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World Business Council for Sustainable Development and Yale University Announce New Partnership

This unique collaboration will concentrate on addressing business’ greatest social challenges.

15 December, 2015

Yale University and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) announced a new “Knowledge Partners” collaboration at WBCSD’s Council Meeting in Paris, during the COP21 climate change negotiations. 

“We often talk about a transformational change of our society when we speak about climate action. This transformation will affect business, but it needs to begin with the institutions that educate tomorrow’s leaders of business” said Peter Bakker, President and CEO of the WBCSD.

“The role of business in society is changing. Tomorrow’s business leaders need to understand the complex nature of sustainability issues, and they need to be able to integrate solutions for social and environmental challenges with good financial results. This partnership provides our members with both scientific rigor and a pool of highly talented students to help us address some of our members’ most challenging social and environmental issues, and it will provide ‘real world’ experience for students.” 

Announcing this partnership at Paris during the climate change negotiations is symbolic of the ways in which business’ role in society is changing, as well as what will be needed by business to accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy. 

“One of the key themes coming out of Paris is the imperative of working together for improved environmental outcomes—this means business collaborating among sectors as well as with universities, non-governmental organizations, and government,” stated Sir Peter Crane, Dean of Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, which – along with Yale School of Management – will anchor the collaboration at Yale.

“This partnership will provide WBCSD and its members with a unique opportunity to engage our faculty’s science and business knowledge, together with our students’ passion and creativity, to help address the social and environmental challenges being brought about by climate change,” he said.

This announcement comes on the heels of the results from the first global survey on the attitudes of future business leaders on climate change, conducted by Yale, the WBCSD and the Global Network for Advanced Management, a network of 28 leading business schools spanning the globe launched by Yale School of Management in 2012.  As part of theknowledge partnership, WBCSD’s member organizations will have access to this network, connecting business leadership for sustainable development with students and academic experts in their respective countries or regions. 

Yale already hosts the WBCSD Leadership Program helping member organizations develop the capability to scale up business solutions for sustainability. Similarly, the WBCSD brings together top MBA students from Global Network schools to showcase the business opportunities in the field.

“We are developing a learning system that leverages the 28 member schools in the Global Network for Advanced Management, Yale University, and the WBCSD that matches the nature of the challenge before us,” said Edward A. Snyder, Dean of Yale School of Management.

The new partnership presents an exciting opportunity for WBCSD member companies and Yale faculty and students by linking challenging projects with talent and bringing scientific rigor to scalable business solutions. The potential of this partnership is vast and both organizations have committed to sharing best practices and case studies as this partnership unfolds.   

For more information, please contact Emily Grady (grady@wbcsd.org).


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