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Sustainable Development Goals and Global Production Systems: A new implementation challenge

Summer School of , 5 ECTS

Institution University of Southern Denmark (SDU)
Campus Odense
Duration 2 weeks
Tuition per term (Non-EU/EAA/CH) 1160 EUR
Tuition per term (EU/EAA/CH) 570 EUR
Only online*:   the course is only offered as an online option.

Why the SDGs are important?
Since United Nations launched the global sustainability development goals for 2030 companies across the global have embraced strategies encompassing the SDGs. Contributing to reaching the SDGs is considered critical to gain legitimacy, increase competitiveness, build customer confidence and just get a license to operate in the near future. Yet, unless the companies manage to implement their commitment in the design of their (global) operations there is a danger the SDGs will maintain being strategic commitments only. The aim of the summer school course is to zoom in on the SGDs in general and in particular on the challenges pertaining to implementing them in global production systems/operations as wells as how to overcome the challenges.Knowledge about the SDGs and how to implement them in (global) production systems is very important in tomorrow's job market and students who have joined this course will have an edge in comparison to students without SDG implementation knowledge when entering the job market.

SDG content:The course starts with a broad introduction to the SDGs and places them in a broader perspective; the SDGs are contrasted with the sustainability ideals underpinning the Brundtland report, the triple bottom line, United Nations Guiding Principles etc. This is supplemented with an introduction to how companies located in developed and developing countries face different and similar challenges related to fulfilling the expectations to SDG-focused contemporary companies. When a deep understanding of the SDGs is in place the course introduces how companies can work with strategic hierarchies to be able to choose which SDGs the companies should embrace and how to translate them into a source of competitive advantages.After this strategic dimension the course zooms in on decent work, SDG 8, where the students are introduced to three elements concerning how to create synergies between design of operations and decent work. All lectures include materials focusing on both companies located in developing and developed countries. The first pillar covered is about the linkage between production planning, forecasting and SGD 8; the idea is that companies with advanced planning and forecasting competencies can plan the work schedule better and thereby avoid or reduce stress and overtime (including the implications for work-life balance and forced labor). The second pillar focus on job design and the linkage between job design, efficiency, ergonomics and employee well-being. This pillar also briefly touches on how Lean can play a role in ensuring a more efficient productions set up in combination with improved working conditions. The last pillar, looks into the interface between human and technology and how technology can be used and developed in a more employee friendly manner.
The course is divided so the students have a lecture half of the day while the other half of the day they work with a practical assignment.

Mandatory prerequisites: Enrolled in an engineering, social science or business bachelor’s degree program or the equivalent.
Recommended prerequisites: Basic prior knowledge about CSR and/or sustainability is an advantage.

Admission/Tuition: NOTE: Exchange students from a partner university pay no tuition. Guest students pay tuition fees. Please read more:

For Further Information: Information from the Danish Agency for Higher Education can be located at You will find information about the Danish assessment of foreign qualifications in Guide to diploma recognition. About the Educational System in general, visit the section The Danish Higher Education System.

Summer 2020

Application date
Jun 01
Start date
Aug 03



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