Developing global sustainable production systems: Coping with a new strategic and operational challenge (Summer School)

Academic Study Board of the Faculty of Engineering

Teaching language: English
EKA: T900034102
Censorship: Second examiner: Internal
Grading: 7-point grading scale
Offered in: Odense
Offered in: Summer school (autumn), Summer school (spring)
Level: Bachelor

Course ID: T900034101
ECTS value: 5

Date of Approval: 08-12-2020

Duration: Intensive course

Version: Approved - active

Course ID


Course Title

Developing global sustainable production systems: Coping with a new strategic and operational challenge (Summer School)

ECTS value


Internal Course Code


Responsible study board

Academic Study Board of the Faculty of Engineering

Date of Approval


Course Responsible

Name Email Department
Carsten Dittrich Institut for Teknologi og Innovation , SDU Global Sustainable Production
Mette Smølz Skau Uddannelsesadministration, Den Tekniske Fakultetsadministration


Name Email Department City
Jan Vang Institut for Teknologi og Innovation , SDU Global Sustainable Production

Programme Secretary

Name Email Department City
Danny Colmorten TEK Uddannelse, Det Tekniske Fakultet

Offered in




Offered in

Summer school (autumn), Summer school (spring)


Intensive course

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.

Overall learning objectives

The overall goal is to ensure that the students are familiar with the challenges related to implementing the SDGs in global production systems and know how to overcome them.

Learning objectives - Knowledge

The students gain knowledge about:

  • The SDGs and competing/alternative sustainability approaches
  • How the SDGs can contribute to improving competitiveness
  • How companies can choose between competing SDGs
  • How companies can work with implementation the SDGs
  • How technologies involves different tensions concerning contributing to reaching SGD 8
  • How companies located in developed versus developing countries face different challenges

Learning objectives - Skills

The students gain skills concerning:

  • How to systematically analyze challenges related to selecting the appropriate SGDs
  • How to identify means for overcoming challenges pertaining to implementing SDGs in (global) production systems  
  • How to use hierarchical models to prioritize between different SDGs
  • How to link planning and forecasting tool with SDG (8) goals
  • How to design job stations and production set up with the aim of improving the working conditions.
  • How Lean can be used to improve working conditions
  • How to incorporate technologies in production set up with the aim of contributing to improving the working conditions in the entire global supply chain
  • How to work differently with SGDs – in particular SDG 8 – in companies in developed versus developing countries

Learning objectives - Competences

The students develop competencies about:

  • How hierarchical models can be used in practice to ensure that companies’ competitiveness benefits from embracing the SDGs in their strategies
  • How tools from operations management and job design can be used to design work stations and production lines in practice
  • How development technology development and adaption processes can be designed with the aim of improving working conditions in practice


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.

URL for MySchedule

Teaching Method

The course combines traditional lectures and case-based teaching actvities.

Time of classes: Two weeks in August.

Number of lessons

hours per week

Teaching language


Examination regulations

Exam regulations


Exam regulations

Examination is held

At the end of the summer course








The student must attendance minimum 80% of the classes.

The Evaluation of the course is based on a repport submitted no later than 8 days after the last day of teaching. 

Form of examination

Project report


Second examiner: Internal


7-point grading scale


Student Identification Card - Date of birth



ECTS value


Additional information

Enrollment is limited to 25 students. If more applicants than places, applicants who meet the mandatory requirements are prioritised according to the below selection criteria:

  1. Undergraduate and graduate students from partner universities (exchange); international undergraduate and graduate guest students (fee-paying); undergraduate and graduate students from other Danish universities. 
  2. Ph.D students from partner universities and other international Ph.D. students; other applicants. 

Students are prioritised on a first come, first served basis, i.e. according to the time we receive your complete application. 

In case a course is filled up, we try to offer you an alternative course from your list of priorities. All final decisions about admission will be sent out continually.  

Courses offered

Period Offer type Profile Programme Semester


Profile Programme Semester Period