University of Technology Sydney

260701 Governance and Sustainability

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level:


Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


The rise of the global economy and the significant role that business plays in society means that organisations now face increasing pressure to operate in an ecologically and socially responsible manner. This subject provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of sustainability and sustainability governance, empowering them to make and implement strategic decisions that promote sustainable business practices.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Critically apply sustainability theories, business models and frameworks
2. Analyse the impacts of sustainability on organisational design and the role it plays in management decisions
3. Evaluate the different expectations and demands on organisational sustainability behaviours that arise from various stakeholders
4. Critically reflect on the impacts of sustainability and sustainability governance for both business and society

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject contributes to the development of the following graduate attribute(s):

  • Communication and collaboration
  • Social responsibility and cultural awareness

This subject also contributes specifically to develop the following Program Learning Objectives:

  • Evaluate and apply principles of ethics, sustainability, social responsibility, and Indigenous perspectives, to decision-making in business (3.1)

Teaching and learning strategies

This subject is designed as a fully online experience that students can take at their own pace. It provides a structured learning journey, supported by a rich repository of information and activities that students can access to pursue their specific learning needs and interests.

Using an experiential approach, students will be asked to reflect on their lived experiences as members of organisations and to reflect on the theories, ideas, and tools from their studies to expand their capacity to comprehend and assess situations and consider alternatives when problem-solving and making managerial decisions.

In addition to self-paced learning, there will be several online sessions spread evenly throughout the subject. These sessions are not formal lectures, they are online tutorials, designed to encourage dialogue between all participants. In tutorials, participants are encouraged to collaborate and develop ideas, ask questions, and provide and receive feedback.

Content (topics)

  • Ecological footprint
  • Sustainability theory
  • Organising sustainability
  • Implementing sustainability
  • Sustainability governance
  • Sustainability futures


Assessment task 1: Sustainability Reflection (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 4

Weight: 25%

800 words (+ / -) 10%

  • Depth of application of sustainability theories at individual, organisational and societal levels
  • Depth of reflection on sustainability theory at individual, organisational and societal levels
  • Depth of appreciation of ethical issues related to sustainability adoption at individual, organisational and societal levels
  • Effectiveness of communication to specific audience

Assessment task 2: Implementing Sustainability Report (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2 and 3

Weight: 45%

1500 words (+/-) 10%

  • Depth of application of business models and theory
  • Rigour of critical analysis of organisational Sustainability claims and practice
  • Appropriateness of recommendations for the improvement of organisational behaviours and practices
  • Effectiveness of communication to specific audience

Assessment task 3: Sustainability Governance Analysis Report (individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

2, 3 and 4

Weight: 30%

1000 words (+ / -) 10%

  • Application of sustainability governance principles
  • Depth of critical analysis of governance design and implementation and sustainability impact
  • Appropriateness of governance frameworks to support organisational sustainability implementation and practice
  • Depth of reflection on the impact of sustainability & sustainability governance on leadership and organisational goals.
  • Effectiveness of communication to specific audience

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.


Benn, S., Edwards, M. and Williams, T. (2021) "Sustainability A Key Idea for Business and Society". Taylor & Francis, Milton.

Brown, P.G. and Garver, G. (2009) “Right Relationship Building a Whole Earth Economy”. Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc., San Francisco.

Perey, R. (2016) "Ecological Imaginaries Reframing Organisation". CBS Press, Denmark.