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Responsible Marketing and the Fundamentals of Corporate Social Responsibility

Understand the importance of responsible marketing and CSR and how these affect the environmental impact of consumption.

1,382 enrolled on this course

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  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours

Investigate the role marketing plays in corporate social responsibility

On this course, you’ll explore the importance of responsible marketing through theory and principles as well as applied examples.

You’ll learn more about the ways consumption deriving from marketing activities affects the environment and our carbon footprint.

Discover the fundamentals of corporate social responsibility

You’ll get an understanding of the fundamentals and purpose of CSR. You’ll also explore, through examples, how businesses can educate and help consumers become more responsible and sustainable through their CSR programs.

By looking at key concepts, you’ll be able to identify the opportunities and challenges each one poses to businesses and consumers. This will allow you to assess how each concept applies to your consumption.

Explore applied examples of responsible marketing in business

You’ll be presented with applied responsible marketing examples in business and, through debates and discussions with other learners, you’ll be able to understand and answer various questions around marketing sustainability.

Once you’ve completed this course, you’ll be able to apply everything you’ve learned to both your personal and professional life. As a consumer, you’ll understand how to reduce your environmental footprint and consume more responsibly. As a professional, you’ll be able to make more informed decisions on how your business can be more sustainable.

Learn theory and practice from experts at Lancashire School of Business and Enterprise at UCLan

This course is delivered by experts at UCLan. Educators with an interest in researching responsible marketing will present the theoretical part of this course, whilst the technical aspects of recycling, plastics, and pollution will be facilitated by a Professor of Waste Management from the School of Engineering.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 10 seconds Maria, in a nutshell, what is this course about? So this course is about exploring the answers to two questions, what is sustainable marketing and why does it matter? How do sustainable companies operate and what role can consumers play? It takes as its starting point, corporate social responsibility, or the idea that business has a duty to perform in a way that doesn’t harm our planet, people, or wildlife. The course then focuses in on sustainability and aspects of the climate emergency. We look at a wide variety of case studies of what sustainability minded companies do. And then we bring all of this down to the level of the individual consumer in terms of responsible consumption.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds Nick, what do you see as real highlights on the course? I think there’s loads of highlights but what I’m going to try and do is narrow it down to two really. I think firstly, we’re looking at the combination of say bite size lectures, where we’re delivering key aspects of fundamental theory. But we are also putting that in terms of case study material, showcasing real company practice, and that’s pretty powerful. And again, the nice thing from that point of view is it’s available week on week, which is quite apparent. I think the second thing is, we work really hard at making the course impactful. So every week provides the bigger picture, to say plastic pollution.

Skip to 1 minute and 34 seconds But then that’s unpacked and brought down to a level that is meaningful for each individual. For instance in terms of shopping behaviour, it might be in terms of also clothing, and so buying food as well. So that there’s a number of things but those are the two main highlights from myself at the moment. So, Maria, from your point of view, if you had to pick your favourite bits of the course, what would they be? I’m very excited about the content generally on the course, as I see it will bring real value to learners in terms of gaining insight, into the sustainability practices of real businesses, as expressed in the words of key individuals actually working with those organisations.

Skip to 2 minutes and 17 seconds It’s really hard for me to pick, but saying that I really enjoyed the conversation that I had with Anna Brightman, co-founder of sustainable skincare brand UpCircle. It was inspirational to hear how they use waste products from other industries as key ingredients in their skincare. So for instance, coffee grounds from coffee shops. And then speaking to Christiane Dolva, Head of Sustainability for Swedish outdoor brand Fjallraven, about their vision of leaving base camp in better condition than we found it. That was equally interesting. And I learnt a lot from Professor Karl Williams, from our University, the University of Central Lancashire in terms of plastics pollution, and the meaning of the concept of a carbon footprint. Nick, why should learners join the course?

Skip to 3 minutes and 14 seconds I think it’s because not a day goes by without references in the media to global warming, carbon emissions, as we mentioned a few times in our talk, plastics pollution. I think the whole course represents urgent issues that are relevant to us. But relevant in terms of us as a consumer, but also it’s helped us encouraging more consumption in our day jobs. So, this course really does address the real sort of pressing issues out there that can be a bit more prevalent in the world nowadays. I think secondly, the opportunity to learn alongside people from different corners of the planet is very compelling.

Skip to 3 minutes and 55 seconds We’re looking forward to tapping into some of those discussions and we don’t really know where that’s going to take us. So that’s really exciting as well. And I think finally from our point of view, why should learners join the course? Well, I think it’s given them the ability therefore to sort of apply their knowledge, and hopefully that they gain on their course to their everyday lives. And suddenly they realise that they are able to make individual contributions, to dealing with the climate emergency that quite clearly is very much on the horizon if not already here.

What topics will you cover?

  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) – the fundamental principles, and applied case studies.
  • Responsibilities to stakeholders.
  • Sustainability – an exploration of this concept from the perspective of marketing, and applied case studies.
  • The Circular Economy and carbon footprint.
  • Responsible marketing – an account of the underpinning principles, and applied case studies.
  • The responsible consumer – an account of concepts relevant to responsible consumption. Case examples of initiatives allowing responsible consumption.
  • The Sharing Economy.

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and discuss its relevance to businesses.
  • Explain the concept of sustainability and evaluate its significance to marketing.
  • Explore applied examples of responsible marketing and debate its importance to business success.
  • Synthesise the thinking informing responsible consumption and discuss what we as consumers can do to consume responsibly.
  • Explain concepts such as the Circular Economy, the Sharing Economy and carbon footprint, and discuss what opportunities and challenges they pose to businesses and consumers.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone with an interest in marketing and sustainability. It’s also suitable for professionals and businesses looking to widen their knowledge of corporate social responsibility.

Who will you learn with?

Dr Maria Sherrington is a Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of Central Lancashire. Maria's teaching and research activities are associated with CSR, sustainability and social marketing.

Nicholas is the Principal Lecturer for the Business and Marketing related courses at UCLan. As well as overlooking courses on our UK campuses, Nicholas overlooks key programmes internationally.

Who developed the course?

University of Central Lancashire

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is a leading modern university with thriving campuses in Preston, Burnley, Westlakes (Cumbria) and Cyprus.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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