Business Schools Going Green As MBA Students Demand Change
One of the biggest challenges for the government in the months ahead is how best to boost the UK economy. The chancellor has pinpointed the fintech sector as a high-growth industry that could help turbo-charge the recovery and the government has also pinned its hopes on a future, green industrial revolution.
At the end of 2020, it announced a 10-point plan to create 250,000 green jobs across the UK and to accelerate the country’s path to becoming carbon net-zero. Given the government’s focus and the increased funding for the ‘green industry’, the future looks bright for anyone studying postgraduate degrees with an environmental or sustainable focus.
In years gone by, most prospective MBA students are likely to have given little thought to developing a greater knowledge and understanding of sustainability issues and responsible business practices. Clearly, times have changed.
Interest in these areas has spiked and MBA students can now choose specialist courses focused on sustainability and environmental management or explore these areas as part of a conventional business degree. There is an appreciation that even if you’re studying for a career in finance or banking these areas of relevance with ESG becoming a central issue in these sectors.
In response to the increased demand, the number of business schools offering courses and subjects in this area is rising and choosing the right institution is not an easy task. Thankfully, a new global ranking helps to shed some light on which business schools are considered the best for the world, rather than the best in the world.
The Positive Impact Rating (PIR) polls students to find out how they rate their school in four positive impact areas, sustainability and social progress, social entrepreneurship, impact investment and collective action. The 2020 report, which was launched at the World Economic Forum, identified 30 leading schools. Although the PIR consists of five levels, no school reached the top level (5) but nine were ranked at level 4 and 21 at level 3.
The only school from the UK to make the top 30 was London Business School and the rest of the list was made up of schools from across Asia, Europe, and North and Central America. Right across the globe, schools are putting more focus on responsible business and sustainability teaching and students recognise the value of learning in these areas. Not all MBA students will be plotting a career in sustainability, energy or the environmental sector, and are unlikely to study for a bespoke, sustainability qualification at the MBA level.
Nonetheless, if this is an area of importance or interest to you, then it’s worth researching and exploring. Start by finding out how your school fares in these areas and think about how you might be able to incorporate them into your MBA experience. It’s the responsible thing to do!