The Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC), a body that is the collective voice of all Australian university business schools and is on a mission to make Australia’s business schools better, has recently appointed Associate Professor Melissa Edwards as a Climate Action Fellow.
This step is part of the plan for business schools in Australia to boost their focus on climate change, with a dedicated position to coordinate their actions nationally and liaise with industry, the not-for-profit sector and government.
Associate Professor Melissa Edwards’ appointment as the inaugural Climate Action Fellow is part of a recent Climate Action Declaration from the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC), the peak body for Australia’s university business schools.
Associate Professor Edwards said: ‘The ABDC declaration on climate action is a visionary call to reset our standards for educating future business leaders to transform industries, their supply and distribution systems, and the economy within the limits of 1.5-degree warming this century.
‘Even beyond the new technical skills needed for managing new technologies, we need leadership capabilities to ensure a just transition.’
Associate Professor Edwards, currently Director Executive MBA at UTS Business School, has advanced climate action by working extensively in universities and with local and global connections.
In Australia, university business schools graduate 17% of domestic and 46% of international students so climate literate business graduates will have a wide, ongoing impact.
Associate Professor Edwards said: ‘Climate action should be business as usual for business schools and their students who want to understand and be able to use their professions to reverse, mitigate and adapt to climate change.’
‘Policy mechanisms are important, but they are only going to be effective if people have the skills and capabilities to be able to create change in workplaces,’ she said.
ABDC President, Professor Keryn Chalmers said the business deans were united in the ABDC Declaration on Climate Action and appointing the Fellow demonstrates their commitment to elevating conversations and actions.
‘The role will support the ABDC’s intent to coordinate and pursue a strategic approach to climate action. This involves identifying opportunities to collaborate on educating the next generation of business leaders about the importance of a net zero future and research that assists and informs policy and business responses to ensure sustainable development,’ Professor Chalmers said.
This move is a positive step forward for Australia’s business schools in better meeting the expectations of prospective MBA students, who are increasingly attracted to qualifications that offer more values-based content as we reported earlier.