Technology in Business

Module name: Engineering Business Environment
Module code:

Title of the Assignment: Assignment A – Analysing a Sustainable
This coursework item is: (delete as
appropriate) Summative Formative
This summative coursework will be marked anonymously Yes No
According to the learning outcomes for this module, this assignment will demonstrate that students can:

  1. Critically evaluate academic theories and techniques relating to corporate social responsibility and ethical conduct in engineering
  2. Demonstrate awareness of the risks to health and safety, the environment and the business as well as current regulatory requirements facing organisations, engineering teams and business leaders.
    This coursework is: (delete as appropriate) Individual Group
    If other or mixed … explain here:
    This coursework constitutes 30% of the overall module mark.
    Date Set: 1
    Date & Time Due:
    Your marked coursework and feedback will be available to you on:
    If for any reason this is not forthcoming by the due date your module leader will let you know why and when it can be expected. The Head of Studies should be informed of any issues relating to the return of marked coursework and feedback.
    When completed you are required to submit your coursework to:
  3. Blackboard via Turnitin.
    Late submission of coursework policy: Late submissions will be processed in accordance with current University regulations which state:
    “the time period during which a student may submit a piece of work late without authorisation and have the work capped at 40% [50% at PG level] if passed is 14 calendar days. Work submitted unauthorised more than 14 calendar days after the original submission date will receive a mark of 0%. These regulations apply to a student’s first attempt at coursework. Work submitted late without authorisation which constitutes reassessment of a previously failed piece of coursework will always receive a mark of 0%.”
    Academic Offences and Bad Academic Practices:
    These include plagiarism, cheating, collusion, copying work and reuse of your own work, poor
    referencing or the passing off of somebody else’s ideas as your own. If you are in any doubt about what constitutes an academic offence or bad academic practice you must check with your tutor.

Tasks to be undertaken:

This Module examines the impact businesses have on social and ecological environments, and looks to support businesses in their transition to become a force for environmental good. Part of this means evaluating and assessing the starting conditions of a company, in order to identify what helps and what hinders their journey to reduce deleterious social-ecological impacts, and thereafter to identify opportunities to make meaningful changes to their developmental trajectory.

This assignment evaluates the sustainability reports of Unilever, a large multinational corporation, using the corporation’s own documentation. A recent report is available at: 547893_en.pdf The summary report is here: performance-summary-2019_tcm244-549815_en.pdf This assignment involves a critical review of this report according to the following criteria:

1) Many organisations employ the five capitals model and/or the circular economy model, whether they actually use these terms in their strategy or not. Following a careful reading of the Unilever report, explain how both of these concepts are articulated in the company’s corporate strategy, if they are. Please use specific illustrations. [550 words]

To answer this, first summarise each of the two models, giving relevant examples to illustrate the model/ key concepts. Please use a table for this as this is excluded from the word count. Then, referring to Unilever’s report, identify how these concepts are discussed, giving page references to evidence your claims.

2) Unilever already makes a significant effort to align its work with the SDGs. Please identify at least two SDGs where you think Unilever still can make improvements. Clearly define the SDG concerned, identify how it is measured, discuss what Unilever are already doing in support of this goal (assuming they are), and then discuss what Unilever could do to further their ambition to meet this SDG. Please follow this structure in your response. Use the UN database for reference: [950 words]

To succeed in this assignment you are expected to demonstrate the skills of critical reading and critical thinking. Whether you agree or disagree with Unilever’s sustainability strategy is not the objective, but you are expected to give evidence in support of your opinion. This evidence must be grounded in academic journal papers (with correct citations). If you are quoting something from Unilever’s document, please give the page number.

You are strongly encouraged to optimise your use of library resources for this paper. The expectation is for relevant journal articles to be cited in support of your answers. Please use to correctly format references and in-text citations. You may use APA, Harvard or IEEE only.
Deliverables to be submitted for assessment:

Your assignment report should be no more than 1,500 words (+ 10%) in length, excluding references, appendices, and tables. Appendices should be no longer than 5 pages. Diagrams are to be used sparingly, and their sources referenced correctly. If you do use
diagrams, these must be discussed in the body of the text. You should use a font of size no less than 10 points.
How the work will be marked:

Assessment will be based on the extent to which the learning outcomes have been met, and the extent to which the above instructions, notes and guidance are complied with (for example regarding word limit, style, structure and citation). The criteria below relate to the current pass mark of 50%.

• Explain the Five Capitals (with examples) and Circular Economy models (20 marks)

• Critical review of document using the two models (30 marks)
• Evidence-based recommendations for any improvements made (40 marks)
• Clarity of writing style, referencing and structure of report (10 marks)

Students are encouraged to specify each of the five capitals, what these refer to, and to provide an example of each.

Work that is deficient in most of the respects outlined above, does not follow the brief or which shows little evidence of critical analysis will be awarded an outright fail of 44% or less. A marginal fail of 45% to 49% may be awarded to work that demonstrates some understanding of the problem but where the understanding, accuracy, organisation and critical analysis fail to justify a marginal pass.

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