Why sustainability matters in an everchanging business world

“Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals – they are both essential ingredients for long-term success.” – William Clay Ford Jr. Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Company

On September 25th 2015, the United Nations (UN) came together to discuss how we must work together to help improve the lives of future generations. The purpose of this meeting was to implement a unique set of goals that will help ‘end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all’ as part of a new agenda for sustainable growth and development. These significant targets, which include the promotion of worldwide gender equality, clean water and sanitation for all, and clean global energy supplies, are set to be achieved in the next 15 years.

“All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan,” the UN agenda states. “We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path,” it adds.

“As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.”

So, for us to maintain a better, brighter world, we need to take these UN goals into close consideration. These are pillars of modern life that affect us all; directly or indirectly depending where in the world we are set. Sustainable tools, perspectives, and practices are necessary for Earth to survive and for humanity to succeed.

Employers around the globe understand that things like climate change, labour conditions, and our growing reliance on the world’s finite resources are factors that can have a detrimental impact on those at the bottom line, and therefore actively seek reasonable and maintainable business solutions, alongside sustainably competent people. Ultimately, at the roots of the complex business sphere is the idea that you must work for the benefit of others if you are to truly thrive.

But for society to be able cope with the interaction between financial incentives and intricate social structures, we need passionate, qualified individuals who understand what it means to function as a sustainable community. As future leaders of our generation, it’s important that students have access to the relevant tools and knowledge that will enable them to tackle issues regarding sustainability.

The School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg hopes to achieve just this, giving students the chance to develop sustainable expertise via a unique, interdisciplinary approach.

The School provides a wide range of two-year Master’s programmes, all of which are delivered in English, within the disciplines of business and economics, including Accounting and Financial Management, Economics, Finance, Innovation and Industrial Management, International Business and Trade, Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship, Logistics and Transport Management, Management, and Marketing and Consumption – desirable qualifications among prospective employers.

Research and education is at the heart of the School’s programmes, allowing students to learn and explore, while inspiring them to contribute to society at large. The School’s sharp focus on sustainability research is just one example of how it takes a meaningful and proactive stance to issues we currently face; the ultimate goal? To give students the tools they need to succeed in their chosen career, as well as those they need to prevail as a compassionate and, above all sustainable, citizen of the world.

Accredited by EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA, the School of Business, Economics and Law is the only faculty in Sweden to receive the ‘Triple Crown’ accreditation, highlighting the quality of the School’s specialised education, and making it one of the nation’s most desirable institutions among local and foreign students.

The School boasts over 150 partner universities all over the world, and five double degree partners, including the University of Zhejiang in China, LUISS in Italy, the European Business School in Germany, University of Rome Tor Vegata in Italy, and Hokkaido University in Japan. These partnerships allow students to excel as they gain internationally-recognised qualifications from two prestigious universities – a valuable investment in the competitive employment market.

Besides classroom lectures and research projects, the School of Business, Economics and Law seeks to benefit students through partnerships between school-based and global researchers. Its ‘Visiting Professor Program’, for example, is an unparalleled, internationally-focused initiative that allows lecturers from other countries to share their teaching methods and ideas, as well as to contribute to meaningful research. On top of this, the School believes in real-world business collaborations to ensure its research and curriculum stays relevant as the world continues to evolve. Since its 1923 inauguration, the School has built an extensive network of valuable industry collaborations. Its partnership with the Volvo Group, for example, is a real testament to the School’s commitment to giving students real-world business insights. The School is also one of only nine Preferred Talent Partners to Volvo Group, worldwide.

“We can see, today, that the environment is getting very close to us, and the things we do to the environment are affecting a lot of people,” explains Wilhelm Akesson, a student of Gothenburg’s School of Business, Economics & Law. “Thanks to media coverage, we know that sustainability issues are something we can’t escape, so students of today must be well-equipped to tackle those issues when they work in the future.”

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