Business Schools: their role in sustainability

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1 Business Schools: their role in sustainability EFMD External Relations Meeting, Alicante March 2011 Matthew Gitsham 1

2 Yesterday s workshop Advanced discussion, strong familiarity with issues and good examples of what own schools doing. Broad agreement on importance Discussion of some of challenges and contradictions Taking it forward today 2 Coming from the strategic angle Who doesn t agree? What are the barriers? What enables change where it does happen? Pathways for organisational change What s the role of external relations professionals and partnerships?

3 3

4 National Grid Three strategic objectives Embed target of 80% GHG reduction by 2050 Reshaping markets by aligning regulatory and public policy incentives Help others to meet the climate change challenge and embrace energy efficiency 4

5 Smart city planning Smart Buildings Smart appliances Dematerialization services Smart industry I-optimization Smart Grid Integrated renewable Smart work Intelligent transport Low carbon IT solutions: Contributing to the first billion tonnes of global CO2

6

7 P&G Company Product Energy Usage from Life Cycle Perspective Energy (GJ) 3.5E E E E E E E E+00 Product Type Life Cycle Phase Diaper Bathroom Tissue Laundry Liquid Fabric Softener Feminine Pad Paper Towel Liquid Dishwash Shampoo

8 Unilever Sustainable Living Plan Health and hygiene: By 2020 we will help more than a billion people improve their hygiene habits and bring safe drinking water to 500 million people. Nutrition: By 2020 we will double the proportion of our portfolio that meets the highest nutritional standards, helping hundreds of millions of people achieve a healthier diet. Greenhouse gases: By 2020 we aim to halve the greenhouse gas impact of our products across the lifecycle from the sourcing of raw materials, through to consumer use and disposal. Water: We aim to halve the water associated with the consumer use of our products by Waste: We aim to halve the waste associated with the disposal of our products by 2020 Sustainable sourcing: Today we source 10% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably. By 2012 we will source 30%; by %; and by % Better Livelihoods: By 2020 we will link more than 500,000 smallholder farmers and small-scale distributors into our supply chain, so they can benefit from working with Unilever.

9 Risks Customer deselection Pre-emptive regulation Loss of market share Reputation damage Fines, penalties _ Sustainable Value Unsustainable (value transfer) Shareholder Value + Sustainable Value Opportunities Enhanced reputation Product differentiation Motivated employees Reduced costs Entry into new markets + Stakeholder Value Unsustainable (lose/lose) Unsustainable (value transfer) _ Source: From The Sustainable Company by Chris Laszlo

10

11 Implications for business schools? 11

12 Source: Gitsham, Ashridge, unpublished. 12

13 Source: Gitsham, Ashridge, unpublished. 13

14 Business perspectives 1 76% of CEOs and senior executives believe it is important that senior leaders have the knowledge and skills to respond. Fewer than 8% think their own organisation or business schools are developing these very effectively (UN PRME, Ashridge and EABIS, 2009) 14

15 Business perspectives 2 93% of CEOs believe sustainability will be critical to the future success of their companies. 80% believe a tipping point where sustainability is embedded in the core business strategies of the majority of companies globally will occur within the next 15 years. 54% believe this tipping point will be reached within the next ten years. 88% believe business schools need to develop the mindsets and skills for future leaders to address sustainability They believe this is the second most important change that could be made to accelerate the adaptation to a changing context (of a similar order of importance as changing customer demand and the actions of the investment community and government regulation). 86% believe their companies should invest in enhanced training of managers to integrate sustainability. 15 (UN, Ashridge, EABIS with Accenture, 2010)

16 Strengths Opportunities Weaknesses Threats 16

17 Strengths Capability around inquiry, thought leadership and making sense of change Shapes public debate Capability around fostering learning, influencing mindset Strengths shift and stimulating cultural change Respected convenor for dialogue Opportunities Make a positive contribution Reputation and brand? New research funding? Grow market share Opportunities through innovation in existing programmes? New income streams from new programmes? Manage risk of rising costs of inputs / legislation / customer experience? Talent management Weaknesses Low levels of awareness and commitment among faculty Publishing and tenure practices stifle innovation and discourage adaptation Venues generally have poor sustainability performance in Weaknesses facilities and hospitality management and supply chain Poor brand associations in relation to sustainability Be part of the problem Threats Risk losing market share Risk reputational damage Risk brand becoming tired and out of touch Threats Offer poor customer experience / rising costs / legislative risk Talent management 17

18 Some questions Are we all convinced this is important for business schools? What are the barriers to really making this happen in business schools? What s enabling change where it is happening? 18

19 Some pathways for change 19 Strategy Structure Systems Style Staff Sharedvalues Skills Research Education Facilities Working group or committee chaired by dean and involving key dept heads. Create a senior coordinating role. Delegate specific responsibilities and allocate human resource. Performance measurement and quality assurance. Operational management systems. Tone from the top Support leaders wherever they emerge Recruitment. Tackle low levels of awareness and commitment among faculty Influence organisational culture and capability, to shift what is valued in the organisational culture and build commitment to change and the required skill and capability. This could involve a process of engagement and inquiry among those faculty with the most energy and inquisitiveness to be involved. o Faculty development o Dialogue and engagement with business o Funding for research o Action learning

20 What s the role of external relations professionals? And what s the role of partnerships? Other schools Companies NGOs and others Sector initiatives 20

21 External relations professionals and partnerships Brand and communications Events and dialogue International study Alumni Sector initiatives 21

22 Download Ashridge s Sustainability strategy: /sustainability Ashridge research on business and sustainability: /acbas Matthew Gitsham

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