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EME 805 - Renewable Energy and Non-Market Enterprise

This is a sample syllabus.

This sample syllabus is a representative example of the information and materials included in this course. Information about course assignments, materials, and dates listed here is subject to change at any time. Definitive course details and materials will be available in the official course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


So much has changed over the past decade with regards to how organizations approach sustainability along with their use of energy. For start, one hardly sees the term "nonmarket strategy" in use anymore, as the market has become much more savvy with how it addresses what it wants from organizations in terms of sustainability measures and reporting. In this course we will cover topics that I think are going to be more directly relevant to potential clients and employers.

We will begin by looking at how markets already have many "nonmarket" characteristics built into them and how markets are fundamentally socially constructed. (Here, "nonmarket" mainly refers to features of the market that are not readily captured in neoliberal economic theory.)  We will then look at how the rise of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the mid-80s paved the way for what we now tend to refer to as measures of a publicly traded companies Environment Social Governance (ESG) features and how this shapes perceptions of a company's value above and beyond their stock price alone. Then, we move on to do a deep dive into the "eight skills" that are needed for being a Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) and how the role of sustainability officers can move an organization forward. Then, while ESG measures are mainly the concern of publicly traded companies, we will look at other options for sustainable organizations like B-Corps and C-Corps and the role they play particularly for smaller firms and localized enterprises. Finally, we will bring the course to a close by looking at what's on the horizon for sustainable organizational development and how things like an organization's emissions along the whole supply chain need to be at the forefront of our immediate next steps. 


Students who excel in this course are able to:

  • demonstrate comprehension of how markets are constructed, constrained, and governed;
  • map out the key details various ways makets measure and engage sustainability;
  • recognize, explain, give examples, choose, and apply key methods and concepts when analyzing and strategizing for an organization's sustainability goals and measures, particularly in relationship to energy and emissions.

Required Materials

The materials listed here represent those that may be included in this course. Students will find a definitive list in the course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.

  • Yellowdig discussion platform (fee required)




We have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. How much and how well you learn is dependent on your attitude, diligence, and willingness to ask for clarifications or help when you need them. We are here to help you succeed. Please keep up with the class schedule and take advantage of opportunities to communicate with us and with your fellow students. You can expect to spend an average of 8 - 12 hours per week on class work.

Major Assignments

  • 12 Weekly Discussions (50% of total course grade)
  • 3 Policy Position Papers (50% of total course grade)

Course Schedule

Course Schedule
1The Social Construction of Markets
  • Discussion
2The Rise of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • Discussion
3How CSR came to be known in terms of Environmental Social Governance (ESG) measures
  • Discussion
4ESG measures
  • Discussion
  • Policy Position Paper 1: taking a position on CSR and ESG 
5Ensuring regulatory compliance and ESG monitoring and reporting (The 8 Responsibilities of Chief Sustainability Officers)
  • Discussion
6Overseeing portfolios of sustainability projects and embedding sustainability into processes and decision making (The 8 Responsibilities of Chief Sustainability Officers)
  • Discussion
7Managing Stakeholder relationships and building organizational capabilities (The 8 Responsibilities of Chief Sustainability Officers)
  • Discussion
8Fostering cultural change and scouting and experimenting (The 8 Responsibilities of Chief Sustainability Officers)
  • Discussion
  • Policy Position Paper 2 - writing a Sustainability Plan as a CSO
9The rationale for B/C-Corps, i.e. to B-corp or not to B-corp?
  • Discussion
10Building up to a B/C-Corp
  • Discussion
11Designing policies for sustainability, the energy transition, and beyond
  • Discussion
12Implementing policies for sustainability, the energy transition, and beyond
  • Discussion
  • Policy Position Paper 3 - To B-Corp and Beyond!