Are we doing enough? A blog about education and sustainability

In the previous Strategy Blog the importance of education was discussed and I added a poll with the question: “Do you think decision makers educate themselves enough about sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship?”. The majority of the voters indicated that decision makers do not educate themselves enough.

Although I recognize that this poll has many limitations, it is fair to suggest that decision makers can never educate themselves enough in these complex matters. One of the respondents added a wonderful comment in line with this thought: “we can never be overeducated in the fields of sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship”. On the other hand decision makers need to balance their educational efforts with all their other obligations. An interesting remark in this respect came from one of the respondents who indicated that decision makers are educated enough, because otherwise they cannot maintain their position in the competitive business arena. Life long learning or permanent education is in most professions a requirement.

The question that remains is: are decision makers doing enough related to education, sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship? This can only be judged if there is some kind of reporting about the achievements that are being made. In the coming November issue of the Journal of Cleaner Production there is an interesting article about how sustainability reports drive change (Higgins & Coffrey, 2016). The article analyses the sustainability reports of three Austrialian companies: Henry Davis York (law firm), Fortescue Metals Group Limited (mining company) and VicSuper (public-offer superannuation fund). However the reports that have been studied are not very recent (5 years ago), the analysis makes clear that it is important to see what a company claims to do, what their grounds are and how they warrant or justify it.

The 2015 sustainability report of Henry Davis York is in my opinion a good and recent example how the company is showing their commitment to modern sustainable entrepreneurship, including education. You can download the report here.

Norbert Bol

Literature

Higgins, C., & Coffey, B. (2016). Improving how sustainability reports drive change: a critical discourse analysis. Journal of Cleaner Production.

Photo credit: The Boston Phoenix

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