On 7 September 2023, Ms. Rachael Favero, a policy officer in the International Climate and Energy Division of the Australian Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment, and Water, visited International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) to deepen their understanding of Chinese government climate change policies as well as how IBSS is preparing its students to be the sustainable leaders of the future. Mr. Jordan Aitken, Consul (Political/Economic) at the Australian Consulate-General Shanghai, Professor Jorg Bley, Dean of IBSS, Dr Ellen Touchstone, Associate Dean for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education, attended this meeting.
Ms. Rachael Favero
Mr. Jordan Aitken
Professor Jorg Bley, Dean of IBSS gave a brief introduction of the recent achievements of IBSS and XJTLU. He mentioned that as a 2023 UN Global Compact Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) Champion, the first and only in China, IBSS is dedicated to driving impact creation in Responsible Management Education (RME) across China.
Professor Jorg Bley
Dr. Ellen Touchstone, the first and only Associate Dean for Responsible and Sustainable Education in China, introduced events that IBSS students and faculty participated in as well as best practices in IBSS that aims to help achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Develop and 17 Sustainable Developments Goals published by the United Nations Global Compact. In IBSS, Dr Touchstone leads a Sustainability Committee whose purpose is to help all IBSSers understand the “mission critical” nature of sustainable business practices. She explained that the IBSS “15 Ways in 15 weeks” carbon reduction initiative which was organized and executed by the IBSS Sustainable Future Talents student group won the AMBA/BGA Best CSR and Sustainability Initiative 2022 Award. Her expertise and insights provided valuable perspectives on climate change mitigation strategies, green innovation, and sustainable practices.
“When I look in the academic and marketing research on young people’s attitudes towards sustainability as well as in my work with students, I found that students really care about incorporating sustainability into their lifestyles.” Dr Ellen Touchstone said.
Dr. Ellen Touchstone
Ms. Rachael Favero elaborated, “I think it is a key part of the challenge we face to actually educate people about the energy chain not just the supply chain.”
“The generation shift is a major factor. We've seen it in Australia as a political tipping point, since millennials and Gen Z are taking over that demographic from the older generations. Climate and energy are a big part of that political change as well.”
Accompanying Ms. Favero was Mr. Jordan Aitken, Consul (Political/Economic) at the Australian Consulate-General Shanghai. Mr. Aitken's reporting priorities encompass energy transition, clean energy, and emissions reduction. Mr. Aitken posed questions about the motivation of Chinese customers to purchase electrical cars.
This meeting represents an important step towards strengthening cooperation in tackling climate change and fostering green development. It allowed the Australian delegation to have a better understanding of the Chinese government’s climate change initiatives as well as IBSS’s initiatives to reduce carbon emissions.