Sustainable Finance Module Spurs Urgent Reform in Business Education

Sustainable Finance Module Spurs Urgent Reform in Business Education

New learning methods are needed to effectively address sustainable finance challenges, finds Professor David Veredas from Vlerick Business School.

This urgency was underscored by the recent release of the Financial Times Responsible Business Education awards, where Vlerick Business School stood out as one of the winners in the category of ‘Best responsible teaching resources: innovative materials with a financial sustainability focus’ for its Sustainable Finance Module on their European Executive MBA.

While notable progress has been made by business schools in the realm of sustainability and responsible research, there is a pressing need for increased efforts to seamlessly integrate these principles into academic curriculums.

This award highlights the global significance of incorporating sustainable finance into education and commends institutions for their exceptional contributions in this vital area.

The Sustainable Finance module takes a practical approach, allowing students to engage fully with sustainability challenges faced by companies in the financial industry. Through on-site visits, students get the opportunity to collaborate on solving real problems with the companies and present their solutions directly, which fosters immediate feedback and has a tangible impact.

Led by Professor Veredas, Professor of Finance and Sustainability, the module incorporates the Financial Times’ Climate Game, challenging students to develop strategies for achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. However, the acknowledgement of success comes with a recognition of the journey ahead.

Veredas notes, “In receiving the Financial Times Responsible Business Education award, we celebrate a significant milestone for Vlerick Business School and our European Executive MBA. This recognition reflects our commitment to innovative teaching to continued global challenges. Yet, it is crucial to acknowledge that while progress has been made, the journey towards a sustainable future, and greater incorporation of sustainability in business education, is a work in progress.”

The European Executive MBA programme is held over 15 intensive months, taught through online and in-person learning, where participants meet in the prominent European hubs of Brussels, Paris, Copenhagen, Dublin, Zaragoza, and Ghent.

While the recognition is a testament to the module’s impact, it also serves as a call to action for wider changes across business education.

“What we seek to do in the Paris module is apply a lens of sustainability to all aspects of finance, which participants will learn about in capital of France, which has in recent times become an important European financial hub.” Bjorn Cumps, Professor of Management Practice at Vlerick Business School and programme director for the European Executive MBA, continues. “Sustainable finance plays a vital role in addressing environmental and social challenges by guiding capital towards responsible and ethical investments. We must continue applying this lens to all aspects of business and entrepreneurship.”

Vlerick Business School is based in Brussels and Ghent, and ranks among the top 20 in the EU for executive education. With a network of 25,560 alumni spanning 99 countries, Vlerick emphasises global impact. The school hosts 6,405 executive participants in 112 customised programmes, showcasing its commitment to tailored business education. Moreover, it welcomes 590 MBA and Masters students from 49 countries, fostering a diverse and dynamic learning environment.


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