Inspiring positive impact
PIR Case Study Series
Our case studies provide real-life examples of positive impact in different business school settings from around the globe. They trace the individual stories and learning curves experienced by innovative business schools, faculty and students.
IIM Bangalore (India) – A national role model for social impact
Given that education is an important pillar for socio-economic growth, the Indian law mandates the affirmative action of reserving 49,5% of seats in government-owned or controlled educational institutions for applicants from Schedules Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and other Backward Classes or from low-income groups. Being an Institute of National Importance, IIMB acknowledges its responsibility to be a role model and a change agent in the field of ethics, social responsibility, and sustainability. Its vision statement includes aims to demonstrate exemplary values, encourage diversity, and create a significant positive impact. Integrity, inclusiveness, and contribution to society are some of the core practices of the Institute.
All IIMB’s programs are designed for students to understand the implications of managerial decisions and actions concerning ethics, responsibility, and sustainability (ERS). Through classroom courses, internships, and other diverse means, students are educated and motivated to internalize ethical and socially responsible practices in varied and cross-cultural managerial settings. The Institute signals the importance of ethics with a briefing session in student orientation, supplemented by workshops and seminars on ethical and responsible behavior by faculty members and industry practitioners. In addition, IIMB offers several elective courses about corporate governance, social responsibility, sustainability, and inclusive growth. Courses in Leadership include modules on ethics, values, and building trust in relationships.
IIMB MOOCs have provided more than 1 million Indian and international students with free access to management education making a broad social impact. For example, the MOOC “Do Your Venture” is a mandatory part of the NSRCEL Women Startup Program. This MOOC was delivered to meet the program’s goal to support early-stage, women-led ventures from across the country by offering free education in entrepreneurship. Nearly 20,000 women have had access to the MOOC and could develop their business ideas into working businesses. The women who completed the MOOC were also chosen for further mentoring and training, and IIMB selected top performers for incubation at NSRCEL.
IIMB students recognize their social responsibility and are eager to contribute to the betterment of society. They are organized in many student clubs and groups.
School, students, and community “growing together” in S P Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), India
“The PIR survey provides a student-centric lens to see how we are doing on our short-term and long-term goals and helps us identify where we could go next.” Varun Nagaraj, Dean, SPJIMR
SPJIMR uses the PIR survey as a mirror of how its students (SPJIMR calls them participants) see the institution’s activities; it is in part a validation of what the school is doing right, and it points it in the direction where it can do better.
Some of the suggestions received in the earlier editions of the PIR indicated that initiatives like Abhyudaya and Development of Corporate Citizenship (DoCC), which are mandatory and essential to the SPJIMR curriculum, are seen as valuable and life-changing experiences by students. Abhyudaya, which means “growing together”, is an initiative where MBA participants mentor school students living in impoverished urban neighborhoods. DoCC is a five-week social internship program for SPJIMR participants to work with grassroots organizations in remote regions on social and ecological justice issues.
SPJIMR engages with the community through events such as Ehsaas and Aasra. Ehsaas is a platform for partner organizations, including small social entrepreneurs and women self-help groups, to showcase, market, and sell products from their organizations. Aasra is an inclusive sport and cultural fest for people with disabilities, where over 100 participants from 11 non-profits and schools across Mumbai celebrate life through sports and cultural activities. The PIR survey indicates that these activities positively impact SPJIMR students and society.
Woxsen University School of Business (India) – Measuring its social impact mission
Ethics, responsibility, and sustainability (ESR) are an integral part of the School of Business at Woxsen University’s mission and values, with each program created for high societal impact.
Woxsen’s motto is to drive research and student activities to create societal impact through meaningful engagement with the community. KPIs carefully monitor ERS every six months, including the number of internal awareness events on ERS, scholarships, and student and staff hours per year on noncurricular ERS activities. These KPIs mandate faculty and students to participate in events and initiatives that foster social capital. The aim is to create an environment where school values are cherished and nurtured and shape a generation of socially sensitive managers.
Woxsen’s strategy is based on adhering to the UN SDGs and is built on two constituent processes. The first is teaching, research contributions, case studies, and conferences. A three-credit compulsory course on Business Ethics and Philosophy enables students to make business decisions and be responsible for society and environmental sustainability. Across most modules, a minimum of one capstone project has a social orientation in ESR, including a rural area-based project where social impact carries 15% of the module weight.
The school organized the Global Impact Summit in April 2022, where senior academics and corporate professionals discussed social impact. In-house magazine “Woxsen Business Review” (WBR) maintains a sub-section for Sustainability and the SDGs to create awareness among students about companies’ integration of sustainability and social responsibility practices.
The second process is Student activities contributing to social causes. A collaboration with US-based Monmouth University initiated a six-month Social Impact Project, “Woxsen-Monmouth Elevate Program”, to teach the underprivileged school students of Telangana State with a vision to uplift the weaker sections of the society. The school hosts a chapter of “Street Cause”, a nationwide organization that focuses on socially uplifting India’s rural areas. Over 100 Woxsen students contribute with donations, goods, or time. In addition, a Rotaract club focuses on Net Zero initiatives, clean energy, and gender equity and ensures the cleanliness and maintenance of the campus.
Strengthening a longstanding culture of social purpose and community benefit at XLRI, India
XLRI has been founded by Jesuits and is defined by the tagline “for the greater good”. The entire XLRI community lives by it. XLRI encourages its students to contribute to uplifting underprivileged people. The student initiatives SIGMA-oikos, Samarthya, PEACE, and CII-YI testify to this commitment. These initiatives engage with different organizations to address social issues in or around the XLRI community.
Participation in PIR has influenced XLRI to further emphasize sustainability and business ethics courses in its academic curricula to shape virtuous leaders who would incorporate ethical and sustainable business practices in their vision of work. XLRI has introduced a compulsory course on Sustainable Development and Corporate Sustainability in its flagship programs. Further, as ethics is an institutional value of XLRI, and ethical issues are pervasive in their scope, “Ethical Conduct” has been added as a Learning Outcome for all XLRI programs.
XLRI has made a long stride toward becoming a carbon-neutral campus by taking steps such as setting up a biogas plant, installing solar panels on buildings, and providing bicycles for students and staff to commute. It encourages students to use eBooks instead of paper books. For many courses, physical study materials have been replaced by e-course materials.
Further, XLRI has introduced the 5S concept to promote, set up, develop, and sustain the culture of orderliness, cleanliness, hygiene, efficiency, work quality, and safety among the members of the XLRI community to develop practical sustainability competencies among its members.
Going forward, XLRI will continue to teach its core values of sustainability and ethical conduct to the larger society through its staff, students, and alumni.
EADA Business School (Spain) – Embracing its role in society of a positive impact multiplier
EADA’s efforts in the past year sought to improve the school's internal capabilities and increase its focus on the "multiplier effect" the school's actions have through education. EADA has trained key staff members to embed further sustainability in daily activities. Faculty recruitment policy encourages the attraction of researchers and professors with a proven track record or an interest in sustainability-related fields. The school has continued to deploy its Sustainable Leadership pedagogical model in its programs. The model sets out a series of eight Institutional Learning Goals that all EADA’s degree programs should deliver.
EADA provides more hands-on experiences inside and outside the classroom to prepare students for organizations' current challenges in sustainability. This includes intensifying action learning consulting projects for students via collaboration with companies and associations. A partnership with Ashoka Spain allows students to tackle real business sustainability problems as part of their final degree project. EADA fosters the B Impact Teams, student-consultant teams from all master programs that support actual companies by delivering a baseline impact report and action plan based on the B Corp framework and Impact Assessment Tool.
Program management of the International Master in Sustainable Business & Innovation led a participative initiative that involved various stakeholders, including students, to redesign its specializations to align them further with the needs and challenges that companies are facing in the transition towards sustainability.
EADA is the strategic academic partner of Barcelona+B, part of the global initiative Cities can B. The aim is to turn companies and citizens into agents of change in Barcelona. The initiative will launch a series of participatory activities to contribute to Barcelona's transition to a sustainable, inclusive, and prosperous city under the 2030 agenda SDGs.
Glasgow Caledonian New York College (USA) – A small school dedicated to social impact
Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC) is uniquely dedicated to social impact and sustainability in business. Founded by Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) in 2017 to address the challenges of the 21st century, GCNYC put forth a disruptive mission to educate business leaders who will work to protect a safe and sustainable planet and ensure fair and just working conditions across the globe.
The school’s curriculum weaves sustainability and social impact into every class, preparing students to transform business practice for the benefit of people and planet. Inspired by the UN SDGS, the GCNYC’s master’s degree curriculum teaches its students a pragmatic approach to sustainable business, focused on applied research and leadership skills.
GCNYC has two master’s degree programs, Business for Social Impact and Sustainability & Sustainable Fashion, where students learn to re-imagine business in line with the SDGs, balancing profitability with the well-being of communities and the environment. And a key element of their learning at GCNYC is through student projects based on practical applications.
This begins in courses such as Business Strategy for the Common Good, where student-consultants partner with organizations on applied learning projects. One student group recently worked with a German-based sustainable fashion brand to recommend a strategic reorientation and brand positioning that capitalized on students’ professional and academic experience. The students’ recommendations included detailed suggestions for sourcing textiles sustainably and led the company to take its next steps as a sustainable brand.
Further, all GCNYC students produce a unique research thesis on sustainable strategy or corporate social responsibility, and many use this project to develop a social business plan. The social ventures launched by GCNYC graduates include a regenerative farm in the Philippines growing sustainable fibers and a platform to assess workforce practices in a supply chain. GCNYC students graduate ready to drive positive social impact and becoming transformative forces in their workplace.
University of Vermont Grossman School of Business (USA) – Preparing responsible leaders and disruptive innovators
Societal impact is a central strategic focus of the Grossman School of Business (GSB) mission, programs, curriculum, learning goals and competencies, and students’ experiential learning. Sustainable Business is one of the core themes in the BA curriculum, the Sustainable Innovation MBA program has sustainability - social, environmental, and ethical - integrated into each topic, course, and case, and in the practicums that all students complete. The Masters of Accountancy program includes a course in Social/Environmental/Sustainability accounting that incorporates the SASB standards and ESG Reporting with access to the Datamaran disclosure database. GSB’s courses are also included in UVM’s list of courses required general education requirement.
The Sustainable Innovation MBA (SIMBA) students have demonstrated practical impact by winning the 2019 First Total Impact Portfolio (social, environmental, and economic) Competition beating the top 47 MBA programs in the US. They were finalists in the 2020 Second Total Impact Portfolio Competition. The SIMBA students won the 2021 First Solid Waste Management Case Competition against the top 50 MBA programs in the US and the world. The SIMBA students manage a live Total Impact Portfolio, the Catamount Investment Fund to create a portfolio that has a high social, environmental, and economic return. As a result, the SIMBA graduates are in great demand for positions in ESG and Impact Investing in top financial services firms and other firms focused on sustainable innovation and companies with a sustainable mission and focus including B Corps.
The societal impact of SIMBA students goes beyond helping companies achieve success in current operations. GSB graduates help businesses as intrapreneurs to initiate disruptive innovation in companies; as consultants for sustainability-driven innovation; and as entrepreneurs of environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive businesses.
Diversity is a core value of GSB and the school maintains an Inclusive Excellence Action Plan with four components of inclusive excellence: academics, community, environment, and internal/external communications. Examples include a required privilege/bias workshop for SIMBA students; a Diversity Faculty Fellow; coordination of diversity initiatives in student recruitment, advising, and retention; Women in Business and Diversity in Business clubs; and student participation in Women in Business and Diversity in Business case competitions.
Reacting to the refugee crisis in Kozminski University, Poland
“The community of Kozminski University has, since day one of the war, expressed solidarity with and provided support to Ukraine and its citizens.” Gregorz Mazurek, Dean, Kozminski Business School
On Friday, 25th February 2022, Kozminski University opened the University to incoming civilian refugees. Together with the Ukrainian House in Warsaw of the Our Choice Foundation (NGO), the school created the first 24-hour Support Point in Warsaw. Refugees received here initial humanitarian and legal support. The initiative welcomed 340 families, including 600 adults and almost 500 children, 1,336 volunteers registered, among them many students at Kozminski University. The University was able to offer 3,000 places of accommodation provided by the residents of Warsaw. Volunteers were involved in an ongoing information campaign on social media for Ukrainians crossing the border. The coordinators were highly efficient in managing the cars, drivers, volunteers, and accommodation database.
The university’s action sparked a wave of kindness. Within a few days, local businesses and Warsaw residents delivered about 5 tons of food, hygiene products, blankets, clothes, products for children, and pet food to the university. The gifts exceeded the demand many times over, all surplus we sent back to Ukraine. With support from the school’s graduates, Kozminski has provided over 2000 medical kits, 300 sleeping bags, and 500 pillows to the Ukrainian territorial defense. Soon, the University will also be donating a mobile operating table with battery-powered lamps, thanks to the commitment of the Getinge company.
Closing part of the university, including a complete shutdown of the library, and reading area, where people stayed overnight and a kindergarten operated, was met with complete understanding from Kozminski’s community. KU employees and students devoted a lot of personal time and energy to help. After a week, the city authorities mobilized the aid on a larger scale. As a result, the university closed its receiving point and focused on other forms of support for Ukraine.
The school set up fundraising through the Kozminski Foundation, which provides funds to Kozminski students, graduates, employees, and their families affected by the war in Ukraine. The school also initiated a blood donation action for the injured and gathered supplies to help animals that suffered from the war.
Kozminski University decided to launch activities to support its Ukrainian partners. These include providing three refugee staff members who coordinate student and faculty work at Krok University (Kyiv) with space in Kozminski Library and establishing temporary offices for them. Ukrainian students, employees, and their families have been offered support from the Kozminski University Legal Office, particularly concerning the legalization process of their stay in Poland, as well as the support in personal well-being provided by the staff of the KU Wellbeing Office and qualified specialists from MindMed Institute of Psychotherapy.
Kozminski University has organized scientific conferences during which KU professors explain the unlawful actions of Russia and the possible consequences of war in the light of international law. Discussion includes scenarios of changes in the global economy caused by numerous crises ranging from humanitarian to migration, energy, and financial ones. In cooperation with the Institute for Social and Economic Enquiry (iSEE), New Europeans, and Media Dialogue, they organized the "New Dawn" initiative, a series of roundtable discussions on the European integration of Ukraine and its future reconstruction.
Antwerp Management School (Belgium) – Mapping, measuring, and communicating impact
Antwerp Management School (AMS) co-created “the Impact Flower” with stakeholders to map, measure, and tell the story of the school's impact. This flower shows all the internal and external dimensions where the school wants to demonstrate a positive impact, with the ‘social responsibility & sustainability’ dimension at its center. This central dimension drives AMS’s integrated approach towards positive impact, to which all other dimensions contribute.
AMS creates impact on the personal ‘social responsibility and sustainability’ dimension through the ‘Global Leadership Skills’ course, built around the three AMS mission pillars: Self-Awareness, Global Perspective, and Societal Consciousness. Through a mixture of in-class and cross-program sessions, the course challenges the way students look at the world and develops new skills and vision for integrating sustainability into their future work and career. Sustainability competencies such as knowledge of global societal risk and innovation, reflective capacity and awareness of value-driven behaviors, and skills to think systemically, critically, and long-term are sharpened. Within the course, students actively participate in a cross-cultural team-based “Action Learning Project” to create societal impact by contributing to one of the SDGs.
Ever since AMS first received a Positive Impact Rating in 2020, the PIR has played a pivotal role in communicating the school’s impact. Accreditation bodies such as AACSB and EFMD greatly appreciate the student-driven approach of the rating, which has contributed substantially to its credibility. Moreover, many students' enthusiasm and voluntary involvement have also turned the PIR into a yearly creative platform for discussion between the school, faculty, and students. This includes asking: how can the school make improvements? How can AMS energize and involve its stakeholders? How can AMS communicate better about positive (and less positive) results?
HKUST Business School (Hong Kong) – A culture of innovating for sustainable solutions
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) Business School has improved its score in each of the three editions of the PIR. Participation in the PIR contributed to receiving funding from the government’s Theme-based Research Scheme for a Green Finance Research Project in 2021. This project will expand academic knowledge of sustainability and green finance. At the same time, the cross-disciplinary nature of the study will also yield benefits to policymakers, academia, industries, and professionals in their studies and decision-making.
HKUST Business School launched the city’s first BSc in Sustainable and Green Finance (SGFN) Program, reacting to the critical future role of the discipline. The Program gathers an interdisciplinary team of academic specialists in finance and investment, environmental science, and technology to equip students with professional knowledge and a global outlook. Designed to nurture leaders in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and related fields, the Program covers environment science, sustainability and green finance, risk management, and public policy.
Students and faculty are an integral part of HKUST’s sustainability journey. The university offers different funding and programs to encourage them to develop innovative ideas to address real-life problems. Many have succeeded in developing practical solutions to various local and global issues.
Solutions include mobile apps that help users analyze and manage personal air pollution health risks. Students have also developed algorithms that analyze and predict the risks of climate change on corporations and propose sustainable business models. Innovations for upcycling bread waste into craft beer and award-winning vegan, biodegradable and edible cutlery have come from students.
HKUST has made great strides in embedding positive impact and sustainable culture into its curriculum and operations. It set ambitious energy reduction targets to meet the goal of becoming a net-zero carbon campus before 2050 and is building 8000 solar panels for Hong Kong’s most extensive solar power system on campus. The University has also been working closely with governments to tackle the local and regional air pollution problems and pursue other sustainable development goals.
IESEG School of Management (France) – Accelerating student engagement
IESEG has improved its PIR score across three Editions, perhaps explained by a focused strengthening and acceleration of its commitment to sustainability since 2019. The school underwent several essential steps that have helped to increase its positive impact.
The school has substantially increased its engagement with stakeholders – notably students, staff, faculty, and alumni – on an ongoing basis. The school uses tools such as a materiality analysis, one-on-one meetings with the different services, departments, and student associations, Professional Advisory Boards, and thematic working groups composed of mixed populations. These working groups allowed for students, staff, faculty, and alumni to interact and collaborate on projects and ideas and helped build a stronger relationship among these groups.
IESEG has continued embedding sustainability into all programs by creating new mandatory courses on sustainability, a mandatory serious game on climate change for all first-year students, and new interdisciplinary projects such as the ‘People-Planet-Profit’ project for second-year students.
The PIR has helped provide IESEG with updated and relevant information on how students perceive the school efforts and identifying areas to increase positive impact. Previous results of its PIR indicated an interest of students to see their sustainability engagement considered.
The school dug deeper into this by consulting with students. It launched the ‘Sustainability Certificate’, which is given to students who demonstrate engagement in all aspects of the student experience at IESEG (academic, associative, events, thesis, etc.).
The PIR has also allowed IESEG to dialogue closer with the student association that leads the PIR campaign. Additionally, its PIR score is communicated internally and externally through presentations, reports, and accreditations. The PIR has become an important element of IESEG’s strategic development and has served as a guide to improve impact in the past three years.
Using PIR to communicate social impact and strengthen stakeholder connections in Centrum PUCP, Peru
Centrum PUCP uses the PIR to improve its relationship with students and communicate its social impact. The school sees improving stakeholder engagement as fundamental for the school’s improvement and a valued aspect for all accreditation bodies. The school feels that the student voice and opinions are particularly powerful for measuring and demonstrating the efforts made by Centrum PUCP to generate a positive impact.
The students' assessment and feedback are critical to identifying strengths and opportunities to improve impact. An example of this is the positive impact of 12 large social responsibility projects executed between 2020 and 2021 that benefited thousands of SMEs, school students, women entrepreneurs, and other stakeholders. Centrum PUCP students were also engaged and actively contributed to these projects’ success. At the same time, the PIR survey made the school realize the opportunity of involving more students in these projects as they are keen on contributing to the generation of positive impact. These ultimately translate into Centrum PUCP being “the school for good business”, which means having students focus their learning on generating business models with a positive impact on society.
PIR results allow Centrum PUCP to reinforce the communication addressed to all stakeholders, including students, faculty, companies, alumni, and boards, regarding the positive impact generated. As a result, the school is valued as an outstanding contributor to positive impact in their ecosystems. The staff and students have gladly joined this effort of "redefining good business", a vision that companies should not be measured only by their financial results but also by their positive impact on society. In the words of Sandro Sanchez, Director of MBA Programs, “Our purpose of ’redefining good business’ is 100% aligned with PIR's mission and dimensions, permeating the school’s culture, and allowing stakeholders to see us as a positive impact generator. This work serves to generate awareness about our achievements
Audencia Business School (France) – Co-creating impactful solutions with students
Audencia Business School has a longstanding commitment to responsible management education. An essential part of this commitment is creating a positive impact with the various stakeholders. Audencia, in a continuous improvement process, engages these stakeholders and builds on their expectations and contributions. The yearly renewal of the student body offers challenges and opportunities to integrate them into this process.
Audencia uses the PIR to collect feedback from students on the school’s ecological and social impact and measure its progress in this area. PIR thus helped Audencia strengthen its links with students’ associations committed to sustainability and responsible management. As part of the continuous improvement cycle, the school’s CSR Team and the students’ associations cooperate closely to use the results of the previous PIR edition to identify areas of progress and build a concrete action plan. This action plan emphasizes students’ role and involvement in its realization and communicates the results of this plan to the whole community of students.
Last year, the school’s CSR Team, IS Team, and students worked together to co-create a carbon footprint calculator for digital activities. They also launched a related communication campaign for all new students. As a result, more than 1800 students used this calculator in the six first months after its launch.
This year, the calculator will be enriched to include the carbon footprint related to food, and for next year, Audencia plans to add the footprint of transport. In line with the PIR spirit, students were heavily involved in every step, ensuring that the tool met their needs and was peer-promoted.
Esade Business School (Spain) – A joint student and staff Curricula Review Committee
Esade business school in Barcelona has formed a joint student and staff committee to review and analyze sustainability content and coverage in curricula. Esade’s Identity and Mission team, which is leading the sustainability transformation at the school, supported oikos Barcelona, the student association for sustainability, in collecting its fellow students’ voices and invited the student association to participate in the Curricular Review Committee.
Esade has made the collaboration between faculty and students a key aspect of the design and implementation of its Sustainability Action Plan, launched in September 2020. For example, the student community, led by oikos, has increasingly been more informed and concerned about the challenges of the 21st century.
The first and second editions of the PIR had over 1000 students expressing their wish for Esade to embed more sustainability and philanthropy topics into existing courses.
Working together has allowed the team to redefine and orientate its goals and plans to improve the impact of the Esade community. Several students of oikos have helped and worked together with faculty to analyze the existing syllabus and subjects in the light of sustainability challenges and assess to which extent they could be more inclusive and extensive.
The student involvement in the curriculum review initiative has created a Think Tank of Sustainable Finance, coordinated by a finance professor and oikos Barcelona. Students are offered the opportunity to participate in 4 seminars to discuss solutions and ways to conciliate sustainable and financial decisions. At the same time, they can apply what they have learned in a trading challenge using a platform that simulates the U.S. stock market.
Grenoble Ecole de Management (France) – Using the PIR to innovate with students
Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) has a long history of engaging students in sustainability strategy transversally, dating back to their participation in its first sustainability committee in 2009 and creating the first student association for sustainability in 2006.
Like many higher-education organizations, GEM has struggled to maintain links and awareness of initiatives and policies that nurture and mature sustainability projects from one year to the next, especially with the student body. The school often found itself starting from scratch or “reinventing the wheel” each academic year due to the natural turnover of students or gaps in perception and visibility of what the school is doing to integrate sustainability transversally.
Analyzing the qualitative feedback received from the Positive Impact Rating allows the school mapping of the critical areas impacted and has helped identify the gaps between reality and students’ perception of what the school should stop or start doing. The process has helped GEM better communicate with the students on 1) what it has been doing but has not been “perceived”, 2) what can’t be done yet because of financial or other constraints, 3) to identify priorities that the Sustainability Committee should be focusing on in the coming year, especially in the task force on sustainability teaching and research.
The Sustainability Hub ensures the smooth transfer of knowledge and projects from one year to the next by signing annual partnership agreements with the newly elected ImpACT administrative officers. For example, the deployment of the Positive Impact Rating, the back-to-school Sustainability integration training workshops for the CRS representatives of the 22 school associations, or the co-chairing of the Sustainability Committee are all key projects involving close collaboration between students and staff consolidated long-term through the partnership agreement.
ICHEC Brussels Management School (Belgium) - A sustainability strategy built on collective intelligence
In 2020, ICHEC launched an internal and in-depth strategic reflection on sustainability issues. The guiding principle was the co-construction of a strategy based on collective intelligence gathered from internal and external stakeholders.
The feedback received through the PIR has been a crucial tool to gather the student opinions to include them in future projects. As a result, in October 2021, the first 17 projects were launched around four priority axes.
Each project is led by a volunteer project team, composed with the intent to represent the diversity of the institution by including faculty members alongside administrative, teaching, and technical staff and students. ICHEC considers this movement as still evolving but already successful in creating new sources of collective energy.
The team is working together toward the further inclusion of sustainability in subjects and teaching methods (axis 1), infrastructures and operational modes (axis 2), territorial ecosystems (axis 3), and governance (axis 4). The PIR survey results gave birth to a key project: optimizing indoor and outdoor spaces to increase physical and mental well-being and environmental sustainability within the facilities.
The enthusiasm for this movement has spread beyond these axes and 17 projects, particularly among the student associations. During the year, students decided, with the support of the sustainable development unit, to create a "charter towards more sustainability" to ensure continuity and follow-up on their sustainability commitments.
The voice of the students at ICHEC is important. To ensure this, ICHEC students’ also hold several seats on the sustainability council, a decision-making body on the evolution of sustainability projects. Projects are reviewed according to the school's priorities and the PIR results, which are considered a powerful tool to ensure that the school meets its students’ expectations.
INCAE Business School (Costa Rica) – The student’s voice: sustainability is our core business
"INCAE Business School is a sustainability leader in the Latin America and Caribbean region. It is recognized by the students from different parts of the world attracted to study in the area of sustainable development. To improve as a leader in sustainability, in 2020, INCAE joined the Positive Impact Rating for Business Schools (PIR).
Learning from our year one PIR rating, INCAE students and faculty realized that we could make more significant strides toward involving the student body to become a more sustainable institution and foster sustainable development in the region. At the students’ suggestion, INCAE faculty began to share information regarding key INCAE initiatives on sustainable development more widely. These actions led to an improved PIR score in year two, which the administration could use for accreditation purposes. Meanwhile, COVID was well on its way toward initiating widespread change. Along with other adjustments spurred by this global crisis, INCAE launched a Master’s program in Analytics, Innovation, and Technology (MAIT). While the MAIT earned us a plus for technology, it received a minus in sustainability. Hearing the requests from our fellow students for additional courses on sustainability, the core student PIR team negotiated with INCAE faculty to add sustainability to the second run of the MAIT curriculum.
INCAE is committed to in-depth explorations of sustainability in all its programs. INCAE students, faculty, and administration are working hard to improve the internal processes and the organizational culture this year. In the PIR area of Energizing, sustainability is a key component of our institution, from pedagogy to campus design. In Educating, INCAE ensures that sustainability remains integral to its learning-teaching approach. The core student PIR team works to incorporate sustainability across all programs and learning methods. This work includes “sustainability trips,” where students can experience first-hand the global opportunities and challenges of environmental, social, and governance issues. And in the area of Engaging, the school is working with the Sustainability Club to develop an institutional strategy fed by students’ perspectives.
The PIR is helping to build stronger relationships between INCAE students, faculty, and administrators to strengthen our student body’s voice."
The INCAE Sustainability Club: Maria Fernanda Camacho, Mariana Araya, Priscilla Agreda, Josue Herrera, Daniel Alvarado