International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University was recently selected as a Champion School for the UN Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative.

The PRME Champions group aims to contribute to thought and action leadership on responsible management education in the context of the UN sustainable development agenda, both within their countries and regions, and globally. One of 47 PRME Champions worldwide, IBSS is the only business school in China to be granted PRME Champion status this year.

With this new role, IBSS will strengthen its collaboration with other schools to positively transform business and management education, engage with PRME Chapters and other institutions to support the implementation of sustainability principles worldwide, and contribute to broader UN initiatives like the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Dr Ellen Touchstone, IBSS Associate Dean for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education, says: “This major achievement is the culmination of five years of intensive work developing the school’s capacity in sustainable teaching, research and service, in addition to ensuring that Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability (ERS) remained ingrained at all levels of the school’s operations.

“Over this period, the school has created multiple new ERS positions, developed award-winning ERS initiatives, established a Centre for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education (RSBE) for ERS research and practice, hosted the 2021 PRME RME conference, launched a school-wide carbon neutral project, and upgraded its learning outcomes to better reflect the SDG-related challenges faced by businesses, students and educators.”

Week 7 of the AMBA BGA Best CSR & Sustainability Initiative 2022, Fifteen Ways in Fifteen Weeks, featured puzzles for a quiet break from midterm exam study. IBSS students, academic and administrative staff, Project Management Office staff and custodial staff collaborated on the project.

 Professor Jog Bley, Dean of IBSS, says: “We are deeply honoured to have been selected for this role, which serves as a testament to the hard work done by IBSS staff and students in recent years to upgrade the school’s impact in ERS.

“However, for us this is only the beginning. Alongside the PRME China Chapter, IBSS aims to build a China-wide ecosystem of business schools working together to promote awareness of the UN’s SDGs and to develop strategies in pursuit of these goals within the cultural context of China.

“As a highly respected international business school, IBSS is also well-positioned as a bridge and learning platform between China and the rest of the world, and therefore able to support a responsible management education dialogue between highly diverse cultures.”

IBSS became a PRME signatory in 2013, an advanced signatory in 2019, and was a key founding member of the PRME China Chapter in 2021. It is the school’s mission to drive positive impact and sustainable development in China and internationally.

Members of the Sustainable Future Talents and oikos student groups, the IBSS Sustainability Committee, and the XJTLU Sustainability (pre-) Council on 7 November 2022.  On that date, the RCE Suzhou (Regional Centre of Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development), hosted in the Centre for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education at IBSS, held an all-day webinar where 50 speakers presented on carbon reduction to more than 300 participants. 

In December 2021, the IBSS Sustainability Committee gifted all IBSS faculty and staff IBSS-branded thermos bottles as part of their campaign to reduce plastic bottles. 

In May 2021 during the AMBA BGA Best CSR & Sustainability Initiative 2022, Fifteen Ways in Fifteen Weeks, Shumeng Dong led a workshop to educate IBSSers on how to grow their own vegetables. 

In October 2019, IBSS hosted more than 150 undergraduate and postgraduate students from multiple departments at the third annual Climathon Suzhou.  This 24-hour hackathon has students work in groups to propose impactful climate solutions.

Photos courtesy of IBSS
Edited by Tamara Kaup

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