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  • John Watt

What is the PIR's place among "a rich range of benchmarks"?

There has been an increased focus in business school media recently on how to measure and assess responsibility, sustainability and impact. But as Giselle's List points out, "there is a lot written about metrics, but not a lot happening".


So here at the Positive Impact Rating, we are proud to be ahead of the curve in this topic and offer business schools a way to measure the social and environmental impact of what they do. We are already on our third Edition of the PIR.


A recent article in the Financial Times on Shades of green in business education rankings recognised the work of the PIR and some of our schools:

The Positive Impact Rating for business schools published its second rating in 2021 based on 8,800 student assessments of factors including culture, governance, learning methods and public engagement. It gives four stars to Fordham and Grenoble Ecole de Management in France, as well as Esade in Spain.

As the FT acknowledges, the PIR has its place among "a rich range of benchmarks". Our student-led approach is praised in Giselle's List's recent article on Sustainability Metrics:

The assessment is done by students of their respective institutions. [PIR] has a list of 6 thoughts of what students say schools should start and stop doing that I think are fantastic. This includes not teaching outdated theories and models of economics and business, not offering degrees without mandatory sustainability courses and to stop employing staff with no knowledge, experience, or passion for sustainability.

Both articles raise interesting questions about where the PIR fits within the nexus of quality, responsibility and impact. Ensuring that impact is adequately considered, measured and communicated is a real challenge for schools and one the PIR was developed to support.


Students are the customer, the next generation of leaders and will be most affected by climate change. So perhaps it is best put by Giselle's List when considering what metrics to consider:

How would your students rate your institution? What do they know about your approach to sustainability and what are they not aware of? How do they interpret your messages?

The best way to find out is to participate in the PIR!

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