Some Canadian business students are ahead of their professors when it comes to sustainability.
Business schools are teaching students how to navigate a world of increasing environmental, social, economic and political uncertainty. But they often act as if that uncertainty is an external threat beyond corporate control.
Students studying global supply management, however, conclude that businesses can create a more sustainable future that would avert crises, according to a survey in the Journal of Cleaner Production.
“Business has more capacity to affect change than all the NGOs put together,” said an executive MBA student in the survey.
The researchers noted that their survey came as Canadians have been heatedly debating the role of fossil fuels in their national economy.
“Executive and undergraduate business students have now gone beyond connecting how business actions impact a corporation’s sustainability performance to how those very same actions increase or decrease environmental and societal turbulence,” wrote the study’s authors in the Conversation.
They added that sustainability will also be on the minds of students in the near future as they understand the challenges that robotics and artificial intelligence are expected to have on labor market.
“Corporations and business schools would be wise to expand and embed sustainability — or face the risk of even more public outcry in the very near future,” they wrote.