Sustainability: Management and Innovation

Explore how organizations can capture opportunities of sustainability

Sustainability: Management and Innovation

The minor Sustainability: Management and Innovation is rooted in business and economics to explore how management and innovation can contribute to sustainable development. Addressing the grand challenges of sustainability also offers opportunities for business. Sustainable innovations like renewable energy solutions, circular business models, and ‘sharing economy’ platforms, can create profit, but also value for planet and people. In this minor you will learn to understand sustainability challenges and implications for organizations, and learn how to design sustainable strategies, value chains, and innovations. 

Grand challenges for sustainability
“Sustainable development is development that seeks to meet the needs and aspirations of the present without compromising the ability to meet those of the future” (Brundtland report). This course examines the main global developments that call for more sustainable policies, businesses, products and behaviours.

Shared value creation
This course examines firms as embedded in society and a web of stakeholders. We move away from firms focused on profit-maximization only, towards companies that create shared values so that societal and natural values are incorporated into business goals.

Sustainable supply chain management
Sustainability has to be operationalized through production and distribution methods and technologies. This course offers methods to evaluate and improve supply chain performance from a triple bottom line perspective (including quantitative assessment methods for "People", "Planet", "Profit") and from a system dynamics perspective.

Organizing sustainable innovation
This course explores the development of new products, services, and business models that capture business opportunities and contribute to sustainable development. This involves the development of technology-based innovations, but also new forms of organizing (e.g. ‘sharing economy’), and interactions with stakeholders.

Marketing sustainable innovations
The final element in the value chain is to bring sustainable products and services to the market. The course offers a hands-on experience in which you are challenged to combine the insights gained in previous courses, into an attractive marketing plan that takes all stakeholders into account.

It is possible to replace two of the courses for an internship that will be supervised by one of the lecturers of the courses. The courses to be replaced are one out of the two courses "Organizing sustainable innovation" and "Sustainable supply chain management" (both in period 2) in combination with "Marketing sustainable innovations" (in period 3). Internships should be aligned with a topic addressed in the minor and should be initiated by students. Proposals for an internship need approval from the minor coordinator.

For specific information about each course, please visit the study guide.

This minor can be followed by all SBE bachelor's students. In addition, advanced bachelor students (third year) from other faculties as well as other universities are welcome to join. Particularly those with in an interest in Science, Business and Innovation, Management and Organization Studies, Economics, Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Engineering, Technology Management, Operations Management, Media and Communication Studies, and Education.

It is especially interesting for:

  • Future managers who want to understand how sustainability can be implemented in existing business
  • Entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs who want to exploit the opportunities sustainability offers
  • Future consultants in sustainability, strategic business consultants, or government policy consultants
  • Students that want to be active in NGO-s or other societal organizations


VU student: you can register for the courses of the minor via VUnet starting 20 July.
Other students: you can register as a secondary course student (bijvak) via More information about this procedure can be found on this website in Dutch or in English.

If you have questions about the contents of the programme, please contact Philipp Tuertscher.

Samenvatting Sustainability: Management and Innovation




1 semester (30 EC)


September 1st


Economie, Recht en Bestuur
Gedrag en Maatschappij


School of Business and Economics