As humans, we deserve a better world. We are worthy of a healthier world. We need a stability in our economy, in our health sector, in our societal structure. And, all this is possible through sustainability. Sustainability is the amalgamation of social and environmental health with equality for all. It is a prerequisite for a healthy society. With the sustainable practice one can dream of a diverse yet inclusive society, a resilient community and a vital economy. We can protect our Earth’s ecosystems if we act in a sustainable way. Clean air and nontoxic atmospheric conditions, growth of resources that can be relied upon, and water quality and cleanliness, are all benefits of sustainability. Once a society follows sustainability it creates newer possibilities for generations to come.
Sustainable practices support ecological, human, and economic health and vitality. It understands that we are equipped with infinite resources. We need to be mindful while using and utilizing our resources. We should act mindfully and consciously with a view to long-term priorities. In a nutshell, we need to create a better and healthier society for our future generations. Sustainability also means meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
So, sustainability is not just environmentalism, it is beyond a greener world. It is a movement towards a stable, and healthier world. A decade ago, sustainability was considered as a good to have feature, but in the current scenario, it has become a matter not to be overlooked. The discussion on sustainability has gained momentum. In September 2015, when the United Nations adopted a plan “Agenda 2030” for achieving a better future for all – it created a ripple effect across the globe. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were signed. At present, stakeholders are relentlessly trying to develop multi-dimensional approaches to effectively achieve dynamics of sustainability, to be able capture the emerging opportunities. These SDGs are relevant for business and management schools. Higher Education Institutions have the ability to influence students with responsible and sustainable business practices. This influence shapes tomorrow’s business leaders and society. Almost every academic institutions are planning to float a curriculum on sustainability. In fact, education being fundamental to societal development should be transformed to act responsibly and sustainably. Educational institutions are leaving no stone unturned while making efforts towards a more sustainable society. Be it cutting energy consumption, implementing sustainability practices, they are showing a consensus towards achieving this goal. It has become significant point of attention in marketing, in HR, and in other management subjects. Paul Shrivastava, an influential management and sustainability scholar, argues that education for sustainability requires more than just cognitive understanding. We need alternative ways of teaching that incorporate physical and emotional engagement. There is a need for shifting the focus towards a holistic education. Towards achieving this, MBA institutions have major goals which ensures a sustainable society. Following are the steps can be taken by MBA institutions for spreading awareness towards a sustainable society.
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- Introducing curriculum related to sustainability
- Promoting new content, learning methods and transformative approaches towards holistic development (i.e., experiential and interdisciplinary learning and new skills into the curricula)
- Encouraging students for being mindful towards society, and their surroundings
- Seek more applied research around the SDGs that can create solutions to help businesses be more effective and sustainable
- Engage with students to commit to and act in support of the SDGs
- Act as leaders of public opinion, advisers, suppliers of knowledge and solutions and mediators among businesses, government and civil society in support of the SDGs
- Host events and webinars to raise awareness among others
- Initiate discussion forums on sustainability
- Conduct training and meetings in remote areas, and help people understand the goals of sustainability
- Skilling students towards sustainability
- Encourage students to take up action oriented courses on climate change, global warming, recycling, up cycling, disaster management
- Promote project based learning on various leads of SDGs
In a nutshell, management education is known for its function based approach. Hence, conscious effort should be made by MBA institutions towards realizing sustainable goals of society. At Jaipuria Institute of Management, Indirapuram, there have been various club activities conducted related to sustainability such as recycling/up cycling, plastic ban and so on. Apart from these activities, series of lectures and webinars are conducted on topics like climate change, green marketing, green HRM, best out of waste practices.
Article authored by – Dr. Daviender Narang : A thorough management professional, Prof. (Dr.) Daviender Narang is working as a Professor and Director at Jaipuria Institute of Management, Ghaziabad. He has a rich experience of 22 years in the field of academics and management, especially in the best business and management institutes of India and abroad. He has experience of establishing successful management business schools. He has worked on a World Bank-supported project on capacity-building in Ethiopia for two years. He holds two post-graduate degrees in Business Economics and Finance & Control. He has a Ph.D in Economics and his contribution to research focuses on banking efficiency in India. His areas of expertise are security analysis, corporate finance, banking, research methodology and mutual funds. He is also associated with business firms as a corporate trainer on various financial modules. A fine academic and administrator, he is known as an institution builder, an acclaimed teacher, a prolific speaker, an avid researcher, a consultant, and a trainer.