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Sustainability in organisations

In recent years, sustainability has become a new buzzword for companies and consumers – spurred, not least, by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), covering topics such as inequality, health, education, climate change and environmental degradation. As a growing number of organisations integrate the SDGs into their business strategy and branding, the need to critically examine how these sustainability efforts are communicated makes itself felt.
 
In this course in International Business Communication, we explore how different organisations (businesses, institutions, cities, etc.) communicate about their sustainability initiatives to customers, employees and other stakeholders and consider whether their production process and products align with their marketing.
 
In the course, students are introduced to a multimodal approach to communication that enables systematic critical analysis of organisational discourses about sustainability which, in addition to language, also involve communicative resources such as images, sound, colour and typography.
The multimodal approach is applied in analysis of relevant cases from the energy sector, travel, food, fashion, education, etc.
 
Impact
The course gives students solid experience with practical multimodal analysis of corporate communication about sustainability that will enable them to critically evaluate and qualify such communication and to improve their own communicative performance in the field. With the academic knowledge, skills and competencies acquired from the course, students may in their future jobs help to ensure that organisations communicate honestly about sustainability and thereby commit more truly to advancing a sustainable development.
 
Researcher
Nina Nørgaard, Associate Professor
Centre for Multimodal Communication
Department of Language and Communication