By Roberto Galang, Pilar Tolentino, Raquel Olpoc –
Ateneo de Manila University, through the John Gokongwei School of Management, has been at the forefront of promoting sustainable management educational programs in the Philippines. The courses are being constantly redesigned to enhance student exposure to real-world issues in sustainable development and poverty alleviation, and to engage students in integrative problem-solving using from multiple disciplines.
A few highlights:
The School of Management faculty, through their respective classes, utilize a service learning pedagogy to bring students to work with communities in developing greater resilience through sustainable livelihood projects that include environmental and risk management systems. Among the recent service learning projects included the adoption of an disadvantaged communities over a multi-year period in support of community-based livelihood programs to enhance the expansion of market access of their products and services. Students also engaged in the provision of marketing and ﬁnancial literacy classes to the nano-enterprises in hopes of attaining sustained income generating opportunities to meet the daily needs of the communities. Students also produced workbooks to help nano-enterprises with their accounting and bookkeeping requirements.
The School of Management launched degree programs in sustainability, including a Minor in Sustainability and a Master of Science degree in Sustainability Management. The Minor in Sustainability allows undergraduate students to specialize in the application of environmental science and sustainable development theories in their management coursework. While the MS in Sustainability Management degree program integrates the sustainability perspective into the practice of management, and produces research that contributes to the literature of management science in the Philippines. Students analyze management problems and issues using the perspectives of systems thinking and sustainable development; develop creative systems and solutions to management concerns, such as the implementation of sustainability vision and strategy, minimization of ecological footprint, development of sustainable organization culture, green marketing, and sustainability reporting.
Since 2013, Ateneo has been working with the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools on the publication of academic research on global sustainability through the Journal of Management for Global Sustainability.
In 2013, the University established the Ateneo Institute of Sustainability to be the hub of all sustainable development programs of the university and the institutional vehicle for the university’s sustainability activities. Through the institute, the university established the country’s ﬁrst university electric vehicle shuttle system, sustainability guidelines, and research awards for outstanding work in sustainability.
The university has also committed to enhancing the sustainability of its campus through the installation of infrastructure in support of energy efficiency and resource management. The university has invested in much rainwater catchment, materials recycling facilities, and solar energy systems to minimize the carbon and pollution footprint of the university. Despite being within Metro Manila, the university campus has included an arboretum and a wildlife sanctuary that serves as a green lung of the megacity. Students are exposed to the biodiversity of the campus through walks and exposure trips in the institute.
The university is also home to the Manila Observatory, the ﬁrst and oldest climate science research center in the country. Select management students work with counterparts in the Environmental Science Department and Manila Observatory staff to help them get a detailed and quantified perspective in terms of risk assessments, climate prediction, to help them obtain tools designed to measure the impact of climate change predictions to communities and businesses.
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