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Master Thesis Presentation: Analysis of industry's needs of competences in sustainable development

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Anna Priem

on 5 July 2010

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Transcript of Master Thesis Presentation: Analysis of industry's needs of competences in sustainable development

Present situation at Chalmers COLLECTED DATA CONCLUSIONS RECOMMENDATIONS UNIVERSITY
INDUSTRY SOCIETY METHODS STAKEHOLDERS Inventory Interviews Surveys Conclusion X 11 out of 16 of the interviewed companies do not work with SD as one concept but separates it into environmental and social issues dealt with by different departments. Conclusion Y The majority of the companies view their interest in SD issues as a;
business strategy developing their business, processes or products
way of increasing profits or reducing costs
managing risks and strengthening brand and reputation.

According to alumni additional influential drivers are;
protecting the environment
to be a good corporate citizen
to contribute to the local community.
Conclusion 1 Internal education
fill a knowledge gap
convey company norms and values

Focus of internal education

Universities as the responsible institution Conclusion 4 Demand for
engineers with a technical speciality which also possess basic knowledge in sustainable development related to the engineers’ professional role and work assignments

sustainable development specialists Conclusion Z Almost 3/4 of the alumni state they believe environmental and social issues will be of greater importance for their employer in the future.

All interviewed companies state they have to focus on SD issues today and that the importance of working with SD issues will not decrease over time. Conclusion 5 Integrated education for environment and sustainable development
greater understanding of sustainable development

greater understanding of the relevance of education for environment and sustainable development

understanding of how to incorporate sustainable development in professional work Conclusion 3 Alumni gained too little knowledge and competence in environment and sustinable development at Chalmers.

2/3 of alumni believe they do not possess the competence needed to handle the sustainable development issues properly STUDENTS ALUMNI 70 courses
mandatory courses in 3 and 5 yr engineering programs
5 MSc programs; mandatory and recommended courses
Course contents analysis Alumni:
Understanding of sustainable development and knowledge and competence needs
Response rate: 23,4 %, 580 respondents


Students:
Understanding of sustainable development and view of education
Response rate: 26,6 %, 2440 respondents

16 companies
Sustainable development work today, knowledge and competence needs

4 societal actors
Future societal needs of sustainable development

Recommendation 1 Recommendation 2 The education for environmental and sustainable development is today of varying, and sometimes maybe even of inferior, quality:

guidelines
responsible authority
quality assessment
Companies want engineers who can relate sustainable development to their professional role and work tasks:

further integration of environment and sustainable development courses
Conclusion 2 Alumni
important categories: environment, economics, resources and social impacts

more education in economics, social impacts, environmental-friendly technologies and assessment tools

Companies experience communication problems

Guidelines for learning outcomes do not state economics as important but mentions communication
regarding its education for environment and sustainable development Chalmers plans and visions regarding education for environment and sustainable development Industry's needs of knowledge and competences in sustainable development Present and future societal needs of education for environment and sustainable development Welcome! 31 May 2010 Analysis of industry's needs of competences in sustainable development Presentation of master thesis in industrial ecology: A comparison to the engineering education at Chalmers University of Technology ANNA PRIEM ABELSSON & ANDREAS HANNING “We have had a sustainable development course for almost all employees /…/ in order for us to get a common awareness platform around the issue” “If you have a personal interest, and knowledge in how you can influence, then you will ask the right questions. I think it is more important to have knowledge in how you can affect by looking, asking and being interested, rather than having the specific technical competence.”
“The work within sustainable development will be expanded with an internal education for sustainable development to increase the basic understanding.”

8 out of 16 companies have/are working on internal education
e-learning / half or one day course
key personnel who later educate co-workers

6 companies have/are working on mandatory courses for all employees
4 e-learning 14 out of 16 companies:

the university has the overall responsibility for ensuring that the engineers receive the education demanded for 7 out of 16 companies speak of communication problems “[the communication] must be made more simple for everyone to understand”
“You have to use the right words, and then people understand what we talk about”
2/3 of Alumni responsible for sustainable development aspects in their work, cannot or do not know how to relate the company's communicated sustainable development targets to their work “We have to be profitable, so the economic aspect cannot be magically wished away, since it is the basis for all decisions.”
Both companies and alumni mention economics as an important area of knowledge Basic understanding vs. specialist competence

More vital to provide all employed engineers with a basic understanding of sustainable development, than to employ specialists “We need engineers to be engineers , but we also need them to be engineers that can do things in a sustainable way, a green way, an ethical way and a safe way. /…/ If they are not educated about how to do this, then they would be educated for the past, not the future.” “We are trying to make sure that all employees have a general understanding of sustainable development, but we have also got specialists within the field, so we do need both general and specialist competence.” 5 companies need specialists
as well as engineers with basic understanding Companies want education to be integrated “You have to have an understanding for what is happening all around you, so understanding systems and the importance of sustainable development must accompany the education. It is not a specific education for these issues because sustainable development is not a small blue box out there somewhere, it is all encompassing.”
Students prefer integrated education OBJECTIVE

AIM Examine the industry's needs for knowledge and competences in sustainable development

Examine the knowledge and competences supplied by Chalmers University of Technology For Chalmers University of Technology to act upon the results obtained Identified an industry need however further research is needed in order to identify specific knowledge and competences needed

Identified the characteristics of the knowledge and competences supplied by Chalmers however students' level of understanding is not examined Thank you! UNIVERSITY
INDUSTRY SOCIETY ALUMNI STUDENTS Inventory Interviews Surveys “We have had a sustainable development course for almost all employees /…/ in order for us to get a common awareness platform around the issue”
- A sustainability manager at a manufacturing company
“If you have a personal interest, and knowledge in how you can influence, then you will ask the right questions. I think it is more important to have knowledge in how you can affect by looking, asking and being interested, rather than having the specific technical competence.”
- A sustainability manager at a manufacturing company
“The work within sustainable development will be expanded with an internal education for sustainable development to increase the basic understanding.”
- A vice president for environmental affairs at a manufacturing company
8 companies have/are working on internal education
e-learning / half or one day course
key personnel who later educate co-workers

6 companies have/are working on mandatory courses for all employees
4 e-learning 14 out of 16 companies:

the university has the overall responsibility for ensuring that the engineers receive the education demanded for 7 out of 16 companies speak of communication problems “[the communication] must be made more simple for everyone to understand”
- A vice president for environmental affairs at a manufacturing company
“You have to use the right words, and then people understand what we talk about”
- A manager for business area environment at a consultancy company
Only 1/5 of Alumni cannot relate the company's communicated sustainable development targets to their work “We have to be profitable, so the economic aspect cannot be magically wished away, since it is the basis for all decisions.”
- A sustainability manager at a manufacturing company
Both companies and alumni mention econoics as an important area of knowledge Basic understanding vs. specialist competence

More vital to provide all employed engineers with a basic understanding of sustainable development, than to employ specialists “We need engineers to be engineers , but we also need them to be engineers that can do things in a sustainable way, a green way, an ethical way and a safe way. /…/ If they are not educated about how to do this, then they would be educated for the past, not the future.”
- A senior vice president at a consultancy/ construction company [5]
“We are trying to make sure that all employees have a general understanding of sustainable development, but we have also got specialists within the field, so we do need both general and specialist competence.”
- A sustainability project manager at a retail company [31]
5 companies need specialists as well as engineers with basic understanding Companies want education to be integrated “You have to have an understanding for what is happening all around you, so understanding systems and the importance of sustainable development must accompany the education. It is not a specific education for these issues because sustainable development is not a small blue box out there somewhere, it is all encompassing.”
- A CEO at a consultancy company [1]
Students prefer integrated education Conclusion 1 Internal education
fill a knowledge gap
convey company norms and values

Focus of internal education

Universities as the responsible institution Conclusion 4 Demand for
engineers with a technical speciality which also possess basic knowledge in sustainable development related to the engineers’ professional role and work assignments

sustainable development specialists Conclusion 5 Integrated education for environmental and sustainable development
greater understanding of sustainable development

greater understanding of the relevance of education for environment and sustainable development

understanding of how to incorporate sustainable development in professional work Conclusion 3 Alumni gained too little knowledge and competence in environment and sustinable development at Chalmers.

2/3 of alumni believe they do not possess the competence needed to handle the sustainable development issues properly Conclusion 2 Alumni
important categories: environment, economics, resources and social impacts

more education in economics, social impacts, environmental-friendly technologies and assessment tools

The Common Core
does not explicitly state economic aspects as an important sustainable development issue

communication across professional and disciplinary boundaries is important
Recommendation 1 Recommendation 2 The education for environmental and sustainable development is today of varying, and sometimes maybe even of inferior, quality:

guidelines
responsible authority
quality assessment
Companies want engineers who can relate sustainable development to their professional role and work tasks:

integration
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