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ECF5610 - Sustainable economic development and the environment

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Business and Economics

Leader(s): Associate Professor Ian Wills


Not offered in 2009


We link the study of environmental economics to the practical needs of modern corporations and sustainable economic development. Corporations that fail to factor environmental economics into their plans, suffer penalties ranging from the loss of reputation to severe corporate damage. We analyse the concepts, signals and incentives from governments, customers and citizens which influence corporations in the use of natural resources. The evolution of sustainable development policies by governments and the applicability of these to corporations is also analysed.


The learning goals associated with this unit are to:

  • understand environmental economic theories and the ways in which governments, customers and citizens provide private industry with information and incentives which can motivate corporations to use natural resources in ways which minimise environmental harms
  • have a sound grasp of how and why governments have found it necessary to develop policies about sustainable economic development and the environment
  • have an analytical appreciation of the costs of ignoring environmental economics as exemplified by various case studies of protests against Australian firms in Australia and abroad
  • understand the types of economic and environmental policies which corporations can adopt in order to avoid the stigma and economic losses associated with bad environmental performance
  • demonstrate a grasp of this unit in written and oral work which recognises both the economic costs of ignoring the principles of environmental economics when using natural resources and the potential contribution of corporate sustainability policies to the competitiveness of international firms.


Within semester assessment: 50%
Examination (3 hours): 50%

Contact hours

3 hours per week


Students must be enrolled in course code 3842 to undertake this unit

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