Aalto University: Business studies at Aalto are a great route for advancing sustainability:

The students at Aalto University School of Business gave a good grade to their School’s societal impact and work on behalf of sustainable development. The School of Business participated in the international Positive Impact Rating (PIR) and finished at the second-highest level of the five-step scale, making it a transforming school. Results of a total of 45 business schools from 21 countries have now been published.

“It is great to see that our students think that Aalto has a central role in both societal issues and sustainability”, says Otso Lammi, member of the board of the Aalto University Business Students association KY and one of the students who organized the PIR data collection.

”It is important for students to be able to make an impact on topics that are important for them, and our School is a great route for advancing sustainable changes in the society.”

Still room for improvement
Although the good PIR result was positive news for the leadership of the School of Business, the development proposals given by the students are being listened to carefully.

‘Multidisciplinary work that supports sustainable development is a central theme both in our teaching and research. We are happy to see that this is recognized by our students who determine our position in the Positive Impact Rating. Business school graduates have a significant impact through the key positions they will get in the society, and Positive Impact Rating is a good measure on how we succeed in demonstrating to our students that we consider the advancing of sustainable development as crucial’, says Dean Timo Korkeamäki.

‘And although we did well in the PIR, we want to continue to improve our work. We will therefore carefully study the results and the suggestions for improvement given by our students and take them into consideration when we plan the future actions of our School.’

A key goal of the PIR is to serve as a tool with which schools of business around the world will learn to understand what sustainable development and societal effectiveness mean from the students’ point of view. The rating, which complements traditional university rankings, is aimed at getting schools of business to develop and improve their activities.

In the PIR implemented at the turn of the year 2021-2022 students assessed, for example, how the Aalto University School of Business confronts the challenges of sustainable development and how it prepares its students to work as responsible specialists and managers. The material was collected by the Aalto University Business Students Association KY and the Aalto Sustainability Club. A total of 191 bachelor’s and master’s students responded to the survey.

The Positive Impact Rating was founded by experts of university level education in business studies together with worldwide NGOs such as the environmental organisation WWF, Oxfam, and the UN Global Compact. The international student organisations oikos, AIESEC, and Net Impact are involved with PIR.

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