Differentiation through impact part II

Business Impact: Differentiation through impact part II
Business Impact: Differentiation through impact part II

The way business schools compete is changing. Those institutions which can demonstrate their positive influence on society are increasingly able to stand out from the crowd, in the eyes of prospective students, employers, and other stakeholders.

Business Impact set out to learn more and share examples of how business schools across the global BGA Network are striving to make a positive impact on their graduates, communities, and the natural environment.

This article considers how business schools are addressing their environmental impact. Interviewee respondents represent business schools in France, Japan, Egypt, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada. 

How is your business school addressing its environmental impact? (i.e., on natural capital, such as emissions to air, land and water, and the use of natural resources?)

Neil Mort, President, Acsenda School of Management: Located on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of people of the Tsleil-Waututh (səlil̓ w̓ətaʔɬ), Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw) and Musqueam (xʷməθkʷəy̓əm) Nations, Acsenda School of Management sees tremendous value in integrating sustainability education into our business and management curriculum.

With our campus only a short distance away from lush forests, sparkling rivers, and snow-covered mountains, we are constantly reminded that climate change is a serious problem that future generations will need to deal with. For the past two terms, in conjunction with Drawdown BC [a climate solutions education and engagement NGO] we have offered a joint microcredential in environmental awareness, sustainability and climate action.

This is a five-session, grassroots level programme that is delivered online and seeks to provide meaningful opportunities for students to increase awareness regarding climate change, connect with their communities and develop initiatives that help to bring positive change. We are always looking for opportunities for students from other institutions to participate.

The volatilities and risks associated with climate degradation are frightening. However, through greater understanding emerges empathetic and educated business professionals capable of navigating these problems together.

Neil Mort

Nicola Jackman, Head of Academics, Geneva Business School: We have a reforestation programme, whereby for each student enrolled we plant a tree, in collaboration with Tree Nation. In addition, we have a number of institutional, but also student-driven, initiatives such as the cleaning of beaches, awareness days for garbage recycling and so on. At a business perspective, we can be considered a ‘quasi’ paperless organisation. [We also have] movement sensors for our LED lighting in all three campuses, low water-consumption washrooms, carbon air filtering, and 100% waste recycling (for organic, paper, plastic, and glass waste). 

Headshot of Nicola Jackman

Sherif Kamel, Dean, The American University in Cairo School of Business: The university is supporting academic research that addresses climate change, due to its impact on the economy and the importance of creating a sustainable environment.

The university tackles sustainability from various perspectives, including monitoring its carbon footprint by producing a series of carbon footprint reports since 2011, promoting environmental research and education, implementing recycling programmes, and raising public awareness.

The university has also taken several measures to foster a ‘clean and green’ campus environment, such as developing a sustainable trash management system and building the university’s first extensive green roof.

Headshot of Sherif Kamel

Steven De Haes, Dean, Antwerp Management School: When moving into a new building, great care was taken to design it in such a way that it is self-sufficient in the use of energy as much as possible. Solar panels, re-use of rainwater, environmentally friendly materials, installing re-used furniture, and so on, all contribute to the circular model the school wants to promote. Reducing waste, avoiding disposable materials and requiring suppliers to commit to environmentally friendly services are all central policies in order to save on natural resources.

Headshot of Steven De Haas

Kenji Yokoyama, Dean of External Relations, NUCB Business School: NUCB operates in line with the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) and develops programmes to drive society towards their realisation. Faculty members are asked to describe in their syllabi how their courses are related to the realisation of the SDGs. We are also a member of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Headshot of Kenji Yokoyama

Yasmina Kashouh, DBA candidate at Ascencia Business School and Faculty Member at Collège de Paris International: We are working on addressing environmental impact by appointing Guillaume Finck, Vice President of Collège de Paris International, as an advisor and ambassador of Cardashift – a community-run business accelerator that collects funds, creates and accelerates social and environmental projects. Cardashift is built on Cardano, a blockchain platform that is considered to be one of the most environmentally sustainable blockchains. The main purpose of Guillaume Finck’s appointment is to help Cardashift identify and support educational ventures.

Headshot of Yasmina Kashouh

This article originally appeared in the print edition (May 2022-July 2022) of Business Impact, magazine of the Business Graduates Association (BGA).

Read more Business Impact articles related to sustainability:

Download the latest edition of the Business Impact magazine

Cover Story

A World of Difference

An annual summer school offered to executive MBA (EMBA) students studying at multiple locations around the world allows participants to come together and transform their differences into assets that drive personal growth. Director of EMBA programmes at the School of Management Sciences at the University of Quebec in Montreal (ESG-Uqam) Kamal Bouzinab offers an in-depth guide to an intensive week of experiential learning, cross-continental dialogue and networking.

Want your business school to feature in
Business Impact?

For questions about editorial opportunities, please contact:

Tim Banerjee Dhoul

Content Editor
Business Impact


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