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How do you teach accounting to generation Greta?

Academics from across Alliance Manchester Business School took part in the recent Manchester Festival of Climate Action, organised by The University of Manchester, which considered the challenges at the forefront of the climate crisis.

Jennifer Rose

To coincide with the ongoing COP-26 conference, we are showcasing the video sessions involving all AMBS academics over the coming week. In this latest film senior lecturer Jennifer Rose was joined by MBA students Hassan Ahmad, Nkem Igwe and Sian Leake to discuss what climate change means to them and how their current studies will help inform the decisions they make during their own business careers.

“This is the issue that our students most care about. In fact we have never had an issue that so many of the people we are teaching care about, so it is vital that we capitalise on that.”

Jennifer Rose’s opening statement during this session summed up exactly why universities have such an important role to play in terms of helping combat climate change and changing our collective thinking.

As she added: “Ultimately I am hoping that the people I am teaching will be rising to the top of their organisations by 2050 when a lot of the promises that corporations are making now will run out. So those that I am teaching will be in a position to make a difference.”

Jennifer teaches on accounting modules and says accounting provides the perfect framework for understanding broader issues around climate change.

“Our students are not just learning about how things happen and what they need to do, but also about the wider picture and how things can be different and better. Ideas such as adding a provision for nature to income statements is a perfect example. Even the nuts and bolts of financial reporting directly relate to net zero accounting and carbon accounting.

“Even before they start their studies my students understand that accounting has a role in tackling climate change and social justice, and they are really inspired by people like Greta Thunberg.”

Watch Jennifer's session from the Manchester Festival of Climate Action below: