Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability

Our commitment to Ethics, Responsibility and Sustainability (ERS) principles is an ongoing effort to create a better future for our students, staff and wider community.

Principles for Responsible Management Education

As a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) since 2011, Deakin Business School has an embedded and transparent approach to sustainability; focusing on what matters most across our social, environmental and economic performance. By leveraging innovative digital technologies, we offer globally connected and flexible educational programs, as well as rigorous and impactful research.

Deakin Business School's commitment to engage with the wider PRME community and its motivation to advance the Sustainable Development Agenda is evidenced in its being recognised as a PRME champion by the PRME Secretariat in the 2018-2019 cycle.

Explore our PRME focus

Our principles

The following six principles address what we aim to instil in all facets of our business and teaching.

Purpose

'We will develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.'

Deakin is committed to develop our students as responsible future leaders who are not only aware of the emerging economic, social and environmental issues as well as ethical problems that span borders but also are equipped with the skills and capabilities to deal with these challenges, and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.

Experiential learning opportunities and flexible delivery modes incorporating industry linkages, community based volunteering and international study tours, are just some of the ways through which the School of Business helps students to develop as responsible leaders.

These initiatives have resulted in increased participation of students in programs being offered that relate to global and social responsibility awareness.

Values

'We will incorporate into our academic activities and curricula the values of global social responsibility as portrayed in international initiatives such as the United Nations Global Compact.'

The Faculty is committed to systematically embed values of social responsibility across all its courses as is reflected through three major projects undertaken in 2015 and 2016.
These include Deakin’s Course Enhancement (CE) project, Deakin Business School’s (DBS) Internationalisation of Curriculum (IoC) project, and a strategic partnership with Australian Institute of Management (AIM) to offer Deakin MBA Hallmark in Global Citizenship.

Method

'We will create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.'

We embed the values of ethics, responsibility and sustainability into our courses and actively involve organisations in developing the student experience. Our courses are backed by high-quality contemporary research and developed in consultation with industry to ensure graduates are ready for their chosen career.

Research

'We will engage in conceptual and empirical research that advances our understanding about the role, dynamics, and impact of corporations in the creation of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.'

Deakin Business School has an ambitious research agenda that is built upon interdisciplinary work, international research collaborations and a deep understanding and appreciation of global social responsibility.

Development of our research capacity and capability is supported by the Business and Law Development Network (BUiLD) which fosters internal and external research networks as well as providing professional development events and training.

Partnership

'We will interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of their challenges in meeting social and environmental responsibilities and to explore jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.'

Deakin Business School has been a part of many ERS events in the past and plan to continue growing the number of initiatives offered to students and staff to attend. These include the Indigenous Accounting and Business Conference, Young Social Entrepreneurs Conference, Australian and Securities and Investments Commission Conference, Rotary District Conference, Corporate Community Volunteering and Employee Engagement Seminars and building partnerships with museums for social inclusion.

Dialogue

'We will facilitate and support dialogue and debate among educators, students, business, government, consumers, media, civil society organisations and other interested groups and stakeholders on critical issues related to global social responsibility and sustainability.'

The Faculty of Business and Law has a seminar program that invites academics from within Deakin and from other Universities to participate and present their research to colleagues and students.

Deakin Law School’s recently launched Centre on the Legal Profession, while the Faculty of Business and Law and the Institute of Public Accountants launched the IPA-Deakin SME Research Centre in 2016.

Sustainability is fundamentally about doing the right thing and it's what our students, our staff, our partners and our communities expect of us

PROFESSOR JANE DEN HOLLANDER

DEAKIN VICE-CHANCELLOR

Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are vital in our increasingly connected yet turbulent world. They recognise the responsibilities of educators in advancing social responsibility on both complex and micro scales.

Discover our commitment to PRME principles in more detail (PDF, 6.9MB)

Our team is committed to embed SDGs across curriculum, research and leadership of events, making sustainable development a core foundation of all Deakin stakeholders. Some of the ways we are achieving this include:

Awareness

  • Created a dedicated PRME website - live since 2016
  • Shared the 2017 PRME Progress Report (our third bi-annual report) with students, staff, and national and international partners, to highlight how Deakin has embedded PRME and SDGs across our teaching, research and partnerships
  • Promoted SDGs in all departments and schools through posters, the public website and on-campus information screen displays
  • Confirmed the faculty’s public commitment to integrate SDGs across curricula, research and leadership through the 2017 New York PRME forum, faculty newsletters and the PRME website
  • Made operations more sustainable, for example through the purchase of reusable drinking cups for all faculty staff.

Research

We aim to pursue a research agenda within our Faculty Research Centres that incorporates the SDGs by engaging with industry partners, the research community, business leaders, policy advisors and the community at large to generate research that translates into economic, social and other benefits beyond academic contribution.

Our research emanating for the centres are aligned to areas related to SDGs and PRME focusing on social inclusion, peace, economic and environmental sustainability. For example, our DFAT project addressing SDG 16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions) and SDG 10 (Reducing Inequalities) has now been added as a case study to the Global Compact Network Australia (GCNA) SDG website supported by the Australian government.

Our research has created long-term collaborative connections and partnerships with industry, government, and community. Some notable engagements include:

  • ABS
  • IPA
  • Wellsprings For Women
  • Volunteering Victoria
  • Islamic museum of Australia
  • Red Cross
  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • DFAT.

Leadership

Our leadership commitment to advance the SDGs agenda is evidenced in leading events and hosting various forums to encourage engagement debate and enhanced awareness and understanding of all SDGs.

Some examples of the most recent conferences and workshops include:

  • The fifth Regional PRME meeting was hosted by Deakin Business School on 5 December 2017 at Deakin Downtown. The event was attended by fourteen higher education institutes across Australia and New Zealand with around 40 participants. The event was a great success in terms of acting as a platform to share good practices and discuss opportunities and challenges of advancing the SDG agenda and actively contributing to the PRME chapter.
  • The Centre for Sustainable and Responsible Organisation (CSaRO) held a colloquium on ‘Opportunities and challenges of integrating SDGs across research and curriculum’ on December 4 2017. The colloquium was attended by around 30 academics and private sector representatives.

Curriculum

A significant mapping and enhancement project is underway to strengthen the integration of ERS and SDGs across the core units of each Deakin Business School program.

A web-based survey was designed to raise awareness and collect information by providing practical examples of activities for introducing, developing and assuring learning of ERS.

More than two thirds of the 159 respondents provided examples of how they engage students with one or more SDGs in their units and identified tangible strategies for strengthening the integration of ERS and SDGs.

Initiatives

Around the University, Deakin School of Business has implemented a number of initiatives that align with the SDGs.

Australasian Reporting Awards

Deakin won the Australasian Reporting Award for its 2015 Sustainability Report , recognising reporting excellence in the Sustainability Reporting category. The report was our first to reference SDGs and was written in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. We published a brief update to the report in 2016, with the next full report due to be released in late 2018.

Deakin Hallmark

In 2016, Deakin introduced the Deakin Hallmark of Global Citizenship Excellence in Business Administration, which awards students who have demonstrated outstanding global citizenship in a business management context.

Employer of Choice for Gender Equality

In 2016, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency (WGEA) named Deakin University an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality for the tenth year in a row. This makes Deakin one of only around 100 workplaces across Australia to receive this prestigious honour, and attests that gender equality initiatives are aligned with the lived experiences of our staff.

Deakin University Community Bank

The Deakin University Community Bank is a collaboration between Deakin University and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. The partnership means that Deakin benefits from a share in the bank’s profits, which are reinvested into the Deakin community. This provides new opportunities to staff, students, alumni and stakeholders, including new scholarships, research grants and sustainable capital projects.

SDGs student competition

Deakin Faculty of Business and Law students were given the opportunity to be part of a competition that aims to raise awareness and understanding of the United Nations' SDGs. Participants were required to develop an action plan to achieve one of the 17 SDGs (of their choosing) in a real world context and submit their plan in writing.

Focusing on the third goal of good health and well-being, Enza Cassetta’s winning idea outlined the promotion and participation of blood drive competitions across Deakin’s faculties and campuses that could also possibly lead to inter-varsity competitions.

The SDG competition attracted 40 entries from faculty students with the three top ideas each awarded a $200 VISA gift card. Enza’s winning idea is now also eligible for up to $2000 of implementation support from the Faculty of Business and Law.

Contact us

The ERS team comprises of Dr Fara Azmat, Dr Harsh Suri and Professor Kim Watty.
Faculty of Business and Law
BL Deakin Business School
Melbourne Burwood Campus
+61 3 925 17095

Email the ERS team