South Island takes care of business in environmentally friendly way
It was far from business as usual for South Island School pupils this week as they went corporate for a day. Dressed in executive outfits, about 140 Year 12 and 13 business, economics, applied business, and travel and tourism students attended an 'SIS Business Day' workshop on Wednesday.
'Environmental concern is a relevant issue businessmen are facing today. Topics such as climate change and how businesses respond to that are on people's minds,' guest speaker, chief executive of the Business Environment Council Andrew Thomson said.
'The issue has always been a top agenda item in the business sector. When the government realises that environmental issues are a problem, businesses will face more pressure and be required to respond,' he said.
Representatives from about a dozen leading companies and organisations tutored the students in groups on how to design a business strategy for corporate sustainability of a company.
One of the mentors was Ocean Park zoological operations director Suzanne Gendron. 'Future business leaders should be concerned about the environment. The world is an interrelated ecosystem and our quality of life, whether it is good or bad, depends on the environment,' she said.
One student under the guidance of Ms Gendron, Joey Tam, who wants to be an engineer, said skills and knowledge he learnt from the event would be useful.
'The environmental issue is very important. To be able to incorporate environmental issues into businesses will be helpful to my future career,' he said.
One of his teammates, Leo Watson, also learnt that apart from profitability, social responsibility was vital to the success of a company. 'Even in a free market economy, there are times when pursuit of profit will have an adverse impact on the environment. No company is isolated. Everyone is part of the world and we need to treat each other with respect.'
Vocational studies head Lois Lazanyi was pleased to see students being given the chance to learn from real business leaders who could share first-hand experience with the students.