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Sustainability and Marketing - (E-M)

Course code
Course type
MSc 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 with a focus on marketing.They willlearn 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 and marketing 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
Tuesday, 09.01.2024 10:45 - 15:15
Thursday, 11.01.2024 11:30 - 15:15
Monday, 22.01.2024 11:30 - 15:15
Tuesday, 30.01.2024 11:30 - 15:15
Tuesday, 06.02.2024 11:30 - 15:15
Tuesday, 13.02.2024 11:30 - 15:15
Friday, 16.02.2024 08:00 - 19:00
Students participating in the course will learn that
  1. Trade-offs are an integral part of sustainability management.
  2. Continued growth in its previous form is unrealistic due to environmental and resource constraints.
  3. Sustainability is a complex task that requires smart management and thinking ahead.
  4. Sustainability comes with a huge economic potential.
  5. There is always a business case for sustainability, if there isn‘t one yet, there will be soon.
  6. Companies with a clear purpose are more successful as profit is the result of value creation.
  7. There are three basic sustainability strategies: eco-efficiency, consistency and sufficiency.
  8. Sustainable business models create monetary and nonmonetary value for stakeholders.
  9. Marketing delivers and extracts value from sustainable business.
  10. Communication is key to success or failure of resolving sustainability trade-offs
No textbook, relevant literature will be announced in the lecture.
Lectures, in-class discussions, guest lectures, (real-life) cases, business simulation, Henkel company visit, presentations
The course grade is composed as follows:
  • 50%: individual assignment
  • 50%: group presentation of real-life case study at Henkel in Düsseldorf (group grade adjusted for peer evaluation)
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