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Is sustainable development still a long way off for businesses?

A survey of the world’s leading business schools shows the low level of training on SDG issues

 

Sustainable development is everyone’s goal. This is also true for companies, which have been adapting their methods and approaches to production and the market for some time. This change has also influenced the cultural backgrounds of the managers and entrepreneurs involved. Giselle Weybrecht set out to investigate how business schools around the world have involved their students in raising awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed in 2015 to mid-2020. Weybrecht wanted to find out whether future managers have already mastered the principles of sustainable development that they will then be called upon to apply.

“How management education is engaging students in the sustainable development goals”, looks at the data from the information submitted by the schools. The author then goes on to outline the range of reported approaches that relate specifically to students and explicitly mention the SDGs.

The results are surprising. They show that although an increasing number of innovative approaches have been found that could become the basis for the way management education approaches the SDGs, most schools still do not engage their students in the SDGs themselves. This is not sufficient, because among the business schools that do address sustainable development issues, most offer limited coverage and they are always “embedded” in other subjects. Giselle Weybrecht writes,

“This is a missed opportunity for students, universities and the global community, given the important influence that management education, and by extension the business sector, has on achieving sustainable development goals”.

Giselle Weybrecht’s research demonstrates that there is still a long way to go to achieve a corporate culture with sustainable development as one of its main “strings”.

How management education is engaging students in the sustainable development goals

Giselle Weybrecht

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, July 2021