Autumn Semester 2020 takes place in a mixed form of online and classroom teaching.
Please read the published information on the individual courses carefully.

Search result: Catalogue data in Autumn Semester 2016

Environmental Sciences Bachelor Information
Bachelor Studies (Programme Regulations 2011)
Social Sciences and Humanities Module
Module Economics
Compulsory Courses
NumberTitleTypeECTSHoursLecturers
363-0387-00LCorporate SustainabilityO3 credits2GV. Hoffmann
AbstractThe lectures addresses the assessment of corporate sustainability and its links to strategy, technology, and finance. Students learn why sustainability matters for managers and how businesses can act towards it. E-modules allow students to train critical thinking skills. In the 2nd half of the semester, sustainability challenges on water, energy, mobility, and food are explored in group projects.
ObjectiveUnderstand the limits and the potential of corporate sustainability for sustainable development

Develop critical thinking skills (argumentation, communication, evaluative judgment) that are useful in the context of corporate sustainability using an innovative writing and peer review method.

Be able to recognize and realize opportunities for corporate sustainability in a business environment
ContentOverview of the key concepts of corporate sustainability and topics related to Water, Energy, Mobility, and Food

Business implications of sustainable development, in particular for the assessment of sustainability performance, strategic change towards sustainability, technological innovations and sustainability, and finance and corporate sustainability.
Critical thinking skills for corporate sustainability.
In-depth case studies of corporate sustainability challenges in the track phase: How to deal with environmental pressure groups? How to use the strengths of business to solve pressing sustainability problems? How to catalyze technological innovations for sustainability? How to invest money in a sustainable way?
Lecture notesPresentation slides will be made available on moodle prior to lectures.
LiteratureLiterature recommendations will be distributed during the lecture
751-1551-00LRessourcen- und Umweltökonomie Information O3 credits2VL. Bretschger, A. Müller
AbstractRelationship between economy and environment, market failure, external effects and public goods, contingent valuation, internalisation of externalities; economics of non-renewable resources, economics of renewable resources, cost-benefit analysis, sustainability, and international aspects of resource and environmental economics.
ObjectiveUnderstanding of the basic issues and methods in resource and environmental economics; ability to solve typical problems in the field using the appropriate tools, which are concise verbal explanations, diagrams or mathematical expressions.

Topics are:
Introduction to resource and environmental economics
Importance of resource and environmental economics
Main issues of resource and environmental economics
Normative basis
Utilitarianism
Fairness according to Rawls
Economic growth and environment
Externalities in the environmental sphere
Governmental internalisation of externalities
Private internalisation of externalities: the Coase theorem
Free rider problem and public goods
Types of public policy
Efficient level of pollution
Tax vs. permits
Command and Control Instruments
Empirical data on non-renewable natural resources
Optimal price development: the Hotelling-rule
Effects of exploration and Backstop-technology
Effects of different types of markets.
Biological growth function
Optimal depletion of renewable resources
Social inefficiency as result of over-use of open-access resources
Cost-benefit analysis and the environment
Measuring environmental benefit
Measuring costs
Concept of sustainability
Technological feasibility
Conflicts sustainability / optimality
Indicators of sustainability
Problem of climate change
Cost and benefit of climate change
Climate change as international ecological externality
International climate policy: Kyoto protocol
Implementation of the Kyoto protocol in Switzerland
ContentEconomy and natural environment, welfare concepts and market failure, external effects and public goods, measuring externalities and contingent valuation, internalising external effects and environmental policy, economics of non-renewable resources, renewable resources, cost-benefit-analysis, sustainability issues, international aspects of resource and environmental problems, selected examples and case studies.
Lecture notesThe script and lecture material are provided at:
https://moodle-app2.let.ethz.ch/course/view.php?id=140
LiteraturePerman, R., Ma, Y., McGilvray, J, Common, M.: "Natural Resource & Environmental Economics", 3d edition, Longman, Essex 2003.
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