In April 2014 the Opus College of Business became a signatory to the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management (or UN PRME for short). PRME was borne out of the already strong collaboration between the business sector and the United Nations called the UN Global Compact.
The UN Global Compact is a strategic policy initiative for businesses that are committed to aligning their operations and strategies with ten universally accepted principles in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. By doing so, business, as a primary driver of globalization, can help ensure that markets, commerce, technology and finance advance in ways that benefit economies and societies everywhere.
The fundamental idea behind the Global Compact is that despite the cultural, legal, political and economic differences across the globe, there are some principles we can agree upon. To date thousands of businesses have signed on to the Compact, including some of those in our neighborhood: 3M, Ecolab, General Mills and Seagate. If businesses agree, then business schools should get on board too. And that’s where UN PRME comes in. It’s a set of principles to help guide business schools across the world, focusing on the social and environmental impacts of business.
When our faculty committee investigated UN PRME becoming a signatory member, we immediately noticed the strong alignment between the principles and OCB’s mission and values. We felt this was a chance for OCB to make a statement to the local and global community about our values, connect with a wider community of business schools who share those values, and to challenge ourselves to do even more.
In a nutshell, this is a club we want to join and another way we can continue to make a positive, mission-led difference.
Mary Maloney is an associate professor of management in the Opus College of Business.