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Professor  Peter Reason and Professor Klaus Meyer
Professor Peter Reason and Professor Klaus Meyer
Chris Preist and Dr Rupesh Shah
Chris Preist and Dr Rupesh Shah
Professor Judi Marshall
Professor Judi Marshall
Dr Rupesh Shah  and Dr Gill Coleman
Dr Rupesh Shah and Dr Gill Coleman
Jane Riddiford and  Dr Chris Preist
Jane Riddiford and Dr Chris Preist

Internal News - 14 September 2007

School of Management celebrates 10th anniversary of business responsibility degree

The School of Management has celebrated the 10th anniversary of a ground-breaking degree in corporate responsibility.

The MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice programme began in 1997, and was the only course of its kind in the world at the time to explore responsible business practice, an idea that has since spread round the globe.

Around 70 staff, students and alumni took part in a special two-day event yesterday and today, including an alumni reunion, a variety of networking activities and discussion of current issues in the field. Some alumni travelled from countries including Germany, Sweden, the USA, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

During its ten years, the MSc has achieved an international reputation, attracting participants from Australia, Brazil, Canada, Europe, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Nigeria, the Philippines, Scandinavia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and the USA. Sponsoring organisations include ABN AMRO Bank, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Rio Tinto Exploration, Swiss Re, Volvo and WWF.

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

There are now 173 graduates and 57 current students. In 2007 the course intake increased by 32 per cent, highlighting its growing success. The programme has received increasing media attention, including a review in April 2005 in the Harvard Business Review by Rooke and Torbert, who declared the degree a ‘path-breaking program’.

The course consists of eight week-long workshops held over two years, structured to allow students who are in work to attend. The workshops cover areas such as globalisation, new economics, ecology, corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship.

Examples of the work of graduates include the Carbon Disclosure Project, which is the world's largest registry of greenhouse emissions by companies.

This initiative 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 referenced in the Stern Report, the Treasury-commissioned review of global warming, which said: “The Carbon Disclosure Project provides evidence of a growth in the desire of businesses to report carbon footprints to investors.”

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

One graduate organised a series of innovative meetings designed to encourage companies in south west England to cut their greenhouse gas emissions and become more aware of the business opportunities from climate change; The popular events were organised to persuade firms’ marketing staff to think of ways of producing products and services using low carbon production and delivery techniques.

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