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Executive Education for Social Responsibility Produces Stock Results

Addressing environmental, social and governance issues, businesses can uncover risks, performance gaps and innovation opportunities to gain competitive advantage

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Executives need a mind-shift to connect all the opportunities

Green business strategies are getting easier, but only when they are looked at systemically. Executives need a mind-shift to connect all the department opportunities for efficiency and high-performance from the supply chain to the consumer's lifespan usage model.

Sustainability practices created additional market gains and higher stock prices

Two recent reports from the U.N. Global Compact and Goldman Sachs found that corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability practices created additional market gains and higher stock prices.

Goldman Sachs looked at six sectors -- energy, mining, steel, food, beverages and media -- and found that businesses with ECG policies have outperformed the general stock market by 25 percent since August 2005, and that 72 percent outperformed their peers over the same period.

By proactively addressing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues, businesses of all sizes and industries can uncover risks, performance gaps and innovation opportunities to gain competitive advantage and improve relationships with stakeholders.

Indeed, over the last few years, the option of implementing socially responsible practices is evolving into a broader strategy of sustainability due to an urgent need to address ESG issues globally.

Look At the Whole System

To help ensure that sustainable management practices benefit people, planet and profits, they must be a fundamental part of an organization's management strategy.

Schooling Executives in Sustainability

This change to the "business as usual" mentality is driving changes at the hiring level to attract smart new talent, and at the educational level to teach executives how to green their businesses. MBA with degrees in sustainable management are advising companies such as Kaiser Permanente, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Wells Fargo. Businesses are sending senior level professionals to sustainable educational programs offered by schools ranging from Bainbridge Graduate Institute to Boston College to the University of Vermont.

Executives and senior-level professionals who attend these programs gain a basic understanding in sustainability and learn how to develop practices and ideas that can increase leadership and industry advantages.

Senior professionals who want to take an active leadership role in this area can choose from more than a dozen intensives and executive education programs that teach sustainability concepts and frameworks.

Executive education programs will typically consist of courses that help organizations rethink every business discipline such as:

  • Management
  • Operations and Facilities
  • Design and Process Innovation
  • Human Resources and Corporate Culture
  • Marketing and Communications
  • Partnerships and Stakeholder Engagement
  • Governance

For example, the Presidio School of Management, which will begin offering an executive certificate program in January of 2008, features courses modeled after its MBA in Sustainable Management program.

SOURCE: Read the rest of the story

Ron Nahser, Ph.D., is provost of Presidio School of Management Presidio School of Management, former chairman, president, and CEO of The Nahser Agency of Chicago. Author of "Learning to Read the Signs: Reclaiming Pragmatism in Business," he has developed a consultative business model that has been used by 3-M, Levi-Strauss, Time, Inc., Stanford Graduate School of Business, and many other organizations.

Presidio School of Management

Edited by Carolyn Allen, owner/editor of California Green Solutions
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