Sustainability screening of a company

Sustainability Screening is a one-time activity you can lead to give students the opportunity to develop a detailed analysis of a company’s sustainability practices and performance. Students will analyze important attributes of the company’s overall strategy and the social and environmental impact of its activities through the lenses of the 14 categories of the Circular Canvas. The project will be conducted in groups of four to five students, and based on online research combined with at least one interview with a member of the sustainability team or top-management of the company.

The goal of this exercise is to foster a holistic understanding of a company’s business model and its impact on its environment, as well as to improve students’ analytical skills by leveraging their theoretical knowledge and apply it to a real-life corporate case. 

Companies from different sectors should be recruited (e.g. energy, transportation, consumer goods, entertainment industry, consulting) such as to allow students to maximize their aggregated learning experience.

Business model

A. Preparation

Students read the Circular Canvas PDF to get familiar with the tool prior to using it in class. At the beginning of class, the teacher should ensure students have a good understanding of how the tool can be used to assess the overall business model of the company students will be working with, and how to analyze the company’s overall impact.

They study the sustainability challenges of the company’s industry more broadly and, in a first step, collect company data with the help of publicly available information.

B. Business Model analysis and Results

Following the information gathered, students fill in the Circular Canvas. Once the Canvas is filled out, students extract the main insights that are key to understanding how the company they studied creates and captures values. The result of their investigation is then presented in class.                                               


  • Students learn how to source relevant information
  • Learning how to understand the impact a company can have on its environment
  • Acquiring skills in corporate sustainability evaluation
  • Summarizing key business elements that are necessary to understand how a company operates
  • Students learn how to communicate the result of their business sustainability analysis to their peers in a straightforward and clear manner