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ABDC Declaration on Climate Action


There is scientific consensus about the need for urgent action to rapidly reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050, if not before. Through the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change the international community is coordinating a range of measures including financing for adaptation, market and non-market mechanisms, and reporting approaches with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting global warming in this century to 1.5 degrees. Business will play a critically important role in actioning these initiatives.

Business schools play a unique role through curriculum, research, and engagement, in shaping the new governance and risk management practices needed to transition the global economy to net zero. As the peak body for Australian business schools, the Australian Business Deans Council (ABDC) is positioned to coordinate and pursue a strategic approach to support climate action. The ABDC is committed to assisting business schools educate the next generation of business leaders about the importance of a net zero future for Australia and conducting research to advance the Sustainable Development Goals, thus ensuring a sustainable and competitive business sector.

The Declaration was endorsed by members of the Council at the Annual General Meeting held on 25 February 2022.

Statement of accountability

Recognising the irrefutable science that human endeavour since industrialisation has contributed to global warming, and the role that business schools will play in global energy transition, ABDC-member business schools commit to identifying opportunities to collaborate on the following in the 2022–25 period:

  • Development of business school curriculum to embed carbon literacy in the Australian context, including working across disciplines to deepen students’ understanding of the science of climate change
  • Establishing education standards and identifying the threshold attributes of graduates to contribute positively to climate action
  • Promoting programs of research and centres of excellence with a focus on business responses to climate change, including management and governance practices for a low carbon economy, and financing models for mitigation and adaptation strategies
  • Embedding a strategic partnership with the Australia-New Zealand Chapter of Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) to provide a forum for sharing of best practice and coordinating action
  • Appointing a climate action fellow to co-ordinate ABDC member schools’ actions and liaise with industry, the not-for-profit sector and government in pursuit of this agenda.

ABDC mission statement

The Australian Business Deans Council’s mission is to make Australian business schools better.

As the peak body, ABDC fosters the national and global impact of business education and research in Australia.

ABDC does this by:

  • Being the collective and collegial voice of our member university business schools
  • Providing opportunities for members to share knowledge and best practice
  • Creating and maintaining strong, collaborative relationships with affiliated national and international peak industry, higher education, professional and government bodies
  • Engaging in strategic initiatives and activities that further ABDC’s mission.

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