Copenhagen, Denmark

Sustainable Maritime Business

when 24 June 2024 - 11 July 2024
language English
duration 3 weeks
credits 7.5 EC
fee DKK 6000

This course provides an in-depth understanding of the role of sustainability for the competitiveness of maritime companies. Sustainability, and in particular environmental sustainability, has grown in importance for all shipping sectors in the last decade. Shipping companies are facing increasing business complexity due to the climate crisis, stricter environmental and social regulations, increasing public scrutiny and greater ecological awareness and value orientation.

While shipping has traditionally been characterised by low levels of social responsibility, lax environmental regulation, and enforcement, and generally a short-term profit orientation, more and more companies have embraced sustainability, either as an integral part of their business strategy or in response to pressure from regulators, customers or other stakeholders. Whether in relation to the introduction of new technologies, decarbonisation, or the impact of Covid-19 on seafarers' welfare, the importance of developing a sustainable strategy in every aspect of the shipping business cannot be overlooked. In particular, environmental regulations and decarbonisation are likely to trigger structural changes in the shipping industry and require managers to face an increasingly complex business environment. In this changing context, shipping companies need to be able to assess and implement new strategies and innovate to ensure compliance and sustainable growth.

The course provides advanced shipping business knowledge placed in the context of a rapidly changing regulatory and economic context. It aids students in reflecting on some of the biggest challenges to business and identify how the shipping sector needs to transform to better respond to the needs of its customers and stakeholders. The course highlights the tension between short-term profitability, that is often driving shipping companies, and longer-term societal goals that should be rooted on sustainable development principles. During the course, students learn to make complex business decisions under uncertainty, evaluate innovative approaches to address sustainability issues in the shipping industry, communicate the need for change and drive change in their future organisations.

The curriculum is structured in two modules covering (1) the role of sustainability considerations in shaping a shipping firm’s strategy, including innovation, corporate social responsibility and long-term environmental commitments; (2) how sustainability issues are affecting operations, through regulatory compliance, uptake of new technologies and responding to customer demands. Module 1 looks at how sustainability is an integral part of corporate strategy in shipping and how shipping companies can use sustainability to increase their competitiveness. The role of innovation is particularly important in this context. Module 1 discusses how companies can take advantage of changes in the external environment and internal resources and how sustainability affects the strategic positioning of the company. In Module 2, students learn how sustainability affects shipping operations, with a focus on decarbonisation and environmental compliance. Both modules address sustainability in shipping, building on different disciplines. This ensures that students are able to gain management insights when considering technological, operational, regulatory, and geopolitical developments.

Each session combines theoretical readings with case study discussions on existing sustainability challenges for shipping companies and encourages students to understand and apply abstract frameworks but also discuss their limitations. The students will learn how to integrate ideas and concepts to solve complex realistic problems. They will also learn how to select and acquire relevant knowledge for solving sustainability challenges related to shipping. Through the analysis of how sustainability issues have been dealt with, students explore how executives were able to recognize opportunities for innovations and translate them into strategy or adapt their operations to account for the changed environment.

Course leader

Michele Acciaro - Department of Strategy and Innovation

Target group

This is a graduate level course. CBS Summer University courses at Copenhagen Business School is open to all and welcomes domestic and international students as well as professionals.

Course aim

Describe, identify, and critically contribute to current academic, policy and industry debates on sustainability in the context of maritime business

Describe, structure, and identify solutions for strategic and operational issues related to sustainability in shipping and maritime logistics

Describe, apply, and combine the concepts, theories, methods of strategic management, economics, and international business in relation to a sustainable shipping

Identify and develop relevant strategic choices in relation to sustainability in shipping

Define and analyse the strategic alternatives offered by the emergence of sustainability-related technologies in shipping

Understand, identify, describe, and analyse innovation processes in international shipping

Assess and communicate the solution of problems and thus be able to focus on decision making and the use of strategic tools in situations with conflicting objectives

Credits info

7.5 EC
This is an intensive 3-week course. 3-week courses cannot be combined with any other courses.
Find more information on our website.

Fee info

DKK 6000: Tuition fee for Open University students (EU/EEA/Swiss citizenship)
DKK 15000: Tuition fee for non-European students.