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Rising Leaders on Social and Environmental Sustainability

A Global Survey of Business Students (2022)

Rising leaders 2022

Awareness of the environmental and societal challenges facing our world has expanded dramatically in recent years. Since 2015, the year we published our inaugural report, Rising Leaders on Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change, an ongoing global pandemic has laid bare societal strains and inequalities in access to basic healthcare. Extreme weather events have intensified all over the planet. The sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report included unprecedented warnings of catastrophic global warming in the absence of immediate action. The U.S. signed—and then left, before rejoining—the Paris Agreement.

In this survey of 2,035 global business students, conducted in partnership with the Global Network for Advanced Management and the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, our key findings include:

  1. Business students believe corporate leaders should be solving environmental and social issues—but they perceive the most serious issues to be elsewhere, no matter where they live in the world
  2. Business students expect sustainability to be threaded throughout corporations’ highest priorities—not treated as a stand-alone top priority.

  3. Business schools are integrating sustainability topics, but students are calling on them to go further.

  4. The ‘carbon tax on talent’ continues to rise: Now, the majority of business students state that they would accept a lower salary to work with a sustainability-forward employer.

Our students will soon be at the helms of such impactful organizations, and it is incumbent on us to equip them with the knowledge, the resources, and the networks to pursue positive and ambitious change for society. Our schools should model how leadership decisions must account for impacts on a wide range of stakeholders, including organizations, vulnerable communities, and the environment.

-Ingrid C. Burke, Carl W. Knobloch, Jr. Dean; Professor of Ecosystem Ecology at Yale School of the Environment

-Kerwin K. Charles, Indra K. Nooyi Dean & Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Economics, Policy & Management at Yale School of Management

Read the report for the full context and a galvanizing Foreword by Dean Indy Burke (Yale School of the Environment) and Dean Kerwin Charles (Yale School of Management). 

Download the Report

Citation

 

To cite this report, use:

Cort, T., Gilbert, K., DeCew, S., Goldberg, M., Wilkinson, E., Fitzgerald, H. (2022). Rising Leaders on Social and Environmental Sustainability, February 2022. Yale University and Global Network for Advanced Management. New Haven, CT: Yale Center for Business and the Environment, Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

 

Press inquiries:

Contact heather.fitzgerald@yale.edu

Report Authors

Todd Cort

Senior Lecturer in Sustainability at Yale School of Management
Faculty Co-Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment

Katie Gilbert

Freelance Writer

Stuart DeCew

Executive Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment
MBA 2011
Master of Environmental Management 2011

Elizabeth Wilkinson

Associate Director for Global Initiatives at Yale School of Management

Matthew H. Goldberg

Associate Research Scientist at Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

Heather Fitzgerald

Associate Director at Yale Center for Business and the Environment

Social Media Toolkit

SOCIAL MEDIA - Retweet/Follow/Share our posts

Yale Center for Business and the Environment: Twitter • Facebook • LinkedIn • Instagram

Global Network for Advanced Management: Twitter • Facebook • LinkedIn • Instagram

Yale Program on Climate Change CommunicationTwitter • Facebook • LinkedIn • Instagram

 

Help us spread the word - use the below suggested social media posts, or create your own! Use #RisingLeaders​ when posting.

Sample posts

New report on rising leaders!

Social post - announcement

[New Report] A new report out of #Yale finds that business students around the world are increasingly concerned about the climate crisis and want both environmental + social sustainability more integrated into their education and professional lives.

Rising Leaders finding #1

Finding #1

Global biz students say corporate leaders should be solving both environmental + social #sustainability issues…yet students think the most serious issues are happening somewhere else (no matter where they live in the world). Read the new report!

Weaving sustainability into business priorities

Finding #2

Business students expect sustainability to be woven into corporations’ top priorities—not treated as a stand-alone issue. Read the new report!

Go further with sustainability into curriculum

Finding #3

Business schools are working to integrate sustainability topics into curricula, but students are calling on them to go further. Read the new report!

More students want to work for companies with better sustainability practices!

Finding #4

The ‘carbon tax on talent’ continues to rise: most business students now state that they would take a lower salary to work with a sustainability-forward employer. Read the new report!