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MSc in Responsibility & Business Practice

Press Release - 08 December 2006

Business responsibility course produces graduates who change the world

A series of innovative meetings designed to encourage south west companies to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and become more aware of the business opportunities from climate change is proving popular.

The events have been organised to persuade firms’ marketing staff to think of ways of producing products and services using low carbon production and delivery techniques. They are just one of a number of ways that graduates of an innovative business responsibility course are helping change the world.

A new partnership consisting of the environmental organisations Horizon South West and the South West Climate Change Impacts Partnership, in combination with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, is organising the events.

The first was held on Tuesday 21 November in Swindon with a well-attended meeting and another took place in Cheltenham on 30 November. The final meeting is in Exeter on 13 December, at Ashfords in Grenadier Road at 6pm (entrance fee £10 or £15). For more details contact the Chartered Institute of Marketing (see Related Links) or Carole Bond

The events will encourage marketers to think about the impacts of marketing activities and consider, for example, ways of using local materials when making their products as an alternative to bringing in imports, which generate additional greenhouse gas emissions. Other ways of cutting firms’ emissions might be to find innovative low carbon methods of delivering their products or services to their customers.

The meetings will also look at ways that firms can communicate to customers that they can buy low carbon emission products and services and may not necessarily need to pay more. Low carbon choices are essential to tackle global warming, the partnership believes.

Carole Bond, who is co-managing the project, said: “Marketing is one of the key drivers for new product development and marketers need to think about the whole life effects of the products and services they bring to market, from their origins and manufacture, through use to ultimate disposal.

“We also need to recognise that climate change is happening in the south west of England just as it is in Bangladesh or America – and we will be looking at how businesses need to adapt to what is going on and also take advantage of the market opportunities that our changing climate will present.” She said that two follow-up half-day workshops on the topic are planned for the New Year.

Ms Bond is a graduate of the MSc course in Responsibility & Business Practice, run by the University of Bath’s School of Management. The course’s graduates are playing an important role in helping business become more aware of its environmental and social responsibility.

Some graduates are involved in the Carbon Disclosure Project, which is the world's largest registry of greenhouse emissions by companies. This government-backed scheme involves asking companies to make public their carbon emissions, and by doing so encouraging them to reduce them.

Almost 1000 of the world’s largest companies now report their emissions to the Project’s website.

The Project was recently referred in the Stern Report, the Treasury-commissioned review of global warming. The Report notes that: “The Carbon Disclosure Project provides evidence of a growth in the desire of businesses to report carbon footprints to investors.”

The Prime Minister Tony Blair has also praised the Project, saying: “It illustrates how the answer to reducing greenhouse gas emissions lies as much with companies and investors as it does with governments, international agencies and the public.”

Other Bath MSc course graduates are working in industry for companies such as British Airways, BP, Cable & Wireless, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hewlett-Packard and Unilever, as well as government departments such as Work and Pensions and the Cabinet Office, and charities such as WWF.

The MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice degree programme began in 1997, and consists of eight week-long workshops held over two years, structured to allow students who are in work to attend. It was the only course of its kind in the world at the time, and is still unique because of its combination of an innovative active educational approach and the range of issues it covers.

Around 150 students have graduated since it began and 50 are currently studying for the degree. The workshops cover areas such as globalisation, economics, ecology, corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship.

The course was initiated by Professor Judi Marshall and Professor Peter Reason, in partnership with Dr Gill Coleman and the New Academy of Business, which was set up by Anita Roddick to promote responsible business practice.

Professor Marshall said: “The launch of the programme in 1997 signified one of the first attempts in management education to address corporate responsibility issues directly.

“It encourages students in active learning, inquiry and self-reflection and provides a forum for them to become pioneers in responsible business practices so that they then help to change the world they work in.

“The course address the challenges currently facing those managers who seek to integrate successful business practice with a concern for social, environmental and ethical issues.”

The course is international in scope, with participants from 30 countries includingBrazil, Malaysia, New Zealand, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the USA as well as European countries such as Denmark, France, Sweden and Switzerland.


The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: http://www.bath.ac.uk/news/

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