MAN 681: Climate Change and Decarbonization

Climate change means the warming-up of our planet driven by human emissions of greenhouse gases, as well as the shifts in weather patterns that result from this development. In the Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, 196 Parties have set the goal to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. To reach this goal, many companies have developed climate targets, including goals for carbon neutrality or climate neutrality, some of them using offsetting techniques to make up for their own impacts.

Lern- und Qualifikations­ziele
In this course, participants

  • gain an understanding of climate change and its causes and potential remedies,
  • study the climate goals of organizations and the strategies to achieve them,
  • and critically assess the current status quo with regard to decarbonization.

Notwendige Voraussetzungen

Inhaltliche Voraussetzungen
General interest in the topic of sustainable business

Seminar2 SWS15 SWS
Prüfungs­form und -umfang70% final assignment; 30% final presentation
Informationen zur Anmeldung
Geprüft durch
Durchführende Lehr­kraft
Prof. Dr. Laura Marie Edinger-Schons
Apu Gosalia
Dauer des Moduls 1 Semester
VerwendbarkeitM.Sc. MMM, M.Sc. WiPäd, M.Sc. VWL, M.Sc. Wirt. Inf., LL.M., MAKUWI
Programm­spezifische KompetenzzieleCG 1, CG 2, CG 3
Benotung Ja
LiteraturAldy, J. E., & Gianfrate, G. (2019). Future-Proof Your Climate Strategy: Smart companies are putting their own price on carbon. Harvard Business Review (May-June 2019), 86–97.
Berrone, P., Fosfuri, A., & Gelabert, L. (2017). Does Greenwashing Pay Off? Understanding the Relations­hip Between Environmental Actions and Environmental Legitimacy. Journal of Business Ethics, 144(2), 363–379.
Black, R., Cullen, K., Fay, B., Hale, T., Lang, J., Mahmood, S., & Smith, S. (March 2021). Taking Stock: A global assessment of net zero targets: Scrutinising countries, states and regions, cities and companies. Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit and Oxford Net Zero.
Carrillo Pineda, A., & Faria, P. (2019). Towards a Science-Based Approach to Climate Neutrality in the Corporate Sector: Discussion paper.
Dahlmann, F., Branicki, L., & Brammer, S. (2019). Managing Carbon Aspirations: The Influence of Corporate Climate Change Targets on Environmental Performance. Journal of Business Ethics, 158(1), 1–24.
Day, T., Mooldijk, S., Kuramochi, T., Hsu, A., Lim, E., Yeo, Z. Y., Weinfurter, A., Tan, Y. X., French, I., Namdeo, V., Tan, O., Raghavan, S., & Nair, A. (2020). Navigating the nuances of net-zero targets. NewClimate Institute & Data-Driven EnviroLab.
Haffar, M., & Searcy, C. (2018). Target-setting for ecological resilience: Are companies setting environmental sustainability targets in line with planetary thresholds? Business Strategy and the Environment, 27(7), 1079–1092.
Herweijer, C., & Kelly, C. (2021). How business can bridge the gap and achieve net zero: Business leaders need to act now to meet the demands of science, government, investors and society at large. PwC.
IPCC. (2018). Global warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways, in the context of strengthening the global response to the threat of climate change, sustainable development, and efforts to eradicate poverty. IPCC.
Kolk, A., Levy, D., & Pinkse, J. (2008). Corporate Responses in an Emerging Climate Regime: The Institutionalization and Commensuration of Carbon Disclosure. European Accounting Review, 17(4), 719–745.
Lyon, T. P., & Montgomery, A. W. (2015). The Means and End of Greenwash. Organization & Environment, 28(2), 223–249.
Pranugrahaning, A., Donovan, J. D., Topple, C., & Masli, E. K. (2021). Corporate sustainability assessments: A systematic literature review and conceptual framework. Journal of Cleaner Production, 295, Article 126385.
Topping, N. (2019). Is Your Company Ready for a Zero-Carbon Future? Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, 2–6.
United Nations. (2015). The Paris Agreement.
World Resources Institute, & World Business Council for Sustainable Development. (2004). The Greenhouse Gas Protocol: A Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. Revised Edition. WRI & WBCSD.
EU (n.d.): EU climate action and the European Green Deal, available at, accessed 10 Mai 2021.
Luckhurst, T. (2019): Iceland‘s Okjokull glacier commemorated with plaque, available at, accessed 10 Mai 2021.
Schuetze, A. (2020): German companies call for COVID-19 aid to be tied to climate action, available at
idUSKCN2290LI, accessed 10 Mai 2021.
Slaper, T., Hall, T. (2011): The Triple Bottom Line: What Is It and How Does It work?, Indiana Business Review, 86 (1), pp. 1-9.
GliederungSession 1: Kick-Off and introduction to the topics of climate change and decarbonization
Session 2: Climate goals of an organization & ways to define and calculate the CO2 footprint
Session 3: Input Session and Discussion: How to calculate the carbon footprint of an organization?
Session 4: Final Presentations of Students