BIK 2950 Sustainable Business

BIK 2950 Sustainable Business

Course code: 
BIK 2950
Course coordinator: 
Cecilie Staude
Per Espen Stoknes
Course name in Norwegian: 
Bærekraft som konkurransefortrinn
Product category: 
Special Course
2020 Autumn
Active status: 
Level of study: 
Teaching language: 
Course type: 
One semester

The UN´s sustainability goals changes the framework in private and public sector. Requirements to green growth, technological innovations and increased focus on sustainable products and services affects business models and practices. Traditional business models are challenged by new technology and value chains are transformed. At the same time the consumers are drawn towards businesses that want to contribute to a positive change in the world. The fact put pressure on businesses, not only financial returns, bur also social responsibility that influence strategy, marketing and communication.

The course focuses on the potential for value creation in the interface between new technology, digitalization, new markets and sustainability. We look at Norwegian and leading international trends in companies that have made sustainability a competitive advantage for their own business by developing, marketing, communicating and selling products and services in new ways, in new markets and channels.

The course is relevant for people seeking knowledge and practical skills related to sustainability and future business model innovation. The course is also suitable for those who work with marketing, strategic communication, positioning and market communication in the private and public sectors.

Learning outcomes - Knowledge

After completing the course, the students should:

• have an overview of key theories, methods and approaches in sustainability and environmental economics

• have knowledge of management of sustainable business and how to develop a sustainable business strategy

• have insight into the interaction between new business model innovation and technology

• have knowledge of the marketing of sustainable companies, products and services

• be able to apply theory for innovation of smart ideas / business models in own business

Learning outcomes - Skills

After completing the course, the students should be able to:

apply theory and foresight to explore and explore the future of sustainable business modeling

• contribute in restructuring to sustainable growth in own organization; strategy, leadership and organization

• be able to use driver knowledge for new business models and technological innovations

• plan and implement marketing measures to make sustainability visible in one's own business

• contribute to the assessment of sustainable innovations and their profitability

General Competence

After completing the course, the students should:


• have insight into and be able to reflect on how political sustainability goals contribute to the green shift entering a new phase

• critically assess the economic impact of climate change and the ethical aspects of green business operations

• communicate and discuss relevant academic issues and openness and transparency as core values ​​in climate communication in order to get the message out

Course content

Global challenges, an economic, social, moral problem

- Sustainability and the green shift, current trends and future scenarios for green

growth towards 2030?

- Sustainability as a business model and competitiveness

- Sustainable markets, products and services, what are the possibilities? Where are the markets?

- Green management and strategy design

- Segmentation and market development for sustainable consumption

- Interaction between sustainable business model innovation and new technology, change drivers, industry 4.0

- Sharing economy and circular economy

- Short about the cloud, internet of things, big data analytics and artificial intelligence

- How to implement sustainability in branding?

- Communication and marketing during the transition period

  • from attitude change to behavior change

Strategic message development

  •  How can businesses communicate the green shift to gain legitimacy, awareness and commitment?

- Communication platforms and social networks, involvement, engagement and dissemination

- Climate risk as a financial risk and ethical aspects of sustainable business operations

- Innovation and design of sustainable and profitable business based on specific business cases


Teaching and learning activities

The course is conducted over 10 weeks, as a combination of 2 x 2 days of classroom teaching, online tutorials between the sessions and academic discussion around exam-relevant reflection questions in the course's digital classroom. There will be clear bridges between the web and the days in classroom at campus so that the activities overlap and build on each other. At campus, the syllabus will be supplemented by external lecturers from Norwegian companies in the private and public sectors who have either completed or are in the process of innovating existing sustainable business models that are attractive and profitable.


Active participation is expected both in class discussions and between sessions.

The course ends with the submission of a project assignment that counts 100% of the grade. The assignment is to develop and document a green innovation in their own business, or any other topic the student is passionate about, and can be solved individually or in groups of up to three (3) people. The project assignment is handed out at the start of the semester. The answer must be attached to a self-evaluation from each candidate or group. The self-evaluation should provide a brief description of the candidate's / group's learning outcomes in light of the course's learning objectives, as well as a reasoned grade proposal. The answer must be a maximum of 15 pages, excluding self-evaluation and any other attachments.

Software tools
No specified computer-based tools are required.

Higher Education Entrance Qualification.

Exam categoryWeightInvigilationDurationGroupingComment exam
Exam category:
Form of assessment:
Written submission
Exam code:
BIK 29501
Grading scale:
Grading rules:
Internal and external examiner
Examination when next scheduled course
100No1 Semester(s)Group/Individual (1 - 3) The students must hand in a project paper at the end of the course counting 100%. The paper should not exceed 15 pages of text (figures and tables not included).
Exam category:Submission
Form of assessment:Written submission
Grouping (size):Group/Individual (1-3)
Duration:1 Semester(s)
Comment: The students must hand in a project paper at the end of the course counting 100%. The paper should not exceed 15 pages of text (figures and tables not included).
Exam code: BIK 29501
Grading scale:ECTS
Resit:Examination when next scheduled course
Type of Assessment: 
Ordinary examination
Total weight: 
Student workload
72 Hour(s)
Teaching on Campus
32 Hour(s)
  • Interactive video
  • Interactive websites
Digital resources with automatic feedback
13 Hour(s)
Group work / Assignments
23 Hour(s)
Student's own work with learning resources
60 Hour(s)
Sum workload: 

A course of 1 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of 26-30 hours. Therefore a course of 7,5 ECTS credit corresponds to a workload of at least 200 hours.