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New Partnership Will Help Yale School of Management Students Focus on Sustainability

Yale SOMThe Yale School of Management (SOM) has forged a new partnership with the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) that will give students an opportunity to work together with global business leaders to address critical sustainability issues, the school announced yesterday.

The new partnership will connect Yale students and faculty with business leaders from across the WBCSD network, with the aim being to inspire new management practices that better address today’s business challenges as they relate to sustainability, according to an article yesterday in the Yale News. The partnership will focus its efforts on the 25-school Global Network for Advanced Management, which was established by SOM Dean Edward Snyder in 2012.

The partnership’s first initiatives will include promoting regional internships for students, research opportunities and a pilot online course, “Natural Capital: Risks and Opportunities in Global Resource Systems.” The course, which launched in January, uses case studies to underscore businesses’ dependence on access to critical resources like materials, energy, food and water, as well as the risks and opportunities associated with operating in an environment in which resources are under increasing strain.

“WBCSD is leading the effort to bring actionable science about the resource systems on which we all depend to networks of global and local businesses around the world,” Yale professor Brad Gentry, co-director of the Center for Business & the Environment at Yale, told Yale News. Gentry, who teaches the online course, added that helping businesses understand the systemic risks to their operations going forward is one of the best ways to foster creativity and innovation.

The WBCSD is a CEO-led organization of companies committed to helping the global business community create a sustainable future for business, society and the environment. As part of this new partnership with Yale, it will also leverage its network of business leaders, policymakers and subject-matter experts for a new speaker series at the university designed to provide real-world insights on sustainability issues.

The partnership will also facilitate the creation and implementation of new materials and curriculum for sustainability leadership and innovation, including faculty workshops and an “immersion week” for faculty and business partners.