Campus - 09.04.2021 - 00:00 

2020 PRME Report on sustainable management education

As a signatory to the U.N. Principles for Responsible Management Education, the HSG has committed itself to exercising responsibility in research and teaching. With the Principles for Responsible Management Education, or PRME for short, the United Nations intend to entrench sustainable personality development at business schools. The sustainability report summarises the HSG’s achievements.

9 April 2021. The PRME Report reveals the way in which issues of social responsibility and sustainability are enshrined in teaching, co-curricular activities, executive education, research, local and global commitment and campus life.

The PRME principles take their bearings from the principles created for companies by the UN Global Compact. “The principles for responsible management must be brought to life not only in university management but in the entire campus community. We’re proud of the fact that the University of St.Gallen is committed to this goal.” These are the words with which HSG President Prof. Dr. Bernhard Ehrenzeller introduces the report. “In the past two years there have been significant developments that are based on the integration of the UN Sustainable Development Goals in 2018,” says Prof. Dr. Judith Walls, Delegate for Responsibility and Sustainability at the University of St.Gallen.

Enshrining PRME principles in the curriculum

The President’s Board regards sustainability as the “next wave” of transformation at the HSG. For the HSG to be able to retain its competitive and attractive position as a leading business school, it is important to prepare students for a world which will have to solve environmental crises such as climate change and the loss of biodiversity. Leadership skills and reflection skills, as well as collaborative, problem-solving and critical thinking play an important part in this. The HSG implements teaching formats which foster these skills, and it reinforces co-curricular activities.

“Sustainability and responsibility are central issues in the curriculum of the University of St.Gallen, not least thanks to our committed students. The new certificate programme in Managing Climate Solutions attracted three times as many applications as there were places: a clear sign of the fact that today’s generation is ready to be active,” says Ehrenzeller. “Associations like oikos and IGNITE are evidence of students’ great commitment to becoming genuine changemakers.”

Sustainable business university

The HSG intends to lead by example and demonstrate how a climate-compatible future can be configured. By signing the Global Universities and Colleges Climate Letter in October 2019, the University of St.Gallen joined the UNFCC Race to Zero. By doing so, the HSG has committed itself to becoming CO2-neutral by 2030 and to integrating ecological sustainability issues into its curriculum, campus and social engagement. The newly established Climate Solutions Task Force regularly assesses the University’s greenhouse gas emissions in order to find innovative ways to reduce emissions through action-oriented learning.

Research on renewable energies, innovation and mobility

HSG researchers have devoted themselves to the UN Sustainable Development Goals in numerous projects and have thus made St.Gallen into one of Europe’s best three business schools in this area. These researchers include the winners of the 2020 HSG Impact Award, whose research projects make a contribution of socially relevant issues. Furthermore, the research at the University of St.Gallen with projects ranging from renewable energies to business models for a circular economy have regard to the concept of sustainability. Numerous researchers at various institutes, as well as newly established research clusters such as the Competence Center for Social Innovation, the Center for Mobility and the Competence Center for Circular Economy, Business Models and Sustainable Transformation, contribute towards the solution of urgent issues in society, the economy and politics.

“The report makes clear that the education of entrepreneurially thinking students who take ecological and social challenges into consideration when they act, is an important component of the HSG mission From insight to impact,” said Ehrenzeller. “We have already achieved many successes on the way there, and we’re confident that we will see further results that contribute to this goal.”

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