Sustainable Development Programme comes to SA

11 November 2002
THE UCT Graduate School of Business is part of an initiative to design and implement the southern African version of the renowned Prince of Wales Business and Environment Programme.

The Programme is intended to play a key role, after the recent World Summit on Sustainable Development, in maintaining the profile of sustainable development in southern Africa.

Developed and run by Cambridge University's Programme for Industry, the Business and Environment Programme was established in the United Kingdom in 1994 to act as a high-level forum where business leaders could come to an understanding of the strategic implications of sustainable development.

The Programme, which launched a North American version last year, is widely regarded as the leader in its field worldwide. More than 600 leaders from 350 organisations have attended its seminars.

Earlier this year, Cambridge University agreed to run an annual Prince of Wales seminar in southern Africa, in association with the GSB and the National Business Initiative. Peter Willis of Natural Step will act as the seminar director.

Three GSB staff members are playing key roles in the southern African Programme:
  • Professor Nick Segal (GSB Director) is chair of the advisory board;
  • Associate Professor Anton Eberhard (GSB and the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment) is part of the facilitation team that will present the first of the South African seminars.
  • Elspeth Bentley, MBA director-designate, is a member of the advisory group and was involved in the initial discussions that brought the programme to South Africa.
The Southern African Business and Environment Programme will target corporate, government and NGO officials who can use their position to influence sustainable development initiatives at strategic levels.

“The seminars are designed to help organisations understand the strategic consequences, both for themselves and society, of the sustainable development agenda,” said Segal. “All but the largest organisations will benefit from assistance in thinking through these issues.”

The first of the South African seminars will take place in February next year. Participation in the seminars will be by invitation only.

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