Why Business Schools Need to Go Green Fast

As every year the release of Financial Times of its world ranking of the best masters of management is akin to a race of small horses, where some gain a few places while others lose some. And France, with around twenty companies in this top-100 revealed on 13 September, continues to surprise as its major business schools thrive away from universities. A unique model in the world, but very successful for HEC and its followers. Thus, four French business schools are now among the ten best in the world, for their master’s degree, with Edhec’s entry into this limited circle.

also readWhy HEC is changing the competition rules

Solid academic background

For years, our business schools have known how to excel by the quality of their teachers and the excellent integration of their graduates. As the British daily indicates, they receive from the HEC almost 121,000 dollars annually after three years of professional life, which reflects a very sharp increase in remuneration at the start of their career. Those from ESCP, Essec, Skema, Emlyon or Neoma overwhelmingly find a job three months after completing their studies. Often it is even before they have finished their education. Similarly, more modest schools such as Iéseg in Lille, Grenoble School of Management or Excelia in La Rochelle are in the first half of the FT ranking, together with powerful institutions such as Tsinghua University in Beijing, Bocconi in Milan or Warwick Business School in England. Because they offer solid academic paths, also internationally, mixed with internships in companies that train excellent professionals.

Learn to change the world

But in these times of global pandemic, the supply of business schools must evolve profoundly. Some programs even suddenly appear outdated as a result of the health crisis. It’s not just about greening a few marketing and economics courses. Or eliminate plastic cups on campus. The reading of Financial Times dedicated to the best masters in management makes it possible to realize this. Such as this article that we find there on human rights illustrated by the families of the victims of Rana Plaza in Bangladesh, where a thousand textile workers died. The business, with its logic of tax optimization and reckless growth, is doomed to failure. We had sensed it for a few years, it has become clear today. Especially for students who integrate these amazing schools. Many of them today dream of changing the world by having an impact on the world instead of laboriously climbing the ladder of a multinational company.

Stop learning the old model

“We are not getting out of the old model fast enough, because every day brings good reasons to slow down, notes Patrick d’Humières, who teaches sustainable business at Science Po Paris and CentraleSupélec Exed. In reality, the dynamics of change are being played out. in our business schools, our famous business schools with such high ratings in Europe. They must stop teaching the old model to young managers who only want to devote themselves to a sustainable and responsible economy.” According to him, it requires a modification of the current education, which is limited to the efficiency of the factors of production. “It only gives entrepreneurship the mission to outperform in terms of financial performance and shareholder value,” he laments.

Invents sustainable businesses

Under pressure from students, many vocational schools have begun to change. Since 2007, Kedge has been committed to a strategic plan around corporate social responsibility. And the business school in Marseille and Bordeaux has for 10 years published a sustainable development report, which takes stock of the actions it carries out. “Kedge’s ambition is to train innovative, ethical and socially responsible entrepreneurs,” it reads. Similarly, Audencia, based in Nantes, has the ambition to “become a better school for the world”. “Business schools have a key role to play in preparing responsible managers with professional, behavioral and societal skills who will invent and implement new business and sustainable development models,” explains its CEO Christophe Germain. from our Gaïa School, an institution dedicated to ecological and social transition, is completely in line with the direction we give to all our activities.”

remains that Financial Times does not yet include criteria related to sustainability to rank the best Masters of Management in the world. Neither to assess the environmental quality of campuses nor to encourage innovative pedagogy in this area. Challengeswhich publishes its annual ranking of business schools in December, is doing so for the first time.

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