Helping to lead a climate of change

Overseas-education | Ivy Ong-Wood 16 Nov 2021

Business leaders who want to make their companies more eco-friendly have a new resource. Eight leading business schools have joined together to acknowledge the climate crisis and collaborate to support business leaders who will act to address the climate emergency.

Business Schools for Climate Leadership is an alliance of Insead, Oxford Said Business School, Cambridge Judge Business School, HEC Paris, IE Business School, IESE Business School, International Institute for Management Development and London Business School.

It is a formidable group - collectively, these schools train more than 55,000 students and executives per year and have an alumni body of over 400,000.

Its goal is to support climate leaders and organizations by collaborating on research to identify and shape the best practices, and by working across sectors and generations to accelerate the business community's response to climate change.

The schools have pledged to raise awareness of the urgency for climate change mitigation and adaptation, seeking to make an impact through joint outreach to all eight alumni communities.

As a first step, academics from the eight founding schools have worked together to produce a BS4CL climate leadership toolkit, released at COP26 in Glasgow last week.

Insead dean Ilian Mihov said: "Collective action is essential, and by working together with other schools, we have an amazing opportunity to educate, inspire and inform a powerful and diverse global network of current and future business leaders.

"Together we can be a force for good in the fight to protect the planet and humanity from the catastrophic impacts of climate change."

In the run-up to the release, the group held a series of webinars with participants from different schools. The webinars, and ultimately the toolkit, are accessible for free on the group's website.

Each of the founding members picked a topic for the initial webinars: climate change and inequality (Insead); decarbonizing business (HEC Paris); business strategy and geopolitics (IESE Business School); technology and innovation as a climate change solution (IE Business School); business transformation and climate change (The International Institute for Management Development); risk management and the green energy transition (Oxford Said); climate change and nature (Cambridge Judge); and climate standards and enterprise value (London Business School).

In a joint statement, the deans of the eight business schools said: "The crises presented by the global pandemic have highlighted the important role academic institutions must play in providing leadership in times of emergency. Now, as we face one of the greatest challenges of our time - global warming, there has never been a more critical moment for collaboration between our institutions.

"We recognize the need to initiate the search for answers, which will galvanize and promote meaningful action. BC4SL builds on the integrated climate leadership expressed across our individual curricula and faculty research, providing the means to cooperate on a long-term basis. We mean to build the foundations with which businesses can lead global action to collaborate across sectors to limit climate change and to promote meaningful and visible progress."


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