The collaboration in practise
Most of the work in the student project is conducted by the students and teachers at IIIEE. The study location is also the IIIEE. Nevertheless, it is crucial that the students get to meet relevant company representatives and also that they get access to relevant documents, company information, etc.
The interaction between the student group and its reference company is highly dependent on the design of the task and desires of the client but typically amounts to approximately 10 to 30 hours spanning over a period of 6 weeks. The student group consists of 2-4 persons who work fulltime for 6 weeks. The final deliverable is adjusted to suit the stated needs of the reference company.
The main parts of the project, important for both the company and for the students, are outlined below.
For the collaborating company, the project has three main phases:
Phase I. A kick-off meeting at the International Environmental Institute in Lund with introduction, initial meeting between the student group and the collaborating company to start the discussion on the issues to focus on in the assignment and to plan the meetings for the following 6 weeks.
Phase II. Students visit the reference company on 2-4 occasions during a period of 6 weeks. The students will also send complementary questions by email as well as offer a draft report for final comments.
Phase III. Oral presentation at the company on a date at the end of the course. The date should preferably be set already when the assignment is initiated. The design and conditions for the presentation is set between the student group and the company.
Each student group will also deliver a company report to the teachers where they elaborate their background research, findings, and analysis on which they build the messages and recommendations they present to the company. The company representatives are of course invited to read that report in order to safeguard the content.
For the students, the work progression is hinged on the following three key parts:
Part I. An initial understanding of the business and business model, products and processes, the supply chain, the industry and the market. The students guide in this process by asking questions related to business concept, ownership, organization, management, products and marketing, etc., to create a picture of how the company works broadly.
Part II. An overview of the company’s environmental work and its context. This includes both the company's impact on the external environment through an environmental review, operational parts of the environmental work (e.g. integration between management systems and standards, selection of indicators to measure and communicating results) and strategically how environmental issues are handled supply and distribution chain, as well as in technology choices and product development. In addition, an analysis is made of which actors make demands or have wishes for how environmental issues are handled in your company in a strategic way that can generate a competitive advantage.
Part III. Recommendations for approaches and developments. Give suggestions and discuss alternatives for new and or developed business strategies, opportunities and models for sustainable entrepreneurship and increased competitiveness.
E-mail: aake [dot] thidell [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se
E-mail: charlotte [dot] leire [at] iiiee [dot] lu [dot] se