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FTMBA 2024 Sustainability and Profit - Turning the Trade-off into Synergy

Course code
Course type
FT MBA Course
Weekly Hours
FS 2024
Juniorprof. Dr. Anna-Karina Schmitz
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

In this course, students will deal with the broad topic of sustainability from a business case perspective and learn how businesses can benefit from sustainability management and turn the proposed trade-off between sustainability and profit into synergy. The course is organized around four questions about sustainability aiming to answer how businesses can thrive in a more challenging, uncertain and carbon restricted world:

(1) What are we talking about?

  • The triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit
  • Trade-offs and growth mindset
  • Managing wicked problems

(2) What’s in it for business?

  • Economic potential of sustainability
  • Business cases for sustainability

(3) How to get there?

  • Purpose and value creation
  • Sustainability strategies
  • Sustainable business models

(4) Why is marketing essential?

  • Value delivery and extraction
  • Consumer behavior
  • Marketing mix and sustainability communication
Date Time
Monday, 25.03.2024 09:00 - 16:30
Tuesday, 26.03.2024 09:00 - 16:30
Tuesday, 09.04.2024 09:00 - 16:30
Students participating in the course will be able to
  1. Navigate the complexity of sustainability:Dive deep into current ecological, social, and economic challenges. Understand the intricate world of sustainability trade-offs, such as the delicate balance between sustainability and profitability.
  2. Unlock the Economic Potential:Realize the economic potential that lies within sustainable practices. Analyze real-world business cases where sustainability not only thrives but acts as a catalyst for financial success.

  3. Craft and Assess Sustainable Strategies:Develop the expertise to create and evaluate sustainability strategies. Learn to construct blueprints for a greener, more sustainable future and measure their impact.

  4. Pioneer New Solutions:Explore innovative solutions that address evolving needs. Identify business models that seamlessly merge sustainability and profitability, positioning yourself at the forefront of sustainable business practices.

  5. Integrate Sustainability into Marketing:Explore the power of sustainability in marketing. Apply sustainability frameworks to the design of new products and services, communication strategies, branding, and price management.

  6. Become a Sustainability Advocate:Master the art of communicating sustainability's vital role. Inspire others in the world of business and society, and earn the support of decision-makers in the pursuit of sustainable practices.

No textbook, relevant readings will be announced in the lecture
  • Lectures
  • In-class discussions
  • Guest lectures
  • (Real-life) cases
  • Business simulation
  • Presentations

This course is highly interactive and active participation in discussions is encouraged.

Take-Home Exam (individual grade)
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