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There is increasing focus on the role of business in contributing to and addressing sustainability issues. This assignment seeks to get you quickly engaged with the business interface of a sustainability issue that you are most familiar and/or interested in. The intent is to encourage independent research, critical thinking and broadly improve your contextual knowledge of the business sector.

Write a brief essay about a significant sustainable development issue of your choice impacting the business sector (e.g. climate change, deforestation, water scarcity, biodiversity loss, waste/e-waste, poverty, human rights, modern slavery, inequality etc). You are expected to:

Describe the issue (e.g. definition, cause and effects), outlining its evolution and highlighting key events that have defined the issue to date. Address the physical / factual dimensions of the issue (e.g. size, scope or scale of the issue) as well as the societal / regulatory / legal context, if appropriate, for how the issue has evolved (e.g. global agreements, national laws/regulation). Do not focus on any particular industry at this stage of the essay. (12%)

Evaluate the interface / interactions of business with respect to the issue. How is business contributing to the issue? How is business impacted by the issue? How is business responding? You may choose a specific industry, or industries, to focus on for this section. Do not choose one specific organisation but you can provide examples from several organisations in the industry you have chosen. (18%)

Provide a commentary, critique and conclusions about the current trends and future responses to the issue and potential implications for business. (5%)

Written expression: grammar, quality of references, essay structure and logic. (5%)


Word limit:1500 words (excluding reference list and tables)(+/- 5%)


Criteria for marking:

Attribute Weighting (total 30%)

Sustainability issue 12%

Business interface 18%

Future implications 5%

Grammar, quality of references, essay structure and logic 5%


Referencing requirements:You are required to fully reference all sources drawn upon, whether published or unpublished, using the Harvard or APA style of referencing. As a guide, aim for at least 10 academic (peer-reviewed) references.

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