All large companies are expected to consider their environmental and social footprint. This is done through a large number of standards, frameworks and key figures in connection with a so-called ESG report (Environment, Social, Governance). Such reporting enables companies to better manage their contribution to achieving the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) of the United Nations. Tarun Anand, chairman of Universal Business School, India’s first green business school, talks about how this shift in awareness towards sustainability must begin in management education. He underpins this by being India’s first B school in India to publish its own ESG report.
In June 2021, India’s leading rating agency CRISIL Ltd published its environmental, social and governance (ESG) ratings for 225 companies from 18 sectors in India. Unsurprisingly, the analysis showed that companies with the highest ESG score within a sector outperform the industry average by nearly 9 points because they perform significantly better on three fronts – environmental parameters, general disclosure, and sustainability practices.
However, Universal Business School has proven to be a disruptor in the SDG landscape by being the first business school in India to publish its ESG report and reveal its environmental and social footprint. This is important because, in the past, business schools have only provided guidelines for the preparation of these reports. For example, Harvard Business School has produced a number of working papers that explain how companies need to improve their ESG reporting.
At a time when sustainability is no longer words and adequate support through action is needed, the first ESG report from India’s Universal Business School reads as follows:
70% of all energy used by the campus comes from the solar park and roof systems.
The campus is home to 16 hectares of green zone living space spread across the property. The property is dedicated to diverse flora and fauna including frog species, snakes, woodpeckers, butterflies and more than 7500 species of plants.
The campus has 3 water collection ponds on 2 hectares of land and 3 waste management plants.
Commenting on the report, Tarun Anand, chairman of the Universal Business School, said, “A change in mindset must begin with the management education phase. With this ESG report, we want to embody the concept of sustainability in its entirety and to become environmentally sustainable (as well as inclusive), today’s management students can achieve Environmental responsibility must be integrated into the curriculum of every business school and the faculty itself into sustainable thinking be sunk – in order to be able to pass on knowledge. “
The ESG report also highlights some of the notable social initiatives taken by the students and faculty to promote social well-being and inclusion. For example, Universal Business School has partnered with ENACTUS, an international non-profit organization that provides glasses to more than 500 elderly people with blindness. The students have trained more than 500 local tribal children in various health and hygiene activities in collaboration with local NGOs etc.
The report also looks at effective governance. “We are represented equally by male and female faculty members. In our administration department, we have female department heads and female directors, ”says Dr. Asha Bhatia, Director – Research and Faculty responsible for ENACTUS at UBS.