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News PRME puts Accountable Business School Leadership on the Agenda at COP28
20 November, 2023 Dubai, United Arab Emirates

PRME puts Accountable Business School Leadership on the Agenda at COP28

Global efforts are off-track to limit global temperature rise to 1.5°C. To protect people and the planet from the impact of the climate crisis, we need decisive multi-stakeholder action, in line with the UN Secretary-General’s Acceleration Agenda. As Governments and non-state actors converge at COP28, business education has a duty to develop responsible leaders who understand the key role the private sector plays in keeping the 1.5°C ambition alive and securing the transition to a net-zero future by 2050.

PRME aimed to offer a space for universities and business schools to share their climate target challenges, shortfalls, and successes in a transparent and non-competitive space at COP28. Participating deans and faculty were asked to commit to an ambitious, yet realistic responsibility to integrate sustainability as a core business pillar and center carbon reduction targets in their strategies. Business school leadership has the power to integrate these timely and critical issues within the institutional ecosystem through curriculum, research, and pedagogy. Alongside the collective ambitions and actions inspired at COP28, PRME’s Principles-based approach, community, and resources are sure to become even greater tools and spaces to learn, share, and improve.

PRME welcomed our community of global business education leaders and problem solvers at COP28 in Dubai on 5 December to take action in the battle against climate change.

PRME Middle East Chapter 10th Annual Forum & 2023 Conference: Societal Impact and Climate Leadership

4 December, All Day, University Of Dubai Campus

Host: PRME Chapter Middle East

This year marks the 10th edition of the PRME Chapter Middle East Regional Forum, an event that has gained recognition as a critical platform for sharing, learning, and inspiring change in the sphere of Responsible Management Education in the Middle East. Aligned with the COP 28, the theme for this year’s forum was “Climate Leadership and Societal Impact.” The event focused on the urgent need to address climate change and explore innovative solutions that can make a meaningful societal impact.

The forum also included a session on Student Impact and Sustainability which introduced the PRME Global Students (PGS), a global network by and for students at PRME, and celebrated the fourth edition of the PGS Ambassadors Program focused on students from the PRME Chapter Middle East. Attendees followed the presentations of the final projects and celebrated the graduation of the new PGS Ambassadors in the Middle East.

The forum also welcomed businesses, NGOs, and policymakers as it presented a unique opportunity for all stakeholders to come together, share knowledge, and collaboratively address one of the most critical challenges of our time.

The Accountable B School: An Organization-Wide Approach to Climate Action

5 December, 11:00 - 12:00, Greening Education Hub, Green Zone

Host: UNESCO, UAE Ministry of Education, co-organized by PRME and Canadian University Dubai

In this session, PRME gathered business school and university stakeholders for a transparent and safe dialogue where the challenges in raising climate ambition at the organizational level where shared. The session invited business, accreditation bodies, business school leadership, as well as UN Global Compact and PRME representatives to a roundtable discussion on how we can effectively raise ambitions on climate change mitigation targets, including waste management, carbon emissions reduction, and green financing policies.

Inspired by PRME’s Principles, particularly the organizational practice component of the Values Principle, the session focused on achieving concrete actions from educational institutions. The Value Principle serves as a framework for inspiration and integration of sustainable practices at the highest level of organizational structure and has aligned with the heightened trajectory of responsible management education and responsible leadership as a result of increasing demand from key stakeholders for business schools to walk the talk.

This session offered guidance and support on incremental changes as well as ambitious multi-stakeholder commitments that are good for people and the planet, and put the school, educators, and youth at the center of change.

BS4CL: Middle East Business Schools for Climate Leadership

5 December, 15:00 - 16:00, Greening Education Hub, Green Zone

Host: UNESCO, UAE Ministry of Education, PRME

This session aimed to foster collaboration and alignment among business schools in the Middle East toward Climate Leadership and sought to build on the momentum generated by the original Business Schools for Climate Leadership (BS4CL) in Europe and BS4CL Africa at COP27. This session presented a unique platform for B-Schools in the Middle East to stand at the forefront of climate leadership, promoting sustainable practices and driving impactful change within their communities and across their region.

PRME Leadership in the Middle East joined the session to discuss strategies and actions that business schools can take in collaboration for climate leadership. Panelists shared insights and success stories from their institutions, highlighting the importance of business academia in developing a roadmap for accelerating the Sustainable Development Goals and climate mitigation. Examples included a variety of collaborative frameworks, resource-sharing, and joint advocacy for climate resilience and sustainable development policies in the education sector.

Climate Leadership & ESG Governance as an enabler of Sustainable Growth

5 December, 16:45 - 17:45, Greening Education Hub, Green Zone

Host: UNESCO, UAE Ministry of Education, PRME Chapter Middle East and American University of Beirut

The aim of this industry-academia led panel included knowledge sharing and forward thinking on advancing climate leadership and sustainability in the boardroom and addressing climate change through the collaboration of business schools, practitioners, and industry experts. Topics debated included how boards are assessing and identifying material climate change and other sustainability risks including accounting for environment and social practices and the importance of having an ESG strategy at the board level and Governance as a tool to improve business ethics. The panel discussed how the leaders of tomorrow are being shaped where climate education and sustainability is concerned, the importance of financial stewardship, having basic climate literacy, understanding materiality, the triple bottom line, and redefining success beyond just financial metrics.

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