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The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Green Business Strategy

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera

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Course Overview:

The global environment will continue to degrade until there are significant changes in business practices. In this course, we look at how some firms are responding positively to environmental concerns with new strategies.

We look at 'best practices' of companies across countries and industries from different perspectives. We introduce a very helpful framework to structure your thinking about environment and business strategy. We explore why current destructive business practices are so 'sticky' and resistant to change.

You don’t have to be an environmentalist or a tree-hugger to benefit from this course.

Businesses should respond to change, environment is one of these changes. If you have an interest in the environment and some understanding of business strategy then this course should be useful to you.


  • Why Be “Green”?
    • In this module we look at the problem of business and environment through various lenses. What does it mean for a firm to be “green”? Why would a firm decide to go green and pursue environmental activities? Why is a social license to operate important for green business?
  • How to be green: Environmental Strategy
    • This short module is very important. The first video in this module asks the question does it pay to be green? If it were that simple then all firms would be green. Which is why we need to consider under what circumstances an environmental strategy can be successful. In the second video we introduce a very useful framework for environmental strategies.
  • Case studies in environmental strategy
    • In this module we give examples of businesses that will help you understand more about how the environmental strategy framework works in practice. This will help you identify the most appropriate environmental strategy for a business.
  • Looking Back and looking ahead in green business
    • This is a very unique module and one I find motivating. It takes you back in time to understand how we ended up in an age where business and environment are in conflict. Here we find the origins of the institutions that hold us back from finding solutions.

Taught by

Paul Forster


4.3 rating, based on 113 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Green Business Strategy

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I like the course that it gives really thorough explanation of how the whole system works from history to problem to the solutions with case studies. I appreciate that the Prof gives us the resources to learn more about what other firms are doing and how we can incorporate this in work. However, I am really disappointed with the online quiz as it never tells you the correct answers even if you passed it so that I can never know what mistakes I have made. I just try the answers one by one for the sake of passing but cannot really understand why my original answer to wrong. I hope something can be done with it so that the online learning experience can more satisfactory.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course was great and I will no doubt use what I have learned during this course in my future endeavors. The content was interesting, the videos packed with great content and the quizzes at the end of each module were a great way to test how much you'd...
  • Anonymous
    The professor and his material are like good french wine. It leaves one hanging and wishing for a bit more. In this case, a lot more. Each of the topics merit a course to itself, especially if we want to lead and guide our organizations/firms towards...
  • If you loved Mother Earth, enrolled on this course. Although it takes virtue and perseverance to finish it. The quiz questions are catchy, you have to take down notes in order not to be lost.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous is taking this course right now.

    The course has great content and I like the delivery bu the professor however, the quizzes are unnecessarily frustrating; the language is particularly tricky and the multiple choice options don't always match the material.
  • Anonymous
    One of the best courses to start exploring the field of business with taking environment into context. I would really recommend this course
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This Course was incredibly insightful and thorough in providing the platform to engage business and the environment. In a time where the entire world has complete stopped, it is courses like Green Business Strategy that can help us map out how the Post-COVID 19 world should strive to making a low-carbon economy possible. I will definitely be using what I have learned here in my Masters thesis to come.

    - Koaile Monaheng,
    African Climate Development Initiative
    University of Cape Town
    South Africa
  • Anonymous
    The content of the module is very enlightening! I once thought that one had to choose between supporting sustainability or supporting business; black or white. But, this course taught me that there is in fact a wide spectrum in between, and that businesses...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course is a very important part of our businesses and Industrial activities affects our environment, I enjoyed the course and would give 4 stars for content. There were some spelling and grammatical errors that’s need reviewing, and lastly the quizzes were sometimes confusing, feels like the study text contradicts the answers.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Pragmatic models and clear illustrations.
    Out-of-the-box analogies that help to understand
    Institution persistence ignoring context & assumptions... Our turn to get aware and be creative for a "E is B is E"
  • Anonymous
    I find this course very helpful to the point that im interested to join a program if they'll offer one. This has help me realized a lot of things and inspired me to make a change. The lectures are simple and profound, the follow-up readings are interesting too! The quizzes are hard and that's a good thing because you cant just skim the assigned readings, you have to do an application of the lesson as well especially in strategies. Overall, this has been a very good course to take. The urgency of this call to include environmental strategies in the business model is properly executed. Thank you! I enjoyed this course very much!
  • Anonymous
    This is my favorite course I've taken thus far! The content was interesting, engaging and highly useful. The case studies mentioned really help you to gain a better understanding of the concepts and apply them to real-world situations and institutions. The Green Business space can be overwhelming and pessimistic at times, but Professor Forster sheds light on tangible and lucrative paths to a more sustainable business world while highlighting the paradigm shifts that may take place over the next few decades. Encouraging, motivating and empowering, I would recommend this course to anyone and everyone. Thank you Professor Forster!
  • Anonymous
    A well scripted course which explains in detail, from the history of business, how the resistance to change has caused man-nature conflict; which is still continuing now, why it's time to adopt the 'change' element now, why we need to do green business; and how to reap out it's benefits, what strategies to embrace to be different from the competitors, and even many more...

    The case-studies and other references are also provided, encouraging a practical way of learning and great thanks to the facilitator, authors and to Coursera for providing this course, which is on one of the most prevalent topics in the current scenario.
  • Anonymous

    This course was very insightful and I now understand business strategies a lot better - both in the past and now. To create green business is necessary that we understand how to change our institutions and our own behavior first in order to get a better environment, climate which is better for business and our survival. I had made me understand the basic of todays modern business and how it evolved and how to change in context of the world crisis. Our actual business system no longer fit to deal with these crisis and we need to make that clear to all people on earth.
  • Anonymous
    The course provides food-for-thought for further digestion and review of the current "green" trends that corporations often label themselves with. The inclusion of a range of models and stage theories offer solid frameworks that can serve as fundamental conversation starters with corporations at varying stages/points in their green journey. The course also appropriately offers a positive conclusion for the learner to take-away from the course. I thoroughly enjoyed this course and look forward to further courses offered by Professor Forster and/or on this topic.
  • Anonymous
    Really enjoyed the course. It gave a lot of insights as to why companies feel the need to take environmental action and that these decisions can help your business succeed despite the extra steps or extra money it costs to do the right thing. I found the prof. very informative and enjoyable to listen to. He seems to care deeply about the topic and it makes you care deeply about it as well. I recommend this course to anyone, even if you're familiar with these types of business practices.
  • Anonymous
    This course was insightful.

    Because almost all environmental harm is done through some form of business activity, it is necessary that we understand why, when, and how to align environment and business strategies. Additionally, understanding that many of the causes and conditions for modern business were in part by accident, and that the circumstances that existed then do not exist now, is crucial because the actual business system no longer fit its context.

  • Anonymous
    The course material is very interesting and told in a very engaging way. The main reason I give this course 3 stars instead of 4 or 5. Is the way the quizzes are made/formulated and the fact that you need an 80% on all of them to pass (instead of a more reasonable 70 or 75% for example, especially with a low questioncount of 7-10 questions per quiz)

    The quizzes kind of made me hate this MOOC, but the content of the lectures was still great.
  • Profile image for Ashley Lee
    Ashley Lee
    The class is very helpful for me and other non-base students because the content is easy for us to understand, so we can master the green business in a short period. And it is useful in working place because nowadays our environmental awareness is rising and companies need to care environment deeply to provide us a better lifestyle. I believe this course will be needed by more and more people, especially the business man.
  • Anonymous
    Very helpful material, delivered in detail by the professor. By the end of the course I was definitely more informed about the different green strategies that large corporations follow globally and the steps required to move towards a 'greener' world. However I would appreciate if there was information / explanation about the right answers to the quizzes as most questions required critical thinking .

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