The University of Connecticut Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and the University of Queensland School of Business co-hosted the fifth annual “Green Business: Australia” Faculty Development in Sustainable Business (FDSB) program January 3-14, 2017.
This program provided a unique opportunity for participants to visit with Australian industry experts and hear first-hand how real-world organizations are planning for and meeting the sustainability challenge.
During the 12-day program, nine participants from UConn and other universities visited businesses across the country’s East Coast, attended lectures and engaged in discussions with faculty from the University of Queensland Business School, and explored areas of environmental, cultural, and historical experience.
“This is easily one of the best programs I have ever attended. Every activity was content rich and truly rewarding,” said Dr. Mysore Ramaswamy, Peter Moncrieff Endowed Professor of Business at the Southern University and A&M College Department of Management and Marketing. “As an outcome of this visit, I am planning to develop a course on ‘Green Supply Chain’ in our school.”
The program started in Sydney, where participants visited Muru Mittigar, a local Aboriginal cultural and education center, and engaged in activities such as a bush resource walk and cultural talks. The group also visited with Lend Lease, a world leader in sustainable real estate development, construction and property development, as well as interacted with engineering Ph.D. students at the University of New South Wales SMaRT Centre, where they discussed recycling obsolete technology.
Many participants considered the highlight of the trip to be an exclusive tour of the Sydney Opera House, where they had an in-depth, behind the scenes look into the sustainability initiatives at one of the world’s most famous sites.
Following their time in Sydney, the group then visited local businesses in Toowoomba, including the ever-growing Wellcamp Airport; Bauer’s Organic Farm, which focuses on growing 100% organic, tasty, and quality produce; and Scotbar Quarry Pty Ltd, a sandstone and rock quarry with employees that helped towards rescue and rebuild efforts during the 2011 Queensland floods.
In Brisbane, Head of the School and Executive Dean Andrew Griffiths, an internationally-recognized leader and pioneering scholar in organizations, business strategy and climate change, spent a considerable amount of time with the group, offering perspectives on industry sustainability and sharing strategies for integrating sustainability topics across the business school curriculum.
Presentations were made on a wide spectrum of economic, environmental, and social sustainability issues by the Endeavour Foundation, Bees One Third, the Port of Brisbane, and The Perfect Potion, an award-winning Australian skin care brand.
Participants had the option at the end of the two-week trip to travel to Lady Elliot Island, an eco-resort situated within a highly protected “Green Zone.” It is a sanctuary for more than 1,200 species of marine life and known for its abundance for manta rays, turtles, and unspoiled coral reef.
The sixth Green Business: Australia FDSB is scheduled for January 3-13, 2018.
CIBER, University of Connecticut, (860) 486-5262, firstname.lastname@example.org.