2013 Summary of Best Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 1)

It is that time again, time for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2013 was another exciting year with a lot of innovative new initiatives and approaches at business schools around the world to embedding responsible leadership and sustainability into their programmes.

Principle 1Principle 1: Purpose

Signatories continued to develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society. This year, several schools shared their experiences in translating this purpose into their institutions. Dr. Donna Sockell at Leeds School of Business Center for Education on Social Responsibility introduced the work of the Center and its approach to teaching students about social responsibility. Essex Business School shared their approach to embedding sustainability into the culture of their business school, and Hanken School of Economics in Finland shared their cross-disciplinary approach to sustainability.

PRME schools around the world used a variety of approaches to communicate their commitment to sustainability principles on campus. The Milgard School of Business in the US encouraged discussion on campus about sustainability topics through their Communication Column. Glasgow School for Business and Society from Scotland shared their experiences in putting together their first SIP report, which was recognised at the 2013 PRME Summit – 5th Annual Assembly earlier this year. The University of Brussels in Belgium was one of a handful of schools this year using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework for their sustainability report, a framework used by many of the leading business around the world. Euromed (now KEDGE) in France shared experiences in putting together an integrated report, which demonstrates the links between strategy, governance, and financial performance of the institution and the social, environmental, and economic context in which it operates.

Principle 2Principle 2: Values

Schools incorporated many of the values of global sustainability,y in particular into their student experiences. Students at Universum University College in Kosovo who wanted to make a difference in their community started the “Why Care” Campaign to make a mark on reducing hunger in Kosovo. Students at EADA in Spain took part in a Social Entrepreneurship Project where students identified a social need or problem and implement a business-oriented solution that is financially viable. In South Africa, Milpark Business School’s MBA Social Responsibility Challenge required students to identify a real charity or community improvement project with the most deserving projects receiving a cash prize. At Goa Institute of Management in India, a new compulsory core course provided students with the opportunity to engage with local, less privileged communities. At EBS University of Business and Law in Germany, the “Do It” and “Educare” courses provided students with the opportunity to work with a local welfare institution or to create their own local project.

Principle 3Principle 3: Method

Several signatories shared with us their approach to putting together specialised programmes around the topic of responsible leadership and sustainability. Chester Business School in the UK shared their lessons learnt in putting together an interdisciplinary MSc in Sustainability for Community and Business. Albers School of Business and Economics in the US discussed their new Graduate Leadership Formation Specialization, which included a course wherein students were challenged to find and recognise local leaders making an impact on the greater community. Audencia Nantes School of Management in France created an innovative new MBA focused on responsible leadership. Deusto Business School in Spain created a new MBA, which started earlier this year, integrates sustainability, innovation, and entrepreneurship into all of its courses.

Some additional resources were also featured to provide ideas and tools for faculty in bringing sustainability topics into the classroom. PRiMEtime highlighted a range of contests for business students around sustainability, including those on environmental and social issues, Marketing and Sustainability, and the yearly MBA Challenge Video Contest, which is organised by the Global Business School Network (GBSN).

The blog also covered a variety list of United Nations International Days that promote awareness and action on a wide range of political, social, cultural, humanitarian, and human rights issues, and which can be used as themes for class discussion. A few of these, including International Women’s Day, were featured in greater detail, with a range of examples from business schools around the world (Part 1, 2, 3, and 4). On December 5th, a two-part feature in honour of International Volunteer Day (Part 1 and 2) looked at just a small handful of ways that students are making an impact through volunteer activities in their communities.

As businesses become more engaged in sustainability around the world, we are presented with an increasing range of examples of active companies to highlight in the classroom. Featured sustainable business examples from faculty around the world in 2013 included:

International Volunteer Day and Business Schools (Part 2 of 2)

logo_eng_circles2013December 5th was International Volunteer Day, an opportunity for individual volunteers, communities and organisations to promote their contributions to development at the local, national and international level.  It is a unique chance for people and volunteer-involving organisations to work with government agencies, non-profit institutions, community groups, academia and the private sector.

In Part 1, we took a look at a range of examples of how business schools students and staff are volunteering in their communities, in particular through student run organisations that coordinate volunteer activities as well as through pro bono consulting projects in the local community or abroad.

Several schools go beyond just providing student volunteer opportunities to incorporating volunteering into their various academic programmes. The undergraduate business programme at Singapore Management University has, since its inception in 2000, required students to complete twelve weeks of internship, two of which must involve community service with a voluntary welfare organisation. All undergraduate students at Sabanci University’s School of Business in Turkey take a course called “Civic Involvement Project,” where they participate in real life projects that make a difference to peoples’ lives. In Spain, EADA has a Millennium Development Goals Project course, which aims to develop the participant’s leadership and social responsible capabilities through service learning and putting in place social projects.

At Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor in Canada, all students take a course called Managed and Organizational Life, where they are required to complete a project where they design and implement a fundraising event for a local charity. Over the past eight years, they have raised over $400,000 Canadian dollars to support local charities. Frankfurt School of Finance and Management in Germany introduced Social Credit Points in 2009. For every 30 hours of extracurricular spare time is counted as one social credit. The Social Credit Point Awarding Committee that decides which activity is worth how many credits is made up of individuals from a Learning Advisory, Relationship Management, Programme Development and Student Council. The Social Credit Points are published in the Transcript of Extracurricular Accomplishments.

In keeping with the theme for this year’s International Volunteer Day, many business schools have volunteer programmemes aimed at engaging and empowering young people. The George Washington University School of Business’s 2+2 programme involves matching mentor teams of two (one GWSB student and one GWSB alumn) with mentee teams comprised of two high school students from Anacostia High School in Washington, DC The teams participate in a series of workshops that provide training on leadership, financial literacy, and social entrepreneurship to prepare them for summer internships and future careers. Invest ‘N Kids is an on-campus tutoring and mentoring programme run by Boston College (BC) MBA students for disadvantaged Brookline middle school students. BC MBA tutors meet one-on-one with their students for 8-10 sessions per semester to work on a variety of academic subjects. Tutors split their session time between homework assistance and a stock market game, where the students learn about investing and about starting a small business through the Biz World programme. At Fundaçao Dom Cabral (FDC) in Brazil, São Judas Tadeu nursery School in Nova Lima, MBA students, along with the local community, build a new wing with six classrooms, which made it possible to host a further 300 children and to create a space destined for teaching trades and crafts. Sogang Business School in Korea provides students with two week long internships in rural villages in Indonesia to teach English and math skills to young school children in the community.

If you would like to take part in the International Volunteer Day, take a look at their website as well as the website for UN Volunteers, a UN agency that advocates for volunteerism, integrates volunteerism into development planning, and mobilises volunteers. UN Volunteers also has an online portal where you can share your skills, knowledge, and ideas from a computer anywhere in the world. You choose a task that matches your skills and interest, a development topic, and a region of the world and the system will give you a selection of volunteer opportunities.

- What are you doing for International Volunteer Day? Post your projects in the comments section below or tweet #PRME #IVD2013 -

Energy and Sustainability in Business Schools – Business School response (part 2)

clean_energyEnergy and Climate Change are two very important issues for the business sector. Companies of all shapes and sizes are working both independently and together to reach various carbon reduction goals set by themselves or by the international community (see Part 1).

Business schools are also increasingly active with more and more schools reporting on their energy and carbon reduction activities. In the next couple of parts of this series we will look at some of these schools and what they are doing.

Reducing Energy Use on Campus

In 2012, Cotsakos College of Business  was named a finalist in the 2012 Second Nature Climate Leadership Awards competition, which recognizes the most innovative climate leaders in the US. The university has embarked on several energy saving initiatives. In October 2010, the university opened what was then the largest solar energy facility on any university campus in the US. The initiative is projected to save an estimated $4.3 million in energy costs over the next 15 years, while also reducing the university’s carbon footprint.In the Netherlands, Rotterdam School of Management’s ‘Campus under Construction’ project, which is being implemented until 2028, focuses on modernizing the campus to make it more energy efficient. The university administration has been collaborating closely with both the city of Rotterdam and sustainability faculty concerning city planning and environmentally sustainable considerations. In 2013 a 15‐story building for international student housing, the Erasmus Plaza; a vibrant green esplanade; pedestrian‐avenue with underground parking; and the energy-neutral Erasmus Pavilion will be completed. Ashridge Business School in the UK switched in 2011 to a 100% renewable electricity supply contract.

Measuring the Carbon Footprint

One of the main efforts on campuses around energy is measuring and reducing their carbon footprint. Winchester Business School has a commitment to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per square meter by 30% below the 2006 levels by 2015. In 2011, the university set a target for carbon reduction of 43% by 2012. A growing number of schools are looking not just to reduce but to become carbon neutral. Pacific Lutheran University has a goal of carbon neutrality by 2020. In 2010 the university dropped its total energy costs by 10% by changing out light fixtures, adding motion sensors for lighting, and installing better insulation and window seals. Bentley University has made a commitment to become carbon neutral by the year 2030. The office of sustainability provides a website with information on Bentley’s current carbon footprint and an overview of their plans to reach this goal through energy system upgrades, green building and electronics recycling among other things. They have also constructed a 3,000 square foot solar thermal wall as part of the Athletic Center which traps heat from the sun. When the heating, ventilation and air conditioning is turned on, the air is pulled through the solar walls and is heated in the process requiring less energy to warm the air in a room.

Educating the campus about efforts

A large part of reducing energy use on campus is raising awareness of the issues with students and staff. In India, the Institute of Productivity and Management Green Initiative works to make its campus greener. They created ‘Save Energy’ guidelines which include conservation of water and electricity, which are widely distributed amongst staff and students. In Slovenia, the Faculty of Economics Eco Team encourages employees and students to get engaged by organizing and implementing a wide range of energy reduction activities. In Korea, Kyung Hee University ‘s Green Team also conducts a range of awareness raising activities and projects around Energy management and lighting efficiency across campus.

Taking part in International and National Initiatives

Another way that schools are raising awareness about these issues on campus is by participating in international energy related events. The University of Dubai takes part in Earth Hour every year on March 22nd. Students, faculty, and staff at UD signed up to participate in the world earth hour and participated by switching off the lights for one hour. Schulich School of Business also celebrate Earth Hour with their event ‘Earth Hour Every Hour’ in collaboration with IRIS, and the Ecologically Conscious Organization aims to provide environmental knowledge, and to inspire the creation of a future where waste and energy reduction are daily considerations. In France, Clean Tuesdays began as an association in 2008 to promote the development of Cleantech throughout France. On the first Tuesday of every month, an event or mini-conference is organized in a different location in France bringing together participants to share their expertise, their activities and their best practices in the field. Grenoble Ecole de Management is affiliated with this project and has hosted several Clean Tuesday events on campus.

Getting students engaged

Several schools, such as EADA in Spain, have student clubs focused on energy issues. At EADA, the Green Society is a voluntary student club for individuals who have an interest in Climate Change. Throughout the year the club organizes interactive seminars on the topics of Carbon Politics, New Sources of Energy, Creating a Low-Carbon Economy, and more. Grenoble Ecole de Management has a student engineer specialized in Quality, Security & Environmental analysis who is currently carrying out a comprehensive study of the School carbon footprint. The University of Victoria in Canada has instituted voluntary carbon-offset programs for students travelling as part of their exchange program.

- This is part of a series of blogs in 2013 focused on business schools and energy - 

Creating a more Sustainable Campus: Water (part 2)

Water saving programmes at Griffith University

Griffith University

Water is one of the 7 critical issues being discussed at the upcoming Rio+20 summit in Brazil. According to the Rio+20 website, by 2050, at least one in four people is likely to live in a country affected by chronic or recurring shortages of fresh water.

In a previous blog, we looked at how a growing number of campuses are choosing to Ban Water Bottles on Campus. In part 2 of this two part series, we look more broadly at a range of initiatives that business schools are taking part in to reduce the amount of water used on campus and raise awareness about issues relating to water.

Reducing water consumption

Griffith University encourages students to report dripping taps and water leaks to facilities management. The University also monitors, records and reports its water usage for the purpose of benchmarking and as a way to identify water saving opportunities. One of their campuses has 12 rainwater tanks that store over 200,000 litres of water, another building harvests water condensate from air conditioning to use in irrigation. Rainwater is harvested and used for toilet flushing in all new buildings.

The new building that houses the Walter E. Heller College of Business Administration at Roosevelt University is designed around “green” principles and is LEED-certified, which verifies use of sustainability principles in key performance areas, including site selection, water efficiency, energy efficiency, materials and indoor air quality. Illinois State University has installed multiple stormwater management features on campus, including a rain garden, two bioswales (designed to remove silt and pollution from runoff water) and three parking lots with permeable concrete. Grenoble Ecole de Management is implementing a range of water saving measures, including the use of reclaimed water in the sewage waste system and timed water faucets. Kyung Hee University School of Management green management practices include water-efficient landscaping in and around business school buildings and a rain-saving system in the school’s newest building.

Through the curriculum and research

The University of Wisconsin Whitewater provides a range of courses in the MBA programme focused on water issues, including one called Blue and Green Marketing, which looks at the effective marketing of water and other sustainability products and services. Babson College provides a course focused on sustainable entrepreneurship in Norway that focuses on drivers of opportunity in the energy domain and examines ways that new ventures are applying technologies in wind, water, solar and alternative fuel.

A wide range of case studies and research with a focus on water have also been developed by business schools around the world. At ISAE/FGV, a case study on cultivating a good water programme looked at the Itaipu Binacional, the largest dam in the world, situated on the border of Brazil and Paraguay.

What is your campus doing to minimize the use of water? Share your projects in the comments area below.

Online and connected: Creating discussion spaces online

In the third installment of our series about how universities are using the internet to engage students and the wider community in sustainability, we look at how universities are creating online platforms to share sustainability information on campus with stakeholders.

Simon Frasier University in Canada created inov8.ca to get SFU students and alumni talking about how big problems like global warming and poverty affect them at an individual and local level. The site has four sections: a ‘talk’ section to identify and discuss issues, a ‘plan’ section to form teams and develop project ideas, an ‘act’ section to track the status of projects and, finally, a ‘review’ section to share thoughts and comments on completed projects.  Inov8 also supports – financially, administratively and politically – student organised and run projects that aim to solve local problems.

Sustainable Business Performance is an online community formed by researchers, scientists and students of Kozminski University in Poland to communicate the message of sustainability and help businesses minimise waste, reduce costs and create jobs.

Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & Technologies in Korea has created a webzine focused on Sustainability Management. The webzine provides links to a range of short articles and teaching aids around the topics of ethics, social responsibility, protection of the natural environment and sustainable management.

The University of Greenwich Sustainability Team in the UK has an active blog where they regularly post updates about a wide range of campus greening projects. Posts range from updates on solar panels being installed on the roof of some of the student residences, planting a new Orchard on campus and the results of an exhibition on campus focused on sustainable procurement. Activities are also updated regularly on Twitter (@Sust_Greenich)

Mendoza College of business relaunched their website to focus on their Ask More of Business Campaign, which highlights the college’s greater commitment to business for good and to the Principles of PRME. “Did you know that 51 of the world’s largest economies are corporations? And that multinational corporations account for 25 percent of the world’s assets?” The site provides a range of information around individual integrity, creating more effective organizations and how Mendoza is incorporating these topics into their curriculum.

How are you engaging your students in sustainability via the web? Share your experiences and examples below in the comments area.

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