Status of initiative: N/a
Description/achievement of initiative

IEDC-Bled School of Management Sustainability Projects

IEDC-Bled School of Management is deeply committed to developing leaders for a better world and believes in ethical and socially responsible leadership which can be promoted through learning from art, science, sport and other professions, drawing parallels around them and making people reflect. Management of social, environmental, and ethical risks and opportunities has been a required element of our Executive MBA programs for several years (IEDC has designed an ethics component into all its longer management programs more than twenty years ago and as an additional innovation, sustainable development was added to the curriculum in 2008). Since 2007, IEDC has been also the headquarters of the UN Global Compact Slovenia, the Slovenian chapter in the UN Global Compact. In 2009, IEDC was named among 100 top business schools in the world concerning innovations for demonstrating significant leadership in integrating social, environmental and ethical issues into its programs according to the Aspen Institute’s 2009-2010 edition of Beyond Grey Pinstripes, the only ranking that evaluates how well schools are preparing their students for the environmental, social and ethical complexities of modern-day business. IEDC was the only school from Central and Eastern Europe to receive this recognition.

With the establishment of the Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development at the IEDC-Bled School of Management in 2010 (chaired by Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva, IEDC faculty member and Vice-President of the UN Global Compact Slovenia), the School has significantly strengthened its management education, research, and outreach in the area of sustainability in business and become a center of sustainability thinking in the world. The Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development at IEDC is an interdisciplinary initiative aimed at creating cutting-edge knowledge in the field of sustainability, promoting the concepts of sustainable development, sustainable value, and embedded sustainability, and providing support for the needs of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) while connecting the international sustainability community to the realities and innovations of the Region.

Since the inception, the Coca-Cola Chair of Sustainable Development at IEDC has been aiming to create a real change at the intersection of business and society, focusing on meaningful and measurable impact in the domains of research, education, and global outreach:

- In the field of research, the Chair’s development of the theory and practice of « embedded sustainability » – incorporation of social and environmental performance into the company’s strategy, operations, products and process – has made a real breakthrough in 2011. Stanford University Press in the USA, Greenleaf Publishing in the UK, and Quality Mark in Brazil have published the new book co-authored by Dr. Nadya Zhexembayeva, the chairholder, titled « Embedded Sustainability: The Next Big Competitive Advantage. » The distinction between embedded and bolt-on sustainability also created significant presence in general and specialist press in the field of management and beyond, while Dr. Zhexembayeva has promoted the concept and the work of the Coca-Cola Chair at many significant conferences and events, including the Academy of Management 2011 Annual Conference (San Antonio, Texas), the Sustainable Brands’11 (Monterey, California), Drucker Business Forum (Claremont, California), and many more.

- In the domain of education, the Coca-Cola Chair has completed the work of re-designing IEDC educational programs, incorporating sustainability into every extended program offered by the school.

- The Chair’s work in the domain of global outreach is also outstanding. As a founding partner of Challenge:Future Global Youth Think Tank and Innovation Competition, IEDC has been playing the key role in designing, managing, and developing the work of this daring youth organization. Challenge:Future is a global youth organization connecting young leaders ages 18-20 on issues of innovation and sustainable future. In 2011-12, Challenge:Future community grew to 23 000+ active members, who generated 1469 innovative ideas, and then spent 210 000 volunteering hours on their implementation, impacting more than 270 000 lives. IEDC served as a host of Challenge:Future Summit 2012 (highlighting the yearly activities of the think-tank), that gave young change makers a chance to connect, learn, and inspire each other and also to work with business, political, and civil leaders. The Summit hosted the Grand Finals for the 2011-12 innovation competition, which this year was run under the theme of « Fun + Meaning Squared = 2030, » whereby youth was invited to imagine new ways to connect fun and meaning in everyday life. The five finalist teams presented new innovative solutions in the field of education, poverty alleviation, and sustainable development, and represent India, Russia, Venezuela, Canada, and Nigeria.

IEDC-Bled School of Management has been supporting also faculty development initiatives and programs developed by CEEMAN. Since the establishment of IMTA, International Management Teachers Academy, a major European faculty development program aimed at developing a new generation of management educators for the new generation of business leaders, IEDC has been involved in this and related faculty development projects. In 2012, IMTA program, which is regularly held at the IEDC-Bled School of Management, will for the first time have a disciplinary track on Business in Society (Business Ethics, CSR and Sustainable Development).

The school supports also other PRME related commitments of CEEMAN, including those implemented through CEEMAN’s membership in the PRME Steering Committee, organization of CEEMAN conferences and other events with a strong PRME component, as well as initiation and participation of important projects of the PRME Working Group on Poverty as a Challenge to Management Education.

Specifically, in 2011-2015, IEDC-Bled School of Management plans to:
- continue with teaching sustainability in all extended programs
- continue with research on embedded sustainability
- continue with Challenge:Future project
- continue with Global Compact Slovenia
- continue supporting faculty development programs and initiatives, emphasizing a broader social responsibility of faculty members, as well as of business education and management development institutions within CEEMAN and beyond
- continue supporting other PRME-related activities of CEEMAN, including the PRME Working Group on Poverty as a Challenge to Management Education, and the organization of the PRME Summit in Bled in 2013.

Implementation methodologies

Within the scope of Coca-Cola Chair agreement, IEDC-Bled School of Management plans to continue efforts in all dimensions aimed at promoting the ideals of sustainable development globally. We are delighted to have Coca-Cola‟s support in this domain, and hope to make significant contribution to Coca-Cola brand and identity as a leader of sustainable innovation. Our future plans include:

- Continued research, case writing, and teaching;
- Intensified support for global sustainability initiatives;
- Development of deeper relationship with the Coca-Cola Company and identifying new opportunities for mutual benefit and collaboration.

Arrangements for Capacity-Building and Technology Transfer

Coordination mechanisms/governance structure


IEDC-Bled School of Management
PRME Summit in Bled in 2013
SIP/COP (Sharing information on Progress) (PRME, UNGC)
PRME Working Group on Poverty as a Challenge to Management Education
Challenge:Future project
Sustainable Development Goals and targets
Goal 4
Resources devoted to implementation
Staff / Technical expertise
Expertise of students and staff concerning sustainable development
Progress reports
Cut off date each year: 2 May
This initiative does not yet fulfil the SMART criteria.
Location: Bled, Slovenia
Date of completion: 2015
Operating in countries
Partner connections
Contact information/focal point(s)
Danica Purg,

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