41422 - Measuring Sustainability Modulübersicht

Module Number: 41422
Module Title:Measuring Sustainability
  Nachhaltigkeit messen
Department: Faculty 2 - Environment and Natural Sciences
Responsible Staff Member:
  • Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c. (NMU, UA) Schmidt, Michael
Language of Teaching / Examination:English
Duration:1 semester
Frequency of Offer: Every winter semester
Credits: 6
Learning Outcome:Lecture and Seminar on Measuring Sustainability
In the lecture fundamental knowledge regarding tools and approaches to measuring sustainability will be gained. The most essential contents of the lecture shall be discussed to a greater depth and in a more detailed manner during the seminar. Selected module contents will be delievered to students through the ECO-Campus e-learning platform.

Learning outcome:
  • To become familiar with the concept of sustainable development as an interaction between ecological, economic and social pillars.
  • To become familiar with various consequences of global change as serious threats to achievement of sustainable development goals in many regions.
  • To provide understanding that achieving sustainable development is not possible without good governance implemented by policy.
  • To provide understanding of various indicator systems for sustainable development.
  • To provide knowledge about voluntary sustainability standards (VSS) as an instrument of sustainable development.
  • To develop students’ skills for application of various methods and tools for sustainability assessment.
  • The historic development and current understanding of the sustainable development concept;
  • International legal framework and policies for sustainable development;
  • Setting goals and targets for sustainable development;
  • Indicator systems for sustainable development;
  • Voluntary sustainabilty standards (VSS) as an instrument of sustainable development;
  • Tools and methods for assessing sustainability.
Recommended Prerequisites:None
Mandatory Prerequisites:None
Forms of Teaching and Proportion:
  • Lecture / 2 Hours per Week per Semester
  • Seminar / 2 Hours per Week per Semester
  • Research paper/essay / 30 Hours
  • Self organised studies / 90 Hours
Teaching Materials and Literature:Selected module contents, in addition to lectures and presentations during classroom meetings, will be available for students through the ECO-Campus e-learning platform. For students interested in more in-depth study of lecture topics, optional advanced readings will be regularly uploaded to the e-learning portal of the BTU C-S.

Recommended Journal:
  • Sustainability Science published by Springer
This journal is electronically available to all BTU students at the following web page:
  • http://www.springerlink.com/content/1862-4065/ 
To get full access for articles, this web page has to be accessed from within BTU network or with the help of a VPN-Client.

Recommended Books:
  • Atkinson G., Dietz S., Neumayer E. (2007) (Eds.) Handbook of Sustainable Development. Edward Elgar, Cheltenham.
  • Bell S., Morse S. (2003) Measuring Sustainability: Learning by Doing. Earthscan, London.
  • Bell S., Morse S. (2008) Sustainability Indicators – Measuring the Immeasurable? (2nd Edition). Earthscan, London.
  • Blackburn W. (2007) The Sustainability Handbook: The Complete Management Guide to Achieving Social, Economic and Environmental Responsibility. Earthscan, London.
  • Blewitt, J. (2008) Understanding Sustainable Development. Earthscan, London.
  • Dalal-Clayton B., Bass, S. (2002) Sustainable Development Strategies: A Resource Book. Earthscan, London.
  • Deb D. (2009) Beyond Developmentality: Constructing Inclusive Freedom and Sustainability. Earthscan, London.
  • Foster, J. (2008) The Sustainability Mirage – Illusion and Reality in the Coming War on Climate Change. Earthscan, London.
  • Gibson R.B. et al. (2005) Sustainability Assessment: Criteria and Processes. Earthscan, London.
  • Morse S. (2004) Indices and Indicators in Development: An Unhealthy Obsession with Numbers? Earthscan, London.
  • O’Riordan T., Voisey H. (1998) (Eds) The Transition to Sustainability: The Politics of Agenda 21 in Europe. Earthscan, London.
  • Schmidt M., Glasson J., Emmelin L. and Helbron H. (2008) (Eds.) Standards and Thresholds for Impact Assessment. Springer, Heidelberg.
  • Schmidt M. et al. (2010) The Proportionate Impact Assessment of the European Commission – Towards More Formalism to Backup “The Environment”. In K. Bizer et al. (Eds.) The European Impact Assessment and the Environment. Springer, Heidelberg.
  • Schmitz-Hoffmann C. et al. (2014) Voluntary Standard Systems: A Contribution to Sustainable Development. Natural Resource Management in Transition, Vol. 1. Springer, Berlin-Heidelberg
  • Sheate W.R. (2010) (Ed.) Tools, Techniques & Approaches for Sustainability: Collected Writings in Environmental Assessment Policy and Management. World Scientific, London.
Module Examination:Continuous Assessment (MCA)
Assessment Mode for Module Examination:
  • Oral performance verification (duration 10 minutes, maximum 15 points)
  • Presentation (duration 10 minutes, maximum 15 points)
To pass the module students need to gain a minimum of 12 points (the sum of points for the above mentioned module components).
Evaluation of Module Examination:Performance Verification – graded
Limited Number of Participants:None
Part of the Study Programme:
  • Abschluss im Ausland / Betriebswirtschaftslehre / keine Prüfungsordnung
  • Abschluss im Ausland / Environmental and Resource Management / keine Prüfungsordnung
  • M.Sc. / Environmental and Resource Management (research-oriented profile) / Prüfungsordnung 2011 - 2. SÄ 2017
  • Abschluss im Ausland / Euro Hydroinformatics and Water Management / keine Prüfungsordnung
  • M.Sc. / Landnutzung und Wasserbewirtschaftung (research-oriented profile) / Prüfungsordnung 2011
  • M.Sc. / Landnutzung und Wasserbewirtschaftung (research-oriented profile) / Prüfungsordnung 2018
  • Abschluss im Ausland / Wirtschaftsingenieurwesen / keine Prüfungsordnung
Remarks:The module “Measuring Sustainability” will be offered in Winter Semester 2020/21 in form of an online teaching. Lectures will be given via the online video conference platform Cisco WebEx on Mondays from 13:45 till 15:15. To attend the lectures, students will be provided with an access link a few days before each lecture. Lectures will not be recorded, therefore regular online participation is highly recommended. Lecture slides will be uploaded to the course page in Moodle together with recommended reading materials. Student presentations will be organised as group presentations in form of a block seminar in the end of the semester, preliminary in January 2021. Presentations will be also conducted online via the Cisco WebEx. Preliminary, oral performance verification will be organised in the end of the semester either online for those students, who cannot be present in person, or in person for those students, who are going to be in Cottbus during the examination period. The organisation of oral exams may be changed completely to an online mode, if the COVID-19 situation development makes it necessary. Organisation of both group presentation and oral exams will be flexible, students will be provided with several dates and time options to fit into their personal schedules.

Registering for examination of the module “Measuring Sustainability” is mandatory! No registration means no final grade in the end.

Module Components:
  • 2403161: Lecture Measuring Sustainability
  • 2403162: Seminar Measuring Sustainability
Components to be offered in the Current Semester:

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