Switch to Sustainability With An Executive MBA

It's important to create an environment where market participants can smoothly and accurately make investment decisions that contribute to decarbonisation.

A major shift of the 21st-century enterprise is that environmental leadership is linked to higher profitability. Businesses that focus on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) metrics, are likely to have better returns, more likely to become high-quality stocks, less likely to have large price declines, and most importantly, less likely to go bankrupt. 

Organisations that are adopting green, talk about this through their actions. For instance, Apple recently removed charging adapters from its retail packaging, TOMS (footwear) has started sourcing its packaging with at least 80% recycled materials. 

Those like Tesla, already known for its green credentials, focus on the innovative design and functional performance of its products; thereby making green a ‘understood’ rather than oversold. In terms of getting buy-in from consumers, social influence works. For example, asking hotel guests to signal that they agree to reuse towels by hanging a card on their room door increased towel reuse by 20 per cent In a similar study, asking hotel guests to wear a pin symbolizing their commitment to participating in an energy-conservation program increased towel reuse by 40 per cent. 

Companies that are putting the environment first are receiving customer support in the marketplace. P&G for example has introduced Fairy Ocean Plastic bottles, which are made of 10 per cent ocean plastic and 90 per cent post-consumer recycled plastic. The 100 per cent recyclable bottles were launched to show what can be done to prevent plastic waste from reaching the ocean. These products have done well. Companies that make the new purpose a part of their stated philosophy are also receiving peer recognition. Havells India and Godrej Consumer Products are among the 12 Indian companies that are going to be included in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2019, used for assessing environmental, social and governance (ESG) performances.

Sustainability is now part of the language that an organisation speaks to its consumers. It is obvious that organisations are now looking for talent that can find a way to marry good pricing with environmental strategies. In such a scenario, it is critical for executives who are looking to do their management degrees, to focus on acquiring contemporary knowledge which will offer them multiple career options. They might be well-advised to brush up their skills of ‘Green Finance,’ ‘Green HR’, ‘Green Operations & Logistics'  and ‘Green Marketing’ with an Executive MBA.

Professionals with knowledge of Green Finance are an extremely high priority for the world. Japan’s financial regulator, the FSA recently put out a release saying, “It's important to create an environment where market participants can smoothly and accurately make investment decisions that contribute to decarbonisation.”

The opportunity in India is immense. India is currently the world’s third-biggest emitter of greenhouse gases. Yet, studies indicate that India is the only G-20 country whose climate actions are aligned with the goal of keeping global temperatures from rising beyond 2°C. This is certainly something to celebrate and be proud of. Where we need to quickly accelerate, however, is in the uptake of green financing where India has tremendous room to grow and demonstrate leadership.

Interestingly, Universal Business School is India’s first Green Business school. Most leading business schools provide courses relating to sustainability. IIM-A has a program in ‘Sustainable Finance’ designed to introduce mid-to-senior management to international and domestic developments in the area of sustainable/green finance, emerging trends.

Green has always been good. It’s time to make ‘green’ thrive and be profitable as well. The managerial talent pool of the 21st century has to be aligned with this. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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