Taught by DVR Seshadri
The course in a nutshell:
This course is offered as an elective for Ashoka University students. It brings the perspective, “People + Planet = Profit” [often referred to as the triple bottom line] to the centerstage, which is a refreshing contrast to the predominant view imbibed by students, especially in business schools that the purpose of a business is profit maximization; all else only facilitates this pursuit.
The world is in a state that can best be described as “PLANETARY EMERGENCY.” Signals pointing to this are visible to all of us everywhere, to see. Each of us is witnessing the tragic fallout of this perspective, with climate change set to disrupt all known goal posts. For example, typically, Delhi during end of March each year records peak temperatures in the mid-30 degrees Celsius. The year, 2022 was the hottest in 121 years of the history of recorded temperatures in India, with temperatures exceeding 41 degrees Celsius by March 27!
Even in ‘advanced countries’ such as the USA, companies and the public typically give "lip service" to environmental issues. Everyone is in favor of it until they have to pay for it. On the ground however, we do not see much progress on these issues until it's economically beneficial to save the environment. It appears to be all about the money!
So, when it comes to advocating these issues, one must emphasize the cost savings first and then double back and talk about how it will save the environment (i.e., economics before environment). Hence, to succeed in the efforts to address the looming challenges, one should start by talking about economic "Customer Value Assessment" before one tackles specific environmental issues. That's the winning formula. This is where the marketing angle of the issue of fostering a sustainable planet takes precedence. However, as can be recognized, it is not just about marketing!
The course, ‘Marketing for a Sustainable Planet’ discusses the issues relating to sustainability from the perspective of businesses and the firm, and hence touches all aspects of the functioning of a firm, including its business, strategy, finance, operations, and much more. It thus takes an integrative approach, and fits in well with an elective course offering provided towards the final terms of any good undergraduate program. The course will equip students to prepare for the world that is fast unfolding before us, and help their companies to prosper, while doing good to the planet earth.