This post is the second part of the end of year review. Click here to read part 1 .
Environmental protection (SDG 6,7,9, 13,14,15)
Schools are increasingly sharing examples of how they are engaging in and contributing to specific environmental issues. SDA Boconni School of Management is collaborating with several organizations on a project focused on pollution of seas and promoting a sustainable marine economy. George Mason University School of Business has a project focused on honeybee sustainability including collaborative research projects focused on bee health.
Most of the examples shared in relation to these were focused on efforts being undertaken on campus. Frankfurt School of Finance & Management collects over 2,400 m3 of rainwater on campus to be used across its buildings. KEDGE Business School in France has made reducing its carbon footprint a top priority with a focus on a wide range of clean transportation options and Pepperdine Business School hosts a three day conference exploring climate change, its consequences. The University of Calgary’s interdisciplinary Solar Car Team initiative composed of students from various faculties working together was highlighted. There was also a post that featured 5 climate change resources developed by the UN Global Compact and one that focused in on the fantastic work being done by the PRME Working Group on Climate Change and Environment.
Innovation and Opportunity (SDG 8,9,11)
There is a significant increase in schools putting in place programmes that engage students in coming up with solutions rather than just learning about the issues. The University of Auckland Business School’s Solve It Challenge seeks innovative solutions to environmental and social problems. BI Norwegian Business School’ shared its work on the Global Opportunity Explorer, an online database of sustainable solutions and market solutions in collaboration with the UN Global Compact. Aalto University shared information on their multi-disciplinary Master’s Programme in Creative Sustainability that aims to engage students in developing creative solutions for the SDGs.
Manchester Metropolitcan University Business School’s Smart Sustainable Cities Challenge is a multidipslinary and multi university project that gives teams of students from different countries the chance to be part of the local solutions. Newcastle Business School in Australia students working on transformative projects that support local Aboriginal communities in partnership with the UN Global Compact Cities Programme.
A new series of posts also looked at trends and innovations in sustainability and the SDGs including Sweden’s efforts to create a happy and efficient workforce and the World Economic Forum’s work on Global Risks. We also looked at Newcastle Business School innovative research on key aspects of the economy at a regional level with active participation of government community and business.
Responsible Consumption and Production (SDG 12)
Many schools shared their work engaging their own communities in the SDGs. KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business use its campus as a living laboratory where students can apply theory to a practical setting as well as the campus regulations put in place at KU Leuven that outline which products can be purchased in the office. Gordon Institute of Business Science in South Africa hired (and mentored) a social enterprise for their large commercial cleaning contract. The University of Newcastle’s Environmental Sustainability Plan, a roadmap for sustainability operations includes bold targets in areas including energy, waste, water, biodiversity, transportation, procurement and investment. Koç University Graduate School of Business has achieved ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems certificate. Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University shared their work in embedding responsible management into their curriculum and research as well as their approach to responsible management including an overview of some of the key issues that business schools in China are focusing on. The Sustainability SoM project at Politecnico di Milano School of Management in Italy focused on engaging in the SDGs through research, education initiatives and internal and external collaborations.
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions (SDG 16)
Kemmy Business School researchers explored perceptions of fairness and work life balance in the Irish Defence Forces. Newcastle Business School in Australia is working on a new partnership with the Kenyan and Australian Governments aimed at strengthening public service performance and building governance capacity in Kenya. Griffith Business School’s innovative focus on Social Marketing was featured as well as and the work of the Social Marketing Centre.
Signatories were looking at working to make not just other but their own institutions stronger. The School of Economics and Management, Tongji University in China has aligned their research focus with the country’s aim to reduce pollution. Many schools continue to map out the SDGs in their curriculum and research. This year we focused in on the University of Stellenbosch Business School’s PRME-SDG mapping exercise. Seattle Pacific University conducted an audit of all of its courses to better understand where the SDGs fit in. Other schools such as Universidad Externado in Columbia prioritized 7 of the 17 SDGs as the areas where they are currently contributing the most and aim to continue to have an impact.
The UK and Ireland PRME Regional Chapter shared a summary of what they have been working on as a chapter. This includes the UKI PRME Writing Competition which rewards student engagement, allocating funds to new research projects and engaging in a SDG Road show to raise awareness of the SDGs within the local business community. Their 2020 regional meeting will be focused on Partnerships for the Goals. A post featured Birmingham Business School’s PRME Day where Signatories from the region were invited to come together to gain and share knowledge. This particular day looked at innovative teaching methods (and was the post I received the most comments on this year).
Many of the posts this year featured partnerships designed to increase the impact of Signatories’ work and the SDGs nationally and regionally. ISAE/FGV in Brazil provides a platform for dialogue on the SDGs, bringing together good practices from throughout Latin America. The Universidad de los Andes signed a formal agreement with the Sustainable Development Solutions Network to establish an SDG Centre for Latin America and the Caribbean. Koç University Graduate School of Business hosts the Migration Research Centre providing an interdisciplinary hub for migration scholars, researchers, activists and policy makers in collaboration with a range of international organisations.
Federation University in Australia has a strong partnership with the only public national university in Timor-Leste that is increasingly focused on that country’s roadmap towards reaching the SDGs nationally. Frankfurt School of Finance & Management launched an MBA programme with Universite Protestante au Congo in Democratic Republic of Congo and shared their experiences, challenges and advice on developing new partnerships. Finally, several schools are developing a community of practice to support partnerships and interdepartmental collaboration on sustainability internally such as at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University.
Sharing Information on Progress
Several schools shared their experiences putting together their SIP reports. The University of Gothenburg share their advice on creating a concise SIP including thoughts on what to include and, perhaps more importantly, what to leave out. Macquarie University and Birmingham Business Schools both shared their experiences working on their first SIP and Kemmy Business School and Hult International Business school shared their experiences embedding the SDGs into their report. The University of Applied Sciences of the Grisons uses the SDG Dashboard as a way of collecting information on SDG engagement at the University. The SDG Dashboard, championed by the Erivan K. Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University in the US, is a collaborative data reporting and analytics platform for global business schools to share their best practice impacts on the UN SDGs. ISAE/FGV’s fully bilingual yearly report is organized around not just the SDGs but following the GRI guidelines.
I put together some tips on writing more effective SIP Reports here as well as 12 visuals to get inspired by for your next SIP and 12 SIPs worth reading from 2018 including Universidad del Pacifico, Winchester Business School, School of Business and Management at the Institut Teknologi Bandung in Indonesia. While the focus of PRiMEtime was to highlight all of the work being done by business schools, I did also take the opportunity to highlight the areas that I was surprised schools were not talking about more in a series of posts entitle 10 Things that are missing from SIPs Around the SDGs (part 1 and part 2).
For more inspiration…
If you want some more inspiration, be sure to re read the first series of posts from 2019 with 100 tips from Signatories on engaging in PRME with tips on why and what, what to focus on (part 1), getting started, designing your initiative, moving forwards (part 2), putting together a team, the importance of developing relationships (part 3), focus on faculty, focus on students, the importance of partnerships (part 4), and funding and final words of advice (part 5).
Again, thank you for reading and contributing and thank you for inspiring me with your ongoing work. I have been following so many of you now for many years and am proud to be a part of this international family, more now than ever. I’m excited for what we will accomplish this decade and the positive impact this will have.
If you would like to share your work with the rest of the network, or if there there is a topic you would like to see covered on PRiMEtime, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.