Excellence award for our first UN PRME sustainability report

The University of Melbourne and Melbourne Business School have been recognised for their inaugural Principles for Responsible Management in Education report.

PRME is a UN initiative created to help business schools and universities embed the UN's Sustainable Development Goals across their curriculum, research, activities, and engagement.

After joining the initiative in 2019,  the Faculty of Business and Economics and Melbourne Business School this month received an Excellence in Reporting award for their inaugural submission to the group.

Professor Glenn Hoetker, Director of the Centre for Sustainability and Business, said taking part in PRME was an important initiative for business schools to address the needs of their students and society as a whole.

"There is an increasing expectation that businesses contribute to solving significant social problems, so we need to prepare leaders capable of doing that," Professor Hoetker said

"Our students are eager to be part of that process and we need to respond to their interests."

The PRME report highlighted work across several aspects of social sustainability, including initiatives addressing environmental sustainability and diversity and inclusion, as well as work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Professor Hoetker said the process of collecting and compiling information for the report was beneficial for staff and students alike.

"By joining the PRME community, we are also able to learn from other schools and share what we learn," he said.

"It was the first time we’d taken a comprehensive inventory of our activities in this space and gave us a better sense of where our strengths are, and where we can improve. The quality of the reporting really sets a foundation for us to build on."

Melbourne Business School and the University of Melbourne have been recognised for their first UN PRME sustainability report

Associate Professor Ben Neville said that the effort involved in the reporting process was indicative of the Faculty and School's commitment to integrating ethics, responsibility and sustainability across their activities.

"Our membership of PRME and the reporting process helps us to understand what impact we can have through our teaching, research and operations, both good and bad," he said.

"Just as the corporate world is transitioning and integrating climate change and other ethical and sustainability issues, so are we integrating this knowledge into new subjects and research aims."

Dr Jackie King, Director Accreditation and Strategic Projects, said the award highlighted the importance of universities and other higher education institutions understanding their impact as it relates to the Sustainable Development Goals.

"It is the first step to better understanding how we contribute to solving global challenges through our teaching, research and activities," she said.

To learn more about PRME, visit the Principles for Responsible Management Education website.

The inaugural PRME Sharing Information on Progress Report from the Faculty of Business and Economics and Melbourne Business School can be viewed online here (PDF).

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