Energy and Sustainability in Business Schools – Introduction (part 1)

Screen Shot 2013-01-09 at 12.56.432012 marks the end of an important year in raising awareness about energy issues. Energy was one of the key themes of the Rio+20 Conference in Brazil in 2012. According to organizers of the event, “energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential. Sustainabile energy is opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet.”

The year also marked the International Year for Sustainable Energy for All, an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of increasing sustainable access to energy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy at the local, national, regional and international levels. According to the United Nations;

  • Today 1.4 billion people still do not have access to modern energy
  • 3 billion people rely on wood, coal, charcoal or animal waste as their main fuel sources
  • Energy is the dominant contributor to climate change, accounting for around 60% of total global greenhouse gas emissions
  • Millions of people are unable to afford electricity even when energy services are available.

The year aimed to engage government, the private sector and civil society partners globally to achieve three major goals by 2030:

  • Ensure universal access to modern energy services
  • Reduce global energy intensity by 40 per cent
  • Increase renewable energy use globally to 30 per cent

The business sector is increasingly active in this area as well. Beyond individual company initiatives around energy and climate change, there are a growing number of business networks and resources focused on the topic.

Despite 2012 being behind us, all of these initiatives are continuing stronger than ever into 2013. Business schools around the world are becoming more engaged in energy reduction and carbon neutrality projects. In this series of blogs, we will look at a range of schools doing some interesting work in this area from around the world.

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

Using Online Games to Teach Sustainability – Business Sector (part 2)

As we saw in part 1 of this series, games and simulations are a fun way to not only educate individuals about sustainability issues but also to help come up with some real solutions. In part 2, we look at a growing range of games created by some of the world’s leading businesses and NGOs, many of which look at the challenges of being a CEO or manager in companies where sustainability is increasingly important.

  • Chevron and the Economist group developed Energyville, a game where players work to power a virtual city through 2030 while keeping the economic, environmental and security impacts low in the choices they make.
  • CEO2 is a game developed by the WWF and Allianz where users are challenged to run a successful company while reducing CO2. The game puts the player in the role of CEO in one of four major industries from 2010 to 2030.
  • BT has a range of games available on their website which each last approximately 30 minutes. Better Business Dilemmas Game focuses on how to manage social and environmental issues in a business.  Better Business Choices tests entrepreneurial skills by designing a business that is profitable, responsible and sustainable.  Intrique 2016 challenges players to limit carbon emissions by keeping their carbon score as close to zero as possible.
  • IBM released the online game CityOne, which helps users discover how business process management, collaborative technologies and service oriented architecture enable industry solutions that help organisations and industries adapt to new demands and build a sustainable advantage. The game looks specifically at water, energy, banking and retail.
  • McDonalds developed a game as a way to explain to their customers the challenges of running a business, including some of the negative impacts that corporations such as theirs have on society and the environment, from rainforest destruction, to working conditions, faulty advertising campaigns, food poisoning, etc.
  • The Deloitte Business Simulation Game (not free) is designed to accelerate the implementation of corporate responsibility and sustainability initiatives via stakeholder engagement and development of leadership capabilities.
  • Novo Nordisk has developed three online games. The Business Ethics Challenge looks at how to deal with business ethics issues in a day-to-day business situation while ensuring a balance between sales targets and company reputation. EnviroMan looks at climate change and how you strike the right balance between economy and environment. Finally, The Convincer has players work to convince the Minster of Health to invest in ways to effectively address the rising challenges of the proper diabetes initiatives.
  • The BBC launched an online environmental game called Climate Challenge, which focuses on policy and sustainable development over a 110 year period. Players take on the role of leader of an EU country and must choose which policies to implement, taking into consideration environmental effectiveness while managing the challenges of neighbour countries’ potentially conflicting policy choices and the ultimate challenge of re-election.

Do you use any games or simulations in your classes? Please share your experiences in the discussions area below.


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