Business Newsroom

La Trobe Business School

Tag: United Nations

LBS’ United Nations PRME commitments

In 2007, during the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit in Geneva, the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) were launched. Since then, PRME has become the largest organised relationship between the United Nations and business schools. LBS joined PRME quickly after its inception.

Last year LBS celebrated its tenth anniversary as a signatory to UN PRME. We also released our latest PRME report and we’re hosting the 2019 CR3+ Conference.

PRME’s mission

According to the UN Global Impact the mission of PRME is:

“To transform business and management education, research and thought leadership globally, while promoting awareness about the Sustainable Development Goals, and developing the responsible business leaders of tomorrow.”

UN Sustainable Development Goals

The PRME philosophy sits alongside the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), formally adopted in Paris in 2015, as part of the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17 SDGs balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The goals and targets provide a framework to stimulate action over the next years in areas of critical importance for the long-term sustainability of human society and the planet.

PRME report

LBS just released its latest PRME report (read it here). The report outlines the ongoing commitment to each of the six Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME):

  1. Purpose: Develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.

  2. Values: Incorporate the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.

  3. Method: create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.

  4. Research: Engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.

  5. Partnership: Interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.

  6. Dialogue: Facilitate and support dialogue and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organisations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.

CR3+ Conference

Besides our 10th year anniversary, and the release of our PRME report, LBS is also hosting the seventh edition of the CR3+ Conference in late 2019. CR3+ is a partnership between LBS, Audencia Business School (France), Hanken School of Economics (Finland) and ISAE Brazilian Business School (Brazil). The partnership builds on the schools’ involvement with PRME.

The topic of the CR3+ Conference is “Using Dialogue to Build Partnerships for Sustainability”. More information about this great conference can be found here.

If you want to know more about LBS’ involvement with PRME, please email Dr Swati Nagpal.

LBS’ involvement with UN’s PRME

CR3+ is a partnership between LBS, Audencia Business School (France), Hanken School of Economics (Finland) and ISAE Brazilian Business School (Brazil). The partnership builds on the schools’ involvement with the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education, also known as PRME.

 

2018 CR3+ conference

From the 12th until the 14th of June the 6th CR3+ conference was held at Audencia Business School. The theme of the conference was “Navigating the Plural Voices of Corporate Responsibility (CR)”, which recognises that CR is situated at the interface of business and society, and as such requires business to draw on a multitude of voices (and in some cases, the voiceless) to reduce their negative impact and/or contribute to society’s wellbeing. The conference had four key areas:

  • Education for sustainably
  • Theoretical voices in Corporate Responsibility research
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Giving voice to the unheard actors in Corporate Responsibility

 

LBS was well represented with 7 delegates attending the conference; Professor Suzanne Young, Dr Leila Afshari, Dr Nicole El-Haber, Dr Jillian Cavanagh, Dr Swati Nagpal, Dr William Keeton and Ms Patricia Pariona Cabrera. The papers presented by our LBS academics covered wide-ranging topics including community engagement, employee volunteering, corruption, graduate skills for sustainability and workers with intellectual disabilities:

  • Graduate Business Skills for Sustainability: The Nexus of Curriculum and Pedagogy.
  • Beyond CSR: Workers with intellectual disability and their ‘calling’ to further their careers.
  • Corporate responsibility and community engagement: complex decision-making in water organisations in Victoria, Australia.
  • Employee Volunteering: Individual and Organizational Levels of Action.
  • Authentic leaders and corrupt practices: Overshadowing effect of corruption normalization and highly regulated localization.

Why not bulldoze business schools?

There were also expert panel discussions, including one that Professor Suzanne Young was part of entitled “Why not bulldoze business schools”, in response to Martin Parker’s article in The Guardian.

The panel members took opposing points of view with some speaking of the importance of business schools in challenging the status quo and embedding issues of responsibility and sustainability into their ways of working; whereas others spoke of business education cementing the norms of business practices and the focus on profit and self-interest. Professor Young took the former viewpoint and gave examples of La Trobe University and La Trobe Business School’s values and practices. Examples included the university’s gender equality practices, sustainability and responsibility courses and curriculum, hosting of governance and sustainability conferences, as well as Sustainable Development Goals workshops.

10 years a UN PRME signatory

2018 marks LBS’ 10th year as a UN PRME signatory and the CR3+ conference is just one example of our global partnerships in corporate responsibility and sustainability. You can read more about LBS’ involvement with UN PRME and the progress LBS is making in research, curriculum and partnerships in our Sharing of Information on Progress (SIP) report later this year. Watch this space for more information.

2019 CR3+ conference

It’s also exciting to announce that LBS will be hosting the 7th CR3+ conference in late 2019 at our city campus. If you would like to be involved in the conference organising committee or the UN PRME community of practice at LBS, please contact Dr Swati Nagpal.

LBS in support of International Women’s Day

Last week, on the 8th of March, it was International Women’s Day. La Trobe Business School took part in several events that day.

ATEM Breakfast Series

The Association for Tertiary Education Management (ATEM) organised an International Women’s Day Breakfast with guest speaker Freda Miriklis. Freda spoke about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and specifically Women’s Empowerment Principles, which relates to SDG number 5: Achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls.

 

The Women’s Empowerment Principles are:

  1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality
  2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination
  3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers
  4. Promote education, training and professional development for women
  5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women
  6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy
  7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality

LBS staff members attending ATEM’s International Women’s Day Breakfast

IPAA International Women’s Day event

Institute of Public Administration Australia (IPAA) organised an IWD Dinner to celebrate the contribution that women make to the public sector and to commit to the actions that will build greater gender equity in the sector. Special guest speaker was Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, President of the Australian Human Rights Commission from 2012-2017.

As head of the Australian Human Rights Commission, she led a number of high profile inquiries, including an examination of the impact of prolonged immigration detention on children, and consistently championed the need for a system of checks and balances to protect the most vulnerable people in our community.

Professor Gillian Triggs giving her keynote speech

Gillian was the keynote speaker to the event and talked about her time in the Human Rights Commission. Specifically, how she was able to be resilient in a male dominated environment whilst having the media constantly mocking her. The event also included a panel discussion on each Woman’s career and obstacles faced along with life lessons and the next generation of women entering the workforce.

The panel facilitator was Penny Burke, CEO of Essence Communication. Penny is an accomplished public speaker who has worked in the field of marketing and advertising for over 20 years and has worked on many inspiring and well-known advertising campaigns. Penny’s experience has led her to become a thought leader and an expert in Commitment.

Inala Cooper, Lifelong Fellowship Lead, Atlantic Fellows for Social Equity, University of Melbourne, was a panellist. Inala is a Yawuru woman from Broome in The Kimberley, WA. Born in Victoria, she grew up in the South West on Gunditjmara land and has lived on the land of the Kulin Nations here in Melbourne for over 20 years. Inala has a Masters in Human Rights Law and is an advocate for Indigenous rights and social justice. She encourages young Indigenous people to connect with their culture and find strength in their identities.

Gill Callister, Secretary of the Department of Education and Training, hosted the event. Gill is directly responsible for management of the Department to deliver and improve early childhood, school education, and vocational and higher education services across Victoria. Gill is also President of the Institute of Public Administration Australia (Victoria).

LBS staff members attending IPAA’s International Women’s day event

Hanoi: Values, Ethics and Diversity

By Catherine Ordway

I was visiting the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) yesterday for a meeting, and I was struck by the beauty of the sculpture (pictured above). The female paralympic basketballer is reaching for the ball – and the clear blue Canberra sky. I reflected on what “diversity” now means for organisations, and how that might translate into workplace practices for the students I am about to meet in Hanoi, Vietnam later this week.

I am teaching the subject “Values, Ethics and Diversity in Organisations” as part of the Master of Management. This subject is: “designed to develop students’ critical thinking and research skills to contribute to an informed analysis of the role of values, ethics and diversity in contemporary organisations. Through the use of ethical theories, the subject aims to develop students’ abilities to re- frame organisational practices and to include ethical considerations in organisational decision-making. The concept of workplace diversity is introduced and evaluated in Australian and global contexts. Frameworks and tools for managing business ethics and diversity are introduced and critically evaluated. The subject is designed to meet principles 1-4 of the PRME principles.”

The United Nations (UN) Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative of the UN Global Compact seeks to inspire and champion responsible management education, research, and thought leadership globally. As set out in La Trobe’s most recent UNPRME report, I am pleased to be one of the: “11 Professors of Practice with significant and ongoing industry experience to ensure our teaching and curriculum keep step with industry practice.

The Professor of Practice title also seeks to highlight what industry can contribute to academia and while many Australian business schools offer industry experts positions as casual or adjunct staff, La Trobe is the first university in Australia to formally employ them and integrate them into the day-to-day operations of the school. The Professors of Practice contribute practical advice and industry networks and connections to our students, while improving curriculum design by ensuring it is relevant and up-to-date with industry standards and trends. As well as contributing to research and teaching, our Professors of Practice facilitate meaningful engagement with leaders in business, government policy making and the not-for-profit sector”.

The cooperation with Hanoi University is a very exciting initiative, and am very happy to be a part of it.

Sustainable Business Examples from Around the World – Italy, Australia, and New Zealand

primetime

By Giselle Weybrecht

As businesses become more and more engaged in sustainability around the world, we are presented with an increasing range of examples of active companies. However, when I speak with students and faculty, they say that they often hear about the same examples from the same international companies over and over again.

In an attempt to share some new best practice examples, I asked a handful of faculty members from around the world about their favourite classroom examples of local companies that are actively involved in sustainability. Here are some examples from Italy, Australia, and New Zealand.

Manuela Brusoni and Veronica Vecchi, SDA Bocconi School of Management, Italy

Consumer banking sector Intesa Sanpaolo: Within the Intesa Sanpaolo Group, Banca Prossima is the bank with the mission of serving non-profit organisations, with a specific service model, products and consulting services dedicated to this type of customers. The Bank has developed a rating model for social businesses that integrates the traditional methods of bank analysis with elements peculiar to the third sector, such as the ability in fundraising. Furthermore, Banca Prossima launched in 2011 “Terzo Valore”, a crowdfunding portal which allows anyone to lend or donate money to non-profit organisation projects directly, without intermediaries and with principal repayment guaranteed by the Bank.

Food sector Barilla: Barilla is the top quality and leading pasta producer in the world, which promotes the mediterranean diet as the best and healthiest solution for the people and the planet. Barilla founded the Barilla Centre for Food and Nutrition (BCFN) to informs not only policy makers and insiders of the agri-food chain, but all the people on the big topics linked to food and nutrition with regards to climate change and the world’s paradoxes. Barilla has been considered the most sustainable pasta supplier by the “Sustainability Index Programme” of Walmart.

Fashion Brunello Cucinelli: The core mission of the company is based on a contemporary form of humanism that over the years the international press has identified as a “humanistic” capitalism, where profit can be sought without damaging mankind. Its clients view Brunello Cucinelli as an expression of a sophisticated concept of contemporary lifestyle and the brand is firmly rooted in quality excellence, Italian craftsmanship and creativity; these pillars are considered the foundations on which sustainable growth can be built in the long run.

Learn more about how SDA Bocconi is engaging students in impact investing.

Suzanne Young, La Trobe Business School, Australia

Yarra Valley Water which has mapped their practices against the SDGs based on understanding what issues the organisation can influence.. These included clean water and sanitation, industry innovation and infrastructure and gender equality.

As another example, the National Australia Bank has a focus on working towards a more inclusive society, including financial inclusion. They are using the SDGs as a way to mobilise innovation to drive business and societal success. The Bank is supporting agribusiness customers to value natural capital for instance. The SDG of Decent Work and Economic Growth and No Poverty provide a lens for their work, especially in impact investing.

Learn more about La Trobe’s participation in the CR3+ Network.

Christian Schott, Victoria Business School, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

The youth hostel association of NZ is one of the largest accommodation providers for budget conscious travellers in NZ and have set sustainability as a guiding principle for the entire organisation.  Their efforts to integrate economic, environmental and social sustainability have been exemplary and they are willing to take calculated risks to trial new or innovative ideas that have the potential to enhance their sustainability ambitions.  I have been working closely with YHA Wellington which is an exemplar of the broader YHA NZ network.

Whale Watch Kaikoura An inspirational Maori owned and Maori operated tourism business that carefully balances the need for environmental and economic sustainability with a strong commitment to social and cultural sustainability. Both Maori cultural interpretation and environmental protection are core principles of this whale watching business.

Learn more about how Christian Schott is bringing technology into the classroom to teach sustainability.

This post was originally published on the UNPRME’s Primitime blog.

La Trobe Business School’s 2016 UN PRME Report released

PRME La Trobe Business School

The United Nations’ PRME secretariat has recently released the third sharing of progress (SIP) report submitted by La Trobe Business School. In the document, LBS details the achievements that illustrate its ongoing commitment to each of the six  Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME), developed further since the last report was submitted in 2014. This work makes a significant contribution to the ways in which LBS fulfils its mission.

The report can be viewed here.

What does PRME stand for?

The six PRME principles provide a framework for business schools as they seek to develop competent and responsible managers through education. The program was conceived by way of a recommendation of the academic stakeholders from the United Nations Global Compact. The six principles were developed and adopted in 2007 by an international task force of sixty deans, university presidents and official representatives of leading business schools and academic institutions.

The PRME philosophy sits alongside the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), formally adopted in Paris in 2015, as part of the universal, integrated and transformative 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 17 SDGs balance the three dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. The Goals and targets provide a framework to stimulate action over the next 14 years in areas of critical importance for the long-term sustainability of human society and the planet, build on the Millennium Development Goals (MGDs) and complete what the MDGs were unable to achieve.

LBS’s commitment to the UN PRME

Since joining UN PRME in 2007, La Trobe Business School has been actively engaged in embedding responsible management, not just in its curriculum and research activities, but also at an institutional level. The School has laid the foundations for the next phase to expand its activities through dialogue (the sixth principle). This success to date means that LBS can more effectively engage in dialogue with stakeholders, and share its understandings more broadly.

La Trobe University values its Business School’s capacity and the opportunity to engage with the demands of responsible management education. LBS and the University have a longstanding commitment and philosophy to foster new generations of responsible professionals. La Trobe Business School aims to educate and encourage students to carry responsible management into their workplace along with a thorough understanding of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

LBS also continues to take the requisite steps to ensure that undergraduate and postgraduate courses, research programs and activities, strategic frameworks and its overall philosophy provide enabling environments for meeting the principles and the accompanying demands of educating about responsible leadership. This includes teaching current perspectives in corporate social responsibility, corporate governance, business ethics, gender balance, diversity, sustainability accounting, and environmental and resource economics across many of the LBS courses and subjects. In addition, the assessment modules are consistently reviewed and designed to emphasise these values to students and provide them with practical applications of responsible management.

New initiatives taken by LBS

Since 2014, many exciting new developments have taken place within La Trobe Business School that further contribute to its work around responsible management. The creation of the Yunus Social Business Centre, the SAS Analytics Innovation lab and the appointment of 11 Professors of Practice to the Business School stand as flagship achievements between 2014 and 2016.

The Sustainability Thinking, Global Citizenship, and Innovation and Entrepreneurship Learning Essentials of LTU provide an excellent platform to further support, grow and direct LBS students to recognize the global contexts in which they will work, exchange values and perspectives, act across cultures and borders and to work with, and within, diverse communities.

Since mid-2015, more than 2000 undergraduate students have completed La Trobe Business School’s second year Sustainability subject, one of three Learning Essentials for the School and the University. Within the MBA Program, LBS offers core subjects that engage with PRME. The University is also leading in the creation of innovative learning and research environments for students through the Hallmark Program and industry outreach including partnerships with local government, and in the community. The University also provides greater access to tertiary education through scholarship programs and the early entry Aspire program.

A number of LBS academics from a wide range of disciplines continue to undertake research projects that are closely aligned with the PRME principles.  These include projects related to sport and social impact, the role of technology in supporting the wellbeing and sustainability of human society, climate change impacts on business, accounting and human rights, rural tourism and sustainability, and data analytics for improved healthcare outcomes.

LBS will continue to use this research platform to create new, and build on existing, engagement opportunities with external stakeholders and partners such as sporting organisations, government agencies and departments, accreditation bodies, NGO’s, private sector organisations and consultancies.

Finally, La Trobe Business School is proud to be nominated as one of 30 leading institutions from around the world to participate in the pilot phase of the PRME Champions Group.

Developing Future Public Sector Leaders – International Day of the World’s Indigenous People

screen-shot-2016-08-02-at-10-32-18

August 9th is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, a day to promote and protect the rights of the world’s indigenous populations. Last June, examples from schools across Australia, Canada and New Zealand and the work that they are doing to engage Indigenous students and promote Indigenous businesses were featured on the Prime Time Blog, including an Aboriginal EMBA at Beedie School of Business, a programme to support Indigenous Entrepreneurs at Gustavson School of Business, the Indigenous Programmes Unit at University of New South Wales, contextualizing the MBA with an Indigenous focus at the University of Waikato, promoting accounting as a career choice with Indigenous students at Deaken University and mentoring a new generation of Indigenous leaders at University of Wollongong. The Primetime blog is connected to the Principles of Responsible Management and Education and aims to share best practices on how to mainstream sustainability and responsible leadership into management education globally. The blog serves as a platform to share and discuss inspirational activities that promote the development of responsible leaders.

Recently, they featured La Trobe Business School’s innovative programme focused on developing future Indigenous business leaders in the Public sector. Gisselle Weybrecht spoke with Dr Suzanne Young Head of Department of Management and Marketing and Dr Geraldine Kennett, Professor of Practice, Department of Management & Marketing about their new programme.

 What is the programme for public servants?

La Trobe Business School developed a new Graduate Certificate in Management (Public Sector) in partnership with the Institute of Public Administration of Australia (IPAA), and in consultation with the IPAA Indigenous Advisory Committee. Initially enrolling 32 Indigenous public servants, the course has now expanded to be a combination of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous public sector professionals learning together. The course takes 1.5 years full-time or 2 years part time.

This innovative course uses a partnership approach; the participants study leadership, entrepreneurial business planning, financial management and accounting with the University and public policy making with the Institute of Public Administration of Australia.  The students develop a plan for an entrepreneurial business or policy idea in their first subject and then build on this plan in subsequent subjects, cumulating in ‘A Pitch’ to senior public sector leaders.  This practical form of assessment builds their confidence to get strategic buy-in for their business and/or policy ideas. Many of the students have used their new learning and skills to achieve higher level positions in the public sector. Four students are also continuing their studies with the La Trobe University MBA programme in 2016.

As academics we have gained knowledge about Indigenous culture and how to integrate social identity into learning styles which has enabled us to develop supportive pedagogy for teaching.  Our course ensures that the learning outcomes support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the capacity to straddle their leadership obligations in the workplace as well as in the Indigenous community.

 How did it come about?

In 2010 the Australian government highlighted the social, political and economic gap between Indigenous Australians and the rest of the community. The Review of Higher Education Access and Outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (2012) argues that improving higher education outcomes among Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people will contribute to nation building and reduce Indigenous disadvantage.

The need for a postgraduate qualification for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Servants was highlighted as important in a study IPAA Victoria commissioned with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The study highlighted the barriers to, and enablers of, career advancement for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders employed in the public sector including the need for professional development opportunities. Indigenous public servants experience a higher turnover rate than their non-indigenous peers. The 2012-13 Australian Public Service State of the Sector report found that 20.5% of indigenous employees left the APS after less than one year  — almost four times the rate of non-indigenous employees (5.9%). This is another part the challenge this programme aims to tackle.

IPAA approached La Trobe Business School to develop and conduct a post graduate course due to its expertise in providing higher education for Aboriginal people, its status as the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) Champion Business school in Australia and the ability for regional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Public Servants to continue their higher education at La Trobe University’s regional campuses across our region.

 What have been some of the successes?

From the feedback loop it is clear that the project produces measurable impact for Indigenous peoples (including students and community), La Trobe University (including staff), IPAA, and the higher education sector.

Achievements to date include:

  • Initial enrolment of 32 students into the course
  • Strong retention rate with 22 students continuing into their 3rd subject
  • Employers contributing to student fees
  • Orientation programme and guidelines for delivery of Indigenous education
  • Second cohort of programme began in late 2015 consisting of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous students
  • Students’ management skills enhanced in entrepreneurship and innovation, accounting and leadership
  • Students’ leadership skills enhanced in communication and team work
  • Peer and collaborative learning enhancing cross cultural learning between students and staff and in the future between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous students.
  • Four students progressing through to enrolment in the MBA

 

For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students it provides an educational experience and improved educational outcomes and opportunities for employment and career advancement. A specific Indigenous course enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to bring their culture and identity into the learning experience, thereby making the teaching relevant for their needs. Also for Indigenous communities, it supports economic development, assists in closing the gap and provides mechanisms for breaking the cycle of Indigenous disadvantage.

Do you have any advice for schools thinking of doing something similar?

It is important to develop and work in partnerships with those organisations and people in the community who are legitimately recognised with expertise by Indigenous peoples. It is also important to have orientation programs for teaching staff in Indigenous culture and nurturing this in the teaching environment. Flexibility of approach, and assessments that are meaningful and authentic to the Indigenous students are also important.

What are the next Steps for La Trobe Business School in this area?

The course is now open for non-indigenous students as well to provide a culturally safe learning environment for students to be able to learn together. This enhances the learning of non-indigenous students who are all practising public servant professionals and so builds their knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders and the importance of culturally safe practices.  This also provides an environment where cross cultural knowledge is exchanged and others’ perspectives are more fully understood.

 

This article was originally published, here.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

LBS named as the sole Australian PRME Champion for 2016-2017

PRME La Trobe Business School

La Trobe Business School was recently named the only PRME (UN Principles for Responsible Management Education) Champion in Australia for 2016 and 2017. The PRME is the first organised relationship between the United Nations and management-related academic institutions, business schools, and universities. In being named an official PRME Champion, La Trobe Business School is illustrating its commitment to working with Global Compact LEAD Companies and to advancing corporate sustainability and social responsibility.
As a PRME champion, La Trobe Business School is one of a select group of Business Schools across the world taking a leadership role in this space. The full list of PRME Champions for 2016-2017 is listed below:

Region Country Organisation Name
Latin

America

Brazil ISAE/FGV
Colombia Externado University Management Faculty
Costa Rica INCAE Business School*
Mexico EGADE, Graduate School of Business Administration and Leadership*
Peru CENTRUM Católica Graduate Business School,
Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú
North

America

Canada Queen’s School of Business
Canada University of Guelph College of Management and Economics
US Babson College
US Fordham University Schools of Business
US Mendoza College of Business, University of Notre Dame
Western Europe Denmark Copenhagen Business School
Finland Hanken School of Economics
France Audencia Nantes School of Management
Germany Cologne Business School*
Germany Pforzheim University Business School
Ireland Kemmy Business School, University of Limerick
Spain ESADE Business School
Switzerland HTW Chur University of Applied Sciences
UK Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow School for Business & Society
UK Nottingham University Business School
UK Winchester Business School*
Central & Eastern Europe Slovenia IEDC-Bled School of Management
Middle East

& Africa

Egypt The American University in Cairo School of Business
South Africa University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business
UAE University of Dubai
Asia India IILM, Institute for Higher Education
India S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research*
Philippines Asian Institute of Management (AIM)
Australia & New Zealand Australia La Trobe Business School

 

© 2019 Business Newsroom

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑