XJTLU Sustainability Initiative Wins International Award

SUZHOU, China, Jan. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- On 21 January, Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University's International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) won the top place at an international sustainability initiative competition judged by CEOs and other leaders from major institutions around the world.

Students at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University's International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) learn how to grow food plants.
Students at Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University's International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) learn how to grow food plants.

Judges from companies including IKEA, Google and Rolls Royce and the conservation organisation WWF deemed XJTLU's corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability initiative the best over those of other short-listed business schools. XJTLU was the only university from China that had been short-listed for the sustainability initiative award category. The Association of MBAs and Business Graduates Association (AMBA & BGA) presented XJTLU the gold medal at their annual awards ceremony.

IBSS's winning 15 Ways in 15 Weeks initiative encourages individuals to take micro-actions to reduce their carbon footprints which then contribute to macro-changes that help protect the environment.

Activities over the 15 weeks, which began in March 2021, included meat-free meals, growing food on dormitory balconies, crochet lessons to promote "slow fashion" rather than "fast fashion", taking the stairs rather than elevators, and lectures on ethical investing.

A lasting impact

More than 4,000 lecturers, students and IBSS building staff adopted these lifestyle swaps, helping to reduce the carbon footprint of the participants and the building and improve participants' well-being. Organisers planned the initiative to have ongoing impact, says Dr Ellen Touchstone, Associate Dean for Responsible and Sustainable Business Education at IBSS.

"15 Ways in 15 Weeks recognises that lifestyle changes are more likely to be permanent if they are fun rather than feeling like a chore," she says.

Students who participated report they are maintaining their lifestyle swaps.

Haina Sang, a Year Three BSc Economics and Finance student who helped to organise the programme, estimates that increased carpooling among students has saved more than a tonne of carbon dioxide since last April.

The Best CSR and Sustainability Initiative was one of nine awards presented at the AMBA & BGA Excellence Awards this year to business schools and students demonstrating a positive impact on business, education and society.

The AMBA is the impartial authority on postgraduate management education. The BGA is an international membership and accreditation body of world-leading and high-potential business schools.