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La Trobe Business School

Tag: environment

LBS’s Angela McCabe’s research project features on Clarivate Analytics State of Innovation website!

LBS lecturer Dr Angela McCabe

Recently, La Trobe Business School Lecturer in Management, Dr Angela McCabe’s research project has been featured as a case study on the Clarivate Analytics (formally Thomson Reuters)– State of Innovation Website. The article also features Angela’s colleagues from University of Melbourne and INSEAD.

Clarivate Analytics is a leading provider of intellectual property and scientific information, decision support tools and services that drive Innovation for governments, academia, publishers, corporations and law firms as they discover, protect and commercialize new ideas and brands. The State of Innovation website highlights research projects featuring Clarivate data.

Dr Angela McCabe summarized her research project as follows:

Our research examines climate change research from the perspective of management studies, to clarify the communicative and evaluative dynamics by which research spreads and diffuses across disciplines. We seek to examine how the metrification of the sciences facilitates ‘evaluative tournaments’ that act as de facto ‘arbiters of truth’ in the realm of climate change. We examine how evaluative tournaments — represented by practices such as rankings, impact factors and citation scores — accord greater value to one understanding of climate change over another. In our analysis we are drawing on a custom dataset provided by Clarivate Analytics comprising over 3500 climate change articles published in Nature and Science from 1980 to today.

Access the full case study on the Clarivate Analytics website.

LBS PhD Student Pedro Flores wins the 2016 AARES-NZARES Heading West Award

pedro-flores-tenorio

Recently, LBS PhD student Pedro Flores won the 2016 AARES-NZARES Heading West Award. For this award, Pedro travelled to the Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in Nelson, New Zealand, where he presented his winning paper on Economics of Biodiversity Conservation in the Peruvian Amazon. The abstract of the winning paper, “Including the maintenance of ecosystem resilience of an old-growth forest as a choice for natural carbon sequestration funding. An ecological-economic approach”, can be found below.

La Trobe Business School would like to congratulate Pedro on his success!

Abstract

Australia is one of the first countries to prepare long-term pathways studies to decarbonize its economy. Peru is a megadiverse country with the second extension of forests in the Amazon basin. The design of efficient public policies for these territories is challenging due the fragility of public institutions and lack of economic valuation of important ecosystem services provided from old-growth forests.

This paper presents an ecological-economic model for a key non-timber forest product of the Peruvian Amazon basin: the Brazil nut (Bertholletia excelsa) and analyses the bioeconomic dimensions of two ecosystem services: pollination and the forest cover to provide habitat for flora and fauna. Could the investment in natural carbon sequestration in the Amazon be the best economic option for developed countries as Australia or New Zealand to mitigate the effects of climate change instead of man-made carbon sequestration strategies? We discuss the implications of this choice from the ecological-economics perspective.

La Trobe Business School partners with the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility on the 2016 Annual Review of the State of Corporate Social Responsibility

Dr Leeora Black Intro (002)

The results of the 2016 Annual Review of the State of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in Australia and New Zealand were announced on Wednesday evening 6 July at La Trobe University’s City Campus, at 360 Collins Street, Melbourne.

The review is produced by the Australian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility (ACCSR).

The review is the longest running study of CSR practices in Australia and New Zealand, and one of the largest longitudinal CSR studies in the world.

This year 1,080 respondents participated in the research. This year’s report also explored the relevance of international CSR frameworks in Australia and New Zealand and indicated that the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) remains the most used and the most useful framework for most organisations, followed by the UN Global Compact.

The results of the Review and Australia’s progress in CSR and towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was outlined by Professor John Thwaites  (Chair, Monash Sustainability Institute and Chair, United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific).

PRME_reports_editedProfessor Thwaites joined a panel with Dr Suzanne Young (Head of Department of Management and Marketing, La Trobe Business School) and two employees from the Top ten companies, Grace Rose Miller (Yarra Valley Water) and Jordan Grace, Corporate Responsibility Manager with the National Australia Bank (NAB), to discuss the Review and provide perspectives from the academic and corporate sectors.

The Review reveals that Australian businesses are very aware of the newly adopted SDGs and many are planning strategies and partnerships to pursue the Goals.

This year the review examined how companies are aligning their business strategies with the SDGs and revealed that the most important Goals for Australia and New Zealand business are Gender Equality; Good Health and Wellbeing; and Decent Work and Economic Growth; followed by Industry Innovation and Infrastructure and Climate Action.  The Review has also shown that the ‘implications of technology for business’ has risen to second top priority from tenth place in 2012.

“It was encouraging to see that organisations are planning to address a multiple set of Goals and see important linkages in their broader societal contributions,” says ACCSR’s Managing Director, Dr Leeora Black. She continued: “Engaging in strategic partnerships is the key action they will undertake in the year ahead – suggesting they understand advancing the Sustainable Development agenda.”

At the same time, in this Review, responses from participating businesses indicate a significant gap between espoused priorities and concrete plans, and the results hint at the continuing struggle of CSR workers to influence organisational decisions and ensure appropriate budgets for their work.

In viewing sustainability and CSR as key management capabilities, La Trobe Business School continues to work with ACCSR to embed sustainability and CSR in the programs and strategy of the School. In line with the themes of this Annual Review, La Trobe Business School is one of the United Nations Champion Business Schools in the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) to advance corporate sustainability and social responsibility in our curricula and research, thought leadership in this area and to develop responsible leaders of the future.

La Trobe Business School is planning to facilitate a series of Australia-wide workshops between PRME higher educational business schools and members of the UN Global Compact Network Australia to present and interact on the theme of the SDGs. The outcomes of the workshops will be improved dialogue and networks between universities and other sectors, and the initiating of joint projects on the SDGs.

Professor Thwaites believes that business understands that the Goals are more easily achieved in partnership than by individual organisations operating on their own. He noted: “What we need to do is establish the right strategic partnerships, and having done that, implement them.”

Professor Thwaites outlined a number of strategic actions businesses can take to work towards achieving the SDGs and said that at present companies are mapping what they are doing, and comparing that to the Goals and targets. He says that businesses are adopting a smart approach but he said that while we are working well towards meeting some goals, “it’s important not to take our eye off what we have ignored.” He sees that there is a need for a degree of flexibility as different companies have different operations, and it is difficult to find a one-size-fits-all model.

Over the next period he believes more products will come into the market to help businesses identify how they can make impact and align their businesses to meet the Goals.

The Annual Review reported this year’s CSR Top ten organisations that scored greater than 75% for CSR management capabilities (as ranked by their employees) are Abergeldie, Deloitte, Ebm-papst A&NZ, KPMG, NAB, PwC, South32, WaterAid, Westpac and Yarra Valley Water.  This year, the Review included New Zealand companies and found the leading three CSR companies in New Zealand are Bank of New Zealand, Toyota NZ and Z Energy.

Grace Miller, representing Yarra Valley Water, said that gender equity and diversity are the big issues for her organisation along with minimising impact on waterways. A strategic priority for the organisation is to work effectively with Indigenous communities and local governments.

Dr Suzanne Young said that generally universities are not performing well in CSR and have an important and essential role in achieving and teaching about the SDGs. “If business schools are educating the next generation of leaders and a key issue is responsible management – it is critical for universities to build the capacity of our future leaders and for them to understand these priorities,” she says.  She believe that students are expecting leadership to be a core of university teaching and research, and that universities themselves have to lead by example in areas such as gender equality where we currently see a low score card. Dr Young also believes that the universities in regional Australia have an important role to play in building sustainable communities and ensuring that educational capability is a priority.

Jordan Grace from the National Australia Bank says that one of NAB’s philosophies in progressing their CSR strategy is that ‘their business will do well if Australians are doing well’. Jordan says that NAB has a sound record of programs that support its customers in financial inclusion and resilience. “Many of these programs sit across a number of SDGs, like Decent Work and Economic Growth and No Poverty. SDGs provide a good lens to look at what we are doing, where we want to go and how we can drive collective impact.”

Partners for the 2016 Annual Review of the State of CSR in Australia and New Zealand were La Trobe Business School, Massey University, the New Zealand Sustainable Business Council, Sustainable Business Australia, Engineers Without Borders and Wright Communications.

The 2016 Annual Review of the State of Corporate Social Responsibility is available for download, here.

The Sustainable Development Goals can be seen, here

More information about La Trobe Business School’s involvement with the PRME can be accessed, here.

 

Associate Professor Suzanne Young on fossil fuel divestment.

Dr Suzanne Young La Trobe Business School La trobe Management Head of Department Marketing Management

Recently, LBS’s Associate Professor Suzanne Young, Head of Department of Management and Marketing, published an article on The Conversation, titled “La Trobe University’s fossil fuel divestment: a small, but significant step”.

In the article, Suzanne Young comments on how La Trobe University becoming the first Australian university to commit to full fossil fuel divestment affects the university as an organisation, and what other Australian universities can do and have done for the environment in the past.

To read the full article, please visit The Conversation website.

Suzanne Young at the CR3+ Conference – Governance and Sustainability

 

Dr Suzanne Young La Trobe Business School La trobe Management Head of Department Marketing Management

Dr Suzanne Young (Head of Department of Management and Marketing) will be a panellist on Governance and Sustainability and leading a stream titled: Sustainability Strategies labour Jobs and Work, during the CR3 + Conference.

The CR3 + Conference is a collaborative effort between ISAE (Brazil), La Trobe Business School (Australia), Audencia Nantes School of Management (France) and Hanken School of Economics (Finland).

All PRME (Principles for Responsible Executive Education) members, the four schools have been working together since 2008, in an effort to exchange ideas, pedagogical processes, curriculum and research in the area of corporative responsibility.

With the support of the Principles for Responsible Executive Education, the conference’s objective is to promote a debate, inspire changes and propose solutions for challenges related to sustainability and governance, interacting and reaching what UNESCO calls “The 5th Pillar of Education:” “Learning to change and to change society.”

More than a need, the strategic adaptation and the governance and sustainability processes are a social demand, manifested by public policies, by the company and by society. Thus, the study of problems and practices related to governance for sustainability becomes essential, and the Conference will be one of the mechanisms to generate knowledge to prompt these discussions.

We sat down to have a chat with Suzanne Young about what sustainability means for management, education, and the day-to-day decision-making process of companies.

  • How do you think this focus on sustainability in management has changed the relationship between clients and companies?

Suzanne Young: Companies taking this seriously build better and stronger relationships with a broad range of stakeholders. It is not just shareholders who are important but institutional investors, consumers, media, government, and communities. These companies believe that, in the long term, these relationships will build profitability, long term shareholder value, and minimise risk through the building of these relationships.

  • Do you think there is an increased market pressure from regulators and consumers to hold organisations accountable for their actions? If so, how do you think this has affected the management landscape?

Suzanne Young: Yes, there is pressure coming from changing regulatory environment such as changes to ASX Listing Rules and Best Practice Guidelines, there is pressure internationally for changes to laws and codes of governance standards and often, pressure comes from NGOs more than consumers per so. There is even pressure from institutional investors, including superannuation funds. This has resulted in Boards becoming more aware of changing expectations and landscape and of their own responsibilities. Structurally, we find boards putting in place more board subcommittees in areas of sustainability and risk. Plus, risk management is an increasing focus area.

  • What are some examples of how managers can take social, economic and environmental factors into account in the everyday decision making process?

Suzanne Young: These factors are increasingly being incorporated into their Risk Management Policies and Management processes. Hence managers incorporate them as they do other risk factors arising from their context into their forecasting of trends, decision making practices, strategy formulation and operating practices. This can be in the form of environmental considerations such as climate change and carbon emissions, land degradation, pollution, reafforestation; social considerations such as supply chain risks in terms of facilitation payments and bribery, labour rights, human rights, child labour, payment of wages, safety in the supply chain and in the use of contractors; and economic such as risk, long-term financial sustainability, and governance considerations including director remuneration, board structure and diversity, risk and audit sub committees, board decision-making.

  • How does this translate to university educating? Are there ways to make sure graduates are ready for taking up a leadership role while enjoying a sustainable future?

Suzanne Young: The PRME is a United Nations initiative that provides a framework for Universities and in particular business schools to ensure through their operations that they incorporate responsible management education in their teaching, research, dialogue and partnerships. This is done through ensuring “responsibility’ is part of each course that is offered such as in curriculum, assessments, examples, and incorporation of partnership with business and NGOs. Students become aware of real world problems and are more able to move from university to employment, while being aware of actual business contexts and real world issues business is facing. Subjects have been developed in areas of Sustainability and Global Citizenship, Responsible Leadership, Ethics and Business in Society. In addition to particular subjects, such concepts are built more broadly into examples and assessments in each course.

 

The 2015 conference will take place at ISAE, in Curitiba, Brazil, from November 11 to 12.

For more information on panels, programs and speakers, visit the 2015 CR3+ website.

La Trobe University National Water Forum – Are we ready for the next drought?

 

La Trobe University La Trobe Business School Water Scarcity drought Australia

Abstract

Australia is commonly described as the driest continent on earth. However, on average Australians have more access to water per head of population than many other places in the world. The challenge of managing water in Australia is that rainfall is highly variable both spatially and temporally.

At the conclusion of the millennium drought Australians had witnessed several policy successes and arguably a number of policy failures in response to drought. Rather than dwelling on these, this year’s Water Forum asks ‘are we better prepared for drought given the current policy and institutional settings?’

The 2015 Water Forum, organised in part by La Trobe Business School academics Professor Lin Crase and Dr Bethany Cooper, will focus on preparedness for drought and the prospect of better dealing with water shortages. As with previous events the Forum will use high-calibre keynote speakers to give shape to the theme of the Forum and also provide an opportunity to divide into separate industry strands of interest covering:

  •  Environmental Water
  •  Urban Water
  •  Agricultural Water

The Forum is free, and open to practitioners, policy makers, researchers and resource managers. We welcome involvement by early career professionals.

Forum

Date: Thursday 12 November 2015

Time: 8am – 4pm

Venue: Main Lecture Theatre, La Trobe University, University Drive, Wodonga

RSVP: Call the Center for Water Policy and Management on 02 6024 9835, email us at cwpm@latrobe.edu.au or register via the corresponding webpage.

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