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Sustainability Strategy Project

  • Teacher(s):   C.Fischer   S.Aeschlimann  
  • Course given in: English
  • ECTS Credits: 6 credits
  • Schedule: Spring Semester 2019-2020, 4.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • Related programmes:
    Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Strategy, Organization and Leadership

    Maîtrise universitaire ès Sciences en management, Orientation Behaviour, Economics and Evolution

    Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Marketing

    Master of Science (MSc) in Management, Orientation Business Analytics



After this course, students will be able to:

  1. Define the key pillars of sustainability (economic, social and environment) and give concrete examples of their implications for individuals and businesses alike.

  2. Explain the risks associated with the (still) dominant economical models and corporate governance; and point out some ways to address them through revised, purpose driven, business practices to deliver positive impact to the society.

  3. Compare several useful methodologies to measure and track the sustainability of an organisation’s activities; with a focus on the B Corp created "B Impact Assessment" tool.

  4. Apply the BIA methodology (Assess, Compare, Improve) through a practical consulting assignment with a real client.

  5. Describe the vision, motivation and drivers of various members of the B Corp community met throughout the course (ie. leaders, entrepreneurs, B Leaders or B Lab members).


What did the editors of the prestigious Financial Times meant when, last September, they published on the front page, in huge black on yellow bold fonts: "Capitalism. Time for a reset."?

Well, they provided more details thereafter…

The liberal capitalist model has delivered peace, prosperity and technological progress for the past 50 years, dramatically reducing poverty and raising living standards throughout the world. But, in the decade since the global financial crisis, the model has come under strain, particularly the focus on maximising profits and shareholder value. These principles of good business are necessary but not sufficient. The long-term health of free enterprise capitalism will depend on delivering profit with purpose. Companies will come to understand that this combination serves their self-interest as well as their customers and employees.”

This course is exactly about this. Understanding the drastic changes in the environment in which businesses are now operating, the obsolescence of the “old economic models” and identify a blueprint for change. The best way to learn about it is to actually do it. Therefore, after a couple of classes meant to equip students with the required theoretical background, the course will shape into a consulting assignment with a real client willing to challenge its own business practices, assess them and hear from the students about ways they could improve them.


The subject of sustainability is a broad one. That's what makes it exciting. It encompasses environmental, demographic, economic, political and technological concepts. But some of the reports provide a good basis for understanding the advisory mandate that students will be working on. Here is a non-exhaustive list:

  • Emmanuel Fabert, CEO of Danone, speech at the graduation ceremony at HEC Paris


We assume that you have already assimilated the necessary knowledge of corporate strategy and policy.



First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  

1st attempt

Review: No review (see modalities)

The evaluation will be carried out by a jury composed of representatives of the client (i.e. sponsor) and the instructors. The same mark will be given to all members of the group, unless there is an individual penalty.

The final grade will be composed of :

  • 80% - Written reports (see doc D#2) to be handed in by 3.6.20 at 6pm at the latest
  • 20 % - Oral presentation* on 27.5.20

* Due to the exceptional situation related to the Coronavirus crisis, oral presentations will be made by video conference of the same type as the mid-term sessions that will take place on 7 and 9 April 2020.

The ratings are based partly on customer feedback (30%). An evaluation grid (see Evaluation Criteria doc D#3) will be sent to the client. His feedback will have an impact on the score.


Without exam (cf. terms)  

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