Sustainability – My impact, progress, and story
I am Piper, an NCUK Ambassador and 2nd-year management student specialising in sustainable and ethical business at The University of Manchester. I have always been fascinated by nature as a child and as I’ve grown older, this evolved into advocating for environmental protection.
Despite my decision to study management at university, I still wanted to link it to sustainability somehow even though at the time I thought business and sustainability didn’t really go hand in hand.
However, I was delighted to learn that my university offered specialisms in sustainability which inspired me to pursue this path.
My degree programme has given me several opportunities to learn about sustainability in the context of business. For example, I have taken a module on the 17 sustainable development goals. This gave me insights into how complex sustainability is and how various social issues such as gender inequality, lack of education, or poverty all intertwine with the subject. This module has also taught me that businesses play a key role in creating more sustainable societies which helped strengthen why I chose to pursue a business degree.
Studying abroad has definitely positively changed my view of sustainability. I see in what ways the United Kingdom upholds sustainability and try to analyse how these can be adapted to my home country.
Being an international student has also allowed me to share and listen to different perspectives on sustainability and broaden my view which I hope will help me make more informed decisions regarding sustainability whether in my own life or when I enter the workforce.
Moving forwards, I believe it is key that we as humans become more mindful of not only how we interact with each other but also with the environment. At our current rate of production, consumption, and disposal, the Earth will not be able to support us and whilst we are making some progress there are still many things to be done by the 2030 deadline set by the United Nations (UN). Many businesses are beginning to integrate sustainability into their operations and hopefully when I enter the workforce the knowledge and experience gained from my degree will help enable me to improve our progress and become a positive change.
As a student, I try to contribute to sustainability in my everyday practices. For example, I bring my own bags when I shop for groceries, I stay mindful of my electricity consumption, and decline my use of single-use plastic. Moreover, I am currently a member of AIESEC which is the world’s largest youth-run organisation. AIESEC mainly facilitates exchange programs and has partnered with the UN to ensure these programs align with sustainable development goals. In the future, I hope to work in the corporate world as part of the CSR or sustainability arm of corporations to help them move forward in sustainability.
To the reader, I hope this blog inspires you in one way or another to contribute to sustainability as it is everyone’s shared responsibility. Please know that you make an impact, so make sure to make a good one!
If you would like to speak to Piper to find out more about sustainability or her time at university then please click here to visit our Chat to our Students page.