GY326      Half Unit
Sustainable Business and Finance

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Meredith Whitten


This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Accounting and Finance, BSc in Economic History and Geography, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available to General Course students.

Course content

This course seeks to explore and critically interrogate the governance of environmental sustainability by corporate and financial actors - commonly framed in terms of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainable and responsible investment (SRI), respectively. Drawing on a range of theoretical ideas, the emphasis of the course is on providing students with an understanding of the motives, practices and outcomes of market actors’ growing involvement in sustainability. Topics covered include strategic CSR, self-regulation, evolution of SRI, ESG (environment, social and governance) ratings, green bonds and greenwashing.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.

This course is delivered through weekly 2-hour interactive seminars across Michaelmas Term.

This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce a formative issue brief in the Michaelmas Term.

Indicative reading

Rasche, A., Morsing, M. and Moon, J. (eds) (2018). Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategy, Communication. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Schoenmaker, D. and Schramade. W. (2018). Principles of Sustainable Finance. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 


Assignment (100%) in the MT.

The assignment will be an issue brief with critical reflection (3500 words).

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2018/19 - 2020/21 combined)

Classification % of students
First 42.6
2:1 39.1
2:2 15.2
Third 2.2
Fail 0.9

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2020/21: 114

Average class size 2020/21: 16

Capped 2020/21: Yes (115)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication