Course Title: Corporate Environmental Planning and Management

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Corporate Environmental Planning and Management

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2013

Course Coordinator: A/Prof Marco Amati

Course Coordinator Phone: (03) 9925 5887

Course Coordinator Email:

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

Corporate Environmental Planning and Management examines corporate responsibility and accountability in the context of companies’ environmental impacts and outcomes. It examines the variety of drivers for corporate accountability and the role of corporations in relation to the environment. The course explores the nature and effectiveness of corporate responses to environmental responsibility and the role of strategic planning in achieving outcomes.

The course will analyse selected case studies, combined with visiting speakers from industry and government to examine specific approaches by government corporations. The role of NGOs, education and individual/collective action will also be explored to assess what future strategies might be most effective.

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

The following capabilities will be developed during the course:
• Adopt a responsible attitude of stewardship to the environment;
• Understand the interconnectedness of environmental, economic and social systems;
• Evaluate and discern value of information from a variety of sources;
• Confidently critique policy and strategy;
• Devise and implement solutions / alternatives to issues examined;
• Reflect on experiences, to relate these to similar and dissimilar contexts to inform and improve future practice;
• Think laterally in a variety of situations; and
• Present ideas coherently and logically to academic and professional audiences in oral and written formats.

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

1. Gain an understanding of the role of corporations and their responsibilities;
2. Learn the role of corporate strategic and management planning in achieving sustainable outcomes;
3. Appreciate the alternative approaches by corporations to the environment;
4. Analyse best practice through case studies;
5. Analyse the corporate spin in relation to actual outcomes;
6. Gain an understanding of a number of tools and indices purporting to assess and/or rate corporate performance in environmental management; and
7. Consider what appropriate and effective actions you could take in your workplace or through community participation to assist corporations to minimise their negative impact on the environment.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course combines reading, participation, an intensive workshop and discussion seminars with selected speakers. It is essential that you have read material before each session in order to engage in discussion.

You will be expected to make class presentations and participate in the one-day workshop. While prescribed reading will be required for each session, wider research through websites and journals will also be necessary, given the corporate focus and contemporary nature of this course. For example, the websites of major corporations provide information in relation to current programs and policies addressing environmental issues. A number of tools and indices purporting to assess and/or rate corporate performance in environmental management will be examined during the course

Overview of Learning Resources




RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems.

A list of recommended learning resources will be provided including books, journal articles and web resources. You will also be expected to seek further resources relevant to the focus of your own learning


Prescribed Text

Prescribed: The Corporate Environmental Planning and Management reading pack supplied to class, including key references and websites for further research. Additional reading material and/or references will be distributed to the class during the course.

Some Wider Reading:

Dunphy, D., Griffiths, A., Benn, S. (2003) Organizational Change for Corporate Sustainability, Routledge, London.

Dunphy, D., et al. (2000) Sustainability – the corporate challenge of the 21st century, Allen and Unwin, Australia.

Corporations and Markets Advisory Committee (2006) The Social Responsibility of Corporations, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Coglianese, C & Nash. J. (2006) Beyond Compliance: Business Decision Making and the US EPA’s Performance Track Program, Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachussetts.

Elkington, J. (1999) Cannibals with Forks: The Triple Bottom Line of 21st Century Business, Capstone Publishing, Oxford.

Elkington, J. (2001) The Chrysalis Economy: How Citizen CEOS and Corporations Can Fuse Values and Value Creation, Capstone Publishing/John Wiley, Oxford.

Hawken, P., Lovins, A.B. & Lovins, L.H. 1999: Natural Capitalism: the Next Industrial Revolution, Earthscan London.

Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services. (2006) Corporate responsibility: Managing risk and creating value, Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.

Sullivan, R. & Wyndham, H. (2001) Effective Environmental Management – principles and case studies, Allen and Unwin Sydney.

Suzuki, D. & Dressel, H. (2002) Good News for a Change, Allen and Unwin Australia.

Welford, R. (1996) Corporate Environmental Management: Systems and Strategies, Earthscan, London.

Welford, R. (1996) Corporate Environmental Management 2: Culture and Organisations, Earthscan, London.

Welford, R. (2000) Corporate Environmental Management 3: Towards Sustainable Development, Earthscan, London.

Willard, B. (2002) The Sustainability Advantage: Seven Business Case Benefits of a Triple Bottom Line, New Society Publishers, Canada.
Willard, B. (2005) The Next Sustainability Wave: Building Boardroom Buy-In, New Society Publishers, Canada.

Useful Websites:  



Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program capabilities.
Assessment may include seminar presentations, discussion papers and an essay. Assessment will cover both theoretical and practical aspects of your learning. You will be able to develop your work in relation to your own specific areas of interest in your professional practice.

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks.

  • If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or the Disability Liaison Unit if you would like to find out more.
  • A student charter summarises your responsibilities as an RMIT student as well as those of your teachers.
  • Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions which are available for review online: