Sustainable development is the key to a better future for ourselves, our communities and our planet. We all have a significant role to play in this, both as individuals and as organizations, whether public or private.
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That is why increasingly more organizations are acknowledging the impact their operations and objectives have at a societal level and are taking steps to become part of the solution to the world’s most pressing problems.
Related to these, the United Nations elaborated 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) to be achieved by 2030. They include plans to eliminate poverty, hunger and inequality, improve health, education and working conditions, and strive for sustainable cities and responsible production.
At Barco we guide our sustainability strategy by the UN SDGs and have translated it into three pillars: Planet, People, and Communities. As our CEO, Jan de Witte stated, ´we believe growing our company goes hand in hand with helping our people and the communities around us thrive, while safeguarding our planet.´
We strongly encourage and support all organizations to do the same and become more sustainable. Virtual teaching and training can support your sustainability strategy by helping your organizations positively impact society and the environment.
Furthermore, it can keep companies and institutions competitive in the talent market by attracting bright, responsible, forward looking people to your organization or educational institution that will lead to a successful future.
People are demanding increased sustainability efforts
In the past decade there has been a societal shift towards sustainable development from people of all ages, from all corners of the world. But it is younger generations that are the most active in their demands for positive societal change and in holding companies accountable.
They are making up an increasingly larger proportion of the workforce. According to Gallup, only in the U.S., Gen Z and Millennials now make up nearly half (46%) of the full-time workforce.
The Cone Communications Millennial Employee Study found that 64% of Millennials consider an organization’s social and environmental commitments when deciding where to work and 83% would be more loyal to an organization that helps them tackle these issues.
When it comes to Gen-Z, the data is even more categoric. A study by WeSpire found that Gen-Z is ‘the first generation to prioritize purpose over salary´. Young generations are also changing higher education and shifting the business focus towards a more holistic view based on the triple bottom line - profit, people and planet.
Responsible and ethical leadership are significant issues for MBA participants, according to Tomorrow’s MBA, an annual survey by consultancy CarringtonCrisp, cited in Financial Times. In its latest study, 70% of respondents mentioned ethical leadership as the most important to business education teaching and research, followed by diversity and equality (67%).
Additionally, in a UK national survey led among 9000 students, 91% think their place of study should actively incorporate and promote sustainable development. Younger generations want to work and study in places and with people that share these values.
It is safe to conclude that sustainability should be top of the agenda for all organizations. So how can virtual teaching and training exactly contribute to your sustainability strategy?
Virtual teaching and training support sustainable development
Virtual teaching and training can support inclusive and equitable quality education, promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and help improve gender balance.
Virtual methods offer more flexibility by allowing learning from whenever there is an internet connection and at any time of the day for asynchronous methods. This means training and education can include a more diverse range of learners that were constrained by geography or timing. Additionally, it can lower tuition fees, training costs and even increase number of scholarships in educational institutions.
Moreover, from the environmental perspective, going virtual will essentially cut travelling, significantly lowering an organization's carbon footprint. Hence it can fully support the efforts to combat climate change and its impact.
Barco University – our company’s learning & development division – implemented two virtual classrooms and one virtual hybrid classroom using weConnect in 2019.
Over the first 16 months of use, weConnect enabled 1170 participants to learn for 3700 hours. That resulted in 2 million flying kilometers, 50 trips around the globe and 461 tons of CO2 saved. You can read the whole story here.
Barco weConnect can help your organization become more sustainable
Our virtual teaching and training solution, Barco weConnect can help you fulfill your sustainability objectives and be part of the solution to some of the world´s most pressing issues, while attracting bright, young talent and giving you a competitive edge in a globalized and digital world.