Western Washington University

Greening Business Policy and Practice
Fall 2018

Class Syllabus:

Meets: BI 234, CRN 42246 / 41846 (variable days and times; see course schedule for details)
Professor Craig Dunn
PH 317
Office Hours:
by appointment (see https://calendly.com/wilderprofessor)
360-650-2593 (office/voicemail)

ENVS / MGMT 359 -- GREENING BUSINESS POLICY AND PRACTICE (4) Prereq: This course will provide both a survey and applications of major U.S. and Washington state policies and practices supporting the greening of business.

As a result of successfully completing this course, students will:


o Validate mastery of discipline-specific business and sustainability knowledge and analytical skills.

Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
o Illustrate ability to apply critical thinking and systems thinking to complex business problems. Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
o Be conscientious in the application of business and sustainability knowledge.

Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study

o Create an orientation of personal responsibility, respect and professionalism. Participation
Reflective journal
Writing Assignments
Case study
This course is designed as an introductory course for the combined major in Businss & Sustainability. The State of Washington is a leader in responding to the societal imperative regarding environmental issues. The Bachelor of Arts degree in Business & Sustainability is an action component of the state's initiatives. This degree combines three areas of study that give graduates the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to operate in a changing economic and social environment. Graduates from this program will possess:
- A fundamental knowledge of economics, giving them the skills to apply economic analysis to problems in sustainable business faced by modern organizations;
- A fundamental knowledge of environmental science and policy, giving them the ability to understand the social and political climate as well as the scientific issues involved in sustainable business;
- An extensive knowledge of business and management in the context of business sustainability giving them the basic mindsets, perspectives, abilities and skills needed to succeed in organizations.

Unlike other courses which you have taken, this one is deliberately emergent in that at the beginning of the term you will be required to suggest a revised course description as your first reflective journal assignment (see https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1235698/assignments/4438744). In spite of what the current course description might imply this is not a 'nuts and bolts' litany of environmental laws. Learning will instead relate directly to theory and practice, with attention given to how a systems perspective can be useful in engaging students in critical thinking that will be of practical benefit to organizations not likely to be organized around sustainabilty as a central theme.

Further to this point, critical attention will be given to professional readiness and job placement. While the employment landscape is rapidly evolving it is still the case that Business & Sustainabilty majors are very likely to be employed in more 'traditional' business roles at the beginning of their careers. In light of this pragmatic reality significant time will be devoted to equiping students to identify jobs that reflect their personal purpose(s), as well as to how to be effective in shifting organizational culture in the direction of sustainabiltiy praxis...all while engaging students in an exploration of their own predispositions and biases, which can serve to enhance or detract from personal effectiveness.

This is an intensive class, with active participation being critical to both student learning as well as success of the course. Be prepared to speak up and be involved. Students are encouraged to work with and discuss class activities with other students; however, written papers and reflective journal entries are to be recognizable as individual work. If assumptions, objectives and tentative plans do not fit our situation, we will modify them as we work together; if such changes are made, they will be posted on the course web page and/or Canvas site. Students should ask questions, raise issues, express concerns; our best discussions often evolve from trying to figure out how to skillfully handle difficult management situations.

"This is an exciting time to be a manager, full of challenges and opportunities. Today's organizations are increasingly complex, unpredictable, and fast-paced. Significant social and economic trends such as diversity, globalization, and technological advances have fundamentally changed the nature of managerial work. In such an environment, the ability to think broadly and deeply from a variety of perspectives is one of the most important skills a manager can have."

Paula J. Caprioni
The Practical Coach

A maximum of 100 points may be accumulated in this course. Point distribution varies as follows (see grading contract at back of syllabus for details):

o Writing Assignments and Reflective Journal 70-85 points
o Group Project 15-30 points

The following grading standards will be used to determine your final course grade. Students are responsible for monitoring their own progress throughout the term.

93.35 - 100 points


90 - 93.34 points


86.65 - 89.99 points


83.35 - 86.65 points


80 - 83.34 points


76.65 - 79.99 points


73.35 - 76.64 points


70 - 73.34 points


In a section entitled Grades and Intellectual Honesty, the Western Washington University catalog states:

Grades are given for the student’s work and achievement. Fair evaluation of students’ work and helpful instruction are possible only when students submit work which genuinely reflects their own reading, computation, research and thoughts and is their own production, whether in writing or other format(s). Intellectual dishonesty can result in a failing grade and the placement of a note in the student’s permanent record. For the university’s policy on academic dishonesty, see Appendix D.

Students involved in any form of academic dishonesty (including but not limited to plagiarism or `cheating') on any coursework will receive a failing grade for the course.

The future will either be green or not at all

-Bov Brown
Environmentalist / Author

Assigned case studies, reading materials, podcasts, and course videos will be available on the course schedule. Students are expected to read each assigned reading before the scheduled discussion that reading, and to come prepared to respond to the disucssion questions posted for each class session.

There will be four writing assignments throughout the term (see course schedule for due dates). All assignments relate directly to the course content, either as presented in class and/or as covered in assigned readings. Each paper will take the form of a one-page, double-spaced, typed paper which directly addresses the question(s) posed. While it is certainly allowable for students to discuss these writing assignments with one another, final papers ought to be recognizable as the 'independent' work of the student submitting the writing assignment.

Papers are to be submitted electronically through the Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), as a word document or a .pdf. A link to the course LMS can be found here: https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1235698.

To post an entry, do the following:

o Login to https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1235698
o Click on 'Assignments' tab in the left menu bar
o Click on relevant Reflective Writing Assignment#
o Read and respond to the Writing Assignment prompt
o Click on 'Submit Assignment' (option for file upload, .doc or .docx)
o Click on 'Submit Assignment' when done

Entries are due by midnight of the day on which a 'prompt' is listed on the course schedule. Evaluation criteria for these assignments include:

o evidence of self-awareness
o adequacy of analysis
o coherence of argument
o practical/prescriptive merit
o overall professionalism

Each assignment should conclude with identification of the student learning outcomes that are addressed by that particular writing assignment (catalogued at beginning of this syllabus).

There will be six reflective journal assignments throughout the term, of which five must be submitted (see course schedule for due dates). This term-long assignment is designed to engage you in linking the course content with 'real life' application(s).

To post a journal entry, students are to 'cut and paste' the 'prompt' from the course schedule into a new thread within their own journal, and then provide their reflections on the 'prompt.' The reflective journal is to be kept in Canvas as noted above. To post an entry, do the following:

o Login to https://wwu.instructure.com/courses/1235698/assignments
o Click on 'Assignments' tab in the left menu bar
o Click on relevant Reflective Journal #
o Read and respond to the Reflective Journal prompt
o Click on 'Submit Assignment' (options for text entry or file upload)
o Click on 'Submit Assignment' when done

Each student has access to only their own journal. Only each individual student, as well as the faculty member, have access to these posts – which are time and date stamped upon submission. Entries are due by midnight of the day following the day on which a 'prompt' is listed on the course schedule.

Sooner or later, we will have to recognise that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.

-Evo Morales
President, Bolivia

Each student shall participate in a team-based project, with the primary objective being to link theory and practice. The entire class will be engaged in a brainstorming exercise that will result in generating a list of possible options for Sustainable Action Fund (SEJF) proposals. In order to get a general sense of how the SEJF works, visit https://sustain.wwu.edu/sejf/. There note in particular the 'Projects' tab, which contains links to a variety of in-process and completed SEJF projects, as well as the 'Apply' tab, which provides access to the submission standards for SEJF funding.

During this group project you will have full access to Johnathan Riopelle (Johnathan.Riopelle@wwu.edu) from Western's Office of Sustainability, who will serve as a project advisor and mentor. Johnathan will regularly visit class, and additionally will be 'enrolled' in the course Canvas site in order to provide a mechanism for him to provide direct feedback on your work product as it evolves.

In this group project several key points related to solid managerial practice should be kept in mind:

- It is required that there be a clear elaboration somewhere in the application as to how the proposed project relates to the WWU Sustainability Action Plan (see https://sustain.wwu.edu/sustainability-action-plan/), additionally enumerating those specific goals of the plan that would be met by the proposed project
- It is required that there be a clear elaboration somewhere in the application as to how the proposed project relates to at least three of the Sustainable Development Goals outlined by the United Nations (see http://faculty.wwu.edu/dunnc3/rprnts.SDGs_as_the_driver_for_future_business_strategy.pdf)
- It is required that the critical stakeholders for the proposed project be identified within the application (see http://faculty.wwu.edu/dunnc3/rprnts.Innovators_Toolkit_STAKEHOLDER_MANAGEMENT.pdf), and a plan formulated for garnering support for these constituencies
- Related to the current course description, it is required that you identify the key regulations and/or organizational policies that would be relevant to your proposed project...and that you indicate how the 'demands' of such regulations and/or policies will be met within the execution of the proposed project

Beyond these course-specific instructions, you are to be as thorough as possible in completing each aspect of the SEJF form...and submitting same for a preliminary review.

There is a presentation component to this assignment. Reporting will take the form of a 15 minute oral presentation followed by a 10 minute question and answer session. Be creative. Prepare the presentation as if you were presenting the information to any fitting audience you explicitly identify, to be role-played by those students not in your group (who will be accountable for posing relevant questions to the presenting group).

Areas considered (in addition to those previously or subsequently mentioned) in grading the group project are listed in the table below.

o clarity and conciseness of arguments
o use of theory to support SEJF proposal
o soundness of recommendation(s)
o professionalism of SEJF application
o creativity of approach
o ability to engage the class in discussion

There are no examinations for this course.

Outlined above are the course activities available to students. Ranges of possible points have been listed above. Each student group is to fill out and return to the instructor a binding contract for work to be completed this term (see below). The group is to fill out the number of points desired for each activity. The total number of points must total 100. Points for each activity will range from 15-85% of the course grade, depending upon the individual assignment and weightings. Points must be selected in increments of 5.

For example, a group may choose to minimize the points on the group project by completing all other assignments at the maximum points possible:

o Writing Assignments and Reflective Journal 85 points
o Group Project Application / Presentation 15 points

In all cases, class participation is mandatory. Failure to attend scheduled class sessions may be reflected in final course grading.

To send your ENVS / MGMT 359 contract, fill out the following form thoroughly and completely. This form must be submitted via email to wilderprofessor@wwu.edu. A confirmed copy of each contract will be provided to each student group by return e-mail.

MGMT / ENVS 359 Grading Contract:

The following agreement is entered into by the designated MGMT / ENVS 359 student group and Professor Dunn for work to be completed Fall term 2018. It is understood that this agreement is not subject to change. Additionally, course participation (or lack thereof) may be reflected in final course grading.

SEJF Project:

Names of all group members:

First Name: Last Name:

First Name: Last Name:

First Name: Last Name:

First Name: Last Name:

First Name: Last Name:

First Name: Last Name:

First Name: Last Name:

Course Point Objective for Group Case Analysis:

Course Point Objective for Reflective Journal / Writing Assignments:

Please make certain the above point objectives total 100%.

By sending this form, each group members agrees to be evaluated on the basis of this contract as well as by the terms of the course as outlined in the syllabus.