PART A: a coursework assignment of a maximum of 3,000 words – (70% of overall grade)
A purposeful and sustainable business is one that makes decisions in the context of a long-term time horizon and taking into account the needs and interests of a multiple range of stakeholders. One way in which leaders determine the needs and interests of stakeholders and decide where they should focus their attention is with a Materiality Assessment. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide an internationally recognised framework of economic, social and environmental issues that governments, supra-national organisations and businesses are expected to manage and seek to resolve over the medium to long term.
You should identify a medium to large, multinational business in one of the following sectors: Non-bank financial institutions; or Retail; or Media & technology; or Fast moving consumer goods. Taking the SDGs as your starting point, you are to critically examine the material issues for the sector. Use that examination as your starting point for your evaluation of publicly available information about the company’s self presentation as a Purposeful and Sustainable Business. You should be able to demonstrate in your assignment that you understand the evolution of sustainability in the sector.
As a minimum you should be reviewing publicly available information on the company’s Materiality Assessment and Stakeholder Engagement. The sorts of questions your assignment should seek to answer include, but are not limited to:
Does the company’s assessment reflect your understanding of the sector imperatives from the SDGs?
How well does the assessment address the needs and interests of stakeholders, both today and in the medium to long term?
How can the company’s assessment be improved to better address the needs and interests of stakeholders: improve company performance; better manage risk and/or deliver the SDGs?
What would be the business case in the company for changing their approach to materiality and the consequent changes to business activities?
You should consider what evidence the company presents of their Impact and how they report performance, including the relationship between their Sustainability Reporting and their other financial and risk management reporting.
Your assignment should demonstrate that you can articulate supported recommendations for improvements in Sustainability performance and the impact any recommendations might have for other business functions and you should demonstrate that you are aware of the overall political, economic and social trends that will affect the Sustainability landscape for the sector. You should anticipate that your assignment will be read and critically evaluated by the management of the company concerned. Your assignment should draw conclusions or recommendations for improvement in the company’s use of the Materiality Concept as a tool for making decisions that support purposeful and sustainable business practices. You must critically research and apply in your coursework relevant academic theory and sources, course concepts and frameworks and industry material fully referenced using the Harvard system.
(To achieve a 1.1 tools, models and frameworks not supplied in the lesson must be used or a personal adaptation of a model with justification as to why)