March 21, 2013 1:29 pm

Sustainability moves up the agenda at business schools

Accreditation bodies from Europe and the US have joined together to endorse the work and principles of the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, which aims to put sustainability on the business school agenda.

The AACSB and EFMD have signed a long-term partnership with the GRLI for the three to work together to address the issues business schools face when they try to change their curriculum or teaching models. Business schools need to help “create the business systems for the twenty-first century,” says Mark Drewell, chief executive of the GRLI, and “enable businesses to be sustainable around the common good.”

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The GRLI was set up by the United Nations Global Compact in 2004 and has been working with academics to develop a blueprint for the sustainable business of the future. Mr Drewell hopes the work done on this will inform the accreditation processes of both the AACSB and Equis.

The GRLI has already developed initiatives to address the needs of business schools. The first is a programme to help senior business school professors develop a more responsible curriculum. The second is a consortium which would work to develop doctoral programmes, and so create future professors who are more attuned to issues of sustainability.

Those schools that have signed up to the latter include many that are already converts to the idea of teaching sustainable business. Mr Drewell is not deterred. “We’re enabling the converted to take practical action,” he says.

Eric Cornuel, director general of EFMD, says the GRLI “will become the armed wing of our shared ambitions at EFMD and AACSB to accelerate change”.

www.grli.org

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