Details for The School of Business, Economics and Law at University of Gothenburg

Participant Status


Type of Organization


Type of Education

Undergraduate, Post Graduate, Doctoral, Executive

Institution is part of

University of Gothenburg


Gothenburg, Sweden


Sign Up Date to PRME

22 Oct 2010

Current Sharing Information on Progress Report Submission

21 Jun 2018

Sharing Information on Progress (2018)

Sustainability 2018 PRME Report - View Report

Period Covered: Jan 2016 to May 2018

Achievements Curriculum Integration in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

University of Gothenburg was one of the first universities to sign the COPERNICUS charter for sustainable development in 1993. The University thus committed itself to sustainable development in research, education as well as environmental management, i.e. purchase, waste disposal and chemicals etc. In January 2006 the University achieved its ISO14001 certificate.

The School of Business, Economics and Law belongs to the Swedish public education system and is as such part of the social welfare state. We believe that this culturally grounded setting forces us to take on a more developed role within society, which may differ from many other business schools. This becomes a fundamental aspect of our philosophy since many decades. As a public institute with links to both academia and society, we are required by the government not only to offer public services and develop our core activities, education and research, but also to play a conspicuous part in community development. This is framed as the “third” task of universities.

The Mission of the School is to develop knowledge and educate creative individuals for the advancement of successful organizations and a sustainable world. Sustainability has been a key orientation (in teaching and research) for the School for several decades and all the departments have teachers and researchers who are active in these areas. The School’s strategy is to incorporate ethics and values as integral features of every course. However some courses directly address CSR and environmental issues, e.g. Business Ethics and Sustainability, Environmental Management Systems, Sustainable Marketing Management, Sustainable Mobility, Environmental Effects and Conflicts in Long-Run Economic Development and Strategic Environmental Assessment. By the time the students complete their programmes they should have fully understanding of the concept Ethics Values, CSR and Sustainable development. One good example is Ms Irja Sandin; nominated “Swedish Business Student of the Year 2008” received the award partly because of the values and involvement in work for a sustainable society

The School´s Bachelor degree programme in Environmental Social Science, launched in 2001, was the first one of its kind in Sweden. In the three year programme, students spend their first year attending interdisciplinary courses in Environmental issues. In the second year the students chose a profile a discipline and the third year is devoted to environmentally oriented specialist courses and secondly to the environmental profile of the major subject. Similarly, the Bachelor degree programme in Business and Economics incorporates sustainability and CSR as fundamental features of the programme.

Within our Graduate School, the Masters degree students can specialize in Environmental Economics and Sustainable Management within different degree programmes. The Graduate School will offer a package of at least four courses during electives plus thesis supervision. By developing this specialization within five M.Sc degree programmes, many students can increase their knowledge and ability to tackle relevant social problems in the future. These courses are given through collaboration with departments such as the Environmental Economics Unit at the department of Economics, the Business Administration department, our Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the social sciences, (and also in collaboration with Chalmers University of Technology).

For all levels of teaching and research, vital contacts have been made with companies. An example is the Assar Gabrielsson visiting professor in applied corporate management; Mr Björn Stigsson holds this position for 2010, and he is President for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD). This is a CEO-led, global association of some 200 companies dealing exclusively with business and sustainable development. He holds seminars and lectures for teaching faculty in the programmes as well as holds guest lecturers for the students.

Our Executive Education offers customized development programmes for companies and other organizations as well as an open-enrollment Executive MBA Programme. The programme includes a course on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). During this course, participants discuss the CSR idea in relation to the business reality. The course provides participants with perspectives on how to understand CSR and how to relate it to the participants’ organizations’ business strategies. The ambition is to integrate sustainability and CSR more explicitly in all executive programmes and work strategically to do this, and they have taken concrete action e.g. by organizing a workshop, September 2010, on the Topic “The Sustainable MBA”, Ms. Giselle Weybrecht was invited (author of the book “The Sustainable MBA: The Manager’s Guide to Green Business”) to chair a full day workshop with faculty, staff and corporate partners. The workshop resulted in a roadmap for continued work on how to integrate sustainability and CSR in the programmes. The roadmap includes: A. Strengthened relations with the business community by using our corporate partners in the programmes. B. Inviting all Faculty to discuss how to integrate sustainability and CSR in the programme. C. Joining and contributing to organization like UNPRME, GRLI and EABIS.

Achievements Research Development in the Field of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability

The tradition of research on sustainable development is well founded within the university and is one of the university's foremost strengths. Estimation concluded that more than 230 researchers at the whole university are involved in research for sustainable development. The research fields vary from environmental economics and risk management to climate change chemistry and physics.

For the School of Business, Economics and Law sustainability and corporate responsibility has been a key orientation for several decades and all the departments have teachers and researchers who are active in these areas. Below are some examples of activities in our different centers and departments at the School

Environmental Economics Units, EEU, research concerns climate, transport, industry and natural resource management, particularly in developing countries. The EEU focus on two distinct areas: firstly, experimental and valuation studies and their behavioral foundations. Secondly, they work with the selection and design of policy instruments for transport, industrial environmental problems and welfare-related issues. ¬The EEU provide a PhD programme and a number of specialization courses, and we offer stipends financed by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) to students from developing countries to study environmental economics at our department. We have been training PhDs from developing countries for almost twenty years and now have an unusually broad network of alumni in various countries
The Centre for Finance (CFF) is responsible for the Sustainable Investments project, which is funded by the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research (Mistra). The aim is to find methods and ways of working that would enable the financial services industry to contribute to sustainable development.

The Centre for Business in Society (CBiS) is an interdisciplinary research centre at the School who works to promote and underpin research and training relating to how respect for environmental and social issues is integrated in companies’ strategic and operational processes. The vision of the centre is to create a prominent meeting place where researchers, students and trade and industry can swap knowledge and carry out research and development. CBiS also arranges open seminars and lectures in order to disseminate knowledge of these issues.

The Department of Law includes the Center for Environmental Regulation and Sustainable Development (CER), whose overarching objective is to encourage regulation that takes future generations into account. Research at CER focuses on climate change; water, coastal and marine protection; and methodologies for environmental legislation.

Research at the Department of Human and Economic Geography includes work on the planning of Swedish manmade and natural environments, taking biodiversity, outdoor recreation and coastal protection into account. Research is also under way on location of wind-power facilities with reference to environmental considerations; the spread of environmental management systems; issues of climate, travel and sustainable development; and land-use conflicts in developing countries.

The CSR network initiated in 2007 by Region Västra Götaland, It is intended as a forum for realizing the Region´s vision. It provides a platform for sharing skills and experience, leading to new relationships and business opportunities and a sustainably society. An arena for training organizations in current CSR methods and tools, the network provides a unique opportunity to build on each organization’s creativity. It also plays a key role in research and development, and involves public, private and non-governmental organizations in developing CSR further.

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