The Aspen Institute´s ranking of the sustainable MBA, where do we fit as one of the sustainable international business schools in Europe?

International business schools in Barcelona, in Spain, in Europe that are sustainable Many industry observers saw international business schools as contributing factors in the current economic and financial crisis, saying that by failing to tackle responsibility issues, and overlooking socially unimportant activities international business schools helped create conditions for economic collapse and instability. That nearly every important manager, banker or regulator had an MBA degree helped make the case.

The financial crisis made international business schools worldwide to be more introspective about what they are teaching and nowadays MBA programs are featuring more social, environmental, and ethical content than ever. The progress in sustainable MBA curriculum development at international business schools in Europe, in the U.S. and in Asia and Oceania is now assessed by international organizations: the most famous and important of them is the Aspen Institute that every year publishes “Beyond Grey Pinstripes” ranking of the Top 100 most sustainable MBA programs.  This ranking in 2011 included three international business schools in Spain with their respective MBA programs.

However, at GBSB Global Business School we believe that educating globally responsible business managers should start at undergraduate level, during Bachelor of Business Administration studies, and that sustainability elements should not only be included in the curriculum but be the culture of the international business school in general: from the policy on environmentally friendly campus to the voluntary projects in which students can participate. So far, there are no rankings that would concentrate on assessing undergraduate business programs or the overall level of sustainability of international business schools. Thus, in our opinion, it is difficult to rely just on the rankings: apart from the curriculum the learning environment is important. If a school does not support environmentally friendly practices, then how can students learn what it means to be sustainable?

At GBSB Global Business School we start from the basics such as no-paper policy. Our technology of online campus helps us distribute materials to all students electronically. Our curriculum integrates sustainable subjects not only during MBA or Masters Degree Programs but at undergraduate level too with courses such as Ethical Dimensions of International Business and International Business I: Global Environmental Science where students learn to understand many modern business issues, for example, climate change, natural hazards, natural resources, waste management, energy issues and green taxation.

It is known that international business schools worldwide are highly influential in defining attitudes in the society. About a quarter of graduate degrees and 20 % of undergraduate ones are business-related. That is why the impact of business schools extends beyond what is taught in the classroom. As one of the most sustainable international business schools in Barcelona and in Europe we feel responsible for educating future business leaders who are aware of ethical and environmental issues that every business has to deal with today.

Experts say that the buzz in business world right now is “triple bottom line”: people, planet, profit. Sustainability issues represent an important aspect of every company that wishes to be successful and such companies need business graduates who understand how to incorporate the issues into the decision making process. At GBSB Global Business School we are aware of such movements and we prepare our graduates for sustainable careers of the future.  

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