Marketing Sustainable Innovations

Course code:
Period 3
Language of tuition:
School of Business and Economics
dr. M.H.P. Kleijnen
dr. M.H.P. Kleijnen
Teaching method(s):
Lecture, Seminar

Course objective

Marketing sustainable innovations is a subject that is truly
interdisciplinary in nature. You will study various perspectives of
marketing (Knowledge), driven from an innovation, psychology, value and
behavioural economics point of view. As a result, this course will
challenge you to exam and understand sustainability issues from
different perspectives, to abstract those insights relevant to specific
consumer-related problems when marketing such innovations and to build a
well-argued case for successfully launching sustainable innovations
(Academic Skills).

Being the last subject in a series of five, this course brings together
insights from previous courses, not just from a theoretical but also a
practical point of view. Building upon the previous period where you
learned about developing and designing sustainable innovations, this
course takes you to final stage in effectively launching that innovation
into the market (Bridging Theory and Practice).

This assignment is completed in a bootcamp-style setting, where you work
intensively during a short time period in a team setting (Social
Skills). Such ‘pressure-cooker’ situations challenge you to source
various skills to create not only optimal content (a marketing plan) but
also an effective team, where tasks and time are managed well and you
can constructively reflect on your own as well as your team members’
performance (Self-awareness).

Course content

Building on the preceding subjects in the minor Sustainability and
Innovation, this course analyzes the final element in the value chain:
bringing sustainable products and services to the market. The course
will end with a boot camp in which the students are challenged to
combine the insights gained in previous courses, into a an attractive
marketing plan that takes all stakeholders into account.

The course starts with a stakeholder marketing perspective, specifically
focusing on the consumer and how that consumer acts within a network of
stakeholders. It discusses the psychological and behavioral aspects
that come in to play when bringing sustainable innovations to the
market. Despite efforts involving consumers in early stages of
innovation, sustainable products and services in often struggle with
limited take-off. As an (international) business professional, but also
as a sustainability consultant or policy maker, it is crucial to
understand the mechanisms that drive the adoption of sustainable
innovations. We discuss relevant insights from innovation, psychology,
behavioral economics, and consumer value research to gain a better
understanding of what affects actual consumer behavior.
Based on these insights, students will develop a marketing plan . This
will challenge students to connect and integrate knowledge and insights
from different subjects and help to recognize how various elements of
the value chain and value network need to be aligned to create a
successful sustainable product or service.

Form of tuition


Type of assessment

Group project assignment – Group assessment
Group and in-Class participation – Individual assessment

Course reading

This course is articled based.
Readings will be announced on Canvas.

Recommended background knowledge

This course is part of the Minor Sustainability and Innovation.
This course builds on the courses of the minor in period 1 and 2.
Additionally, knowledge of basic marketing principles or marketing
management is recommended

Target audience

This course is part of the Minor Sustainability and Innovation. This
minor can be followed by all SBE bachelor students. In addition,
advanced bachelor students (third year) from other faculties as well as
other universities are welcome to join. Particularly those with in an
interest in Business and Organization Studies, Economics, Social
Sciences, Social Psychology, Healthcare, Media and Communication
Studies, Engineering, Technology Management, Operations Management and

It is especially interesting for:
- Future managers who want to understand how sustainability can be
implemented in existing business
- Entrepreneurs / intrapreneurs that want exploit the opportunities
sustainability offers
- Future consultants in sustainability, strategic business consultants,
of government policy consultants
- Students that want to be active in NGO’s or other societal

© Copyright VU University Amsterdam
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