Responsible and Sustainable Business Education

Responsible and Sustainable Business Education

The United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)

Founded in 2007 as a platform to raise the profile of sustainability and responsible management in schools around the world, the United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative has been a driving force for change since its conception.

Through the Six Principles of Purpose, Values, Methods, Research, Partnerships, and Dialogue, PRME engages business and management schools around the globe, ensuring that our future business leaders are equipped with the skills they require to balance organisational and societal requirements for economic and sustainable value. Two further key aims of the PRME initiative involve raising awareness of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and aligning academic institutions with the work of the UN Global Compact.

XJTLU International Business School Suzhou became a PRME Signatory in 2013, and a founding member of the China PRME Chapter in 2021. Our mission reinforces the School’s responsibility to promote societal sustainable development by strengthening our innovative learning and teaching model, our leading-edge research and our deep engagement with businesses and organisations.

Centre for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education

Established in 2020, the IBSS Centre for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education (CRSBE) is a strategic unit dedicated to driving education, awareness and impact across China and internationally through its research, partnerships and training initiatives. The work of the CRSBE and its members contribute directly towards IBSS’s mission to be “a catalyst of business education and sustainable development”, as well as the school’s strategic goals in ethics, responsibility and sustainability (ERS).

The CRSBE’s vision is “To Innovate Business Education for Sustainable Value Creation”.

The Role of the CRSBE at IBSS and across China

The centre maintains three distinct roles at IBSS:

  • The CRSBEoperates as a hub connecting the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Secretariat, IBSS, and business schools across China.
  • The CRSBE actsas the training centre arm of the PRME Chapter China, a group of Chinese business schools dedicated to working together on UN PRME and SDG initiatives. In this capacity the centre provides training in areas such as sustainable curriculum development, teaching methods and PRME reporting.
  • CRSBE serves as an enginefor innovation in education for sustainable development, driving value co-creation alongside its partners, stakeholders and the wider academic and business communities.

Since its establishment, CRSBE has actively engaged in establishment and leadership of the China Academic Committee for Responsible Management Education, the official China PRME signatory member organisation. Within IBSS, the CRSBE is a platform for student and staff exchanges on the role of ERS in business education. The centre also provides key support and resources for extra-curricular initiatives, in-company projects, internship opportunities, pedagogical innovations and responsible leadership through student empowerment.

CRSBE Director

Dr. Xuanwei Cao is the Director and cofounder of the Centre for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education. He is also the founder, convener, and host of the IBSS PRME China Signatories Sustainability Management Education Roundtable Forum, an annual event promoting sustainable management education among Chinese business schools. Beyond IBSS, Dr. Cao has partnered with the Suzhou local government, local businesses and NGOs. He is an invited expert of the China Federation of Industrial Economics China Industry Enterprises’ Corporate Social Responsibility Think Tank. In May 2021, Dr. Cao was nominated as the Vice Chairman and Executive Secretary of PRME China Academic Committee, and in March 2022 was selected as a UN PRME i5 Program Expert Pedagogy Group Member.

Recent CRSBE-led Initiatives and Milestones

The centre was a key force behind IBSS’s selection as a 2023 PRME Champion School

IBSS is acknowledged Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) by United Nations University

8th Responsible Management Education Research Conference held at IBSS

Regional Center of Expertise Suzhou (RCE Suzhou)

Purpose: To educate citizens on how to embrace sustainable living

Vision: To develop a sustainability-oriented harmonious development region for the well-being of future generations by integrating sustainable education into the daily lives of others.

Mission: To make RCE Suzhou an inclusive community of stakeholders dedicated to capacity building within education for innovative and impactful sustainable development.

Core Values:

Future-oriented: We commit to bringing a future-oriented approach to education for sustainable development. We must look to the future when solving today’s wicked problems.

Dare to care: We believe in the power of education to empower modern citizens to care for themselves, care for each other, care for the earth and care for future generations.

Partnership: We value collaborative partnerships with various stakeholders, drawing on their multifaceted knowledge and expertise to drive awareness and impact in the field of education for sustainable development.

Inclusive participation: We are committed to promoting the value of “global citizenship” in Suzhou and the surrounding area, and will work to ensure that our efforts and initiatives are inclusive for diverse and underrepresented groups. We will value and draw upon the knowledge and wisdom of all local and global participants, and recognize that professional knowledge comes from life experience. All voices must be heard in order to create a community that is both sustainable and thriving.

Harmonious Development: The concept of harmony is a unique cultural characteristic of Suzhou and wider China. Suzhou has a history of more than two thousand years, and its rich culture and diverse ethnic groups have given this area a strong sense of equality, inclusiveness, and harmonious coexistence. The symbiosis of the environment and the individual is fully reflected in this city, as is the symbiosis of the environment and industry. We will leverage this characteristic to create a unique sustainable development path that balances the needs of the environment, commerce and industry.

Transparency and Accountability: We commit to being open and honest in our governance and practices, providing access to our records, creating feedback loops for improvement, and modeling true learning as an organization that analyses both our successes and failures.

Innovation: We will combine the professional and scientific advantages of the cluster of universities present in Suzhou, as well as the industry experise present in the SIP business district. Oriented by sustainable development, we will bring together inquisitive minds, industry resources and community experience to support the development of local and global solutions.

Core Goals and Objectives

We define sustainability to include social, economic, and environmental dimensions that promote healthy, just and thriving communities where sustainability education is prioritized and integrated across sectors, and where all possess opportunities to shape a more sustainable future. To address the challenges we face and ensure that our vision, mission, and values are actionable, we propose the following goals and objectives.

Goal 1. Build a network of passionate collaborators, including individuals and organizations, to drive sustainability education awareness and adoption together

  • Objective a: Mobilize related government departments to strengthen policy design to drive sustainability education adoption across all levels of education
  • Objective b. Regularly convene stakeholders to discuss and share ideas and solutions related to ESD issues
  • Objective c: Provide stakeholders with easy access to a wide array of quality ESD information and resources through our regional ESD information hub

Goal 2. Advance the development of lifelong sustainability learning opportunities in formal, non-formal, and informal contexts

  • Objective a. Ensure that universities, colleges, schools, nonprofits and other stakeholders incorporate ESD into their organizational culture and learning
  • Objective b. Create and support opportunities for ESD capacity-building and workforce development through collaboration with institutions of authority
  • Objective c. Collaborate with local communities to develop, implement and improve sustainability education related projects.

Goal 3. Increase public awareness of social, economic, and environmental

  • Sustainability, as well as the role of ESD in shaping a more sustainable, healthy, and just future
  • Objective a. Create opportunities for public dialogue on ESD policies and issues
  • Objective b. Create and implement an outreach strategy to raise public awareness and increase involvement in ESD

Goal 4. Model sustainable, innovative, cooperative and inclusive practices and processes across sectors, and ensure that the RCE organization models its own values

  • Objective a. Establish partnerships that facilitate multidisciplinary collaboration across non-traditional lines

Goal 5. Disseminate research and innovative practices in sustainability education to promote partnerships, learning, and advancements in ESD across the region

  • Objective a: Promote and strengthen cross-regional RCE exchange and collaboration through the co-design and co-organization of a variety of initiatives, activities and events.