Conestoga news

May 29, 2024 9:00 AM

PRME Showcase spreads sustainability message at Conestoga

Conestoga’s School of Business hosted its first PRME Showcase at the college’s Cambridge - Reuter Drive campus on May 8. The event was open to Conestoga employees and attracted over 50 participants from across the college.   

The inaugural PRME Showcase took place at the college’s Cambridge - Reuter Drive campus on May 8 and drew over 50 participants from across the college.

The theme was “Collaborating for Sustainability Impact,” and focused on bringing employees together to discuss the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and ways to integrate United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) into curriculum, teaching and planning at Conestoga.

The showcase is part of the School of Business’ work as a PRME signatory, a collegial learning community that aims to raise the profile of sustainability in business schools worldwide and equip business and management students with the skills and knowledge to handle the sustainability challenges of the future. 

Speakers provided a brief background of PRME at Conestoga, and shared progress updates on the college’s Sustainability Action Plan as well as its global partnerships on PRME initiatives. Participants then transitioned into an interactive World Café activity, rotating in groups to discuss best practices and critical actions to promote the message of sustainability.

Since joining PRME in 2020, the School of Business has been named to the PRME Champions cycles for 2023 and 2024-25, launched a carbon literacy micro-credential that has been completed by over 70 faculty, plays an ongoing leadership role in the PRME North American Chapter, and has actively participated in PRME initiatives such as Carbon Literacy Action Day.

“We are proud that we have integrated PRME and the SDGs into more than 70 per cent of the programs offered by the School of Business as we know that our faculty’s commitment to responsible management education significantly impacts student learning and makes us a leader in sustainable business education in the college sector,” said Dr. Michelle Grimes, executive dean, School of Business.  

“Today’s event is a crucial part of continuing this journey and leveraging our PRME-related work to develop the future sustainable and responsible business leaders we need to help us address the most pressing issues of our time.”

Laura Matheson, currently on secondment as a sustainability consultant to lead the college’s inaugural Sustainability Action Plan, helped introduce PRME to Conestoga, alongside Dr. Rajul Singh, during her time at the School of Business and commented on the progression of PRME at the college.

“Initially, we were looking for engaging and meaningful ways to educate our students during a global pandemic, but quickly realized we could have a much bigger impact. With incredible support from our colleagues in the School of Business, from leadership to students, we were able to weave PRME into the School of Business Strategic Plan as a priority and expand our contributions at the global level by providing thought leadership and administrative support,” said Matheson.

The event concluded with a showing of the film Beyond Zero, an ambitious business sustainability story that hasn’t yet been publicly released, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Singh, where Matheson was joined by School of Business professors Shelley Clifford, Stephen Thomson and David Van Alstyne.

“The PRME Showcase was an incredible opportunity to bring faculty and staff together to share their knowledge, experience, and passion for responsible and sustainable management education - I was delighted to hear from so many participants that they left the event energized, excited, and with new connections for advancing this important work,” said Amanda Di Battista, chair, Scholarship and Community, School of Business and PRME Lead for the School of Business

Di Battista and Matheson are members of the PRME Steering Committee, which is part of a larger network at the college dedicated to promoting sustainability that has been growing. 

“The success of today's event, and PRME in general, is a shining example of what can be achieved when we work together for shared purpose,” Matheson added.

The School of Business plans to run the PRME Showcase annually.

Conestoga’s School of Business provides numerous opportunities and pathways to complete, specialize or expand business education through full- or part-time studies. Its programs reflect today’s business needs across a wide range of credentials from apprenticeships, one-year certificates, two- and three-year advanced diplomas, to graduate certificates and degree opportunities that include multiple specializations.