University of Exeter: A sustainable business school for the future
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University of Exeter: A sustainable business school for the future

University of Exeter: A sustainable business school for the future

In any business there are ‘stakeholders’, whether employees, partners, investors or the wider community.

But one critical stakeholder is all too frequently left off that list – the planet.

Harvesting energy from raw materials extracted from the Earth has fuelled economic growth, created higher living standards and paved the way for technological progress.

But it has also created economies and societies that are unsustainable.

Carbon levels are at an all-time high, and each year climate change becomes ever-more visible: from catastrophic forest fires and mass bleaching of coral reefs to thawing Arctic permafrost and a host of extreme weather events.

Businesses that put the environment at the heart of decision-making will create sustainability as well as lasting prosperity.

It is this vision, of sustainability and business standing side-by-side, that the University of Exeter Business School stands for.

Degree courses that shape the business leaders of tomorrow

Through its interdisciplinary suite of degree courses, the University of Exeter Business School examines how modern business and environmental responsibility must go hand in hand.

The BSc Business, is based at the university’s idyllic Penryn campus in Cornwall, and equips students with the skills to become the business leaders of tomorrow, with the tools to shape the new sustainable economic opportunities of the future.

sustainable business

Source: University of Exeter

All core aspects of business are covered, as well as the relationship between business and society, sustainable business practices and the role of technology in business.

Optional work placements and study abroad programmes are available, allowing students to build practical as well as transferable skills, from project management through to business consultancy in both the private and third sectors.

Building on the Business School’s commitment to integrating environmental responsibility into its degree programmes is the new BSc Business and Environment, an interdisciplinary programme that explicitly addresses the pressures and opportunities facing business as a result of intensifying environmental and corporate social responsibility issues.

Also based at the Penryn campus, the programme gives students the opportunity to study key topics in environmental change, as well as a wide range of core business topics, including modules with a science, data and technology focus.

This interdisciplinary programme equips students with a combination of knowledge and skills within environmental sciences and business management, with the aim of making adaptable and resilient business leaders who can make a positive impact.

At postgraduate level, The University of Exeter Business School offers an MBA that has been lauded for its focus on responsible leadership, innovation and sustainability.

The Exeter MBA was ranked number one in the world for sustainability in the Corporate Knights Better World MBA Ranking in 2017. Throughout the MBA programme, students are taught how to tackle global challenges using ethical solutions. Students learn to apply and develop circular economy techniques, drawing on the expertise of faculty from the Exeter Centre for Circular Economy.

They also take part in the Circular Economy Corporate Challenge (CECC), in which students work with a multinational corporate partner to solve a real-world problem.

Business research that makes an impact

The University of Exeter Business School’s academic staff are involved with cutting-edge research into environmental issues, working with government and local communities to create a more sustainable world.

Professor Gail Whiteman, the Business School’s Professor of Sustainable Business, is a renowned climate expert at the forefront of the environment debate. She is the founder of Arctic Basecamp, an Arctic research tent put up each year outside Davos with the intention of raising awareness of climate change.

Professor Ben Groom is the Business School’s new Dragon Chair in Biodiversity Economics, whose work has had a far-reaching impact with organisations such as the World Bank, the OECD and the WWF.  At Exeter he will be heading up a project that aims to place an economic value on biodiversity, allowing it to become part of individual, corporate and governmental decision making.

Gail Whiteman. Source: University of Exeter

The University of Exeter Business School is also at the forefront of research into creating a circular economy for plastics. In one recent research paper, academics calculated that the amount of plastics in our homes – as well as coming in as products and leaving as waste – is far greater than we think.

They found that a UK resident has 473kg of plastic in their home on average, which per household is 1,136 kg, the equivalent weight of a small car!

The Business School’s Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) aims to develop knowledge to inform how governments, businesses and communities manage and use land and the environment. Its director Professor Ian Bateman made recommendations to the Natural Capital Committee that were influential in shaping the UK government’s 25-year Environment Plan and the draft Environment Bill.

Alongside its outstanding research centres, the University of Exeter Business School is known for its team of future-focused faculty members.

Professor Peter Hopkinson and Professor Fiona Charnley from the Exeter Centre for the Circular Economy are also spearheading a major sustainability project.

The duo have been appointed as Interdisciplinary Circular Economy Coordinators by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to develop UK Circular Economy research centres, an initiative that Professor Charnley describes as a “critical step in changing radically how we as a country, from organisations to individuals, use resources”.

Through its research and teaching the University of Exeter Business School believes in a future of sustainable prosperity in which the planet is a key stakeholder. If you want to combine a successful business career together with achieving positive change then it could be the place for you.

Applications for the University of Exeter Business School 2021 entry are open now.  

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