The New Normal: Perspectives From Students on How Organizations Can Be More Sustainable

NBS September 28, 2017

How can organizations compete for top talent?

The evidence shows that recent graduates want to work for sustainable, responsible organizations. Research published in the Harvard Business Review in 2009 found that 75% of U.S. workforce entrants saw social responsibility and environmental commitment as important criteria in selecting employers. A 2003 study from Stanford University found that MBA graduates would sacrifice an average of $13,700 in annual salary to work for a socially responsible company.

But your future employees don’t just value sustainability – they also have specific ideas about the steps organizations should take towards becoming sustainable.

In the fall of 2009, 180 student leaders from across Canada (selected from nearly 1,000 applicants) assembled in Guelph, Canada for Impact! The Co-operators Youth Conference for Sustainability Leadership. Working under the guidance of experts from industry, government, and academia, these student leaders identified the sustainability practices they expect the business community to adopt.

Although the students studied a number of sectors – including insurance and financial services, manufacturing, retail, municipal services, food systems, energy production, information and communications technologies, and hospitality and tourism – six specific recommendations were common to all sectors: 

additional resources

News and Events

Advice on doing research that impacts practice from business school sustainability centre leaders around the world.

Chelsea Hicks-Webster
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