Erasmus Sustainability

Education

Sustainability at the Erasmus University Rotterdam in education is defined as the inclusion in academic programmes of theories and case studies for economic, social, and environmental development. Additionally, there are to be a variety of extracurricular possibilities, focussing on a more experiential way of learning. The objective is for students graduating from EUR, as the leaders for the future, to understand the challenges that our society and environment will face. They will be able to design and act on the solutions available to us in all the fields of study provided.

The topic of Sustainability is covered in a number courses at the university, sometimes as part of an entire programme and sometimes as a separate course, track or subject. Some of these specific courses are described below.

Master Electives

Closed Loop Supply Chains

Traditionally, supply chain management focuses on the flow of products from supplier to the end customer. The growing concern about environmental sustainability (scarcity of resources, pollution, emissions) has increased the pressure on society to manage products responsibly after the use phase as well (‘closing the loop’). As a result, more and more legislation is being installed to enforce original manufacturers to take responsibility for the products they sell. To sustain economically-viable operations one has to thoroughly reconsider supply chain design (collection, recovery, redistribution), develop markets for product and material reuse, and invest in product design for disassembly and recycling. Closed loop supply chain management aims to recover products after use in such a way that they can be reintroduced meaningfully into the forward supply chain. If managed well, closed loop supply chain management does not only contribute to environmental sustainability (footprint reductions through smart sourcing), but does also contribute to value creation for the firm: Footprint reduction means cheaper sourcing, while leveraging green image, customer value and informational value that you subtract from inspecting your products after use may lead to considerable competitive advantage.

This course deals with strategic and operational issues of closed loop supply chain management. This course enables you, as a future manager, to understand the relevant trade-offs related to economic, ecologic and social aspects of doing business, and to apply the necessary tools and concepts to tackle the challenges in trying to close the loop.

Cradle to Cradle

Did you ever wonder what it is like to make a business case for a company that is depending on resources that are becoming scarce? Or did you think of the effect of the (bad) indoor air quality on your work and the effects on the productivity within companies? This master elective by Michael Braungart’s Chair Cradle to Cradle for Innovation and Quality offers you to learn more about Cradle to Cradle and the added value of this approach for our economy, ecology and the social and cultural aspects.

The Cradle to Cradle design paradigm offers a positive approach for the environmental challenges that we are facing today. The Cradle to Cradle approach has proven that it is possible to produce products that do not harm the people and the planet, but support their health while generating profit at the same time. During the lessons you will learn about the Cradle to Cradle principles, how this approach can be implemented within a (existing) company, and we will provide a rich overview of practical solutions and real life applications.

Complimenting on the study of the theoretical base, teaching will utilise practical examples that can be found in the case studies, illustrated by products in the class room, and through guest lectures by managers who have been working with the implementation of Cradle to Cradle in their companies.
In our Cradle to Cradle teaching we take a multidisciplinary approach integrating several RSM master programs. This elective is strongly connected to the MSc Supply Chain Management (including the Closed Loop Supply Chain elective) and the MSc Global Business & Stakeholder Management programme, but can also be selected as a free elective for students who are interested in the added value of Cradle to Cradle in their own discipline. This elective will be evaluated through an assignment.

Strategic Philanthropy

In this elective, you will analyse and advise a large international or small grassroots non-profit/non-governmental organisation on a variety of issues. From finding new financial opportunities and relations with businesses to dealing with strategic challenges, you will be their student-consultant. This will involve working closely with directors, managers, volunteers and other stakeholders of the organisation in the inspiring environment that is nonprofits and NGO’s.

Master Core Course Sustainability Leadership & Planetary Boundaries

Our goal is to broaden students' understanding of sustainability, allowing for a holistic recognition of the interconnectivity of issues and their impacts on the future of business. Students will be immersed in the current developments of corporate sustainability and develop an understanding of what leadership for sustainability means and entails. Students will learn that although undoubtedly critical to the change process, sustainability leadership is not the sole preserve of chief executives. Instead leadership will be shown to be a quality residing in a diversity of actors each with their own distinctive capacity to influence the sustainability agenda.
This course will specifically engage with numerous corporate and external thought leaders in sustainability and will connect students with the cutting-edge advancements in sustainability leadership.

MSc Global Business & Stakeholder Management

This Master programme focuses on three dimensions:

  1. Leadership: it is essential for future business leaders to understand trends in the world economy and their effect on the interests of stakeholders. The students concentrate on this aspect in the first weeks of the Master programme, studying the role of organisations in relation to issues such as hunger, poverty, climate change, health and employment and how they can offer credible and sustainable solutions.
  2. Global Business: international companies need people with the skills to operate under different laws, cultures, countries and traditions. The programme explores ways in which companies can actively influence their international environment in interaction with governments, international organisations and representatives of NGOs from different countries and with different cultures.
  3. Stakeholder Management: leaders cannot achieve anything without the support of stakeholders inside and outside the company. This dimension analyses stakeholders from two international perspectives: corporate communication and corporate governance.

Erasmus Honours Programme: Grand Challenges

Leadership - responsibility - sustainability

Grand challenges – it is more than evident that the next generation, YOUR generation, will be faced with unprecedented challenges. How to feed 9 billion people in 2050, on a planet that is heavily pressured by climate change, lack of natural resources, acidified oceans, and shortage of food and fresh water (to name a few). And it is also evident that the current system, with its focus on growth no matter what, has caused a number of these problems. It’s time for a systems change.

EUR traditionally is THE University for Future Leaders in business and (public & private) management.  Those leaders need, in this era, to be trained in a systemic and holistic way and to be fully aware of the challenges facing us and capable of handling them.

These challenges can only be faced, solved or at least dealt with, by creative and holistic thinking. This requires individuals with courage, optimism and a strong belief in a better future. Will you be such an individual?

Students who are admitted to this track will embark on a fascinating and exploratory journey, with some of the world’s frontrunners   in sustainable thinking (all of them happen to work at Erasmus University).

For more information, take a look at the following link.