Educating Business Leaders for the Green Heart of Europe | WWF
Educating Business Leaders for the Green Heart of Europe

Posted on 24 October 2019

How can business activities be carried out in global harmony with the needs of nature?
WWF Central and Eastern Europe (WWF-CEE) partners with WU-Vienna University of Economics and Business to educate the new generation of business leaders and share knowledge on sustainability.
The challenges that our societies are facing, from climate change to biodiversity loss, are undermining the very basis of human life and the life of the planet. Globally, an increase in major destructive weather events, overfishing of the oceans, the loss of arable land, and intentional burning of the Amazon forests testify to how the world’s natural resources are being recklessly destroyed. Regionally in the Green Heart of Europe, we are seeing increased flooding as well as water scarcity and biodiversity loss. With threats also come opportunities, and technological innovation has given us unprecedented prospects for solutions to these problems. The private sector has a key role to play in addressing these challenges and seizing opportunities.
Although many companies have already set themselves long-term targets to reduce or neutralize their CO2 emissions, the Paris Agreement goals still seem a long way off. The question of how business activities can be carried out in harmony with the needs of nature is complex. This is where cooperation between Institute for International Business of the Wirtschafts Universität – Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU) and WWF-CEE comes in.
The two organisations share a focus on Central and Eastern Europe and an interest in educating the next generation of business leaders for sustainability. WWF can also can profit from the Institute‘s expertise with international business and management, both within its own operations and when reaching out to potential private sector partners.
"Our present and future business leaders will significantly determine the future of our region and planet,” said Andreas Beckmann, Regional CEO of WWF-CEE. “Business has a key role to play in addressing the overwhelming challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, both globally and in our region, which are undermining our very livelihoods and wellbeing. I am therefore pleased to sign this partnership with WU, the premier programme for educating future international business leaders in Central and Eastern Europe.“
For WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, cooperation with WWF-CEE is a good example of the university’s social engagement: “WU is a responsible university that seeks to positively influence society and the economy. For us, it is essential to make a positive contribution to sustainable management. This begins with the education of our students, who will be tomorrow’s leaders.”

Professor Jonas Puck, who heads the WU Institute for International Business, is looking forward to working with WWF: “The partnership gives us at WU and the Institute of International Business the opportunity to profit from the knowledge of WWF. At the same time, we can contribute our expertise in internationalisation and globalisation. So the partnership has clear advantages for both partners.”

For more information:                                               
Andreas Beckmann
Regional CEO,
WWF Central and Eastern Europe, +43 1 524547021