CPT826: Environmental Management

School Cardiff School of Geography and Planning
Department Code GEOPL
Module Code CPT826
External Subject Code K400
Number of Credits 20
Level L7
Language of Delivery English
Module Leader DR Kersty Hobson
Semester Spring Semester
Academic Year 2017/8

How the module will be assessed



3000 words


Individual Presentation


Up to 15 Mins


How the module will be delivered

The module will be delivered by a combination of:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Directed reading

Lectures and seminars are supplemented by Powerpoint presentations (slides are copied and made available) and handouts. Key readings that are used in teaching sessions will be available in Learning Central before the session in which they are to be discussed. During seminars you may be required to lead or contribute to a debate/discussion.

Outline Description of Module

This module will provide a critical examination of the key issues and ideas that currently characterise environmental management, such as the interaction between voluntary and public forms of regulation. It will place these ideas within the context of drivers for change on industry, technological changes and responses by the business community through initiatives to promote more integrated environmental management. The module engages with debates on: the potential and limitations for organisations to become more environmentally conscious in their activities; the green and sharing economy, the interactions between the environmental or broader sustainability performance of organisations and their economic performance; and the constraints facing commercial, public and community organisations, regulators and environmental policy makers in their efforts to improve environmental and social sustainability.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

Students will gain both theoretical and practical knowledge of:

  1. Key social science theories of environmental management and change
  2. drivers for environmental management
  3. the nature of environmental regulations and how they relate to organisational practices
  4. the variable way in which processes of environmental improvement can be linked to firms and regulatory styles
  5. An understanding of the responses of individuals and organisations to the demands of environmental legislation
  6. A business perspective of the economic and environmental benefits of environmental management

Skills that will be practised and developed

Academic/subject-specific skills

Students will be expected to demonstrate skills of critical analysis through an ability to:

  • identify key issues and relationships;
  • critically evaluate various approaches—environmental management systems, voluntary agreements, regulation, economic incentives—to corporate environmental management
  • application of environmental and sustainability thinking to a range of organisational contexts

Transferable/employability skills

Students will practice and develop the following:

  • Data collection skills – including qualitative data and statistical analysis, data collection and synthesis using databases, web and other sources
  • Use language accurately and communicate information efficiently and effectively
  • Process large quantities of information rapidly

Assessment Breakdown

Type % Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 70 Essay N/A 1 N/A
Presentation 30 Presentation N/A 1 N/A

Essential Reading and Resource List

Aguinis, H (2012) What We Know and Don’t Know About Corporate Social Responsibility. A Review and Research Agenda, Journal of Management, Vol 38, No 4, 932-968

Darnall, Nicole and Kim Younsung (2012) Which Types of Environmental Management Systems Are Related to Greater Environmental Improvements? Public Administration Review. May/Jun2012, Vol. 72 Issue 3, p351-365. 15p.


Endrikat, Jan, Edeltraud Guenther, and Holger Hoppe. "Making sense of conflicting empirical findings: A meta-analytic review of the relationship between corporate environmental and financial performance." European Management Journal 32.5 (2014): 735-751.


Mol, Arthur P.J., Gert Spaargaren and David Sonnefield, (2013) Ecological Modernization Theory. Taking stock, moving forward in Routledge International Handbook of Social and Environmental Change,  Stewart Lockie, David A. Sonnenfeld, Dana R. Fisher (eds), Routledge.

Mol, G & Arthur P.J. Mol (2013) Carbon flows, carbon markets, and low-carbon lifestyles: reflecting on the role of markets in climate governance, Environmental Politics, Volume 22, Issue 1, 174-193

Orlitzky, M, Donald S. Siegel, and David A. Waldman (2011) Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability, Business and Society, Vol 50, No 1, pp6-27

Smith, A., Jan-Peter Voβ and John Grin eds. (2010) Research Policy, Special Section on Innovation and Sustainability Transitions, Volume 39, Issue 4, Pages 435-564 (May 2010)

Stevens, Paul A, William J. Batty, Phil J. Longhurst, and Gillian H. Drew (2012) A critical review of classification of organisations in relation to the voluntary implementation of environmental management systems, Journal of Environmental Management, Volume 113, 30 December 2012, Pages 206–212

Vries, Gerdien, et al. "Sustainability or profitability? How communicated motives for environmental policy affect public perceptions of corporate greenwashing." Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management 22.3 (2015): 142-154.

Williamson D and Gary Lynch-Wood (2012) Ecological modernisation and the regulation of firms, Environmental Politics, Volume 21, Issue 6, pp941-59

Background Reading and Resource List

Syllabus content

  1. Changing styles of regulation and environmental policy
  2. Ecological modernisation
  3. Technology and innovation
  4. System transition
  5. Corporate social responsibility
  6. Compliance with environmental regulation
  7. Introduction to environmental management
  8. EMS: issues and questions
  9. Environment and economy
  10. Industrial ecology
  11. Sector, size and sustainability

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