Business Schools Engaging in Interdisciplinary Projects to Reach Sustainable Development Goals – Aarhus University and the Maasai Mara in Kenya

20150422_130113Global challenges are often very complex and call for evidence-based solutions across disciplines and sectors. The question is, who can and will take leadership and bring the necessary stakeholders to the table to find sustainable solutions?

Universities and business schools, like Aarhus University School of Business and Social Sciences (Aarhus BSS) in Denmark, are increasingly taking on this role. Initiated by the Interdisciplinary Centre for Organizational Architecture (ICOA), a global challenge has been identified at Aarhus BSS to work on sustainable development challenges with the Maasai Mara in Kenya. I spoke with Program Director Pernille Kallehave from Aarhus University about this ambitious and unique project.

What is the Maasai Mara?

The Maasai Mara is a national reserve named in honour of its ancestral inhabitants, the Maasai people. Thousands of wildebeests migrate every year from the Serengeti plains in Tanzania to eat the juicy grass of the Maasai Mara. While rich mega faunas with large annual migrations like in the Maasai Mara were once common across the earth, they now form a unique African heritage, and survive only in a declining, small part of the continent. The Maasai Mara hence constitutes a unique and irreplaceable part of Africa’s natural heritage. With about one million inhabitants, the Maasai Mara also experiences an increase of the population of 4,7% annually, with a poverty index of 41%, and about 344,000 people living below poverty line. These people need food, jobs, education, infrastructure and health services, and these needs put huge pressure on the land, and increase human-wildlife conflicts. Thus, the Maasai Mara faces challenges in four main categories: land use and climate change, ecosystem challenges, political and economic challenges, and human and cultural challenges.

How did Aarhus become involved with the Maasai Mara?

The Maasai Mara project was initiated by a request from administrators of the Karen Blixen Camp, a safari camp in the Maasai Mara. A year ago, they presented the many challenges of the area for example the ongoing erosion of the area’s iconic wildlife and other key ecosystem components, the human-wildlife conflicts, the climate change, the land tenure system breakdown, and the uncoordinated research activities. They expressed the need for evidence-based knowledge to ensure sustainable development of the region. Intrigued by the challenge, an interdisciplinary group of researchers from the four faculties at Aarhus University and the Justus-Liebig Universät Giessen (Germany) established The Maasai Mara Science and Development Action (MMSDA). Maasai Mara University and University of Nairobi from Kenya soon joined the project.

Researchers in this interdisciplinary network represent a broad variety of perspectives; researchers from biology and agri-ecology will contribute with knowledge about climate change, ecosystem management and food security, and researchers from economy and business will look at the economic drivers and governance challenges of the region. Cultural analysis will be brought in to understand the complex cultural dynamics and the intricate negotiations around heritage and identity. Furthermore, ICOA provides knowledge in developing models that can analyse complex dynamic interdisciplinary organisational problems using statistical as well as simulation models. The models will integrate biological and social data, combining both quantitative and qualitative data.

What are the key features of the programme and how does it work in practice?

The intentions of the MMSDA are fourfold:

  • Develop a research strategy that can meet the research needs of the identified challenges of the Maasai Mara: In April 2015 the first Summit took place at Maasai Mara University. A broad group of academic and non-academic participants provided valuable insights about the challenges. The four universities involved are now developing a catalogue of research ideas. The ideas will be mapped with the challenges to ensure that the research initiatives will be relevant and have a potential to create real impact and sustainable solutions.
  • Develop interdisciplinary analysis tools that can work with the complexity of the challenges. This includes the development of a cross-disciplinary database that can feed data into the analysis tools. To develop the analysis tools, the network connects researchers with different professional backgrounds from Europe and Africa. Later other researchers will be invited to share their data and results via the database for the benefit of the Maasai Mara.
  • Develop strategies for how the results of analysis can be implemented. This is done in collaboration with researchers and stakeholders with local knowledge (Kenyan ministries and universities, companies, local community and institutions, NGOs, conservancies etc.).
  • Facilitate local implementation projects in cooperation with local authorities and population. This requires a special organisation of the project with a number of advisory boards, associate members and a strong outreach strategy. This is being set up now.

A Board of the projects and an interdisciplinary Scientific Board have been elected. They will design a strategy for the activities to support the interdisciplinary cooperation.

What have been some of the lessons you have learnt so far or some of the interesting insights that have come from working on this process?

All involved are very enthusiastic and show a high degree of commitment to the project. Working holistically with an important challenge and in close cooperation with the people, whose lives are affected by the problems, inspires the researchers involved. Research has a new meaning now that publication is not the main goal.

What have been some of the challenges? Successes?

Of course working across continents and culture is always a bit of a challenge, but also makes it very exciting. We are looking forward to starting the dialogue with potential sponsors and getting their feedback. We hope that they will appreciate our holostic approach. This will give them the opportunity to make a difference in a long-term and evidence-based manner.

The Summit at Maasai Mara University 21-23 April 2015 was a great success. The Maasai King came and endorsed the project and so did the Danish Ambassador in Kenya. But most importantly, the local Maasai community came and engaged in the discussions.

What’s next for the initiative? 

We will now define an ambitious 20-year research and development proposal and then go look for funding. We will also start including students in the project and use the Maasai Mara as a case in teaching at various programmes. The next Summit will take place in the spring of 2016 and here we will invite researchers from other universities to come and share their research.

For more on this project visit http://projects.au.dk/maasai-mara-science-and-development-action/

 

 

 

The Building Blocks for Transforming Business and Changing the World

ImpactThe UN Global Compact’s 15th anniversary events took place in parallel to the PRME Global Forum this past June 2015 and brought together over 1,000 global leaders from business, government and civil society to take stock of fifteen years of corporate sustainability, and to map out pathways for the future. Dozens of notable outcomes came out of this event and can be explored further on the new Global Compact website.

In the final session of events at the General Assembly Hall at UN Headquarters in New York City, the new report, IMPACT: Transforming Business, Changing the World – The United Nations Global Compact, was launched. The report goes beyond providing an overview of the Global Compact and its many activities and initiatives, which include PRME. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the impact of corporate responsibility built on an analysis of the over 1,500 Global Compact survey respondents, and 210 in-depth interviews. It can be a worthwhile tool to be used with students in management education.

The final part of the report outlines a number of essential building blocks for future transformation of business, looking forward towards 2030. These building blocks are interconnected aspects of what it will take to secure the future we want. They include the following, under three headings, “Sustainability is the ‘Business of Business,’” “Break down barriers, energise positive drivers,” and “New Thinking for a New Reality”:

Sustainability is the ‘Business of Business’

  1. Mobilising the majority: Getting all companies on board

Most companies still need to be convinced that sustainability is not about philanthropy and public relations, but simply about doing better business. The greatest challenge in the next 15 years will be to penetrate all markets and sectors and to mobilise the majority of companies.

  1. A new motive: Adapting corporate visions and objectives

The global economy cannot be based on business that builds on high material consumption and impacts negatively on natural capital and societal health. Social deficits and environmental constraints generate economic costs, reduce business productivity, and hamper competitiveness. Business is re-inventing itself to produce shared value while optimising results for shareholders.

  1. Reboot corporate sustainability: Making sustainability a part of daily business

The urgency to ‘future proof’ business against sustainability risks—pressures on people, natural resources and profitability—is mounting. The objective must be a zero or positive footprint through systematic integration of the Global Compact and the Sustainable Development Goals into core business decisions, processes, activities and culture. The flipside is opportunity. Evaluating current performance through a more sophisticated, next generation-oriented, sustainability lens, is a good starting point.

Break down barriers, energise positive drivers

  1. Better governance: Aligning regulation with sustainability priorities

For the transition towards a sustainable and inclusive economy to take hold, sustainability must be adopted as a priority across all levels of governance. Smart and well-designed regulatory frameworks must respond to immediate social and planetary needs whilst at the same time laying the ground for long-term prosperity.

  1. Add value to society: Mobilising capital to enable the transition

Most capital today is invested in companies based on short-term profit maximisation with no consideration for non-financial risks that may impact value in the longer term. The result is that financial markets encourage unsustainable company behaviour. While an increasing volume of assets are managed according to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria, there is a growing gap between commitments, and proper integration into analysis and investment decisions.

  1. Transformative collaboration: scaling up new practices to achieve impact

We live in an era of interconnected, trans-border problems, too large and complex for any one actor or sector to solve alone. Embracing complexity means recognising the need for cross-sector collaboration. Operating in silos has proven costly and failed to adequately address challenges. Aligning objectives, pooling resources, knowledge, competence and insights from a range of stakeholders—private and public—can deliver new solutions, bring new approaches and opportunities into light, and scale efforts to transform existing structures and practices.

  1. Awaken the consumer: Catalysing consumer action in partnership with business

The digital revolution is fundamentally changing access to information. Increasingly we are a global community with shared resources. The challenge now is how far we trust information, how reliable it is, and how it can push consumer intention into action. Greater consumer engagement will enable consumers to hold business to account for their offerings, which in turn will help business see the value in delivering sustainable products and services.

New Thinking for a New Reality

  1. A compelling story: Creating a new narrative of opportunity

The world needs a new language of sustainability that is both transformative and realistic, and that communicates, simplifies and inspires. To set in motion new ways of thinking and new courses of action, we need a compelling narrative focusing on the upside of living within the limits of the planet—emphasising sustainability-centred creativity, ingenuity and entrepreneurship.

  1. Redefining value: A new perspective of worth and prosperity

Measuring affects what we do, and if measurements are flawed, so are decisions. The current practice of measuring GDP means that we do not capture vital aspects of national wealth and well-being. We need a new holistic measure of wealth and worth, reflecting a broader picture of progress and prosperity, beyond GDP. This implies redefining the purpose of the corporation to deliver value across a broader range of capitals, not just financial profit for the shareholders.

  1. Visionary leaders: Redefining the notion of leadership

A fundamental shift in the quality of leadership is needed across all domains if we are to bring about positive change. Short-termism fostered by political election cycles, quarterly performance reporting and immediate rewards represents significant barriers for leadership and decisions for the long-term. Leaders across all domains must rise to the challenge and take responsibility for steering the world towards a resilient, stable and equitable future, within the environmental limits of the planet.

  1. Spreading the messages: Getting the word out

Despite an ever-increasing proportion of the world’s corporations supporting the Global Compact principles, the vast majority are in general unfamiliar with the initiative. This also relates to the public at large and employees within companies. There is a need to further get the message out.

To read the full document click here.

Faculty Development for Responsible Management Education – A PRME Champions Project

Faculty Development SurveyFormal faculty development activities are necessary in order to train a corps of faculty that possess the skills and competencies required to implement the principles of PRME. This includes activities that enhance a faculty member’s knowledge of responsible management theory and practice, increase awareness among faculty of the hidden and implicit dimensions of teaching business, and building capacity in faculty to incorporate issues of justice, inclusion, and sustainability in their teaching.

To address these issues, a working group consisting of the PRME Champions leadership group, co-led by the Copenhagen Business School (CBS), Babson College, and the Indian Institute of Higher Education (IILM), conducted a two-year long research effort, gathering information through interviews and a survey from 160 educational institutions worldwide. These institutions reported that PRME-related faculty development was highly relevant and many stated that they had some informal faculty development activities already in process. However, a closer look at the results showed that often such efforts are casual, rather than formal, and are limited by constraints of resources and institutional context. The report recommends that, in order to meet the intensifying challenges of the global landscape, schools of management commit time and resources to incorporate more formal faculty development programming around the Principles for Responsible Management Education.

The report encourages faculty to consider the “hidden curriculum” in each classroom—that is, the implicit and explicit messages sent by faculty—by addressing the following questions: “What implicit messages are students likely to receive if I (deliver, integrate, assess, joke) in this way?” and “Does my teaching confirm students’ existing points of view, establish new ones, transform them, or encourage them to critically reflect on the habits and assumptions that create them?” In this way, faculty are encouraged to critically reflect upon the full range of messages being sent beyond the simple delivery of “content” in a classroom, in order to better ensure consistency and coherence in the emphasis upon responsible management.

The guide also provides a six-step tool for designing and implementing PRME-related faculty development initiatives:

Step 1 Commit to PRME-related faculty development: It is essential to first generate commitment with top management, department heads and leaders of academic development initiatives as well as faculty members more broadly. Commitment should extend beyond voicing dedication to providing financial and non-financial resources.
Step 2 Assess faculty development needs: The second step is to measure faculty’s interests, abilities and efforts in relation to PRME-related faculty development with faculty as well as with students. This should provide not just a baseline and an idea of where to focus faculty development but can also reveal champions within the area of PRME among faculty.
Step 3 Define faculty development goals: the third step is to define and formulate the outcomes your educational institution would like to achieve which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely.
Step 4 Implement faculty development: The fourth step is to implement the training activities which can take many forms depending on what best suits the educational institution. Activities should ideally include reflections from faculty and stimulate open discussions.
Step 5 Measure the impact of faculty development: The fifth step is to establish the measures and then monitor the faculty development activities.
Step 6 The sixth step is to communicate the results of PRME-related faculty development internally and externally to foster continued commitment and increase awareness.

To view the full guide click here, or email Elizabeth Goldberg, a co-leader of the group at egoldberg(at)babson.edu

 

Educational Institutions Reporting on their Progress – A Basic Guide to Sharing Information on Progress

SIP ReportingAll signatories to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) are required to submit a Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) report every 24 months. This report outlines the progress they have made in implementing the Six Principles on campus and often provides an overall report of what is happening in the field of responsible management and sustainability on campus and in the curriculum and research.

The underlying philosophy of voluntary reporting is one of flexibility—a way of giving account, in a concise and action-oriented way, of your academic institution’s progress towards implementation of sustainability under the framework of the Six Principles. It is an opportunity for your academic institution to bring together, showcase, challenge, and monitor your work, both internally and externally.

At the recent 2015 PRME Global Forum, a new report was released to help signatories create stronger SIP reports, called “A Basic Guide to the Sharing Information on Progress (SIP).” The guide breaks down the reporting process into six stages listed below.

Stage 1 Commit: Exploring why you are reporting and how to get the most out of the process

At the start of your reporting journey, it is important to think critically about why are you reporting, beyond the requirement as a signatory, and how you can get the most out of the reporting process and the report itself. It can help to raise awareness of your commitment to PRME, help organise and connect relevant people across your institution, and create new synergies and collaborations. Bringing the information together can also help define direction and strategy, and be a tool in benchmarking progress moving forward. Overall it gives a concise and comprehensive overall picture of your activities to promote PRME both internally and externally.

Stage 2 Collaborate: Identifying and engaging key internal and external stakeholders in preparing your report

Creating your report should involve as many individuals and groups across the institution as possible. Every academic institution takes a variety of approaches to who they bring together and how—at the beginning, throughout the writing process, and in the distribution of the final report. Overall it is crucial to ensure that senior management is actively engaged and supportive of this process and that the writing of the report itself is not allocated to a marketing department but adopted by faculty, students and staff who should have opportunities to provide further insight and content throughout the process.

Stage 3 Collect: Determining what information and data to collect, and how to collect and analyse it

One of the biggest challenges for an academic institution is determining what data to include, and what not to include in their SIP report. Many institutions are surprised by the wide variety of activities that fit under the heading of responsible management education, so it is important to start early and to collect data continuously throughout the year. Some schools host regular in-person meetings or conduct one-on-one interviews with colleagues throughout the process to collect information. Others send out surveys to a range of stakeholders. It is encouraged to explore what kind of synergies you can identify, working with others who are responsible for bringing together information for other projects such as accreditation. Reports should include how the schools are implementing the different Principles, but do not have to be formatted by Principle; they should be formatted in whichever way best communicates your institution’s strategy and efforts. The toolkit provides some suggestions as to what kinds of information can be reported to communicate progress on the Principles.

Stage 4 Create: Designing a report format that works for you

As previously mentioned, it is important that signatories’ reports be formatted in whatever way they feel best communicates their work. There are however a number of requirements outlined in the SIP policy and the toolkit, including a letter of continued commitment by the highest executive of the organisation, an overview of practical actions taken by the institution, an assessment of progress made on the past reporting period, and future objectives. However there are many other elements that can help strengthen your report such as an executive summary, including the perspectives of other stakeholders, reference to any metrics being development and used, reflection on challenges and how to overcome these. Lists can be placed in appendices for easier reading.

Reports are often organised in two different ways; either by Principle, or increasingly, according to the way your institution approaches responsible management internally. A handful of schools are also using reporting tools being developed for the private sector, including those of GRI, the UN Global Compact, integrated reporting, and the Carbon Disclosure Project. The Toolkit provides a range of tips to help create an engaging report.

Stage 5 Communicate: Sharing and using your report

Submitting the report isn’t a last step. Exploring how the report, and more importantly, its messages will be communicated and used throughout the year, will help to engage a wider audience in your work. Share the report or parts of it with current and prospective students, visitors, faculty, and alumni. It can also be used with current and prospective partners and employers. Promote it online and through social media, and bring it to life by organising a launch event and using it in the classroom.

Stage 6 Continue: Keeping track of achievements, goals, and targets in between reporting periods, through a process of continuous improvement

Once you are finished your report (congratulations!) it is time to start your next report. Meet with your team to review feedback and lessons learnt for your next report. Monitor its usage and keep track and share progress between reports. Get stakeholder feedback, both from students and external partners about how it could be stronger. Share your experiences with the wider PRME community through PRME Chapters and also PRiMEtime.

To access the full toolkit click here. For more information on reporting visit the PRME website or past Primetime posts showcasing SIPs.

Business Examples from Around the World – Sweden, Egypt and the UK

Coventry

Fargo Village, Coventry, UK

As businesses become more and more engaged in sustainability around the world, we are presented with an increasing range of examples of active companies. However, when I speak with students and faculty, they say that they often hear about the same examples from the same international companies over and over again.

In an attempt to share some new best practice examples, I asked a handful of faculty members from around the world about their favourite classroom examples of local companies that are actively involved in sustainability. Here are some examples from Sweden, Egypt and the UK.

Marcela Ramirez-Pasillas, Jonkoping International Business School, Sweden

AD company is a wholesaler of branded products with just 10 employees. Its owner and CEO, Jan Hedenborn, believes strongly in CSR and works with ISO 26000 guidelines and SAI 8000 certification to enhance its sustainability. To develop the CSR commitments of his foreign suppliers in Asian countries, Jan relies on internal and external social audits. This means that a small Swedish company influences the adoption of CSR practices in a number of small Asian companies.

Husqvarna Group is a multinational company that has been taking a number of steps towards being more sustainable. This company is a supporter of the Global Compact, and recently started important work across its organisation to launch a new sustainable strategy. The strategy aims to transform this organisation into a more responsible company.

Sherine Meshad, The American University in Cairo, Egypt

Danone, through its Ecosystem Fund, is working to change both its supply chain and its distribution system in poor, rural areas in Egypt. Through its Milk Connection Communities project, Danone partners with CARE International to empower small milk producers who suffer from decreasing milk prices and the local dealers’ monopolisation of the dairy trade. The project opens milk collection centres (MCCs) and provide producers who go there with a range of services to help them improve their production. For Danone, it provides access to better-quality milk and ensures a healthy and sustainable ecosystem around the supply chain. The project also has a social impact: local managers are trained and employed to run the centres, and over 200 households are directly impacted by the project.

We also featured a range of other local businesses engaged in sustainability in one of our recent AUC Business Review issues focused on building trust.

Dr. Paul Cashian, Faculty of Business, Environment and Society, Coventry University, UK

Fargo Village is an urban development project set up on the edge of Coventry city centre (close to the University campus). The village consists of a community of small retailers, social enterprises and creative studios aimed at “bringing a piece of the Camden and Brick Lane independent shopping vibe to Coventry.”

Jericho Wood Recycling is a Birmingham based company which the University uses to dispose of all its wood waste. Jericho recycles the waste to produce a range of wood products from Butcher’s blocks to shelving.

 

A Sustainability Accreditation – the experiences of Coventry University

Coventry University - SIP reportOne of the challenges that comes up often in discussions around embedding responsible leadership and sustainability into management education is how to measure progress and impact. Several schools are exploring different projects that would enable them to do this more effectively. Coventry University, in the UK, is one of these. They have recently become a pilot school invited to test out a new accreditation mark (which they recently received) launched by the National Union of Students in the UK, called Responsible Futures. The mark goes beyond looking at sustainability on campus to exploring sustainability across the whole institution, and in particular in curriculum.

I spoke with Dr. Paul Cashian, Faculty Director of Learning and Teaching at the Faculty of Business, Environment and Society, about their experience.

Introduce the programme and how Coventry got involved in the project?

The Responsible Future project is an accreditation mark launched by the National Union of Students (NUS) in the UK aimed at embedding sustainability issues into the curriculum. The scheme is partly a response to annual NUS/HEA surveys which consistently show more than 60% of UK students want issues around sustainability to be included in their courses. Coventry University was one of eight universities, along with five further education colleges, invited to trial the new accreditation mark by the NUS, partly based on previous green initiatives from our own Students Union (CUSU), and partly through the work of embedding PRME in the curriculum, done within my faculty. Details on the Responsible Futures project can be found on the NUS website, and a dedicated Responsible Futures page is under development.

Why have an accreditation process for sustainability? How does it work?

The NUS sees the Responsible Futures project as an on-going process. Achieving the accreditation mark is not an end in itself but an indication that an institution, in partnership with their students, has put in place an enabling framework to take the whole sustainability agenda forward. The other advantage of this particular accreditation mark is that the focus on curriuculum moves the sustainability agenda at the institutional level away from the traditional focus on this being an issue for the Estates Department. We also see this as an opportunity to support and develop the work we’ve been doing in the faculty in relation to PRME—a nationally recognised institutional-level accreditation mark gives more credibility to the faculty’s PRME committment. The focus we have taken in our approach to PRME is to develop graduates who are aware of sustainability issues and the need to adopt responsible and ethical work practices in their future careers. This is similar to the ethos behind Responsible Futures—it is not just about students developing knowledge about sustainability, but also about them taking a challenging and responsible mindset into the work place.

The accreditation process is evidence-based and revolves around putting together a workbook that meets a series of criteria. Some criteria are mandatory and some optional, plus you can define your own additional criteria if you wish. The mandatory criteria cover areas such as having a Responible Futures coordinating partnership group with a clear action plan, the partnership group including a high-level champion, providing evidence of sustainability-relevant formal and informal curriculum activities and, perhaps most crucially, showing that the institution’s learning and teaching strategy support the objectives of the Responsible Futures initiative. To achieve the accreditation mark, the workbook evidence is audited by teams of NUS-trained student auditors from another institution, with a score being awarded against the evidence presented for each criterion. The audit team also interview staff and students as part of the audit process. The accreditation mark is awarded if a minimum score is gained, and lasts for 3 years. As a pilot at the moment, some of these details may change before the general roll out.

Do you think there should be an accreditation mark for sustainability?

There are many accreditations related to aspects of sustainability, however we saw the Responsible Futures accreditation presented two advantages: Firstly, the focus of many of the criteria on the curriculum, both formal and informal, changes the emphasis to focus on our students and their engagement with the sustainability agenda. Secondly, when taken as a whole the criteria provided us with a mechanism to bring together other awards, initiatives and projects into a more cohesive and compelling framework. However, to use the accreditation process in this way you do need a degree of cooperation across the institution, which usually equates with a champion at the highest level who can make things happen.

What have you learnt so far through this process?

I think that all the members of the coordinating group have been surprised by just how much evidence we have been able to collect to support our claims against the criteria—and we know that there are a lot more activities and initiatives that we haven’t yet uncovered. The other learning point for me was how effective a small but focused team drawn from across traditional university silos (academic, estates, students union) can be in kick-starting a project such as this—we all brought different experiences, perspectives and institutional contact networks into the process.

What have been some of your challenges? Successes? 

The biggest challenge has been engaging senior management from other faculties in the process, despite having a high level management as a champion. This may be because, as a pilot institution, we were on a very tight timescale having less than 6 months to root out and present the evidence, as well as demonstrate that the Responsible Futures initiative was having an impact on the institution.

Our invitation to act as a pilot institution was really well-timed as over the last 12 months the university has been preparing a revised corporate plan and an associated education strategy. Involvement in the Responsible Futures project raised the profile of sustainability and green issues within the university leadership team, and has allowed us to have a positive impact on both these key strategic documents.

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

The key piece of advice I would give is to try and be as inclusive as possible in terms of who you include in the process. Take the opportunity to break down the traditional internal barriers and pull together all the disparate green and sustainability initiatives taking place across the university—chances are that you will be as surprised, as I was, about how much is actually happening and the opportunities that exist to enrich the curriculum with live cases and projects.

What’s next?

Achieving the accreditation mark is only the start of the process. As with PRME, the underlying philosophy is one of the need for continual enhancement and development.

Any UK institution that might be interested in working towards the Responsible Futures accreditation mark should contact Quinn Runkle at the NUS (quinn.runkle(at)nus.org.uk).

Recognition of Sharing Information on Progress Reports 2015 – 2015 PRME Global Forum

SIP RecognitionOver the past few months, the PRME Secretariat, with feedback from the PRME Working Group on Sharing Information on Progress (SIP), has selected a number of institutions to receive recognition for their outstanding efforts in reporting through their Sharing Information on Progress reports. The recipients received their awards Wednesday evening, 24 June, in a special ceremony at the 2015 PRME Global Forum.

There were two categories recognised—one including only first-time SIPs and a second category including schools that have reported more than once. All reports submitted from July 2013 to March 2015 by the deadline, and which met minimum criteria, were considered. In both categories, the Secretariat selected three reports, each showing very different approaches to reporting.

In the first category, first time reporter, the following three reports were recognised:

La Rochelle Business School (France) created an SIP that is a thoughtful and substantive. In particular, this report incorporates a thorough assessment of La Rochelle’s impact—particularly for a first-time report— with both qualitative and quantitative indicators. Building off of these assessments, the report highlights future objectives, accompanied with a strategy to scale their impact. The report incorporates a clear integrated sustainability strategy with supporting visual graphics. To view the report click here.

Reykjavik University Business School’s (Iceland) report is a strong example of an engaging and reader-friendly report. With accompanying graphics and photos, this report effectively communicates its many PRME-related activities in a concise, visually appealing manner, which demonstrates how a SIP report can be a powerful communication tool for stakeholders. Particularly notable is its engagement of different stakeholders in the report: the report highlights examples and quotes from students, professors, and others. To view the report click here.

Haas School of Business’ (USA) report is an organised, thorough report. Notable about this report is how it effectively organises and highlights its activities. In particular, under each Principle section, the report lists its Key Accomplishments and Future Objectives. In addition, the report allows the reader to grasp the scope and depth of Haas’s activities with its selected in-depth and diverse examples, notably those in the Research Section. To view the report click here.

The second category of reporters was a much more challenging category to go through. There are many interesting reports in this category, and recognitions were narrowed down to the three chosen below:

The Hanken School of Economics (Finland) SIP report demonstrates a clear, integrated sustainability strategy, which ties smoothly to the activities described throughout the report. The reflection incorporated throughout the report is impressive, with organised, appealing tables concisely outlining previous goals, the progress made on those goals, and future goals at the end of each section. To view the report click here.

KEDGE Business School’s (France) SIP is a strong example of an effective integrated report, with clear ties to PRME’s mission and Six Principles. The report includes an impact assessment of its sustainability activities, highlighting a range of both qualitative and quantitative indicators in reader-friendly tables and visuals. To add, the report is inviting and readable with an innovative structure, organised around the institution’s three core values: Create, Share, Care. To view the report click here.

Copenhagen Business School’s (Denmark) report has a strong impact assessment and reflection of its PRME-related activities, with accompanying examples and indicators effectively highlighted throughout the report. Particularly noteworthy about this report is how it engages with a wide range of stakeholders. Quotes and contact information from the individuals involved in various activities are listed throughout the report, demonstrating how the SIP is used both for internal and external purposes. To view the report click here.

The PRME Secretariat has also identified two reports from each region that are examples of good reporting. These schools, and their reports are noted and linked to below, in no particular order.

Africa & Middle East

University of Stellenbosch Business School (South Africa)

The American University in Cairo, School of Business (Egypt)

Asia

IILM, Institute for Higher Education (India)

Tsinghua SEM (China)

Australia & New Zealand

La Trobe Business School (Australia)

Macquarie Graduate School of Management, Australia

Europe

Glasgow Caledonian University (United Kingdom)

Toulouse Business School (France)

North America

Babson College (United States)

Bentley University (United States)

South America

Fundacao Dom Cabral (Brazil)

Universidad del Pacifico (Peru)

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