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PRME Principles

The ZHAW School of Management and Law has firmly embedded PRME in its structures.

Principles 1 and 2: Purpose and Values

Mission Statement and Strategy
The sustainable development of society is a central concern of the ZHAW School of Management and Law. Since 2014, it has been committed to sustainable development and corporate responsibility in its mission statement. The implementation of this commitment is part of the strategic goal of “social responsibility” with which the ZHAW School of Management and Law positions itself as a responsible business school contributing to the sustainable development of society.

PRME Roadmap
This goal is being implemented through a PRME Roadmap, which is a two-year plan that includes all sustainability activities at the ZHAW School of Management and Law in the areas of degree programs, research and development, services, continuing education, and operations.

PRME Committee
Preparation of the PRME Roadmap is the responsibility of the PRME Committee, which includes the Dean, key personnel from all departments and performance areas as well as representatives from all functional levels employed at the ZHAW School of Management and Law.

Principle 3: Teach

The ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) is committed to educating future business managers so they acquire the knowledge and skills to act more responsibly and thrive in areas of sustainable development. The SML offers programs that integrate the SDGs at their core, develops new study programs on crucial responsible management education (RME) topics, and prioritizes the use of innovative methods of teaching and learning. Currently, the SML offers 20 elective modules at Bachelor’s level, a Master’s in Circular Economy Management, and eight Certificates of Advanced Studies (CAS) programs in the areas of corporate responsibility and sustainability management.

Principle 4: Research

At the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML), researchers are involved in various projects that promote a sustainable and forward-thinking society. The SML has defined seven main research areas since 2014:

Diversity and Human Rights
Research focus: Diversity, equity, inclusion, and human rights in the workplace and along global supply chains.
Center for Corporate Responsibility

Corporate Responsibility Management
Research focus: Sustainable corporate management.
Center for Corporate Responsibility

Corporate Responsibility Management
Research focus: Circular economy management.
Center for International Industrial Solutions

Energy Transformation and Decarbonization
Research focus: Energy transformation.
Center for lnnovation Systems
Center for Energy and the Environment

Business Ethics
Research focus: Ethical responsibility within organizations.
Center for Corporate Responsibility

Social Law
Research focus: Social law in a national and international context
Institute of Entreprise Law

Sustainable Finance
Research focus: Sustainable financial intermediation, sustainable investing, sustainable corporate finance, and sustainability reporting.
Center for Corporate Performance and Sustainable Financing
Institute of Wealth & Asset Management

Principle 5: Partner

The ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) has partnerships with a broad range of organizations to foster fruitful exchanges that benefit responsible management education and SDG research.

Member of the PRME DACH Chapter
The SML is an active member of the PRME DACH Chapter and regularly attends DACH Chapter meetings. In November 2017, the SML organized and hosted the fifth PRME Chapter meeting, followed immediately by the first SDG Roadshow in Switzerland. The SML also attends the annual Responsible Management Education Research Conference.

Member of the PRME Champions Group
The SML has been a member of the PRME Champions Group since 2018. PRME Champions commit to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through a significant transformation in their teaching, research, and partnerships.

Member of the Global Business School Network
The SML began its partnership with GBSN in 2022 and is an active member of the GBSN for Business and Human Rights Impact Community. The GBSN vision is “to enable business schools to profoundly impact sustainable development worldwide –through education, research, and community engagement.”

Member of Positive Impact Rating
Since 2021, the SML has participated in the Positive Impact Rating (PIR), which is based on an assessment done by students who evaluate their own business schools. The positive impact rating levels are (1) Beginning, (2) Emerging, (3) Progressing, (4) Transforming, and (5) Pioneering. The SML currently stands at level 3.

Member of the Zurich Knowledge Center for Sustainable Development
The Zurich Knowledge Center for Sustainable Development (ZKSD) is a research-oriented cooperation platform for sustainable development founded in 2021 by the University of Zurich (UZH), Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW), Zurich University of Teacher Education (PHZH), and Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK). Researchers, lecturers, and students from the SML participate in various ZKSD activities.

Principle 6: Practice

SML PRME Committee
The SML PRME-Commitee was founded in 2018 and is an important governance body overseen by the SML Executive Committee. The SML PRME Committee comprises 17 members who function as PRME ambassadors and multipliers within the SML. They have the right to submit proposals to the SML Executive Committee on PRME-relevant topics, support the interests of those units represented on the Committee, and promote the implementation of the Committee’s decisions across the units. Every two years, they produce an SML PRME Roadmap, which details all the PRME initiatives within the SML.

SML Ethics Committee
The SML Ethics Committee comprises six members representing all units and students within the SML. It supports the SML Executive Committee, staff, and students in exercising their ethical responsibilities, promoting ethical awareness, and highlighting matters of ethical concern. The SML Ethics Committee can submit proposals on ethical issues to the SML Executive Committee.

SML Diversity and Inclusion Management
Diversity & Inclusion Management (DIM) at the SML implements ZHAW’s strategic diversity initiatives and adapts them within the SML. The office promotes diversity among SML employees and students by taking their needs seriously and raising awareness of specific issues.

ZHAW Sustainability Strategy
The SML supports and facilitates the implementation of the ZHAW Sustainability Strategy through representation on the ZHAW Sustainable Development Committee, participation in working groups, and the ZHAW Sustainability Science Dialog. The sustainability strategy contains multiple initiatives, plans, and measures for integrating sustainability in teaching, continuing education, research, services, operations, and governance.

ZHAW Green Impact Book
The ZHAW Green Impact Book is a guide to specifically improve ecological sustainability across ZHAW operations. The SML is taking active measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in employee mobility (e.g., international travel), energy consumption in buildings, more sustainable consumption (e.g., less meat and fish), and reducing food waste in on-site restaurants and cafeterias.

Principle 7: Share

Share Information on Progress (SIP) Report
The SML has communicated its implementation of PRME every two years since the first SML PRME SIP Report was published in 2013/2014. Starting in 2024, the SML will introduce SIP 2.0 and communicate through the PRME Commons Platform..

SDG Integration Inspirational Guides
In 2020, the PRME Champions group published its “Blueprint for SDG Integration into Curriculum, Research and Partnerships” as a practical guide to inspire and deepen the consideration of sustainability issues within business schools. In 2023, the SDG Inspirational Guides were created, including examples from all three domains. The SML features in two examples: research (Center for Energy and the Environment) and partnerships (RRI-LEADERS Project).

Sustainability Day @ SML: By Students for Students
As part of their voluntary contribution, students at the SML organized the first Sustainability Day in 2019. Since then, the event has become an institution that annually attracts students and staff from all ZHAW schools. Sustainability Day aims to raise awareness of sustainability issues and the SDGs while encouraging topical exchanges. From 2024 onwards, the event will be organized in collaboration with ZHAW sustainable and renamed Sustainability Day @ ZHAW.

News and Events
The SML regularly publicizes PRME-related news and events through its website and social media channels.

Video "PRME – Responsible Management Education at the ZHAW School of Management and Law"