Rising Leaders on Social and Environmental Sustainability
A Global Survey of Business Students (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:
- 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
Business students expect sustainability to be threaded throughout corporations’ highest priorities—not treated as a stand-alone top priority.
Business schools are integrating sustainability topics, but students are calling on them to go further.
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
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.
In the News
"The B-schoolers embracing lower pay" - Politico
"Overwhelming Demand: Oxford Hit By Tsunami Of Apps To New Sustainability Master’s" - Poets & Quants
"School of Business Offers New Minor in Social Responsibility and Impact in Business" - UConn Today
"Yale report shows business students want better corporate climate practices" - Yale Daily News
"Global Network Survey Finds Students More Urgently Focused on Sustainability" - Yale School of Management
"Report: Businesses Should Play Key Role in Addressing Environmental and Social Issues" - Yale School of the Environment
"Nachhaltigkeit wird für Studierende immer wichtiger" - Die Linde
"Líderes son más conscientes y comprometidos con la sostenibilidad" - El Empresario
Appeared Aspen Institute's "Ideas Worth Teaching" Newsletter
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[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.
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!
Business students expect sustainability to be woven into corporations’ top priorities—not treated as a stand-alone issue. Read the new report!
Business schools are working to integrate sustainability topics into curricula, but students are calling on them to go further. Read the new report!
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!