Module: Sustainable Business & Agri-Food Supply Chains

Module details

  • Module code

  • Module leader

    Dr Richard Baines
  • Module Level

  • Module credits

  • Min study time

    150 hours
  • Contact hrs

    25 hours

Module content

This module focuses on the challenges aimed at businesses and corporations along agri-food supply chains to demonstrate environmentally responsible practices and  corporate social responsibility (CSR), or put simply Corporate Responsibility (CR). The following themes will be developed:

  • Business externalities (policy, society, pressure groups, trading partners, customers etc) and how to address these.
  • Business policies and procedures to address environmental (and social) issues (assessment tools and standards)
  • The use of environmental and social tools linked to business responsibilities and activity 

Module outcomes

To achieve credit for this module, students must be able to:

  1. Identify the external and internal factors that are leading businesses to develop corporate strategies
  2. Analyse named standards that address environmental and social performance for their applicability to specified business situations.
  3. Evaluate a business situation in relation to its environmental performance and develop a strategy to maintain/improve this.


Assessment Description Weighting
Coursework Essay 40%
Coursework Case study 60%

Assessments may differ in 2020/21 due to adjustments for Covid-19. Please check Gateway for the latest regulations.

Key texts

Students should be familiar with the content of the following:

  • Agenda 21: UN Sustainable Development (No date)
  • Blowfield, M. (2012) Business and sustainability. Oxford University Press.
  • Hitchcock, D.E. and Willard, M.L. (2009) The business guide to sustainability: practical strategies and tools for organizations. 2nd edn. London: Earthscan.
  • CRONER PUBLICATIONS (no date) Croner's environmental management. [Reference material] Croner Publications.
  • EEA, 2015, The European environment — state and outlook 2015: synthesis report, European Environment Agency, Copenhagen.
  • Evans, J.P. (2011) Environmental governance. London: Routledge. (Routledge introductions to environment).
  • Kütting, G. (2011) Global environmental politics: concepts, theories and case studies. London: Routledge.
  • Leipziger, D. (2003). The Corporate Responsibility Code Book. Greenleaf Publishing.
  • Mahonge, C.P.I. (2010) Co-managing complex social-ecological systems in Tanzania: The case of Lake Jipe wetland. Wageningen: Wageningen Academic. (Environmental policy series; Environmental policy series, 2
  • Moon, J. (2014) Corporate social responsibility: a very short introduction. Oxford University Press. (Very short introductions, 414).
  • OECD. (1993). Agricultural and Environmental Policy Integration.
  • Therivel et al. (1992). Strategic Environmental Assessment. Earthscan publications.