Corporations and Environmental Responsibility, 99-522:
A Weekend Immersion Course

Dates: March 28 to March 30, 2008
Section: A4
3 Units
Erwin R. Steinberg Auditorium, A 53, Baker Hall


“Corporations and Environmental Responsibility” is a short, weekend course that is designed to broaden and deepen awareness among students about the role that corporate organizations have played and can play in the ongoing environmental crisis. This survey will be performed through interdisciplinary study by means of the following specific course activities:

Nationally known experts in the field will present diverse perspectives on corporations and the environment and there will be a video presentation of (TBA). Students will engage in pre-course research and complete a project dealing with a specific topic in corporate environmental responsibility to earn 3 CMU units.


Visit the speakers page to see a list of all the course presenters.

Tentative Course Schedule

Visit the "Weekend Schedule" page for a complete schedule.

Learning Outcomes

The general goal of this immersion course is to broaden and deepen awareness among students of the pressing issues, problems and dilemmas inherent in the area of corporate environmental responsibility (C&ER). The following specific learning outcomes of the course are designed to develop student abilities and skills to:

Course Readings

Students will read "Business Ethics and the Natural Environment" by Lisa Newton and published by Wiley-Blackwell prior to the program. This book is available in the CMU Bookstore.

Student Requirements, Evaluation and Grading

The student requirements for this 3-day “weekend immersion course” are as follows:

The above learning activities will form the basis of a student’s final grade in the course which will be distributed as follows:

Attendance: 20 points
Pre-program activities: 20 points
Blackboard discussion: 20 points
Final project: 40 points

Final grades then will be assigned as follows:

100 - 90 points = A
89 - 80 points = B
79 - 70 points = C
69 - 60 points = D
59 and below = R

Information on the Course Coordinators

Peter Madsen, SEER faculty member and H&SS student advisor for environmental programs, is the CMU faculty coordinator of this course and will also serve as a presenter in it. Madsen is Distinguished Service Professor for Ethics and Social Responsibility and the Executive Director of the Center for the Advancement of Applied Ethics and Political Philosophy at CMU. He teaches a variety of applied ethics courses in the Department of Philosophy and the H. J. Heinz School of Public Policy and Management. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. More details on his work can be found at:

Erin Toal-Rossi, Graduate Student Assistant, received her undergraduate degree at Carnegie Mellon University in Fine Arts and Urban Environmental Studies. Currently she is pursuing an M.S. in Public Policy and Management from the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. Her past work experience includes environmental literacy research for both Carnegie Mellon's History Department and the LUCE Foundation. In addition, she has worked as a Cultural Resource Assistant at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge Superfund cleanup site and at The Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh. She has several semesters of experience as a Teaching Assistant for Ethical Decisions in Professional Life in Carnegie Mellon's Department of Philosophy.

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