UBS leads workshop at major student conference on sustainability
On 12-13 November 2009, over 100 students, speakers and representatives from politics, economics, and science gathered in St. Gall, Switzerland for the 21st oikos conference. Under the banner "The Future of Business and Sustainability ", conference participants considered and discussed current and future challenges in managing Corporate Responsibility.
On the first day of the conference, the students participated in parallel workshops featuring four companies, UBS, Holcim, Shell and BASF. Goal of the workshops was for the participants to understand the relevance of sustainability within the respective company, how it shapes its approach to and policies on the topic and to develop indicators to assess the companies' sustainability performance. Students from each workshop subsequently presented their results to the whole group.
The UBS workshop, led by Christian Leitz and Robert Ramer from UBS Corporate Responsibility Management, attracted 30 students who discussed the Corporate Responsibility expectations and concerns of UBS stakeholders and various strategies and practices UBS does or could apply to respond to these expectations. During the day, the group reviewed and deliberated a broad range of topics in an animated and focused fashion, including - among others - sustainable / ethical financial products, an inter-bank ethics committee, sponsoring sustainability-oriented projects.
Originally founded in St. Gall in 1987, oikos has grown to 26 local chapters in 18 countries worldwide. The local chapters represent faculties of management and economics with a combined number of 50,000 students (see www.oikos-international.org/).
oikos' goal is to strengthen action competence for sustainable development among tomorrow's decision makers by increasing awareness for sustainability opportunities and challenges focusing on students of management and economics; foster their ability not only to analyse long-term economic, environmental and social trends, but also implement sustainability driven innovation; and to create institutional support for these learning processes through the integration of sustainability issues in research and teaching at the world's faculties for management and economics.
UBS is a member of the "circle of founders" of oikos foundation (see www.oikos-international.org/about-oikos/organisation/oikos-foundation.html).