Students Take a Role in Strengthening Local Communities – Great Lakes Institute of Management India

Screen Shot 2015-05-01 at 11.03.23Experiential learning provides a unique opportunity for students to engage in responsible leadership topics outside of the classroom. Students at the Great Lakes Institute of Management in India have a required experiential learning project called “Karma Yoga” where students work with a number of local villages adopted by the business school. I recently spoke with Arulsamy. S, the General Manager of the Karma Yoga Leadership Experiential Project, about the school’s approach and the impact the project has had.

What is Karma Yoga and how did it come about?

Dr. Bala V. Balachandran founded Great Lakes Institute of Management with the goal of providing world-class management education at an affordable cost, to the best and the brightest students from across our country. In the past 10 years, Great Lakes has become one of the top 10 business schools in India, respected not only for the education we give, but also for creating young managers and leaders of competence and character.

We have a mission towards our students to make them more responsible towards the society in committing themselves to inclusive growth and development. This is the foundation for creating the unique experiential leadership development cum social value creation programme called “Karma Yoga”. The Karma Yoga project provides a unique way for students to connect with on-the-ground realities and experientially learn transformational leadership.

Why is it important for the students at Great Lakes Institute of Management? What impact does it have on them?

The main objective of Karma Yoga is to connect the students with on-the-ground realities and experientially learn transformational leadership, with a mission to enhance the self-esteem and self-efficacy of the local communities to enable them to lead a better quality of life through this empowerment.

It is an opportunity to practice leadership roles that entail collective action, where the learner has some responsibility for outcomes that matters to others. The field experiences have greater developmental impact than others in shaping the students’ effectiveness as a leader. Through observing and analysing the conditions of the disadvantaged rural communities, they examine the ways in which such communities can gain power and improve their situation.

How does this Experiential Learning Project work in practice?

Ever since Great Lakes came to the present platinum-rated green campus at Manamai, we have embraced the community we exist in and have adopted the neighboring twenty villages that form our immediate community for the Karma Yoga programme. Over six hundred students have been serving for the social, economic, and cultural growth of the community through a variety of successful initiatives. The students visit these villages regularly on Sundays throughout the year. Initially they conduct the participatory rural appraisal to incorporate the knowledge and wisdom of the local people, before guiding them in to take up development initiatives.

The class is divided into teams and each team is assigned one village or a part of a village. The project involves each student visiting the assigned village and spending time to build a relationship with a group of people in the assigned village. The objective is to enhance their self-efficacy and self-esteem (i.e. empower them) and to bring about enduring change in their lives by addressing their real needs. Every village will have one student as Village Coordinator, one first-year student as Village Associate and one second-year student as Village Representative.

All students are required to take part in this project during their first term. In the second term the project is optional, but students can choose to continue working on their projects for at least 10 hours a month for additional credits. Those who complete this additional work will be awarded a separate certificate of holistic development upon graduation.

Students contribute blogs about their work and keep a website regularly updated with a summary of their activities in the different villages. They also submit a video about their work that is part of a Karma Yoga community video festival.

What are some of the projects that students are involved in?

Our students are engaged with different projects through participatory approaches and methods to make communities and individuals healthy, employable and enterprising. They are creating awareness on health, literacy, vocational skills and entrepreneurial abilities through teaching, training, health and sanitation camps, kitchen gardening, games & sports meets, environmental awareness campaigns and entrepreneurship workshops.

One group on a recent trip to their village did a clean up of the village temple area. They found the need for more dustbins and regular garbage collection, and are currently speaking with the local municipality to arrange this. Another team of students, who adopted a settlement known as Perumal cheery colony, conducted a health camp where more than 90 people got a health checkup. It is a poor neighborhood where there is no primary health care system and they cannot afford to pay for treatment at private hospitals. Our students also organised an eight-day workshop in a village known as Lingapuram, where they trained students in the basics of Microsoft office.

What have been some of the challenges? Successes? 

The major challenge is the time that the students have to plan and execute projects within the stipulated time. As sometimes the curriculum schedules clash with their timings of village visits, they find alternative timings on their own and reach out to the communities to plan and implement activities. The other major challenge is the language barrier, when they do not speak the vernacular of the local people, since the students come from all over India. We make sure that each village team will have one or more students who can speak the local language.

The major success of the Karma Yoga project is that it has brought positive change among communities through the leadership of the students. The students are trying to identify a new order with new voices and new leaders, propagating values of accountability, transparency, fair competition, social justice and economic empowerment among the communities. Each village visit strengthens the bonding relationship between the students and the communities, and creates an opportunity to experience the on-the-ground challenges and to find a way forward in helping those who are in need of a change.

What advice would you have for other schools thinking of putting something similar into place?

Schools should come forward to integrate such programmes as part of their curriculum with a focus on sustainable development. Development perspectives should be encouraged rather than charity based programmes. Students should be given a democratic space to observe, plan and execute programmes without any force from the school authorities. The spirit of voluntarism with commitment should be the guiding principle of socially responsible management education.

What is next for Karma Yoga?

The next level for Karma Yoga is to share the information with the rest of the business schools in India, and network among them to create a common platform to strengthen responsible management education.


To read Great Lakes Institute of Institute of Management’s first SIP report click here.


Sustainable Buildings on Campus (Part 2)

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 15.55.33Engaging in sustainability and responsible leaders goes beyond the classroom curriculum. It must also be engrained into the business school itself on its campus. A growing number of business schools and universities are not just putting in place strategies to ‘green’ their buildings on campus, but certifying these buildings through different national and international schemes.

There has been a significant rise in a mix of voluntary certification and mandatory requirements for both new buildings and existing constructions that are changing the way University campuses look around the globe. These standards provide guidance on creating more sustainable buildings through a wide range of topics including, but not limited to site selection, energy efficiency and sourcing, materials, construction practices, water efficiency and use, the design of the space and landscaping. In Part 1 we looked at LEED certified campuses (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) across the US. Here in Part 2, we look at a number of Sustainable Buildings around the world.

The John Molson School of Business building at Concordia University in Canada is LEED Silver certified. The 37,000 square metre, 15-storey building incorporates bright atriums, modern classrooms, and several auditoriums and amphitheatres. The low-flow plumbing fixtures throughout the building reduced water consumption by 45%, and a green roof on the fourth floor has a seating area with a garden to promote cultivation projects. The building’s southwest wall is considered the first even ‘solar wall’ in the world with solar panels stretching the length of the wall covering a surface of approximately 300 square metres. The photovoltaic panels will generate up to 25 kW of electricity and 75 kW of heat—that’s enough energy to turn on 1,250 CFL light bulbs, and provide heat for seven Canadian homes throughout the year. The greening project was funded by the NSERC Solar Buildings Research Network, based at Concordia University, which brings together twenty-six Canadian researchers from eleven universities to develop the solar optimised homes and commercial buildings of the future.

CEIBS became the first business school in China to have a LEED Gold certified building. This is thanks to an initiative started in 2007 by a handful of MBA students. Over the years other students continued their work in the initiative, and by 2010 one of the major goals was ensuring that the end result of a planned campus expansion project would be a green building. The building relies heavily on innovative wastewater technology to maintain pools of water that surround the campus. An on site treatment facility converts 180 tonnes of waste water per day and through that the school saves 54,000 tones of potable water each year.

In India the Great Lakes Institute’s 27-acre campus is LEED Platinum certified. It uses natural daylight and maintains further energy efficiency through solar energy and solar water heaters used throughout the building. Rainwater is harvested through percolation ponds and tanks across campus and greywater is produced on campus and reused in different ways such as for lavatories and gardening. An organic herbal garden including native vegetation promotes biodiversity on campus.

Porto Business School in Portugal earned LEED Gold certification on their new facilities in 2014, the first building in Portugal to receive this level of certification. Three artificial lakes that collect rainwater are partly used for lavatories and irrigation. The buildings have efficient air conditioning and lighting systems, and the intensity of the light is automatically adjusted by daylight and space occupancy in a room. A wide variety of recycled and non-toxic materials were used in the construction of the building.

LEED is of course by no means the only green building standard. Many countries have their own standards. The University of Bradford’s ‘The Green’ received the highest rating from BREEAM, a UK design and assessment method for sustainable buildings used internationally. ‘The Green,’ the student accommodation on the university’s main campus, is a ten-block student residential village with 1,026 bedrooms. Hot water is pre-heated by solar thermal panels and food waste is quickly composted on site. Landscaping includes vegetable beds and orchards for students to use—only planted with indigenous plants—as well as beehives. The aim of the building is to promote a sense of community among the students

In Australia, the Green Building Council of Australia awards Green Star certifications. For example, Curtin University received a Green Star rating for their plans to transform 114 hectares of one of their campuses through urban regeneration over a 20-year period that supports an urban economy based on education, business, technology, housing, public transportation, the arts and recreation. Monash University has a number of Green Star certified buildings. One of their buildings has a 1-megawatt co-generation plant that generates electricity and heating for the building and the wider campus, lights with sensors that adjust to daylight levels and occupancy, and basement tanks that hold harvested storm water and rainwater for use in toilet flushing, landscape irrigation and the building’s cooling system. Another building used for low cost student housing features the largest residential solar installation in Australia, as well as greywater treatment onsite, which is stored along with rainwater, for flushing, washing machines and irrigation.

The Australian Catholic University also has a Green Star building. Here the heating and cooling system is designed to adapt to the natural seasons, weather cycles and the general flow of people in the building. An under floor vent system helps keep the temperature at 21-25 degrees all year round. When the temperature hits 25, cool air flushes through vents integrated into the carpet tiles, and the vents pump warm air out when the temperature drops to 21. Floor to ceiling windows and unusually high ceilings let in enough natural light that artificial light is rarely needed.

The Green Building Council of South Africa also has a Green Star system similar to Australia. The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Business School’s new building is the first in South Africa to receive a green design rating from this programme. Though the school found that doing the certification added up to 20% on initial building costs, they expect to recover those costs over the first year, through efficient lighting, solar energy and water use. The building uses 60% less energy than similar buildings and 75% less water due to low flow fittings.


Sustainable Buildings on Campus (Part 1)

Concordia UniversityEngaging in sustainability and responsible leaders goes beyond the classroom curriculum. It must also be engrained into the business school itself on its campus. A growing number of business schools and universities are not just putting in place strategies to ‘green’ their buildings on campus, but certifying these buildings through different national and international schemes. Although several say that this increases the upfront costs of the renovations or building projects, many also say that they recuperate much of that through lower operation costs. At the same time this creates more efficient and interesting buildings that create a sense of community beyond the campus.

There has been a significant rise in a mix of voluntary certification and mandatory requirements for both new buildings and existing constructions that are changing the way University campuses look around the globe. These standards provide guidance on creating more sustainable buildings through a wide range of topics including, but not limited to site selection, energy efficiency and sourcing, materials, construction practices, water efficiency and use, the design of the space and landscaping. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is one set of sustainable building standards based in the US. It is a voluntary certification programme that verifies use of sustainability practices in key performance areas including siding selection, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and indoor air quality, and awards buildings certified, silver, gold or platinum.

Roosevelt University’s 32-storey skyscraper is the ninth largest university building in the world and is LEED Gold certified. Nearly 8,000 square feet of green roof on 5 floors reduces the city’s heat island effect and provides a rooftop vegetable garden. There is an advanced recycling system on every floor that automatically sorts trash and self cleans. A food pulper system uses recycled water and rescues 80% of solid food waste that is then composted and added to the soil at the campus community garden. The building has plenty of indoor bike parking, as well as easy access to showers for riders. The carpets throughout the buildings are made from 60% recycled plastic containers and even the façade of the building is built with ‘visual noise’ to protect birds from colliding with the reflective surface.

These certifications don’t only apply to new buildings but to renovated older buildings as well. Thunderbird School of Management’s home, a renovated World War II-era building that served as an air traffic control tower, has LEED Silver certification. The tower has an energy efficient roof and windows, water efficient plumbing fixtures, maximised daylight and minimised construction waste. Select furniture was made from recycled or reclaimed materials, and the ceilings were constructed with materials salvaged during the renovations.

The University of California Berkeley campus currently has fourteen LEED certified building projects and 6 more underway, representing over 10% of the total square footage of the campus. Major projects are designed to achieve Gold certification, and required at a minimum to achieve Silver. This is part of the university’s overall green building strategy, which includes a no net increase energy goal, meaning the proposed project would not result in an increase in the building’s metered energy. New building and renovation projects are required to outperform local energy codes by at least 30%. The Maximino Martinez Commons building on their campus is powered in part by 10,000 therms of solar water heating.

The University of California Santa Cruz Student Health Centre building has received Gold certification—the project was started by a student of environmental studies and economics, who graduated in 2009. The entire $17 million project was funded by students through several bond measures and an agreement to a new compulsory fee of $5.20 per quarter per student. Among the changes were waterless urinals and more efficient flush toilets, planter boxes to capture storm water, reinforced turf instead of pavement in a turnaround area for service vehicles, recycled and other green building materials, and the use of FSC certified wood.

Maharishi University of Management’s Sustainable Living Centre is a carbon neutral building, creating more energy than it uses. Rooms are designed to harness the different qualities of sunlight at different times of the day to support different types of activity. The building is completely off the grid and has a wind tower and solar voltaic arrays with a power capacity of 20kW. Some months the building generates twice as much energy as it needs, and the excess is used to power other buildings across campus. It obtained the highest LEED certification level, Platinum. The website for the building allows anyone interested to see in real time the amount of energy being used and generated by the building.

A growing number of schools are putting in place green building standards for all new buildings on campus. All new buildings at Fordham University School of Business are being designed to achieve LEED Silver rating, ensuring that all new properties are environmentally responsible. They have been exceeding this goal in some construction, achieving the LEED Gold standard where possible. Bentley University has also established a policy that all new campus construction will be built to at least LEED Silver or beyond.

Does your campus have a green building policy? Are your buildings certified by a national or international scheme? Share your stories in the comments below.


April 7th is World Health Day (Part 2)

large-poster300In recognition of World Health Day on April 7th, we have collected a selection of some of the health related projects happening across business schools around the world. This year’s theme is improving food safety, from farm to plate. Click here to read Part I of this series.

In the first part of this short series we looked at the different management programmes focused on the topic of business and health, student clubs active in this area, and events and lecture series’ aimed at not just raising awareness, but bringing together different groups to discuss sustainability and health. Schools are increasingly working in collaboration with local groups on health related projects.

Welingkar Institute of Management (India) has been working with local organisations to end polio in India. Students in collaboration with local health organisations toured the nation to spread awareness about how to eradicate polio. Students from the international marketing and publicity programme at Universidad Icesi (Columbia) work together with the Blood Bank to create public campaigns to encourage individuals to donate blood and to raise awareness around the topic. The University also has a Centre for the Study of the Social and Economic Protection of Health, which does research on the quality of public policies around social and economic protection of health services, and regularly organises conferences and seminars on the topic.

Another school actively engaged in research in this area is Glasgow Caledonian University (UK), which has the Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health. The Centre aims to transform the lives of the poorest through pioneering research examining the relationship between social business and health improvement. It evaluates the impact of social business creation on the lives and health of disadvantaged communities in Glasgow and oversees. The Monieson Centre for Business Research in Healthcare at Queen’s School of Business (Canada) creates opportunities and provides on-going support to academics, business leaders and policymakers to develop research-based solutions to real-world problems. The Centre engages over 40 economic development partners in a number of projects including a conference series on “Building a National Strategy to Transform Canadian Healthcare,” and a report on Change Management in Healthcare. Many other schools have research projects in this area, including the Asian Institute of Management’s (Philippines) working paper on A Framework to Promote Good Governance in Healthcare, which gives an overview of the corruption and ethical dilemmas in the Philippine healthcare system and provides a framework of strategies and solutions to promote governance in the health sector. The School has a number of research projects and events around the topic of health including an annual Health Technology Assessment Round Table and an advocacy campaign engaging various health-related sectors to discuss their roles in the healthcare system, especially in the attainment of universal healthcare.

Schools are also exploring health topics as they relate to their campus directly. Universidad Autonoma de Chihuahua (Mexico) has several events as part of their campaign, “Movement for a Healthy University,” including daily aerobic classes and a 5k organised in which over 200 students, staff and faculty participated. The University of Dubai (UAE) in cooperation with the UAE Ministry of Health organised a cancer awareness campaign across campus. Several campuses have anti smoking campaigns on campus, including the We-R-Green Club at Welingkar Institute of Management (India), who organised ‘Pedal2Green’, a cyclothon aimed at spreading the message to quit smoking. In 2015, Curtin University amended the University by-laws so that smoking anywhere on campus is prohibited. Banners are posted throughout the school to remind students and staff of the changes.

Great Lakes Institute of Management (India) is also a 100% tobacco-free campus, as part of programmes to enhance the quality of the air for all. The campus has a number of health related projects including an herbal garden that aims to teach students about traditional knowledge systems among the local communities. The garden contains botanical medicinal plants where the seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark or flowers used for medicinal purposes. The plants are made available to the local community free of cost. The school also offers specialised MBAs in Health Care.

Schools such as the University of Applied Sciences HTW Chur (Switzerland) are supporting student start-ups, several of which have been focused on health related topics. A group of business students have been developing a business concept for stationery group therapy of obese children and youths involving several professional experts in nutrition, sports and psychology. The Irish Angels at Mendoza College of Business is a network of alumni and friends with entrepreneurial experience and a passion for supporting new venture development. A number of their mentors and student projects are focused on healthcare. Seattle Pacific University, through its Centre for Applied Learning, offers mentors for undergraduate and graduate students. The school provides students with a wide range of mentors, including from healthcare services, to advise students on career options.

Finally, goal three of the proposed Sustainable Development Goals is focused on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, at all ages. Health is embedded into almost all of the proposed goals.

For more information, visit the World Health Day website and Share your #safefood initiatives. You may also be interested in taking a look at some previous posts focused on business schools and food—the theme for this year’s World Health Day—including:



April 7th is World Health Day (Part 1)

large-poster300April 7th is internationally recognised as being World Health Day. This year’s theme is improving food safety, from farm to plate. According to the World Health Organisation, unsafe food is linked to the deaths of an estimated 2 million people annually. With increasingly globalisation come new threats to our food including harmful bacteria, viruses and chemicals. World Health Day is an opportunity for governments, manufactures, retailers, the public, and business schools to look at the importance of food safety.

Outside of the theme chosen for the year, April 7th is an occasion to introduce, discuss, raise awareness and take action on health issues that are material to your community, whether that be your campus, your country or on an international scale. To celebrate World Health Day, here is a small selection of what business schools around the world are doing related to health issues.

Haas Business School’s Healthcare Association (USA) is a student group that aims to be the “healthcare hub at UC Berkeley.” They host an annual Haas Business of Healthcare Conference, which attracts over 300 participants. They also organise Hacking Heath, an annual hackathon focused on developing software for health care. Professional and student coders, builders, designers, marketers, health experts and clinicians from across the University and the area meet to design, build and pitch solutions over a 2.5 day period. The students in the Haas Healthcare Association also organise a number of company treks, “lunch and learn” sessions and networking opportunities for students, as well as guidance and connections for summer internships in the area of healthcare.

Members of the Association can often be found at healthcare business-case competitions around the nations. Boston University (USA) has two healthcare case competitions. The Global Health Sector Interdisciplinary Case Competition challenges teams of students from 12 of the world’s leading MBA programmes to solve a health sector market challenge. The competition is unique due to its interdisciplinary nature—in addition to MBA students, each team includes public health, medicine, engineering or law students. The School also organises the Grand Business Challenge in Digital Health, sponsored by Merck, where teams of students from leading business schools answer the question: How will information technology influence and transform global healthcare to create value for the world? Last year’s winner was a team from Fudan University School of Management, with a project that looked at bringing the gap between rural and urban populations by providing online consulting and education for rural doctors.

Several Universities offer MBAs or other management programmes with a focus on Health Care. Boston University has a Health Sector Management Programme that has been running since 1972 that prepares students for leadership roles throughout the health industry including biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, medical devices, health information technology, health systems management, consulting and public policy. Many students also take advantage of the dual degrees offered, including an MBA/JD in Law and Heath Care Management and an MBA/MPH in Global Heath Management. ESPAE (Ecuador) has a Hospitals Management Programme that aims to create competent professionals in the management of health-care organisations, who are socially and ethically responsible. Several other schools such as University of Wisconsin – La Crosse (USA) are also looking at developing Heath Care Management Programmes.

Related to health topics as well, the International University of Monaco (Monaco) has a Master in Sustainable Peace through Sports. As part of the programme, students attend the International Peace and Sports Forum in Monaco, which allows them the opportunity to interact with more than 700 influential decision makers and high profile opinion leaders from world sport governance, politics, international organisations, NGOs and the private sector, plus academics and top-level athletes from over 100 countries on topics related to sustainable peace.

Several business schools hold public dialogues around health and sustainability topics. The Global Security Research Institute, Keio University (Japan) has held a lecture series called “Dedication to Health,” its first lecture series for PRME, which was made into a fully credited course at Keio University. Its aim was to provide opportunities to reconsider CSR activities from the keyword health. Starting from the physical and mental health of individuals, the concept expanded to include healthy organisations, communities and even healthy global economies. IEDC (Slovenia) partnered with members of the UN Global Compact Local Network Slovenia to organise workshops around the theme of “Health promotion in the workplace as part of the corporate social responsibility and sustainable business development.” Participants (managers) of the morning workshops jointly developed their baselines and expectations in this area, which were later presented as challenging questions to the speakers of a high level round table on the topic.

12 Visuals to get Inspired by for your next SIP report (Part 2)

Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) reports, beyond being a requirement for PRME signatories, are an opportunity to bring together the work a school is doing in the area of responsible management education, reflect on that work and explore future opportunities. SIPs can provide an important communication tool to raise awareness both internally and externally about your initiatives. Using visuals in your report is one way to bring the information contained within your report to life, to make it easier for your stakeholders to navigate, understand, engage in, and to take action on.

To inspire your next SIP report, here are 6 more visuals taken from recent SIP reports (see Part 1 for the first 6 visuals). These examples are intended to be an exploration of the different approaches taken from different schools. For more examples you can browse through all of the SIP reports on the PRME website at

Bentley SIP VisualIn the US, Bentley University’s 2014 report includes this visual which gives an overview of the different centres and initiatives happening across campus around PRME related topics, from external relations, research and scholarships, to teaching and academics, and campus life. These different initiatives work together through the Bentley Alliance for Ethics and Social Responsibility. “I used this graphic quite often (and still do). I created this initially for internal purposes. When I formed the Alliance there were a fair amount of questions as to what it was and what its role would be on campus. I found that the visual quickly draws attention to the core Centres and broad array of programs and initiatives that touch on our lives on campus, what we do in the classroom, our research, and our relationships with external associations and organisations. This visual was helpful in getting faculty, staff and students to see how everything fits together, and to capture the wide range of programs going on at Bentley in this space.” Anthony Buono, Bentley University.

Durham SIP VisualDurham University Business School, in the UK, created a clear, short (9 pages) SIP report for 2014. As part of what could be considered Principle 7—that signatories “understand that [their] own organisational practices should serve as examples of the values and attitudes we convey to our students”—they worked with the University’s Estates and Buildings department, which deals with campus operations, to generate an initial analysis of the school’s carbon emissions. Because one of the buildings on campus counted in this graph was unoccupied until recently, the latest figure from 2012/13 will become their baseline for future years. This is outlined clearly in their report as well as the different initiatives they have that impact this table.

Toulouse SIP Visual


Toulouse Business School in France created a twelve-page report which organises text and initiatives in a very visually engaging way. Each Principle is covered on one or two pages and the page provides a snapshot of activities and initiatives related to that Principle.


La Rochelle SIP Visual



First time reporter La Rochelle Business School in France included a visual in their 2014 report which briefly outlines the School’s journey of CSR and PRME. It highlights major events in the implementation of PRME objectives since becoming a signatory in 2012.



FDC SIP VisualFundacao Dom Cabral, in Brazil, published an integrated report (2013) that embeds their sustainability practices within their school’s annual report. Its work with PRME and related organisations firmly included in its strategic objectives and covered throughout. The report follows the guidelines set out by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), aligns its actions towards meeting the 10 Principles of the Global Compact, the Principles for Responsible Management Education and the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative. The report provides this table which outlines how the different parts of their report relate to the different principles of PRME and other initiatives.


Kedge SIP VisualKedge Business School’s (France) 2013 report is its first SIP report that integrates the activities of BEM and Euromed Management who merged in July 2012. Although they remained independently managed in 2013, the school chose to integrate both institute’s activities into a single, integrated report which demonstrates the linkages between the organisational strategy, governance and financial performance, and the social environmental and economic context within which it operates. The report uses a number of effective visuals throughout that bring the information to life. One example is the Performance Index at the end of their report, which provides a complete look at the progress of their work from 2009 onwards, as well as future objectives. Beyond providing specific statistics and quantitative information for each item, each activity is measured as to whether or not it has been achieved, is currently being realised, or has not yet been achieved.

Andina SIP VisualFundacion Universitaria del Area Andina’s (Colombia) 2013 report uses mostly visuals to communicate their work in PRME related topics. One of the visuals is a page which clearly outlines the results of a complete audit, conducted in 2013, of the waste generated on campus—organic, chemical, ordinary recycling and metals.




St. Gallen SIP VisualUniversity of St. Gallen in Switzerland colour coded each of the Six PRME Principles and then used these colours throughout their report to demonstrate what information corresponded to each Principle.




Share links to visuals in your reports in the comments section below.

12 Visuals to get Inspired by for your next SIP report (Part 1)

Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) reports, beyond being a requirement for PRME signatories, are an opportunity to bring together the work a school is doing in the area of responsible management education, reflect on that work and explore future opportunities. SIPs can provide an important communication tool to raise awareness both internally and externally about your initiatives. Using visuals in your report is one way to bring the information contained within your report to life, to make it easier for your stakeholders to navigate, understand, engage in, and to take action on.

To inspire your next SIP report, here are 12 visuals (in two parts) taken from recent SIP reports. These examples are intended to be an exploration of the different approaches taken from different schools. For more examples you can browse through all of the SIP reports on the PRME website at

Hanken SIP visualHanken School of Economics in Finland provides tables throughout their latest report (2014) that give an overview on progress made on goals relating to each of the PRME Principles. The table lists the goals, achievements and progress made—or not made—and why, as well as future goals. Activities are included in tables for each of the Six Principles. Arrows and stars are used to highlight progress made on specific goals. Several other schools do this in their reports including Queen’s School of Business, Canada, which provides a list of all of their goals and progress against these goals right at the top of their report.



KU Leuven SIP visual
Students at KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business, in Belgium, said they wanted a sustainability report that was short and easy to read with information displayed in ways they could relate to such as graphs and graphics. One of the graphs included in their 2014 report is a materiality matrix that shows which issues are of most concern for stakeholders, and which are of most relevance to the campus. KU Leuven follows the Global Reporting Initiative guidelines in their report and the materiality matrix is a requirement as part of those guidelines. Talia Stough, Sustainability Coordinator at KU Leuven, commented on their process:

“We use various sources to complete this matrix. On the stakeholder side, we have an annual survey for students and staff to identify their priorities and expectations, as well as in-class stakeholder engagement activities that use the university’s report as a two-way learning opportunity. Then from the institution’s side, we consult documents (policies, audit feedback, etc.). In previous years, we worked with a local stakeholder network to better understand external stakeholders’ expectations. Based on the input collected, we plotted the most material issues on this matrix to identify top priorities.”

CBS SIP VisualCopenhagen Business School (CBS) in Denmark included in their 2015 SIP report, a page on Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This summary page provides a list of the KPIs that they use, organised by Principle, along with the progress made on those indicators from their first report in 2011 and looking forward until 2016. The KPIs include curriculum development initiated in the bachelor and master programmes, participants in CBS’s annual Responsibility Day, published case studies, faculty trainings participants, peer reviewed papers and members of the sustainability alumni. network.

Haas SIP Visual



First time reporter Haas Business School in the US organised their report following the Six Principles. At the end of each section they include two boxes: the first box clearly lists key accomplishments over the past reporting period; and the second presents a list of specific future objectives with additional information about how these objectives will be carried out. Ivey Business School in Canada also does something similar in their latest report.

Neumann SIP Visual




Another first time reporter, Neumann Business School in Peru, created a report that specifically outlines PRME-related activities and individuals responsible for carrying them out over the upcoming year. This visual included in their report outlines the objectives of the group, the specific activities related to those objectives and the timeline over the next year when they will be carried out.


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