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ECON3323 Business and the Environment

Credit
6 points
Offering
(see Timetable)
AvailabilityLocationMode
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Environmental Science and Management; Environmental Management major sequences
  • Level 3 elective
Content
Why does industry pollute so much? Can it pollute less? Does it want to? Businesses vary greatly, from the model firm leading in sustainable business practices to the heavy polluter that seems to go only for the quick buck. How can you explain such diversity? Is it just because some are 'good guys' and others 'bad guys', or is there more to it? This unit addresses these questions and asks: (1) Under what conditions will a business want to improve its management of the environment? (2) How can government and society effectively encourage businesses to want to do better? (3) What aspects of business managers' attitudes and behaviour do we need to understand to better know how they can improve their management of the environment?

This unit is organized into weekly topics that roughly correspond to the chapters of a core textbook, and each week contains three sessions. Topics include environmental externalities, stakeholder analysis, environmental accounting and reporting, environmental management systems and life-cycle-assessment, environmental investments, risk management and insurance, as well as eco-labelling and eco-certification. Each week, session 1 focuses on key concepts and an understanding of the issues based around key chapter readings. Session 2 is a lab session using Internet resources, where students search in small groups for information on a specific industry of their choice. This session also introduces them to some key online databases where they learn how to search for information quickly and efficiently. Session 3 focuses on behavioural aspects of business decision making in relation to environmental (mis)management. In this session, students are introduced to behavioural economics as well as to economic experiments, which are core tools in the study of economic behaviour. Students in this unit have various backgrounds: Science, Engineering, Business and also Arts (e.g. business ethics).
Outcomes
Students are able to (1) critically analyse environmental management practices of private businesses; (2) use a variety of environmental management decision tools; (3) demonstrate understanding of key concepts and tools for analysing environmental management by business; (4) use powerful database search tools; and (5) demonstrate understanding of the principles for designing experiments to study key aspects of business behaviour.
Assessment
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) project; (2) online quizzes; and (3) final examination. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit except in the case of a bachelor's pass degree student who has obtained a mark of 45 to 49 overall and is currently enrolled in this unit, and it is the only remaining unit that the student must pass in order to complete their course.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Associate Professor Steven Schilizzi
Unit rules
Prerequisites:
ECON2224 Environmental Economics 2 or ECON2105 Rise of the Global Economy or ECON2233 Microeconomics: Policy and Applications or ECON2234 Macroeconomics: Policy and Applications or ECON2245 Business Economics or PLNG2203 Environmental Policy and Planning or PLNG2201 Geographies of Economic Development
Co-requisites:
Nil.
Incompatibility:
NIL
Contact hours
lectures: 2 hours per week; tutorials: 1 hour per week
Texts

Lesourd, J-B. and Schilizzi, S. The Environment in Corporate Management: New Directions and Economic Insights: Edward Elgar Publishing 2001, 2003*

An additional reference book is:

Brueckner, M. The Business with the Environment: a Different Reader, 2nd edn: Cengage Learning 2011

  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
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  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.