand, environmental protection, natural resources, and policy within the Chilean framework. As such, the course provides students with ample opportunities to analyze economic and environmental policy, and practical issues as implemented in a developing economy like Chile, as well as in relation to global and general contexts.