Net Zero targets BS4CL - IMD Business School
News Stories · Sustainability - Leadership

Leading business schools prepare executives to reach Net Zero targets

Two years after COP-26, BS4CL schools gather to address climate crisis through research and teaching.
May 2023

The eight leading schools in Business Schools for Climate Leadership (BS4CL) will meet for the first in-person event at IESE Business School to share their progress and collaborate in support of business leaders who will act to address the climate crisis. The alliance is made up of Oxford Saïd Business School, Cambridge Judge Business School (CJBS), HEC Paris, IE Business School, IESE Business School (IESE), INSEAD, International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and London Business School (LBS).  

Since the launch of BS4CL in November of 2021 coinciding with the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP-26), the collaborating schools have produced publications on climate in topics as diverse as EU emission trading system (ETS), ESGs and climate finance. They have also made it a priority to incorporate climate-focused learning into the classroom through a wide variety of measures including the launch of new programs and initiatives and the addition of tracks related to climate and sustainability to existing programs. 

The BS4CL conference is made up of two parts: the Climate Leadership Research Conference on June 1 and the Forum: Leading Decarbonization on June 2. The first day is dedicated to facilitating and deepening interaction among business school researchers working on climate while providing a platform to share the latest research across disciplines. Papers will cover the following topics, among others:  

  • Asset Pricing with Disagreement about Climate Risks (IMD) 
  • Trading of emission allowances (IESE, MDE Business School) 
  • Homeowners and sustainability (LBS) 
  • Taxing carbon emissions in developing countries (Northwestern University, LBS) 
  • Identity positioning and innovation in the energy sector (CJBS) 
  • Urban mining (INSEAD) 
  • Emission caps and investment in green technologies (HEC Paris) 
  • The direct air capture industry (HEC Paris) 

 

A discussion of the key intersections between business and the climate crisis will take place on June 2 at the BS4CL Forum: Leading Decarbonization. The Forum will address issues such as the role of business in decarbonizing the world economy and the emergence of global disclosure standards, with special attention paid to the many opportunities that decarbonization creates for businesses across sectors. The event is a unique platform for academic researchers in climate leadership and industry practitioners to interact, share expertise and forge collaborations.  

The deans of three of the allied schools (IESE, IMD and LBS) will also be present at the Forum, confirming their institutions’ commitment to solving the crisis and providing unique insights into the role of business schools in combating the most pressing climate challenges. The event will raise awareness of the urgency for climate change mitigation and adaptation and have an impact through joint outreach to all alumni communities of all eight member schools. 

Joint statement by the deans

In a joint statement, the deans of the eight business schools said:  

“This is a critical moment for business, for business schools and for the planet. While governments and international bodies play an undeniably important role, business is more crucial than ever to determining the future of the planet that we live on. Business leaders with the right mindset can be a catalyst for positive change in the face of climate change.”  

“As business schools, the care and development of the next generation of business leaders has been entrusted to us. We want to leave our planet strong for this generation that will be driven by sustainable principles to make a positive impact.”

“Our institutions also serve as role models for other organizations, who will undoubtedly need to cultivate synergistic relationships to make a significant impact on the climate crisis. The combined work of the founding schools since 2021 has identified two strategies as the most efficient in effecting change in the mindset, culture and practices that dominate business. Business schools play a fundamental role in both.”

“The first strategy is through structured curricular and program intervention, prioritizing climate-related content and providing the tools and knowledge to tackle the most common issues. The second is through rigorous research that serves to inform businesses about the latest challenges and solutions facing companies. This research guides company action and accelerates our joint impact.” 

“The importance of business in the combat against climate issues will only increase over the next few years, and it is critical that we have leaders who are skilled, knowledgeable and committed.”

“It is crucial that business schools collaborate to stop the climate crisis. Through BS4CL, we increase the depth and breadth of our impact, achieving so much more than any one institution alone.” 

BS4CL  - IMD Business School

About BS4CL

BS4CL is a unique alliance of business academic thought leaders, created in November of 2021 and made up of founding members Oxford Saïd Business School, Cambridge Judge Business School, HEC Paris, IE Business School, IESE Business School, INSEAD, International Institute for Management Development (IMD) and London Business School. The partnering schools are driven by the urgent need to identify climate solutions that are practical, effective and timely. As proponents of change inspiring thought leadership in today’s business world, their goal is to accelerate the business community’s response to the climate crisis primarily through two strategies: shaping best practices through knowledge production in research and integrating the challenges of the climate crisis into executive training programs 

Annex 1: Institution-wide climate crisis initiatives 

Cambridge Judge Business School 

HEC Paris 

IE Business School 

IESE Business School 

INSEAD 

International Institute for Management Development (IMD) 

London Business School 

Oxford Saïd Business School 

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