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[South Africa] Rhodes Business School recognized for its focus on ESG


Rhodes Business School has been recognized for its focus on sustainability and ethical leadership.

The recognition after the school placed highest amongst Business Schools in PMR Africa’s 2022 national survey on Corporate Care – Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) programmes and initiatives in South Africa.

Professor Owen Skae, Director of Rhodes Business School, said “The school is proud of this, especially as this survey is not a ranking, but a recognition of decision-makers as to the contribution that we make achieving our vision of transforming business for a better world”.

Founded in 2000, Rhodes Business School’s Mission is to “educate and influence responsible business practice, responsibly”.  The School has been applying its mind to sustainability and leadership for a long time. The reason is twofold. “Back in 2004, when this approach was formalized into our curriculum, we saw huge opportunities for all organizations, whether they are private or public, big or small to change the way they did business as this was the only way to grow the economy and narrow the inequality gap that prevailed, whilst ensuring our planet was preserved for future generations. Secondly, we took the view that it could no longer be ‘business as usual’ as, the standard approaches to conducting business, were quite simply, unsustainable”, says Skae.

“There were sceptics, as there still are today, but we knew we were right and never deviated from what we believed was right.”

The global momentum for ESG reporting is now beyond the point of turning back, bearing in mind that the first International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) standards were released at the end of July. This is on the back of global sustainable investment reaching USD35.3 trillion in five major markets in 2020, a 15% increase from two years prior as reported by the Global Sustainable Investment Alliance in 2020.  “It begs the question, where are the leaders, managers and auditors to come from?”, asks Skae.

“ESG is experiencing a backlash though. We would be naïve to think that it will just be implemented and that is the end of it. Today ESG is front-of-mind for everybody, but regardless of whether you believe it is real or not, you don’t have to find it, it will find you”.

All of Rhodes Business School’s programmes, from its Diplomas to its MBA are committed to making sure that ESG is found, for all the right reasons. “Our graduates have confirmed that our programmes are truly transformative”.

The Rhodes MBA is a coursework degree comprising coursework and a research assignment. The degree is offered on a part-time, modular basis over two years.

The admission requirements are, an Honours degree or Postgraduate Diploma, a minimum of three years’ work experience and an admission test such as NMAT, GMAT or GRE. Applications close on 31st October 2023.

Rhodes Business School, Rhodes University is located in the rural city of Makhanda (formerly Grahamstown) in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. Its nearest large city is Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth).  It is committed to impact beyond the classroom as evidenced by its commitment to collaboration in the Makhanda Schools’ Leadership Project, which has seen a remarkable turnaround in matriculation results in Makhanda schools.

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