5 December 2008 Nearly 180 business schools from around the world have now signed up to a United Nations-backed initiative aimed at steering tomorrow’s captains of commerce into conducting more ethical and inclusive business practices.
The Principles for Responsible Management Education, established by the UN Global Compact last year, commits the business schools to including values of corporate responsibility in such fields as human rights, fighting corruption and the environment in their curricula.
Speaking today to the conclusion of a forum in New York on the initiative, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed what he described as the “significant progress” over the past year and a half towards increasing business’ schools participation.
He said all the participating schools “can shape generations of business leaders and help bring to life our shared vision of a sustainable and inclusive globalization that benefits the greatest number of people, including the poor.”
He added: “As teachers, you can ensure that tomorrow’s leaders understand that the long-term growth of a business is tied to its environmental and social impact.
“As scholars, you can produce research that drives innovation and helps management to recognize the benefits of being a responsible business. And as thought leaders and advocates in your communities, you help advance awareness of broader challenges, opportunities and responsibilities.”
The Global Compact, set up in 2000, is a UN-created alliance in which participating businesses pledge to align their operations and strategies with 10 universally accepted principles in the areas ranging from human rights and labour to the environment and anti-corruption practices.
Close to 5,000 companies in 130 countries belong to the Compact, which aims to ensure that business helps markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.
The Secretary-General told participants that the educational training they deliver, which advocates corporate responsibility in finding solutions to urgent environmental and social challenges, support the broader goals of the UN.
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