15 December 2016. With the help of the U.N. Principles for Responsible Management Education, the United Nations intend to work towards a situation whereby business schools shape their graduates into responsible personalities who through their activities contribute towards a sustainable development of the economy and of society. The new Report documents how issues of social responsibility and sustainability have been integrated in teaching, research, executive education and social commitment, as well as in infrastructure and operations.
Education of responsible personalities
One challenge for the education of responsible personalities is the integration of issues of responsibility and sustainability in teaching and in student involvement. In 2016, issues of responsibility and sustainability have been dealt with in more than 100 courses in all programmes and levels at the HSG.
Thus a course of "Strategies for sustainable development" is part of the Master’s Programme in Business Management. It uses "collaboratories" for the joint development of practicable solutions with the stakeholders concerned and raises questions such as these: How can we succeed in attracting more women to executive positions in Switzerland? How can we help young people rationalise their money management skills? How can we arrive at a rational way of managing big data in Switzerland? In addition, the issue of sustainability was also successfully integrated in a majority of undergraduate courses in Business Administration.
Sustainability in research
The Report also reveals that St.Gallen was among Europe’s first business schools to establish an Institute for Business Ethics (in 1989) and an Institute for Economy and the Environment (in 1992). In 2016, the existing HSG Hub in São Paolo was converted into the St.Gallen Institute of Management in Latin America (GIMLA). The institute reinforces the HSG’s presence in Latin America and focuses on issues such as inclusive business, access to healthcare, and renewable energies. The approach of "genuine entrepreneurial sustainability" developed at the HSG was presented to a wide audience with the help of a felicitous presentation in the "Little Green Bags" video series.
Sustainability in student involvement
The student association oikos has been fostering students’ awareness of sustainability since 1987. Today, oikos has 145 members and is engaged in nine different initiatives. It is one of the most active associations at the HSG. The Student Impact association makes a social and ecological contribution to society through consultancy for sustainable start-ups and SMEs. Other associations that are presented in the Report are the Social Business Club, IGNITE, Rise Haiti and P.I.E.C.E.S. The SnS Ventures project is part of the HSG’s start-up promotion efforts and as such encourages the establishment of social enterprises.
Sustainability on the HSG campus
The HSG also made great progress with regard to its campus infrastructure and activities. In 2016 the University of St.Gallen was awarded the "Blue University" seal of approval together with the City of St.Gallen, the Pädagogische Hochschule and the University of Applied Sciences. The initiative aims to have water recognised as a public good and to promote the consumption of tap water instead of bottled water. In addition, the "Lifestyle Menu" developed in cooperation with the student organisation oikos and Unisport has become a fixed and successful component of daily catering at the HSG.