One of the imperatives of modern business has become the commitment to sustainable development. According to one of the definitions, sustainable development can be explained as “integral economic, technological, social and cultural development, aligned with the environmental protection requirements, which enables current and future generations to meet their needs and improve the quality of life on our planet.”
“Consequently, education for sustainable development is a concept created as a response to the challenges of the development of modern society. It is one of the key mechanisms that should ensure the “development that meets the needs of the present without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their needs” part”, says Professor Lidija Barjaktarović, Dean of the Business Faculty of Singidunum University.
She adds that academic institutions should help students to build attitudes and values based on the sustainable development principles and to behave accordingly.
“This means that students are prepared for the concept of lifelong learning. A large number of conducted analyses show that generation Z has an extremely high level of awareness about sustainable investments and consumption of products that have an affirming impact on the environment or social community. They also expect companies to deal with important social and environmental issues,” Professor Barjaktarević points out.
Business consultant Biljana Lazarević states that some Asian countries, such as Japan, India, the Philippines, China and Taiwan, have been investing effort into introducing sustainable innovations in higher education for years.
“We need to train appropriate personnel, that is, human resources, which would adequately respond to the needs of the economy, as well as society. The Tempus project called Careers shows that our students generally do not have the opportunity to practically apply the knowledge they have acquired in companies during their studies. The basic concept of sustainability is applying knowledge,” Lazarević believes.
The Honorary President of the Union of Employers of Serbia, Nebojša Atanacković, believes that the most important thing when choosing a job candidate is how well the worker is able to adapt to work processes as soon as possible.
“It is more beneficial for employers to hire an experienced worker who will immediately start working without being additionally trained, which is not the case with young people who have just come from college or high school, so they do not have that much practice. Past experience has shown that in jobs that require specific knowledge, workers with experience do better, i.e. those workers who already possess the knowledge and their adjustment period is short. Oftentimes their productivity is incomparably better”, Atanacković underlines.
“Universities must operate in accordance with the sustainable development concepts in environment, social responsibility and corporate governance, the so-called ESG. Sustainable development should be understood as an attempt to act at the global level by harmonizing the three pillars of sustainability – economic, environmental and social. Higher education should play the main role and be the main support in achieving sustainability”, business consultant Veljko Davidović says.
This post is also available in: Italiano