IEM: Introduction to Environmental Management

Course Description: 

The aim of this course is to prepare the students to systematically think about and work towards formulating and achieving concrete environmental objectives in the world of scarce resources and competing agendas. The topics within the course include:

  • Introduction to the idea of management. Management mindsets: approaches to framing and resolving problems at the interface of the environment and human activities. Difference between management, policy and science.
  • The principles of Environmental Assessment (EA) including Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of individual projects and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) of plans and programs. Stages and elements of EIA and SEA. Integrating environmental assessment with other assessments and sustainability assessment.
  • The principles and main elements of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) including the ISO 14000 series standards
  • The role of economic thinking in environmental management and the main principles elements of such thinking including:
    • The concept of economic thinking and economic choice
    • Supply, demand, production, consumption and markets
    • Environmental economics and decision-making
    • Macroeconomics
    • Limitations of economic thinking
  • Management strategies. What is a strategy and how it may be conceived and implemented? 
Learning Outcomes: 

A successful student completing this model should be able to:

1. Know the purpose and key elements of environmental impact assessment (EIA) . 

2. Understand the basic principles of environmental management systems in their relation to environmental and sustainability strategies and to broader management concepts. 

3. Understand the main principles of economic thinking in application to environmental management, including

    • the nature of economics and its subfields as distinct areas of social science;
    • the general principles and key concepts of mainstream micro-economic analysis (such as supply and demand, production, consumption and transport) and firm- and project-level decision making procedures based on such as analysis (such as budgeting, investment and cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis), in particular as it concerns the human/environment relationship
    • the general principles of environmental economics, in particular the concept of environmental externalities and their regulation through the use of economic tools
    • the relevance of macroeconomic principles and concepts for environmental management
    • the limitations of economic analysis as a tool for understanding environmental issues and guiding environmental management and policy.

    4. Appreciate the challenges involved in managing people in various organizations and contexts. 

    Assessment: 

    Exam (80%) Participation in class and group exercise, including students’ blogging (20%)

    Prerequisites: 

    None