Sustainability has been discussed in every sector and industry of the world. And the world of business education is no different. Business schools all over the world have now started focusing on sustainability, social purpose and social impact. In the next few paragraphs, EDUopinions will talk about the top business schools with sustainable development initiatives.
Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (The Netherlands)
The Rotterdam School of Management’s research focus includes their Principles of Sustainable Finance, written by Dirk Schoenmaker and Willem Schramade which is actually the first academic textbook on the subject of sustainability. The text includes frameworks for sustainable development goals for the business. Plus, the Centre for Women and Organisations has published cases on inclusion and internal progression.
In Rotterdam’s MBA programme, students have to undergo a three-month project where the students generate ideas, brainstorm and come up with creative solutions to the problem of sustainability. The ‘I WILL’ goal programme ends with students making a personal statement which is printed on cards and shown during graduation.
Maastricht University School of Business and Economics (The Netherlands)
Maastricht University has The Sustainable UM 2030 agenda that focuses on doing research the sustainable way. In this agenda, the core themes include ethics and leadership, and sustainable development. In addition, the students research on topics such as the giving behaviour of millionaires, understanding producers’ motives for adopting sustainable practices, and more.
The Maastricht University has a mandatory sustainable week that includes courses on business ethics, responsibility and social entrepreneurship, sustainable supply chain management.
INSEAD business school (France)
INSEAD has published research on sustainable models, inclusion and wellbeing. They also have written a book Blue Ocean Shift, which applies business methods to mitigate poverty, improve health in developing countries.
The curriculum includes sustainability by including sustainable teaching through seven core courses and 19 elective courses. This focuses on ideas, strategic problem framing and prototyping.
When we talk about student projects which focus on sustainability each new MBA intake participates in a Splash Project team-building exercise that benefits local communities. There are also scholarships provided for social entrepreneurship and social enterprise which provides financial support for students pursuing an internship in public, not-for-profit sectors with clear social or environmental purpose.
HEC Paris (France)
HEC Paris has a sustainable and disruptive innovation specialisation that offers training in socially responsible investing, reinventing capitalism and sustainable operations. This specialisation includes case studies, workshops, conversations with inspiring guests and more.
HEC Paris has an 18-hour student-led course called, ‘Have a cause, make an impact’ which is offered in the Sustainability and Social Innovation Master. The students have developed projects from plastic-free initiatives to fighting sexual harassment on public transport.
ESCP Europe (Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Spain, Uk)
Their MBA in international management has courses like Ethics, social responsibility and sustainability which are an integral part of the MBA. From 2020, EMBA participants will attend an ‘Improbable Planet’ seminar as well. This initiative will help them to develop entrepreneurial habits through artistic creation.
At ESCP, in a bid to contribute to the sustainable activities in the campus, Face-to-face executive committee meetings between deans on the different campuses have been cut from 11 to four per year. Plus, conference calls have reduced travel costs by up to 40 per cent.
Alliance Manchester Business School (Uk)
It is mandatory that all core courses must educate students on sustainability, ethics and wider societal issues. MBA at Alliance Manchester Business School includes a course ‘Leading and managing in a global environment’.
The university has a 10,000 Actions programme that inspires the staff to develop and implement personal actions towards sustainability. They also have a ‘Wellbeing Champions’ programme which supports physical and mental health, provide free fruit for staff, regular yoga sessions and an indoor walking route.
It is great to see top business schools with sustainable development initiatives. It would be even better if all the universities in the world would make sustainability one of their top priorities, to encourage future generations as well.