2016 Good Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 1)

It is once again it’s time for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2016 was another exciting year with a lot of innovative new initiatives and approaches at business schools around the world embedding responsible leadership and sustainability into their programmes. PRiMEtime provides an extensive and growing database of examples from schools around the world on how to embed sustainability, ethics and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into management education as well as tips on how to move forward.

This year, 60 new articles were posted featuring over 143 examples from more than 65 schools in 38 countries. In this 2-part year-end post we review the examples featured this year, organized roughly around the SDGs, and what we have to look forward to next year. (Click on the links to read the full article).

SDG1SDG2SDG3The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has developed an interdisciplinary collaboration between the Business School and the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, call the Wellness Clinic. It provides preventive care programmes designed, promoted, administered and implemented by students. IEDC-Bled School of Management partnered with members of the UN Global Compact Local Slovenia to organize workshops around the theme of “Health promotion in the workplace as part of the corporate social responsibility and sustainable business development’.

For one week in March, EADA Business School’s campus transforms into a model refugee course where students taking the Managing Humanitarian Emergencies elective learn about the main components required to respond to humanitarian emergencies and extreme situations in general.



La Trobe Business School (Australia), ISAE (Brazil), Audencia Nantes School of Management (France) and Hanken School of Economics (Finland) founded CR3+ Network, a new program that provides a supportive platform to build international collaboration and enables the four schools to work together to build capacity in responsible management education. In the USA, Western Michigan University (USA) partnered with Christ University in Bagalore in India to create an experiential experience to engage students in sustainability discussions in India. Reutlingen University in Germany shared their experiences with the Ethikum Certificate awarded to students who complete a number of special experiences and courses during their time at university. Hult International Business School shared their experiences integrating the SDGs into the core Business and Global Society course. Hult International Business School and Ashridge Business School also shared their experiences integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into their PRME Sharing Information on Progress Report. The University of St. Gallen and oikos work together to offer the PhD Fellowship Programme, a unique opportunity to support international PhD students writing their thesis on sustainability in economics or management.

PRiMEtime also explored a range of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) available on sustainability topics. These courses are free online and open to anyone with an interest in the topic. A series of posts provided an overview of the MOOCs available in the Spring (Part 1 and Part 2) and summer (Part 1 and Part 2).



The American University of Beirut’s University for Senior Programme aims to redefine the role of older people in society by providing them opportunities to remain intellectually challenged and socially connected through a range of lectures, study groups, educational travel programmes, campus life and intergenerational activities. The American University of Beirut also paired up with Citi to provide crucial support and mentoring for female entrepreneurs in Lebanon and the MENA region with the goal of increasing their numbers significantly. Altis Postgraduate School of Business and Society in Italy introduced us to E4Impact, a special programme aimed at training a new class of African leaders who will be able to create jobs in the sustainability sector in their country.



Ryerson University (Canada) designed a unique interdisciplinary programme that brings together faculty from all of the university’s six department called the Environmental Applied Science and Management (EnSciMan) with a focus on environmental management. In Italy, the University of Bologna’s Launch Pad aims to leverage the know-how of the hundreds of PhDs and post-docs studying at the university to facilitate its transformation into valuable products and services, many focused on social and environmental topics. PRiMEtime also looked at a range of global student networks engaged in sustainability that are active within and across business schools.



Antwerp Management School’s ID@Work research programme aims to support organisations in attracting, developing and retaining employees with an intellectual disability. The Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience at the University of Wollongong is an educational programme that supports Indigenous students through high school and into university, employment or further education. Also in Australia, Deakin University has been exploring how to encourage and train more Indigenous Australians to become accountants (currently of the more than 180,000 Australian professional accounting body members, only 30 identify as Indigenous). The Northwest Aboriginal Canadians Entrepreneurs Programme at the University of Victoria Gustavson School of Business is a partnership between several organisations including regional and provision government to offer first class entrepreneurial learning to the Indigenous people of Northwest British Columbia with the aim to enhance the self sufficiency and full economic participation of Indigenous people

2015 Good Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 2)

It is once again time for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2015 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. Sixty articles were posted featuring over 182 examples from more than 114 schools in 38 countries. In this 2-part year-end post we review what happened this year and what we have to look forward to next year. (Click here to view Part 1)

Principle 5Principle 5: Partnerships

A growing number of schools are partnering with local businesses to advance sustainability on campus and beyond. In fact, through a new project between Global Compact LEAD and PRME Champions many of these partnerships were highlighted this year including The American University in Cairo’s Women on Boards programme, the development of local sustainability networks by ESPAE, University of Guelph partnership around food, Novo School of Business and Economics’ partnership around children consumer behaviour and the University of Technology Sydney partnership around insurers role in sustainable growth. Additional resources were providing to assist schools in developing new partnerships including 5 Key Messages from Business to Business Schools Around Sustainability and 10 Tips.

Another feature focused on examples of schools engaging with local governments in Turkey, Brazil, Australia, US, UK and Latvia.

Principle 6Principle 6: Dialogue

Most of the examples presented through the year have also involved dialogue around responsible management topics, across the campus and beyond. As always, many posts featured Sharing Information on Progress Reports including an overview of the newly released Basic Guide to Sharing Information on Progress, as well as a two part series on visuals to get inspired by for your next SIP report.

A number of Sharing Information on Progress Reports were featured and celebrated this year including Reykjavik University’s first report, Ivey Business School’s experiences communicating the big picture through their SIP, the recipients of the Recognition of Sharing Information on Progress Reports were highlighted including KEDGE Business School.

Principle “7”: Organisational Practices

PRME signatories globally are increasingly active in creating more sustainable campuses. Coventry University shared their experiences in gaining sustainability accreditation in the UK. A two-part feature on sustainable buildings on campus highlighted a range of approaches being taken by schools around the world.

Last but not least, 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 collected from faculty in 2015 included:

Thank you for a fantastic 2015 and for contributing all of your good practice examples and stories. We encourage you to engage with the discussion and promotion of PRME and the Sustainable Development Agenda on all levels, including our Chapters and working Groups, as well as through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

2016 will be another exciting year in the field of management education and sustainability in particular through the Sustainable Development Goals and business-business school partnerships. If there are any topics in particular you would like to see covered, or you would like your initiatives to be featured, please do not hesitate to contact me at gweybrecht@thesustainablemba.com.

2015 Good Practices in Responsible Management Education (Part 1)

It is once again time for PRiMEtime’s year-end review. 2015 was another exciting year with a lot of innovative new initiatives and approaches at business schools around the world embedding responsible leadership and sustainability into their programmes. Sixty articles were posted over the year on responsible management education, featuring over 182 examples from more than 114 schools in 38 countries. In this 2-part year-end post we review what happened this year and what we have to look forward to next year.

Principle 1Principle 1: Purpose

2015 of course was the year of the PRME Global Forum. A post of student views on business as a force for good as well as what the future corporation will look like, highlighted the power of students in being innovative thought leaders. Several key documents were launched during the Forum and featured on PRiMEtime including The State of Sustainability and Management Education.

In September a call to action was made to higher education institutions to join in making a commitment to support refugees in crisis. The PRME community stepped up with a number of initiatives featured in this post. Two posts on Higher Education for Climate Change Action coincided with the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative meeting in October and featured a number of examples of business schools taking action around this important issue.

As the international community is preparing to launch the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals in 2016, a growing focus of PRiMEtime and the wider PRME community has been understanding how business schools can engage in the process and contribute to achieving the goals once they are put in place. Several updates were posted including this overview and update.

Principle 2Principle 2: Values

As the sister initiative to the Global Compact, several Global Compact resources were featured including Finance and Sustainability Resources and Ways to Engage and a look at the building blocks for transforming business and changing the world. We also looked at a number of other resources available to the PRME community including ways that schools are using technology in the classroom to teach sustainability, a selection of MOOCs on Sustainability/Ethics for Fall 2015 as well as for Spring 2015.

Several posts featured International Days focused on highlighting and celebrating specific sustainability related topics. This included a look at how management education is engaging high school students in sustainable business for International Youth Day, schools engaged in sustainable energy projects for the International Year of Light, a two part feature on schools engaged in sustainable food for World Health Day, and women and management education for International Women’s Day

Principle 3Principle 3: Method

PRME schools shared their experiences in re-designing their programmes to embed sustainability more fully including Stockholm School of Economics, University of New South Wales, Jonkoping International Business School, and the University of Wollongong. This included new courses such as Peter J. Tobin College of Business introducing all students to not-for-profit management, students engaging in their communities including innovative projects at Great Lakes Institute of Management, and Willamette University Atkinson Graduate School of Management’s MBA for Life programme. ISAE/FGV shared their experiences in engaging stakeholders in prioritising their sustainability strategy moving forward.

Principle 4Principle 4: Research

Schools continue to conduct a number of important research projects around the topic of sustainability, ethics and responsible management focused on their particular regions, including the development of case studies on sustainable production and consumption for the business community at the Universiti Sains Malaysia.

A growing focus is being put on interdisciplinary collaboration and projects including at Stockholm School of Economics, Aarhus University and the Maasai Mara in Kenya, and the development of an interdisciplinary sustainability research network at University of Nottingham.

Several new publications were introduced which highlight research and the key role that faculty play in embedding sustainability and responsible management into the curriculum including Faculty Development for responsible management education and an Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME featuring examples from UK and Ireland.

 Part 2 will be posted on January 4th, 2016.

Developing Case Studies on Sustainable Production and Consumption for the Business Community – Universiti Sains Malaysia

MalaysiaThe Universiti Sains Malaysia in Malaysia has been actively engaged over the past two decades in incorporating sustainability into their curriculum and offerings, and also their research. They currently coordinate an innovative partnership between five different leading universities in Malaysia and a number of international organisations and national associations, with the aim of raising awareness and capacity around sustainable production and consumption in Malaysia. I spoke with Associate Professor Sofri Yahya, Dean of the Graduate School of Business about this project.

Introduce the project

The Universiti Sains Malaysia was a partner in the ASEAN Plus Three Leadership Programme on Sustainable Production and Consumption, an annual event organised by the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies that took place in Malaysia and aims to enhance awareness on sustainable production and consumption (SPC) issues for government and private sector decision makers.

To support the aims of this event, Universiti Sains Malaysia started a project in mid-2012 to develop learning materials and methodological support. This project began from recognising that there was a need to present real-life cases to decision makers, which demonstrate a change process from a business-as-usual scenario to one that effectuates, or has the potential to change behaviour and systems—i.e. cases that influence, or have the potential to influence, policy making and change practices geared towards SPC.

To showcase these production and consumption related challenges (and issues related to the green economy, good practices, policy choices, and other diverse topics in different regions), we developed learning cases as resource materials, to be used for capacity development programmes for policy makers, and gathered in a publication for use in teaching and training of policy makers, equiping them with the necessary knowledge, skills and tools for integrating sustainable thinking and practice, and developing strategies for sustainable development. The SPC resources included cases on cleaner production and resource efficiency, supply chain management, stakeholder engagement, procurement practices and sustainable consumption, financing of sustainability and development projects, education and capacity development for sustainability, and sustainable regional development. 

What other partners were involved in the project and how did you facilitate working together?

The project was funded by the United Nations University, and under the coordination of Graduate School of Business at Universiti Sains Malaysia, obtained participation and contributions from five other institutions: Prince of Songkla University, TERI University, University of the Philippines, Yonsei University and Universiti Sains Malaysia. Each institution contributed at least one learning case with relevant teaching notes and slide presentations. Other partner organisations—the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines, and the Regional Centre of Expertise Greater Phnom Penh, Cambodia—also provided support to the project by contributing similar required outputs, the development of which was done using their own resources.

The Graduate School of Business coordinated the project and provided consulting services in the form of: 1) administrative coordination and 2) editorial expertise—both in content editing throughout the development of the cases, as well as copy editing at the intermediate and final stages of refinement of cases.

What kinds of cases did the project produce?

The cases showcase good SPC practices and diverse SPC issues of different regions. The specific cases taken up by the contributors reflect the priorities of countries in the region, including those under these SPC priority areas:

  • Effective collaboration among multiple stakeholders (includes topics related to sustainable cities; lifestyle in sustainable consumption; and cross-sectoral and cross-departmental collaboration for coherent SPC actions)
  • Sustainable procurement
  • SPC service delivery (includes topics related to sustainable production, product and resource management)
  • Sustainable and community entrepreneurship
  • Monitoring and disclosure (includes topics related to indicators for SPC, measuring outcomes of SPC projects and processes)
  • Financial instruments for SPC projects
  • Building SPC into educational systems
  • Innovation and development (at different, including regional, levels)

In total, 11 cases were completed.

How are the cases being used? Are they being used in the university with students? With the partner organisations?

The expected outcomes were not only to provide resource materials for the ASEAN Plus Three Leadership Programme on SPC, but also for other capacity-building initiatives of United Nations University and partners on SPC and related fields. Ultimately, the aim in the long run is to initiate a platform for sharing more useful cases in the region and beyond.

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

Pursuing any potential similar project requires committed and knowledgeable writers as well as good policy-based advisors for development of educational case-based studies on sustainability topics. Sufficient funding and full cooperation from the organisations for cases to study is also essential.

What’s next for this project?

Our future plans for this project include development of a case-based sustainability leadership publication to be used for educational leadership retreats with companies.

What are three other projects at GSB in the area of PRME/responsible management/ sustainability that you are particularly proud of and would like others to know about?

Some of other responsible management and sustainability-related projects that we have either completed or are in process of organising include community outreach programmes that are planned and implemented by our MBA students as part of the “Business Issues and Sustainable Development” course. Two of the projects our students implemented in 2015 include cleaning up the a beach and national park in Penang Island, and organising a community awareness programme on recycling and environmental preservation called “Zero Waste Penang” (#zerowastepg), which was considerably attended by members of the community.

GSB is also proud to plan organising the “International Sustainability Business Week” in October 2015, which is a five-day programme focusing on the Green economy for sustainable business, especially in the context of multiple stakeholders living together within an ecosystem that functions not only to provide for society’s basic needs and human development, but also to reduce environmental degradation.

To learn more about the activities of the Graduate School of Business at the Universiti Sains Malaysia read their first Sharing Information on Progress report here

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