Page content

Ulster University Business School has become the first Business School in Ireland and the UK to report its sustainability impact using a new global data analytics tool developed by a leading US university.

The United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) outline the vision for a sustainable world by 2030, covering a broad range of social, economic and environmental development issues. Higher Education has a vital role in embedding these into teaching, research and its operations.

Ulster University Business School has partnered with the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) in Philadelphia, USA as part of its strategic commitment to advancing responsible and sustainable management and leadership education. Through the international collaboration, the Business School will adopt the interactive tool created by a team of academics at SJU to report its contributions towards the seventeen UN Goals.

Professor David Steingard, Director, SDG Dashboard, Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph’s University, USA, says the motivation for his university to create the dashboard stemmed from a passion to instil sustainability principles within future business leaders:

Today’s leading business schools aspire to align with the UN goals and make a real difference and impact through teaching, research and operations. This Dashboard offers a viable platform to empower business schools with the right network and data to achieve substantive transformation in business education.

Not only does the dashboard track performance, it aspires to spark global partnerships (SDG #17) and provide access to the most impactful sustainable development practices in higher education. I am delighted that Ulster University Business School is joining us as a leader in this movement.

Alongside seventeen other universities across eight countries, including Brazil, Germany, India, and the United States, Ulster University Business School (UUBS) is using the bespoke dashboard to report its sustainable development practices and to track how it is transforming business education both in Northern Ireland and further afield.

The Business School is challenging itself to go beyond embedding sustainability into its curriculum, with the new platform capturing how it is aligning its research, partnerships and organisational practices with the Sustainable Development Goals in ways that can have a positive influence in businesses and wider society.

Professor Mark Durkin, Executive Dean, Ulster University Business School, highlighted that more needs to be done to sharpen the focus of business schools and business education on how they can best drive societal change and lead business practice. Use of the SDG Dashboard is a transparent and effective way of exploring this for maximum impact. He explains:

Becoming a more sustainability-oriented business school means Ulster University Business School is not just considering the needs of today’s businesses but also creating new value for future business leaders by encouraging them to think about how they choose to operate within the wider ecological, social and economic environment and to act from an informed perspective. We look forward to working with Saint Joseph’s University, and to share in their best practice as we implement our sustainability ambitions.

Ulster University is one of well over 250 institutions worldwide that has signed up to the Sustainable Development Accord, and this Dashboard for business schools is a further commitment to delivering and monitoring those commitments. It enables us to be as accountable as we are innovative.

Promoting responsible management education and supporting sustainable development across various aspects of teaching, research, professional services operations, and governance has long been a priority for Ulster University Business School. Its progressive research is addressing some of the world’s biggest challenges – from research into how business knowledge can tackle global water inequity (SDG6 Clean Water and Sanitation), to investigating the role of cultural events in peace building (SDG16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and research into beach cleaning as a form of enviro-leisure activism (SDG14 Life Below Water).

In its teaching, the Transform Social Enterprise Development Programme was developed to equip individuals and organisations with the capabilities to create, sustain or grow social enterprises (SDG8 Decent Work and Economic Growth).

View Ulster University Business School’s SDG Dashboard

For more information on the Ulster University Business School's SDG Dashboard contact Dr Susann Power.