Sustainability And Social Engagement

The first B-School to teach sustainability as a core subject, at XLRI, sustainability is a way of life. An insight into how the institute is keeping sustainability at the front and centre of its intentions and actions

Sustainability And Social Engagement

Sustainability as a pillar

Apart from academics, XLRI is focussing on their internal sustainability practices and initiatives. Keeping the campuses sustainable is an action point. While the Delhi building is a state-of-the-art green structure, Jamshedpur poses other challenges as the buildings are much older. The institute works with solar power. Every single day, XLRI strives to grow its compliance with the requirements – not those mandated by governments but the just requirements of the future.

Sustainability in academics

With its legacy as the first B-school to introduce sustainability in the curricula, XLRI is actively recruiting more faculty members specialising in sustainability issues. Greater engagement with corporate entities on sustainability projects are being worked towards. Work with the Tata Group has already begun. The next goal is to enter the government level initiatives and programmes.

Students of course will benefit by receiving the relevant inputs as well as projects.

Centre of Excellence

With Environmental Social and Governance (ESG) standards already being mandated, ESG quotients will also become prerequisites for funding, projects, collaborations and so on. The idea was to set up a dedicated Centre for Sustainability where XLRI will start offering programmes, with the eventual aim of offering a full time, two-year programme.

Once corporate and public discourse increases, this will be a viable career option for management aspirants. The institute is working to bring this into public discourse and are looking at engaging international faculty for this.

Engaging with society

On the subject of social engagement, Dr HK Pradhan, Professor-Finance, says, “The mission of the institute is, broader, social engagement. Dr. Pradhan has been at the helm of a well-received social initiative – Sanchetana - a nation-wide financial literacy initiative started in 2012, that was founded and mentored by Dr Pradhan with support from State Bank of India. The initiative works to promote financial literacy among underserved sections of the country - focusing on their financial wellbeing through collaborative events, innovative projects as well as targeted literacy interventions. XLRI has been registered by RBI as an institution for promoting Depositor Education and Awareness activities. The institute has received support from several premier financial organisations of India such as State Bank of India, National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development (NABARD), the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) in furthering the activities in the domain of inclusive finance.

XLRI is also trying to be the nodal centre for fostering the ecosystem of entrepreneurship in Jharkhand. Jharkhand has tremendous potential and XLRI, with its unique situation in Jharkhand is perfectly positioned to be this nodal agency.

Several initiatives have already been launched. Prof Sunil Kr. Sarangi, involved with some of these, says, “For the last two-three years, we have been involved with the assessment of quality education in schools in the area. I personally have been on the steering committee of the Tata Education Excellence Program, which is a government mandate for the Tata Group. Here, we train school teachers, principals, and also try to bring in an element of entrepreneurship in the school students by exposing them to different facets of entrepreneurship”.

Another aspect of social engagement at XLRI is managing the Jamshedpur Management Association, probably the most high-performing chapter among all Indian student management associations. This initiative attempts to bring together government, academia, and industry to spread management education among the entities and people who ideally don’t have access to this. Dr. Sarangi says, “We have played a very important role in creating an academic council”.

Fostering social consciousness among students is one of the hallmarks of Jesuit Business Education, and XLRI lays great emphasis on inclusive and sustainable growth of people and communities and strongly advocates social responsibility alongside corporate activities.