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Corporations helping teach students social responsibility


March 5, 2010

 

Some companies are taking a hands-on approach at business schools to help train potential employees about social responsibility and sustainability, The Wall Street Journal reports. As part of a larger effort among corporations to integrate social concerns into college curriculums, the new push is being met with both gratitude and skepticism from business schools, which say it’s often still business as usual at recruiting time.
 
But companies say that the efforts will help a new generation of workers see corporate responsibility as a bottom-line booster, and not just something to feel good about, the Journal reports. Dave Stangis, vice president of corporate social responsibility and sustainability at Campbell Soup Co., spends a few days each week with professors and students at business schools such as the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Columbia Business School and Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. Stangis is working with Wharton students to produce a study on sustainable agriculture, packaging and employee engagement, the Journal reports.
 
The companies most involved in corporate social responsibility have already seen their bottom line and brand awareness increase, Liz Maw, executive director of Net Impact, a corporate social responsibility-related nonprofit with 157 M.B.A. chapters at schools around the world, tells the Journal. Companies work with the group to fill their own needs, she says. Corporate sponsors pay dues that start at $10,000 a year, and are provided a direct connection to business students interested in social-responsibility jobs and projects. —Greg Beaubien


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