The clear message from this review is that although existing corporate social responsibility efforts are delivering some progress, and are laudable in their own right, they may not deliver the sustainable global economy in time and we must explore ways of enabling faster and deeper change. It is apparent that the situation in which we find ourselves is critical and urgent, and therefore requires an extraordinary response.
By describing the need for a Global Step Change in our economy, the Review is helpful in encouraging us to make this response and be ambitious in our efforts.
In describing a wave of corporate announcements of environmental targets during 2007, the Review also provides hope that more and more companies are realizing the need to gear up their efforts on sustainable business. In parallel, governments increasingly recognize the need for hard targets. There appears to be a growing consensus on the need for action, now.
The role, and appropriate expectations, for business schools in this context are becoming clearer also which is why Griffith Business School adopted a new overarching mission in 2007 as follows:
“The mission of Griffith Business School is to excel as a provider of high-quality, cross-disciplinary and internationally relevant business and public sector education and research, emphasizing the relationship between business and society in creating sustainable enterprises and communities.”
To advance this mission, in 2007 we became the first Australian business school to adopt the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education, which are described in this Review (see "the responsibility of business schools"). More and more business schools around the globe recognise the criticality of developing curriculum and undertaking research that demonstrates to all students the centrality of decisions around sustainability, resource use and responsible corporate actions. Indeed, some business schools in the United States are now asking their graduating students to take a pledge to act in line with ethical and sustainable principles, and the major international business school associations such as EFMD and AACSB are now actively encouraging and supporting developments in this area.
There remains, however, a lot that needs to be done. There is a long way to go, and not much time. At Griffith Business School, we are committed to educating business professionals to understand the critical nature of this challenge and are seeking to integrate sustainability and corporate responsibility throughout our curriculum. Therefore, I am delighted to support the Lifeworth Annual Reviews, and recommend them to you.
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