Introduction to Sustainable Development in Business - June 2020


Course Description

In 2020, the world woke up to the COVID-19 pandemic. Considered as the greatest challenge facing humanity since the World War II, countries are battling all odds to contain the spread of the virus. The pandemic has affected all spheres of our lives – health, education, social, and economic - and its effects are expected to be heavier on vulnerable people and societies. Its economic effect is projected to be devastating in terms of massive job loss, and economic slowdown. 

More than ever the call is to do things differently. There are voices coming from different communities that the time has come to question our economic models, address climate change and to have fairer and more equitable economies.   

The offer of the MOOC on “Introduction to Sustainable Development in Business” aims to contribute to that movement of “doing things differently”. The aim of this module is to introduce you to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and discuss issues related to sustainable development in business.

We hope that the module will play a pivotal role in creating a community of change agents who will act together to address the complex and immense challenges ahead.

Course Contents

  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Challenges, Complexities and Inter-relationship;
  • Corporate Sustainable Strategy;
  • Sustainable Balanced Scorecard;
  • Policies on Sustainable Balanced Scorecard;
  • Economic Growth;
  • Trade as an Engine of Growth;
  • Sustainable Development: Striking a Balance between Sustainability and Economic Growth; 
  • Sustainable Trade and Sustainable Trade Opportunities;
  • Sustainable Production and Consumption: Fundamentals and Trends;
  • Sustainable infrastructure, Sustainable Tourism and Sustainable Waste Management;
  • Industrial Symbiosis.

Target audience

Professionals in the field of sustainability, NGOs, University students.

Background/pre-requisite: This course does not require any prior exposure to sustainable development or business.

Desirable: Awareness of environmental issues and implications for trade, consumption and production.

Expected time investment: There are 4 units in this MOOC, with several topics under each unit. A learner is encouraged to complete a unit per week. The total duration of the module is four (4) weeks.

Mentoring: A tutor /facilitator will be providing support to students.

Outcomes of this Course

On completion of this course, you are expected to be able to:

  • Analyse the interrelationships between the SDGs.
  • Discuss the complexities and challenges of achieving the SDGs.
  • Explain the issues relating to the development of a sustainable corporate strategy.
  • Identify the four different perspectives pertaining to the traditional Balanced Scorecard.
  • Discuss the issues which are integrated in the sustainable balanced scored.
  • Define a sustainable business model.
  • Explain the concepts of economic growth, sustainable development and sustainable trade.
  • Discuss about the case for sustainable trade and its drivers.
  • Identify opportunities related to sustainable trade in different sectors such as agriculture and tourism
  • Apply the concepts of sustainable production and consumption.
  • Apply sustainability to different business areas including infrastructure, waste management and tourism.
  • Explain the concept of industrial symbiosis.


A Certificate of Completion will be issued to you by the Open University of Mauritius and the Commonwealth of Learning. The Criteria for the award of the Certificate will be:

  • Participating in at least one Forum throughout the course
  • Completing the Quiz Questions for each unit