Awareness of the environmental and societal challenges facing our world has expanded dramatically in recent years. Since 2015, the year we published our inaugural report, Rising Leaders on Environmental Sustainability and Climate Change: A Global Survey of Business Students, an ongoing global pandemic has laid bare societal strains and inequalities in access to basic healthcare. Extreme weather events have intensified all over the planet. The sixth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report included unprecedented warnings of catastrophic global warming in the absence of immediate action. The U.S. signed—and then left, before rejoining—the Paris Agreement.
For this follow-up report, we surveyed students at the 32 business schools in the Global Network for Advanced Management, located in 30 countries across six continents. We have learned that the world’s business students consider themselves both highly concerned about climate change and social problems, and even more knowledgeable about their implications for business than they perceived themselves to be in our previous survey. By and large, they share a dismal opinion of businesses’ current efforts in these areas—and they’re eager to step in and help make change.