A Selection of MOOCs on Sustainability/Ethics for Fall 2015

Lund University
There are a growing number of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) being offered on a range of sustainability topics. These courses are available for free online and open to anyone with an interest in the topic, lasting between three and fourteen weeks and taking between three and eight hours of time per week to complete. Here is a selection of such courses offered this Fall 2015, listed by topic, from PRME signatory and non-signatory schools.


Solar Energy: This course explores photovoltaic systems and the technology that converts solar energy into electricity, heat and solar fuel. From Delft University of Technology, TU Delft – starts September 1.

Energy Subsidy Reform: This course explores energy subsidies, their costs, and the design of a successful reform based on country case studies. International Monetary Fund – Starts January 27, 2016.

Climate Change – The Science: Master the basics of climate science so you can better understand the news, evaluate scientific evidence, and explain global warming to anyone. The University of British Columbia – starts October 14.

Climate Change: This course develops an interdisciplinary understanding of the social, political, economic, and scientific perspectives on climate change. The University of Melbourne – starts August 31.

Basics of Energy Sustainability: Explore basics of energy sustainability through techno/economic frameworks and global markets – a comprehensive foundation for strategic business decision-making. From Rice University – starts October.


Tropical Coastal Ecosystems: This course will help you to develop the skills and knowledge needed to help preserve tropical coastal ecosystems that provide goods and services to hundreds of millions of people. It will give an overview of the challenges, and provide tools to understand problems and solutions to manage tropical coastal ecosystems. University of Queensland Australia – starting September 1.

Introduction to Water and Climate explores how climate change, water availability and engineering innovation are key challenges for our planet. Delft University of Technology, TU Delft – starts September 1.

The Biology of Water and Health – Sustainable Interventions: This course explores how to promote safe water conservation and water sustainability to improve public health. Open Education Consortium – starts September 29.

Planet Earth…and You!: This course discusses how earthquakes, volcanoes, minerals and rocks, energy, and plate tectonics have interacted over deep time to produce our dynamic island in space, and its unique resources. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – starts September 14.

Forests and Humans – From the Midwest to Madagascar: This course explores the forests of the world, from the taiga to the tropical rainforest. Learn why humans depend on them, and how we can sustainably manage forests for us, and the many species with whom we share them. University of Wisconsin-Madison – starts September 30.


Foundations of Development Policy – Advanced Development Economics: This course uses economic theory and data analysis to explore the economic lives of the poor, and ways to design and implement effective development policy. MIT – starts September 21.

Quality of Life – Livability in Future Cities: This course explores how urban planning, energy, climate, ecology and mobility impact the livability and quality of life of a “future city.” ETH Zurich – starts September 23.

Reconciliation Through Indigenous Education: This course explores strategies, examples, and resources that support teaching and learning of indigenous ways of knowing in classrooms, schools, and communities. The University of British Columbia – starts September 29.

Business Ethics for the Real World: This self-paced course is designed to provide an introduction to the subject of ethical behaviour in business. Santa Clara University – starts August 10.

Geopolitics and Global Governance: This course offers a reflection – from a geostrategic and geopolitical viewpoint – on the basics of understanding today’s world. This course is in Spanish. ESADE – starts November 2.

Production and Consumption

Industrial Biotechnology explores the basics of sustainable processing for bio-based products, to further understand their impact on global sustainability. Delft University of Technology, TU Delft – starts September 30.

Circular Economy – An Introduction: Design a future that rethinks our current “take-make-waste” economy to focus on circular, innovative products and business models. Delft University of Technology, TU Delft – starts October.

Greening the Economy – Lessons from Scandinavia: This course addresses sustainability, climate change and how to combine economic development with a healthy environment. It will explore how individual choices, business strategies, sustainable cities and national policies can promote a greener economy. Lund University – starts September 14.

Change Makers

Transforming Business, Society and Self: This course puts the student in the driver’s seat of innovation and change. It helps change makers see below the surface of today’s environmental, social, and spiritual-cultural challenges, identify the root issues that cause them, and create solutions from a place of deeper awareness. MIT – starts September 10.

Social Entrepreneurship: This course will cover a select set of topics associated with social innovation and entrepreneurship whether non-profit or for-profit. The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania – starts September 14.

Women in Leadership – Inspiring Positive Change: This course aims to inspire and empower women and men across the world to engage in purposeful career development, take on leadership for important causes and improve our workplaces and communities for all. Case Western Reserve University – starts September 8.

Social Learning for Social Impact: In this MOOC students will collaborate with other like-minded individuals from around the globe on doing social impact work while also being exposed to concepts and models on how to effectively do so. McGill University – starts September 16.

Innovation and Problem Solving through Creativity: This course helps participants increase innovation and improve problem solving at work by fostering your creative abilities. The University of British Columbia – starts October 20.

The Science of Happiness: This course teaches positive psychology. Berkeley University of California – starts September 8.

– Are you organising a MOOC this or next term not mentioned above? Get in touch at gweybrecht@thesustainablemba.com

Examining the Impact of Diversity in Business – McCoy College of Business Administration

Distinguished Lecture featuring Brian EastA growing number of schools are choosing yearly themes that expose students to issues important to the community and their careers. At the Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas in the US, their Common Experience programme chooses a theme that is explored thoroughly throughout the University, including in the McCoy College of Business Administration. Ms. Brittany Chrisman, Academic Advisor in McCoy College of Business and Coordinator of Business Leadership Week, explained a bit more about this year’s theme and how the business school has embraced it.

What is the Texas State Common Experience and how did it come about?

The Common Experience at Texas State University is an annual, yearlong initiative designed to cultivate a common intellectual conversation across the campus, to enhance student participation in the intellectual life of the campus, and to foster a sense of community across our entire campus and beyond.

The Common Experience programme brings students together to read and engage with a particular theme (changing yearly), and to explore this theme in University Seminar classes, write responses and reactions to the texts in writing courses, participate in related symposia with scholarly panels, hear renowned and respected speakers address the topic, see films related to the Common Experience theme, explore the experience through the fine arts, engage in informal discussions in residence halls and coffee shops, and extend the exploration via avenues of their own choosing.

For entering students, the Common Experience starts even before they begin classes at Texas State. The Common Reading book is distributed during New Student Orientation, and students are encouraged to start reading it and to become involved by way of the websites for Common Experience and the Common Reading Program. The Common Experience also casts a broader net, involving faculty, the San Marcos community that houses the university, and others interested in participating in a broad intellectual consideration of a different world-scope topic each year. The topics themselves emerge from the competitive ideas of our own faculty, staff, and students, which provides a dimension of ownership and increased involvement.

How has the university as a whole mobilised around this theme?

The 2014-2015 Common Experience theme is “Exploring Democracy’s Promise: From Segregation to Integration.” It is inspired by the 50th anniversary of the desegregation of Texas State University, known in 1963 as Southwest Texas State College (SWT). In January of 1963 Judge Ben H. Rice ruled that SWT could not deny admission to an African-American student based solely on race. After the ruling, in the fall of 1963, 18-year-old Dana Jean Smith, a graduate of Anderson High School in Austin, Texas, enrolled at SWT. The registrar personally assisted Smith in registering along with four other African American students: Georgia Hoodye, Gloria Odoms, Mabeleen Washington, and Helen Jackson. This year’s Common Experience event honored the five women as trailblazers and recognised their contributions to Texas State history. The event featured a conversation, tributes, entertainment, and a reception. Additional events include film screenings, art galleries exhibitions, guest lectures, a performance of Raisin’ Cane – A Harlem Renaissance Odyssey, the Leadership Institute Annual Conference, and Business Leadership Week, to name a few.

What is the theme this year and why that theme? Why is it important for business?

McCoy College of Business Administration related the Common Experience theme to business by selecting “Examining the Impact of Diversity in Business” as the Business Leadership Week (BLW) 2015 theme. Diversity is imperative to the success and growth of modern businesses. Students will have the opportunity to learn firsthand from business professionals how diversity impacts businesses in profound ways. The BLW is slated to feature guest speakers, a leadership panel, an interactive fair, keynote speaker, Bloomberg Businessweek Mini-Case Competition, and Etiquette dinner. The main events will feature speakers and topics directly related to the theme in an effort to continue the conversation started by the university through Common Experience.

What have been some of the successes of BLW? Challenges?

McCoy College of Business Administration students, faculty, and staff, along with the university and local community have enjoyed and embraced the event for the past six years. Each year the programme has grown, with attendance increasing from 393 in 2009 to 3,700 in 2014. The growth of the programme into an annual, anticipated event has been our greatest success. As with most programmes, our greatest challenge is securing adequate funding. We address this challenge by seeking and taking full advantage of grant and sponsorship opportunities.

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

I would advise other schools considering a similar programme to include students in the planning and implementation process. For the past several years of Business Leadership Week, we have made a concentrated effort to involve students in the entire process. We invite student organisations to sponsor events by hosting networking receptions, introducing guest speakers, and assisting with the interactive fair by partnering with vendors as they arrive on campus. Students gain more from the week by being able to get to know the business professionals one on-one through these opportunities. The students are also more invested in the programme when they help to plan and run the events.

What’s next for the programme?

The Business Leadership Week planning committee is busy preparing for BLW 2015. Our planning tasks include reaching out to potential guest speakers, seeking sponsorships, submitting grant proposals for funding, seeking businesses to participate in the interactive fair, and designing the leadership panel and Bloomberg Businessweek Mini-Case Competition in coordination with our theme. The planning process for Business Leadership Week is ongoing year-round in order to make the programme as effective as possible.


Implementing Sustainability Principles – Sharing Information on Progress

Universidad Nacional de San Martin

Universidad Nacional de San Martin

Every month, several new Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) reports come across my desk. These SIP reports are full of interesting and innovative projects aimed at embedding the Principles of PRME across campus. In this new series of blogs, I will feature just a small selection of these projects taken from recently submitted reports. This month, we take a look at examples from the US, Germany, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Egypt, and Sweden

1. Purpose: San Francisco State University College of Business, USA

For over thirty years, the College of Business at San Francisco State University has required each graduate and undergraduate student to take a course that covers the social, ethical, legal, political, and environmental issues facing business. To reinforce this, the College of Business has been putting on Business Ethics Week since 2006. Every Fall semester, the College focuses a full week on topics related to social, ethical, and environmental issues. Speakers and panel discussions are scheduled and are open to all students and faculty. In addition, all faculty in the College are asked to focus at least one class session that week on ethical, social, or environmental topics related to their discipline (accounting, finance, marketing, etc.). During Business Ethics Week, over 4,000 business students participated and well over 50 percent of faculty integrated ethics-related modules or speakers. Events in 2013 included an extensive range of lectures including: Violations In Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Can Cities Ethically Yet Successfully Partner With Private Interests?, and In Defense Of Ethics: Customer Acquisition Cost And Lifetime Value For Start-Up Entrepreneurs.

2. Values: School of Economics and Business, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

The School of Economics and Business at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg believes it is important that students are given competencies in analysing the interdependencies between social structures. One key way to do this is through interactive and interdisciplinary courses that include co-teaching and group work, role-plays, strategy simulations, and practical projects. One of the practical projects that students take part in is the School’s partnership with GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the German Development Agency, which has been in place since 2008. Within the scope of academic courses, student teams analyse a practical project currently being carried out by a division of the GIZ. These types of experiences help students to see with their own eyes how conflicts may be structured and how consensual solutions can be implemented.

3. Method: Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Argentina

During the first semester of 2013, Universidad Nacional de San Martin launched its new Diploma in Advanced Studies in Corporate Social Responsibility. The new programme is organised in collaboration with the School of Economics and Business, with support from the Global Compact Network Argentina and CEADS, the local Chapter of WBCSD (the World Business Council for Sustainable Development).

4. Research: Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), Austria

Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of MCI’s research portfolio. In particular, MCI has spearheaded the discussion of corporate social responsibility in the Western Austrian region. These projects empirically investigated a broad range of issues, such as the interrelationship of CSR and corporate strategy, the effect that CSR has on customer loyalty, and the nexus of CSR and corporate governance. In the Spring 2013 term, MCI’s Research and Development unit offered a workshop entitled “Business ethics and creating shared value,” in which faculty and staff presented their ongoing projects and intellectual contributions on contemporary business ethics, thereby facilitating an exchange of ideas and fostering dialogue. MCI has also created a joint initiative with the University of Innsbruck called Science and Responsibility, which aims at investigating scientific affairs with respect to their ethical relevance and to strengthening the interaction between universities and society. The programme is freely accessible to all.

5. Partnerships: University of New England, Australia

The University of New England has a number of research projects looking at carbon taxes, including work by Professor Mahinda Siriwardana on Carbon Tax Impact Modelling. The University is part of a key research project, in partnership with the Australian Research Council, which looks to uncover the optimal response of the energy sector to changes in energy demand in rural and regional Australia during the economic transformation induced by the carbon tax. The project will address three important issues in Australia. First, by comparing the environmental and economic effects of each energy sector response, this project will find the trade off between environmental protection and economic growth. Second, it will look at the future of the energy sectors in a low carbon economy, in particular relating to their response to the carbon tax. Third, it will examine the vulnerability of rural and regional communities. The research project is due for completion in 2016.

6. Dialogue: The American University of Cairo, Egypt

The Corporate Governance Club at the American University in Cairo (AUC) is the first Egyptian student-based academic club that is dedicated to the dissemination of corporate governance principles and best practices among students. It aims at encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue among students of business, finance, economics, law, and accounting who share a common interest in working in a fair and transparent corporate environment. One of these events includes a 6 hour workshop on Combating Money Laundering, which was delivered to more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students from AUC, Ain Shams University, and Cairo University. The workshop focused on how proceeds of crime are laundered and what could be done to mitigate such practices. Participants were able to interact with leading experts from the Money Laundering Combating Unit (MLCU) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank of Egypt. All participants also received a certificate of completion from the Egyptian Banking Institute.

+Organisational Practices: The School of Business, Economics and Law at University of Gothenburg, Sweden

The School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg’s 2013 report focused on the work done by a group put together by the School’s management team consisting of representatives from the Department of Law, Economics, Business Administration as well as the Environmental Coordinator at the School. The group was tasked to explore how to integrate the aim of sustainable development in the School’s courses and study programmes.


To read all the latest Sharing Information on Progress reports visit the PRME website.

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Germany, Nigeria and Costa Rica

Screen Shot 2013-10-25 at 21.21.37As businesses become 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 repeatedly hear the same examples from the same international companies.

In an attempt to share some new examples of good practise, 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. Below are some examples from the Germany, Nigeria, and Costa Rica.

Andre Habisch, Ingolstadt School of Management, Germany

Baumax is a chain of DIY superstores that started in Austria and recently spread around the whole of Eastern Europe. Mr. Essl, son of the founder of the family firm and current CEO of the company, is a devout Protestant entrepreneur. When more than 20 years ago, an employee had an accident and remained handicapped, it seemed that he could no longer work for the company. However, the Essl family owners decided to keep that employee on board and initiate the necessary changes in the building to allow access for his wheelchair. With that act of solidarity, the “Humanprogramm” started within the company. Today, every Baumax store has a fixed partner organisation working with handicapped people. These receive regular jobs from the company. Moreover, at least once a month, handicapped people from the partner organisation are also invited to work in the stores as sales assistants.

Kemi Ogunyemi, Lagos Business School, Nigeria

The Nigerian Association for Women’s Advancement (NAWA) is an NGO that runs several projects, including the Lagoon Secondary School. They give scholarships to poor girls and provide free tuition to prepare them to win the scholarships. They also give free classes to adult women who have missed their chance to enter into the formal education system because of having to join the workforce early. Bi-Allianz Co. Ltd sells Save80 stoves and ‘Kookbags’ that use greener energy than other household alternatives. These also free up time for mothers and are less threatening to their families’ health. Kadick Integrated Ltd do brilliant work developing their employees and act as a training ground from which these people can develop skills and experience and then freely choose to stay with the company, move on to others, or to run their own businesses.

Lawrence Pratt, INCAE, Costa Rica

Florida Ice and Farm is a food and beverage company that has become a triple bottom line company and is an innovative leader in sustainability. Because of the importance of nature-oriented tourism in Costa Rica, tourism operations that are only “OK” in their environmental and social performance would be considered far and away the leaders in most countries. A couple examples include Finca Rose Blanca Coffee Plantation & Inn and Villa Blanca. Much of this sustainability approach in tourism was consolidated and advanced through CST, arguably the world’s best tourism sustainability certification programme.

Making a Real Impact – Universum University College Kosovo

548346_485508141482916_1710394584_nThe best way to develop more responsible leaders is to engage students in contributing solutions to real world challenges throughout their degree programmes. A project started by a small group of students who wanted to make a difference in their community at Universum University College has turned into an opportunity for the University to make a mark on reducing hunger in Kosovo through an ongoing campaign called ‘Why Care.’ I recently spoke with Alejtin Berisha, Executive Director of Universum University College in Prishtina, Kosovo about this project.

1. Briefly describe Universum University’s approach to responsible leadership and sustainability.

Our mission is to provide high quality, accessible, and affordable educational opportunities and services to a Kosovar and international student body through teaching excellence, lifelong learning, applied research, and partnership building, thus preparing students to be thoughtful, responsible, and successful citizens and support the economic development of Kosovo and the region. With our programmes, we prepare our students to become responsible managers in the dynamic and complex sustainable global economy. We seek not only to create business leaders, but also social responsible citizens of our country and socially responsible leaders.

Our approach towards responsible leadership and sustainability lies in three areas: environment, business, and society. As our activities show, our understanding of sustainability is closely linked with our mission and our values. From the beginning, management at Universum University insisted on fulfilling its responsibilities to its employees, to society, and to nature.

2. How did the ‘Why Care’ campaign come about?

One of the services that our career office offers to students is the opportunity to develop their own projects that help society and contribute to common good. A group of 8 students came to the career office last year wanting to do something for International Hunger Day. Within a week of starting, the project already had 100 students involved.

Over 1.5 billion people around the world are threatened by hunger, and 18% of the population in Kosovo lives in extreme poverty. In response to this, the students and professors started a public campaign called “Why Care?” The campaign was kick started with a debate on campus, which included the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, Deputy Minister of Environment and Spatial Planning, and several faculty from Universum presenting facts and figures on poverty, hunger, and Kosovo. This debate also marked the beginning of a project initiated by the university with the same title. 

3. Briefly describe the ‘Why Care’ campaign.

The “Why Care?” campaign will be implemented in four stages:

  • Awareness Raising Phase – During the first phase, a photo exhibition was put together by Universum College students. Different individuals wrote their answer to the question ‘Why Care’ (relating to hunger) on pieces of paper and took a picture of themselves holding the paper. These pictures were shared through social media. In this phase, we managed to gain the support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Development, the Ministry of Environmental and Spatial Planning, and organisations that support philanthropy development and business.
  • Research Phase – Now, we are in the second phase of this project, and our students, together with Universum professors, are in a process of conducting research in Kosovo that will help us better understand the extent of the problem of hunger in the country. This research will also help to identify the best mechanisms, which we will use in upcoming phases in order to help reduce poverty in Kosovo.
  • Fundraising Phase – In this phase, we plan to build a joint fund with Kosovar institutions, nongovernmental organisations, and the private sector that already are implementing socially responsible policies. This phase will be implemented after the results of the research are presented and after the hunger reduction mechanisms are identified.
  • Reducing Hunger Phase – In this phase, we will work to tackle the problem of hunger in Kosovo through activities such as study scholarships, grants for new farmers, small funds for new enterprises, etc. The list of activities that will be implemented during the final phase will be based upon results of the research that is presented and hunger reduction mechanisms are identified.

This project is being implemented in cooperation with Universities Fighting World Hunger where Universum is an active member. In partnership with the World Food Program of the United Nations, Universities Fighting World Hunger mobilises universities from around the world to fight hunger and create an academic models that provide solutions to hunger that can be replicated or adapted by universities worldwide.

4. What has been the benefit of developing partnerships for your project?

When it comes to fighting hunger, we are very conscious that we cannot do miracles within a month, especially if we work alone. We organised the debate to see if we could get support and build partnerships with Kosovar institutions, nongovernmental organisations, and the business sector. We did manage to get this support and to build partnerships. Currently, we have the support from government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture, different non-governmental organisations that work in this area in Kosovo, and from a number of local businesses.

5. What impact has the project had so far, and what advice do you have for others who are thinking of doing something similar?

We believe that the major success of this recently launched campaign is that people are already starting to understand and talk about hunger in Kosovo.

Besides providing high quality, accessible, and affordable educational for our students, as we mentioned in our mission, we aim to prepare our students to be good citizens that will help others in need. We think that this campaign provoked their emotions and put their skills into use in order to fight something that is happening globally. They are feeling proud and part of the change.

We think that, besides providing students with high quality education and engaging them in projects that contribute to common good, it will help them become better citizens and leaders for a better world of tomorrow.

For more visit their facebook page.

– How do you make an impact in your community? Share your examples in the comments section below – 

What happened at the 2013 PRME Summit – 5th Annual Assembly

prmeOn September 25-26, the Principles for Responsible Management Education Secretariat and CEEMAN co-organised the 2013 PRME Summit – 5th Annual Assembly in Bled Slovenia, held in conjunction with the 21st CEEMAN Annual Conference on September 27. The events brought together more than 200 members of responsible management education community and included some influential speakers including the former President of Slovenia, Janez Stanovnik, Dr. Jernej Pkalo, Minister for Education, Science, and Sport in Slovenia, Nikos Koumettis, President of the Central & Southern Europe Business Unit for The Coca-Cola Company, as well as Deans from a range of leading business schools around the world. The focus of the event was to discuss the creation of a new intellectual, research, and institutional agenda that develops leaders for the future we want.

A few outcomes of the Summit included a range of new and updated resources to assist signatories in their efforts to implement responsible management education. The second edition of the Inspirational Guide for the Implementation of PRME: Learning to go beyond was released, featuring 27 new case stories from 17 countries. As with the first edition, launched at Rio+20, these inspirational guides highlight the real implementers of responsible management education.  A series of additional case stories were also selected in a blind peer review process for inclusion in the Summit and can be found here.

The second edition of the 2013 PRME MGSM MBA Study was launched, an international survey of MBA students and their attitudes towards corporate sustainability and responsible management. A total of 1,285 postgraduate students contributed to the online survey. Generally the students reported that their schools are preparing them well on issues of business ethics and social responsibility but at the same time there is evidence to suggest that academic institutions would be well served by maintaining and increasing the scope of responsible management education in across their curricula.

The issue area PRME Working Groups have also been very active over the past year. The PRME Working Group on Anti-Corruption has developed an Anti-Corruption Toolkit, available online, which provides eleven comprehensive anti-corruption modules for business schools and management-related academic institutions around the world. The modules can be used individually or collectively and aim to address the ethical, moral, and practical challenges that students will face in the marketplace. The PRME Working Group on Gender Equality has continued to update the Global Resource Repository, which provides resources for faculty to integrate gender issues into management education, and includes an inventory of case studies, syllabi, text books, good practices, etc., for application in a variety of disciplines. The PRME Working Group on Poverty as a Challenge to Management Education will soon publish the second edition of The Collection of Best Practices and Inspirational Solutions for Fighting Poverty through Management Education: A Compendium of Teaching Resources.

A couple of recognitions were given out for Excellent in Reporting. In the first category of those PRME signatories that submitted more than 3 Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) reports, Hanken School of Economics from Finland was selected because of its report’s clear and coherent structure, readability, and the information regarding the evolution of their activities and their future goals and plans. A second school recognised in this category was ISAE/FGV from Brazil, which created a sustainability report that uses a range of different reporting frameworks (PRME, GRI, MDGs, UNGC) and combines readability with detail and technicality for those mentioned audiences. The second category of awards recognised the cohort of new signatories reporting for the first time. In this category, Glasgow Caledonian University’s SIP report was recognised for presenting initiatives for each Principle in an easily identifiable way, and actions undertaken have been show in concise, realistic, useful, and inspiring ways.

This year has also seen the establishment of a number of regional chapters, with several more in development. PRME Regional Chapters are now present in Asia, Australasia, Latin America, Brazil, UK and Ireland, German-Speaking Europe (DACH – Switzerland, Austria, Germany), Nordic countries, and the Middle East and North  Africa. There are several upcoming PRME regional meetings and activities, including the 3rd PRME MENA Regional Forum (9-11 November in Dubai), the 4th PRME Asia Forum (14-15 November in Manila, Philippines), the 3rd PRME Australia/New Zealand Forum (18-21 November in Waikato, New Zealand), and the PRME Chapter Brazil will meet in Curitiba on 5 November. Participation at these events, which are great opportunities to learn more about PRME, is open to all from the responsible management education community.

To read the 2013 PRME Summit Declaration click here.

What did you take out of the summit? New ideas? New partnerships? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

What happened at the UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013

UN Global CompactThe UN Global Compact Leaders Summit 2013: Architects of a Better World took place on 19-20 September in New York. The event brought together representatives from the business community to set the stage for business to shape and advance the post-2015 development agenda and put forward a framework for business to contribute to global priorities, such as climate change, water, food, women’s empowerment, children’s rights, decent jobs, and education, at unprecedented levels. The Global Compact comprises 8,000 companies and 4,000 civil society organisations from 145 countries.

Several major projects and documents were released during the summit. One of the most anticipated ones was the New Global Architecture for Corporate Sustainability designed to “drive and scale up corporate actions to directly advance United Nations goals,” according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It provides an overview of plans to link business engagement with global priorities, in particular around the current Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and expected Sustainable Development Goals (details to be unveiled by the Secretary General this week). Further, the architecture has already been endorsed by both the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI).

In addition to the existing UN Global Compact programmes, three new programmes were launched on education, agriculture, and peace. Additionally, a new Business Partnership Hub will provide a space online for the business community to post projects around the UN Global Compact’s different themes. Further, the summit officially launched the PRME Champions leadership group (more details to follow in an upcoming blog post).

The summit also saw the launch of several major reports. The Global Corporate Sustainability Report 2013 looks at the state of corporate sustainability today – providing an in-depth review of the actions taken by companies around the world to embed responsible practices into their strategies, operations and culture. The report is based on the results form a survey with nearly 2,000 companies across 113 countries.  The Report shows that companies are doing a good job at making commitments, defining goals and setting policies but still have a lot of work to do on putting these into practice. Larger companies are more likely to put these strategies into action than smaller companies however small companies are increasingly taking steps to catch up with their larger peers. Sustainability in the supply chain is not just one of the key actions in sustainability within companies but also one of the biggest roadblocks because tracking compliance is a challenge.

UN Global Compact – Accenture CEO Study on Sustainability 2013: Architects of a Better World surveyed 1,000 CEOs and includes in depth interviews with 75 of them.   The report says that more than two thirds of chief executives – 67% – believe that business is not doing enough to address global sustainability challenges. Seventy eight percent see sustainability as a route to growth and innovation and 79% believe that it will lead to competitive advantage in their industry. Respondents also site lack of financial resources, a failure to make the link between sustainability and business value as challenges. CEOs are demanding greater collaboration between business, governments and policymakers as well as increased regulations, standards, subsidies and incentives to support their sustainability efforts.

Global Compact 100 is a stock index of companies committed to the UNGC’s ten principles which tracked the stock market performance of GC companies during the past three years, comparing the results against a broad market benchmark, the FTSE All World. Released in partnership with research firm Sustainanalytics, the index shows a total investment return of 26.4% during the past year, surpassing the general global stock market (22.1%). “While the performance of the GC 100 should not be seen as clear evidence of a causal relationship between a commitment to corporate sustainability practices and stock performance, there appears to be an exciting correlation,” said Georg Kell, Executive Director the UN Global Compact. “Moreover, the results may also reflect the fact that sustainability performance is a factor that is receiving increasing interest from investors.”

Corporate Sustainability and the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda, based on consultations and surveys with thousands of businesses in all major regions, contains business perspectives and recommendations in three areas: determining the core of a post 2015 agenda, including suggested sustainable development goals and targets; how to engage business and investors towards sustainable development goals; and recommending ways that Governments can advance inclusive and sustainable markets. The proposed goals are: 1) End poverty and increase prosperity via inclusive economic growth; 2) Quality education for all; 3) Achieve women’s and girls’ empowerment; 4) Universal health coverage; 5) Good nutrition for all through sustainable food and agricultural systems; 6) Water and sanitation for all; 7) Sustainable energy for all; 8) Build peaceful and stable societies; 9) Modernize infrastructure and technology; and 10) Good governance and realization of human rights.

The Africa Sustainability Barometer was also launched, covering more than 1,000 international companies with operations in the region, as well as local and regional companies. It gauges the state of corporate sustainability reporting and is a joint initiative between the UNGC and the Financial Times.

The Smartest Investment:  A framework for Business engagement in education  was launched at the event as a joint initiative between UNESCO, UNICEF, UNGC, and the UN Special Envoy for Global Education. The report makes that case that education is not only good for society but also good for business and charts the means to realize business benefits while advancing education goals.

Sustainable Agriculture Business Principles, launched in collaboration with key civil society organizations, the Principles were developed in response to the need for a common understanding between existing standards and industry initiatives. The Principles will provide a framework for furthering good practice and for developing effective private and public sector policies and partnerships.

For more news about the event visit the UN Global Compact website.

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