As awareness of social and global challenges expands, sustainability education is growing in popularity. This is the case across disciplines and institutions, including business education that, despite falling enrolments, continues to confer the most awarded undergraduate and graduate degrees in the United States.
The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), the world’s largest and most widely recognized business accreditation body, and the one to which all reputable business schools pay homage, is revising its standards in 2020.
The standards now require business schools to demonstrate positive social impact. Standard 4.3 states that accredited schools must document curricular elements within formal coursework that “foster and support students’ ability to have a positive impact on society.”
Positive social impact is defined as addressing broader social, economic, business, and/or physical environment issues through internal or external initiatives. In parallel, new rating systems are emerging to assess business schools based on their positive impact in the world. The Positive Impact Rating (PIR) announced at Davos in January 2020 is one such system.