COMMGMT 7000 - Business and Carbon Management

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2014

The course explores climate change trends in business and the potential impacts of this. We look at functional and regulatory requirements. However, we focus beyond this at what carbon management means in the context of a whole business, individuals within it and society around us. Climate change, with its cross-society impacts and requirements for a dramatic shift in human practices, reforms and reshapes business models. With such new challenges, in a complex global world, comes a need for new understanding. The course aims to help develop this understanding. This course is relevant to new graduates and professionals seeking to develop, and/or upgrade their qualifications, to assist them (and their organisations) in the economic, societal, environmental and business implications arising from climate change. This field is rapidly developing. It offers enormous opportunities for businesses that effectively address climate change, as well as an individual's career development.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code COMMGMT 7000
    Course Business and Carbon Management
    Coordinating Unit Adelaide Business School
    Term Semester 2
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Assessment Assignments/group/tutorial work as prescribed at first lecture
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Simon Divecha

    Name: Simon Divecha | Dr Kristin Alford
    Contacts: Simon | Kristin

    Mr Simon Divecha BSc (Hons)
    Simon Divecha is the Business Manager for the Environment Institute, University of Adelaide. He has two decades of experience creating environmental change, addressing climate change and, leading programs that today create the conditions for the growth of sustainable organisations and societies.
    Simon has worked extensively on environmental, social, community and business issues, at the international, national and local levels. This includes as the owner and director of GreenMode directly with major businesses, as well as directing programs internationally with Greenpeace and, as CEO of the Conservation Council of South Australia. With business, he recently played as a leading role in the successful bid (by a consortium comprising BP Solar, Origin Energy, Lend Lease, Big Switch Projects, ANZ Bank and Salisbury region government) to establish Adelaide as Australia's first Solar City.

    Recognition of Simon's work includes an Australian Davos Connection Future Summit Leadership Award (2007), alumni member of the Commonwealth Study Conference (Delhi 2007), Next Generation Leadership Program, Australia-Korea Green Growth (Korea 2009), scholarships to Harvard/Australia/China Climate Symposium (USA 2010) and Integral Sustainability (USA 2006). Simon is a Social Leadership Australia alumnus (2001), honorary member of the Leaders Institute of SA, and SA Plan Alliance Partner.

    Simon is also currently enrolled at Adelaide University undertaking a (part time) doctorate. His PhD explores the impact of climate change on business strategy, culture and collaboration.

    Dr Kristin Alford
    Kristin established Bridge8 in 2004 following careers in engineering, human resources and product development across sectors including mining, R&D, aviation, agriculture and nanotechnology. She holds a PhD in process engineering and a Masters in strategic foresight which combine to deliver insights into the development of emerging industry sectors including advanced manufacturing and clean technologies. Her work explores the ‘why’ questions about the role of science and technology and their links with innovation, economic development, social change and sustainability. Kristin is particularly interested in how we use ideas to create effective stories of the future and is the organiser of TEDxAdelaide.

    With teachers, Kristin has developed AccessNano, a national nanotechnology education resource. She lectures in ‘Foresight and Social Change at the University of Adelaide and has published chapters in Opportunities Beyond Carbon and, with her team, Big Ideas in Science – Vol 2 & 3.

    Simon Divecha - Web:
    Mobile: 0439 493 303 | Email:

    Kristin Alford - Web:
    Mobile: 0410 442 629 | Email:
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    Specifically, many businesses will focus on carbon footprint and carbon compliance with Australian (or relevant country) legislation. This is an important focus and can lay the groundwork for substantial business opportunities – positioning the business to be part of a new clean technology or low carbon future economy - through effectively addressing climate change demands. Beyond such business opportunities the field also can assist your career development.

    The course objectives are to enhance and develop understanding and abilities in these areas:

    • Measure
              • What should we measure and why.
              • Carbon footprint measurement.
    • Manage
              • What can, could and should be your business or organisation’s objectives. 
              • Setting the agenda.
              • The plan, including: reduce fuel and power use; switch to clean power/fuels; offset emissions; and, achievements – monitor, validate and engage.
    • Advantage
              • Tangible value – the business case for action.
              • Opportunities and the new economy - carbon and business futures.
    Throughout the course there will be an emphasis on thinking about and asking useful questions. There may be many ‘right’ answers. The questions we are seeking to answer on carbon and climate change are not always clear or known.

    As there is a fair amount of reading in the course, I strongly recommend that you begin your reading now. It is essential that you keep up to date with your readings if you are to get the most from each class. Please check MyUni for Class 1 reading list.

    By the end of the course, I hope that you will have a broad understanding of the central issues faced in this young field of learning and, be on the way to developing your own future visions for the contribution that organisations, managers and individuals, can make to addressing climate change.

    Please check your student email as course-related announcements are communicated via email.
    MyUni will also be an important vehicle for two-way sharing of information.
    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

     The texts for this course are:
    1. Lingl, P., Carlson, D. and David Suzuki Foundation (2010), Doing Business in a New Climate, A Guide to Measuring, Reducing and Offsetting Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Earthscan, London
    2. Torbert, B. and Associates (2004) Action Inquiry, Berrett-Koehler, California USA
    Required Reading: Required reading for the course includes the following articles and reports. Please check MyUni for the required (and additional optional) reading for each class. Please also complete the feedback (online on MyUni) for each class by the end of the Monday before the class.
    Books E-resource
    Torbert, W. R., Cook-Greuter, S. R., Fisher, D., Foldy, E., Gauthier, A., Keeley, J., . . . Tran, M. (2004). Action inquiry: The secret of timely and transformational leadership. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler. MyUni pdf file: Action Logics 24 page intro.pdf (remaining pages in book only)
    Lingl, P., Carlson, D., & The David Suzuki Foundation. (2010). Doing business in a new climate: A guide to measuring, reducing & offsetting greenhouse gas emissions.
    Recommended Resources
    The course contains a significant range of additional reading and reference materials. Please note that additional reading, to inform and answer specific questions as they arise throughout the course, may be added via My Uni. You’ll be advised about this.

    Allcott, H., & Mullainathan, S. (2010). Behavioral science and energy policy. Science, 327(5970), 1204-1205.

    Australian Business Roundtable on Climate Change. (2006). The business case for early action.

    Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. (2008). Carbon claims and the Trade Practices Act (pp. 13-16): Commonwealth of Australia.

    Brown, B. C. (2011). Conscious Leadership For Sustainability: How Leaders With A Late-Stage Action Logic Design And Engage In Sustainability Initiatives (PhD), Fielding Graduate University.

    Caldeira, K., Morgan, M. G., Baldocchi, D., Brewer, P. G., Chen, C. T. A., Nabuurs, G. J., . . . Robertson, G. P. (2004). A portfolio of carbon management options. Scope-scientific committee on problems of the environment international council of scientific unions, 62, 103-130.

    Carbon Disclosure Project. (2013). What is driving climate change action in the world's largest companies? CDP Global 500 Climate Change Report 2013 (pp. 60).

    Carbon Market Institute. (2013). The state of the Australian Carbon Market 2013 (pp. 24).

    Ceres and the Investor Network on Climate Risk. (2008). Managing the risks and opportunities of climate change: A practical toolkit for investors.

    Climate Works Australia. (2013). Tracking progress towards a low carbon economy: Climate Works Australia Clayton.

    DARA. (2013). Reuters: 100 million to die by 2030 if world fails to act on climate Retrieved 12 April 2013.

    DARA and the Climate Vulnerable Forum. (2012). Climate Vulnerability Monitor 2nd Edition: A Guide to the Cold Calculus of a Hot Planet. In M. McKinnon (Ed.), (pp. 358). Madrid: Fundación DARA Internacional.

    Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. (2010). The National Carbon Offset Standard (pp. 6-14): Australian Government.

    Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. (2011). Responses to Professor Ian Plimer's 101 climate questions (pp. 39): Australian Government.

    Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. (2013). National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting. Australian Government.

    Dietz, T., Gardner, G. T., Gilligan, J., Stern, P. C., & Vandenbergh, M. P. (2009). Household actions can provide a behavioral wedge to rapidly reduce US carbon emissions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106(44), 18452-18456.

    Dietz, T., Ostrom, E., & Stern, P. C. (2003). The struggle to govern the commons. Science, 302(5652), 1907-1912.

    Divecha, S. (2013). Media is missing climate in heatwave story. The Conversation.

    Divecha, S., Rakova, U., & Oakwood, M. (2000). Cyanide Crash - Tolukuma Gold Mine Cyanide Spill in Papua New Guinea. Port Moresby: Mineral Policy Institute, Greenpeace, Environmental Law Centre PNG.

    Divecha, S., Whitfield, L., Ball, R., & Carre, A. (2009). Achieving Factor 5 improvements in Typical Australian House Factor 5: Transforming the Global Economy through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity.

    Eberlein, B., & Matten, D. (2009). Business responses to climate change regulation in Canada and Germany: lessons for MNCs from emerging economies. Journal of business ethics, 86, 241-255.

    Ehrlich, P. R., & Ehrlich, A. H. (2013). Can a collapse of global civilization be avoided? Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1754).

    Energy Efficiency and Greenhouse Working Group. (2003). Towards a National Framework for Energy Efficiency Issues and Challenges Discussion Paper: Governments of Australia, Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Northern Territory, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, Western Australia.

    Garnaut, R. (2009). The Garnaut climate change review: final report: Cambridge University Press.

    Greenhouse Gas Protocol. (2004). A corporate accounting and reporting standard. World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development. or directly.

    Hamilton, K., Sjardin, M., Peters-Stanley, M., & Marcello, T. (2010). Building bridges: state of the voluntary carbon markets 2010. Ecosystem Marketplace & Bloomberg New Energy Finance, 14, Executive Summary.
    Executive Summary:

    Hawken, P., Lovins, A. B., & Lovins, L. H. (1999). Natural capitalism: Creating the next industrial revolution. Boston, MA: Little, Brown & Co.

    Henrich, J. (2006). Cooperation, Punishment, and the Evolution of Human Institutions. Science, 312, 60-61.

    Hubbard, G. (2009). Measuring organizational performance: beyond the triple bottom line. Business Strategy and the Environment, 18(3), 177-191.

    Karoly, D., England, M., & Steffen, W. (2013). Off the charts: Extreme Australian summer heat. Canberra: Climate Commision.

    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.

    Kollmuss, A., & Agyeman, J. (2002). Mind the gap: why do people act environmentally and what are the barriers to pro-environmental behavior? Environmental education research, 8(3), 239-260.

    Lichtenstein, B. M. (1997). Grace, magic and miracles: A “chaotic logic” of organizational transformation. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 10(5), 393-411.

    Lipton, D. (2013). Energy subsidy reform: the way forward: International Monetary Fund.

    Lohmann, L. (2008). Six arguments against carbon trading.

    Matthews, H. S., Hendrickson, C. T., & Weber, C. L. (2008). The importance of carbon footprint estimation boundaries. Environmental science & technology, 42(16), 5839-5842.

    Matthews, H. S., Weber, C., & Hendrickson, C. T. (2008). Estimating carbon footprints with input-output models. Paper presented at the International Input Output Meeting on Managing the Environment, Seville (Spain).

    Meadows, D. (1996). Envisioning a sustainable world. Getting Down to Earth: Practical Applications of Ecological Economics, Island Press, Washington, DC, 117-126.

    Meadows, D. (2002). Dancing with systems. Systems Thinker, 13(2), 2-6.

    Meadows, D. H. (1998). Indicators and information systems for sustainable development: Sustainability Institute Hartland.

    NASA Earth Observatory. (2013, 16 January 2013). Long-Term Global Warming Trend Continues Retrieved 18 April 2013.

    O'Brien, J. (2009). Opportunities Beyond Carbon, Looking Forward to a Sustainable World: Melbourne University Press. MyUni – Course Material: Opportunities Beyond Carbon - Chapter 10 OBrien.pdf

    O'Brien, K. L., & Wolf, J. (2010). A values‐based approach to vulnerability and adaptation to climate change. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 1(2), 232-242.

    Ostrom, E. (1998). A behavioral approach to the rational choice theory of collective action: Presidential address, American Political Science Association, 1997. American Political Science Review, 1-22.

    Ostrom, E. (2010a). Beyond markets and states: polycentric governance of complex economic systems. The American economic review, 100(3), 641-672.

    Ostrom, E. (2010b). Polycentric systems for coping with collective action and global environmental change. Global Environmental Change, 20(4), 550-557.

    Ostrom, E., Burger, J., Field, C. B., Norgaard, R. B., & Policansky, D. (1999). Revisiting the Commons: Local Lessons, Global Challenges. Science, 284(5412), 278.

    Pacala, S., & Socolow, R. (2004). Stabilization wedges: solving the climate problem for the next 50 years with current technologies. Science, 305(5686), 968.

    Scharmer, C. O. (2009). Theory U: Leading from the future as it emerges. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
    Searchinger, T. D., Hamburg, S. P., Melillo, J., Chameides, W., Havlik, P., Kammen, D. M., . . .Oppenheimer, M. (2009). Fixing a critical climate accounting error. Science, 326(5952), 527.

    Sen, A. (1977). Rational fools: A critique of the behavioral foundations of economic theory. Philosophy & Public Affairs, 6(4), 317-344.

    Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York, NY: Doubleday/Currency.

    Senge, P. M., Scharmer, C. O., Jaworski, J., & Flowers, B. S. (2004). Presence: Human purpose and the field of the future: SoL Cambridge, MA.
    MyUni – Course Material: Presence Intro Senge 2004 ; and,

    Simon, H. A. (1979). Rational decision making in business organizations. The American economic review, 69(4), 493-513.

    Slaughter, R. (2004). Transcending Flatland: Implications of Ken Wilber's meta-narrative for futures studies Futures Beyond Dystopia: Creating Social Foresight: Routledge Falmer.

    Smith, J. B., Schneider, S. H., Oppenheimer, M., Yohe, G. W., Hare, W., Mastrandrea, M. D., . . . van
    Ypersele, J.-P. (2009). Assessing dangerous climate change through an update of the
    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “reasons for concern”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0812355106

    Steffen, W. (2013). The Angry Summer. Canberra: Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency).

    Sterman, J. D., & Sweeney, L. B. (2007). Understanding public complacency about climate change: Adults’ mental models of climate change violate conservation of matter. Climatic Change, 80(3), 213-238.

    Stern, N., & Treasury, G. (2007). The economics of climate change: the Stern review: Cambridge Univ Pr.

    Symon, C. (2013). Climate change: Action, trends and implications for business The IPCC's fifth assessment report, working group 1: IPCC and University of Cambridge.

    Von Weizsacker, E., Hargroves, K., Smith, M., Hargroves, K., Desha, C., & Stasinopoulos, P. (2009). Factor Five: Transforming the Global Economy Through 80% Improvements in Resource Productivity: Earthscan/James & James.

    Wells, S., & Betz, S. (2009). From scarcity to abundance - organisational sustainability and the role of the civic entrepreneur. International Journal for Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, 5(1), 211-228.

    Wilber, K. (2000). A Brief History of Everything (2nd ed.). Boston USA: Shambhala Publications.

    World Economic Forum. (2011). The consumption dilemma (pp. 5-36).

    Note: For those readings that are accessible online through the University of Adelaide (Barr Smith) Library or elsewhere on the Internet, the URLs are provided. For Barr Smith resources you will need to undergo a user authentication procedure after clicking on the URL to access the online resource. To identify you with a valid username and password, University of Adelaide students should use their University Username (e.g. "jsmith01" or "a1234567") and Password. Remember that if you are entering the library system from outside the university network, you will need to add the library ‘proxy’ address at the front of the URL of the online resource. Alternatively, bookmark Adelaide University Google Scholar and search for the article or reference. This is often just as easy if not faster.

    In addition to the required reading for each class, you are strongly encouraged to explore the literature of carbon management and organisational sustainability according to your interests and your vision. No one can read everything. The suggested additional readings are just snippets from a vast literature in books, in journals, and on line. You should feel confident to follow a particular thread (or author) that interests you and bring your findings and thoughts to share in the classroom and enrich your assignments.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Group assessment tasks have a maximum 30% weighting. A minimum of seventy percent (70%) of the total value of a course’s assessment will be devoted to individually submitted work, which may be in the form of assignments, examinations or presentations.

    In addition to achieving a course mark of at least 50%, students need to attain an average of fifty percent (50%) across all the individually assessed items, considered as a whole, in order to pass the course.

    For information on the University’s Assessment for Coursework Programs Policy refer to:
    Assessment Percentage of Total Course Mark
    Individual Assignment 45%
    Online comments 10%
    2 learning mat exercises – individual peer assessment 10%
    Group Project 30%
    Class Insight 5%

    Individual Assignment (45%)
    The individual assignment will be an essay of no more than 2700 words (including abstract and references) on one of the first four class topics. It will be discussed in more detail in the first classes.

    Online comment (10%)
    For each class we ask for feedback on the reading. This is brief feedback of no more than 150 words seeking your perspectives on the reading, what’s clear or not clear and, how it links to other previous class reading. We’re particularly asking you to think about the links between the reading for the current class and the two course text books. There are 3 standard structured questions to help you.

    2 learning mats (10%)
    The class uses learning mats – large sheets with an issue or competing perspectives – as a way of discussing its topics in and after class. They are done as a group but the assessment is individual by your class peers. These will occur in Classes 1, 3 and 11 with the last two being assessed.

    The Group Project (30%)
    Groups will make a presentation to the class. Each group will look at an aspect of carbon management for a business, develop questions, interview a relevant person (or people) and analyse the findings. The important parts of this investigation are looking at the factors that have resulted in successful action (or otherwise) for the business. What considerations and assessments are made by people about climate change and actions they can take within their businesses to create advantages and profits for it? Full details of the project will be discussed in class with some class time devoted to framing the questions for the project.

    Class Insight (5%)
    Please note that this is not “Class participation”. Everyone makes their contribution to the class in different ways – the person who says the most doesn’t necessarily add the most. Sometimes active and engaged listening is more important than talking.

    Sometimes a short and simple observation can open up more new thinking ‘territory’ than a long speech. Insight is more about how well you collaborate with your classmates to explore new ideas and build your thinking, than it is about looking good. So if you are a bit shy or ‘reticent’, don’t think for one moment that you are less able to make a contribution.

    Presentation of Assignments
    1. Assignments will be submitted electronically, either through MyUni or as an email attachment.
    2. Please retain a copy of all assignments submitted.
    3. Please attach an ‘Assignment Cover Sheet’, which is signed and dated by you before submission or a statement as per section 5.1.
    4. All group assignments must be attached to a ‘Group Assignment Cover Sheet’, which must be signed and dated by all group members before submission. All team members are expected to contribute approximately equally to a group assignment.

    Lecturers can refuse to accept assignments, which do not have a signed acknowledgement of the University’s policy on plagiarism.

    Assessment Detail
    Assignment Guidelines Including Referencing Details
    A copy of the Postgraduate Programs: Communication Skills Guide will have been given to you at the beginning of your program. This guide will assist you structure your assignments. A copy of the guide can also be downloaded from:
    This publication also provides guidelines on a range of other important communication skills including writing essays and management reports, making oral presentations etc.
    In preparing any written piece of assessment for your postgraduate studies it is important to draw on the relevant ‘literature’ to support critical analysis. Also essential is to reference the literature used. Correct referencing is important because it identifies the source of the ideas and arguments that you present, and sometimes the source of the actual words you use, and helps to avoid the problem of plagiarism. (Further information on plagiarism is provided later in this course outline.)
    The Harvard system is widely used in the Business School. Guidelines for the use of this style of referencing can be found in the Communication Skills Guide.
    Further assistance with referencing is available from the Faculty’s Learning Support Advisors. The contact details are provided on page 6 of the Communication Skills Guide.

    Return of Assignments and Feedback
    Lecturer’s aim to mark and return assignments to students within two (2) weeks of the due date with written feedback. Please ensure that you have your current mailing address recorded on Access Adelaide, as some assignments may be returned by mail. Assignments may also be returned via MyUni.

    Late Assignment Submission
    Students are expected to submit their work by the due date to maintain a fair and equitable system. Extensions will generally only be given for medical or other serious reasons. All requests for extensions must be emailed to the lecturer in charge of the course before the due date. Each request will be assessed on its merits. A late assignment (without prior arrangement) will be penalised up to a 5% mark reduction for each day that it is late.

    Plagiarism and Other Forms of Cheating
    Plagiarism is a serious act of academic misconduct. The School adheres strictly to the University’s policies on examination and assessment. The University’s Policies on Assessment, including plagiarism and other forms of cheating, can be found at:

    Students must not submit work for an assignment that has previously been submitted for this course or any other course.

    No information currently available.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.