Future Business Leaders Demand Bold Action on Climate Change
A new global study of more than 3,700 students at 29 top business schools such as Yale, Insead, London Business School and UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School found that corporations unwilling to act on environmental issues are increasingly punished by the men and women they would like to recruit as about 20% of respondents expressed an unwillingness to work for companies with bad environmental practices regardless of salary considerations.
The study, conducted by Yale University in collaboration with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the Global Network for Advanced Management, shows that 44 percent of students are willing to accept a lower salary to work for a company with better environmental practices. Conversely, about one-fifth of respondents expressed an unwillingness to work for companies with bad environmental practices regardless of salary considerations. Students also overwhelmingly consider environmental action a profitable stance, noting that environmental protection will improve economic growth and provide new jobs.
Professor Ciarán ÓhOgartaigh, Dean of UCD Business, commented on the findings: “The issue of sustainability has really come to the fore in recent years and the results of this survey demonstrate that business students are demanding more from their universities and from their potential employers in how they engage with the sustainability agenda. Companies seeking the best business graduates can no longer pay lip service to environmental issues – almost half of business graduates at top international schools have stated they would be willing to earn less in an organisation that has an ethos of promoting sustainability in a meaningful way. Universities too must also respond by ensuring graduates are equipped with the skills to lead organisations as companies will, undoubtedly, grapple with how they can respond to the challenge of balancing the demands of shareholders seeking a return on their investment with that of imbedding a culture of sustainability in how they do business.”
As the climate change negotiations at COP21 in Paris come to an end, these results highlight the rising priority of solving climate change among future leaders. For a full copy of the report visit: http://cbey.yale.edu/risingleaders