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The Prince of Wales challenges business schools to equip students for a move to a more sustainable economy – 27 May 2015


For immediate release, Wednesday 27 May 2015

The Prince of Wales challenges business schools to equip students for a move to a more sustainable economy 


London – His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will today challenge business schools to do more to prepare MBA students to be effective business leaders in a world facing significant environmental challenges. The Prince will make his remarks in a speech delivered today to an audience of Deans and leading academics from business schools from around the world. 

At the event convened by The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) and The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) and hosted by London Business School, The Prince of Wales will also challenge business students themselves: 

"To all those current business school students – and to those who are deciding where to study – ask yourself, is your chosen business school really going to equip you to be the kind of leader that is so badly needed for the next 50 years?  Nothing less will do."

The event is convened by A4S and CISL to encourage business schools to incorporate accounting for sustainability in their MBA and research programmes. The audience, which also includes leading business school ranking organisations, will discuss the barriers to making changes, and what tools and methodologies would be needed to embed sustainability into mainstream accounting and finance research and teaching within business schools. 

Said Jessica Fries, A4S Executive Chairman:

"Our work with the finance and accounting community highlights how important it is for business leaders to understand the relevance of significant environmental and social trends to the bottom line – and how far there is still to go to equip them with this knowledge and the techniques to respond.  

"If we are to tackle the social and economic challenges ahead posed by issues such as climate change, growing inequality and resource constraints, action must be scaled up.  Business schools have a vital role to play, teaching the next generation of business and finance leaders. Furthermore, by tapping into the brightest talent available, they can help businesses develop new approaches that will enable them to take action with confidence." 

Said Polly Courtice, Director of CISL:

"Over the past 25 years we have seen at first hand just how challenging it is for business leaders to grapple with complex global challenges and to respond in ways which align profitability and sustainability."

"Companies need a steady stream of business school graduates who are literate in these issues and who know how to build resilient strategies for the future.  Business schools have a critical role to play in developing the far-sighted leaders that companies need. Optional Friday afternoon modules on 'Corporate Social Responsibility' will not cut it." 

Said Professor Sir Andrew Likierman, Dean, London Business School:

"I very much support the call to incorporate sustainability in business schools’ agenda – indeed the issues are already taught as part of the curriculum in many of our own programmes. This is not only because we know of their importance but in response to the keen interest of our students. It is also heartening that many of our alumni are involved in organisations promoting sustainability across the world.

"There is no doubt that there are some big challenges ahead for us all in this field. Climate change and a growing global population will present new financial, social and environmental challenges and we will need the tools and the insights to manage them. So sustainability is a priority concern as we plan for the future." 




Media Contacts:

The Prince’s Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S)

Deborah McSkimming, Senior Communications Officer, Tel: +44 (0)20 7024 5701 Mob: +44 (0)7467 147 573 email: 

University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

James Cole, Director of Corporate Relations and Communications, Mob: +44 (0)7711 500 453  email: 

London Business School

Joanna Lang, Senior PR Manager, Tel: +44 (0)207 000 7112 email: 


Notes to editors:

1.    About The Prince of Wales’s Accounting for Sustainability Project

The Prince's Accounting for Sustainability Project (A4S) was established by HRH The Prince of Wales in 2004 to "help ensure that we are not battling to meet 21st century challenges with, at best, 20th century decision-making and reporting systems." A4S convenes leaders in the finance and accounting communities to catalyse a fundamental shift towards resilient business models and a sustainable economy. 

A4S works with the accounting and finance community to: 

  • Demonstrate the business case, increase engagement and build capacity to drive behaviour change that results in sustainable business practices.
  • Develop practical tools, guidance and approaches that enable environmental, social and economic risks and opportunities to be reflected in decision-making.
  • Facilitate the creation of an enabling environment for change through a shift to sustainable capital markets, and supportive regulatory and reporting regimes. 

A4S has two global networks – the Accounting Bodies Network whose members comprise approximately two thirds of the world's accountants and the A4S CFO Leadership Network, a group of CFOs from leading companies seeking to transform finance and accounting.

2.    About the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership

The University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) brings together business, government and academia to find solutions to critical sustainability challenges.

For over 25 years CISL has been working to build leadership capacity to tackle critical global challenges, through business action, executive education and Master's-level programmes.

CISL has a leadership network of more than 6,500 alumni from leading global organisations and an expert team of Fellows, Senior Associates and staff. 

The Prince of Wales is the patron of CISL and has inspired and supported many of its initiatives.

3.    About London Business School 

London Business School's vision is to have a profound impact on the way the world does business. The School is consistently ranked in the global top 10 for its programmes and is widely acknowledged as a centre for outstanding research. 

As well as its top-ranked full-time MBA*, the School offers degree and award winning executive education programmes** to executives from around the world. 

With a presence in four international cities – London, New York, Hong Kong and Dubai – the School is well positioned to equip students from more than 130 countries with the tools needed to operate in today’s business environment. The School has more than 39,000 alumni, from over 150 countries, which provide a wealth of knowledge, business experience and worldwide networking opportunities. 

London Business School’s 157 academics come from more than 30 countries and cover seven subject areas: accounting; economics; finance; management science and operations; marketing; organisational behaviour; and strategy and entrepreneurship. 

* 2013 Forbes international MBA ranking, 2012 Bloomberg BusinessWeek international MBA ranking and Financial Times MBA 2009, 2010 and 2011 rankings

**London Business School was awarded the 2013 EFMD Excellence in Practice Award for its 10-year partnership with Danone.

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