The Climate Legacy Commitment is a landmark initiative for leading MBA candidates, signifying a decisive shift in corporate leadership towards proactive climate accountability.

Cambridge MBA candidates launch climate legacy commitment

15 March 2024

The article at a glance

Climate Legacy Commitment, launched by 2 Cambridge MBA candidates at Cambridge Judge, mobilises leading business school students to pledge meaningful action on the climate challenge.

Two Cambridge MBA candidates at Cambridge Judge Business School have launched the Climate Legacy Commitment, an initiative to mobilise MBA students who pledge to be part of a global movement to encourage business to meaningfully confront the climate challenge.

The initiative founded by Cambridge MBA students Collin G Janich and Peter Golding (both MBA 2023) was kicked off on 11 March at an event at Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, that was attended by, among others, the Interim Dean of Cambridge Judge, Professor Gishan Dissanaike.

Collin Janich.
Collin G Janich
Peter Golding.
Peter Golding

Climate leadership demonstrated by initiative is core to Cambridge Judge values

“When we choose MBA students, we don’t only look at how much they will receive as a salary increase at the end of their studies; we are also looking at the positive impact they will make on the world and society,” Gishan said in remarks at the event. “And here we are, seeing 2 of our MBA students making an impact even before they graduate.”

Professor Gishan Dissanike, Interim Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School image

Climate leadership is like playing chess with the weather. Except, the chess board is melting, the pieces are on fire, and no one is quite sure who is winning.

Professor Gishan Dissanike, Interim Dean of Cambridge Judge Business School

Other attendees included:

  • Jennifer Howard-Grenville, Diageo Professor in Organisation Studies at Cambridge Judge
  • Julian Metherell, Chair of the Advisory Board of Cambridge Judge
  • Gillian Tett, Provost of King’s College, Cambridge
  • Marc Kahn, Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer at Investec

How call to action focuses on future business leaders as architects of change

“The climate crisis necessitates a fundamental transformation of the global economic framework, which will shape business strategies for decades to come,” Peter Golding said in opening remarks. “While existing climate pledges focus on governments, corporations, and NGOs, they neglect the critical role that future business leaders will play. As the architects of tomorrow’s economy, MBA candidates from top-tier institutions are not only well-positioned but also have the responsibility to enact meaningful change.”

“This initiative is more than a pledge,” said Collin Janich. “It is a call to action for future business leaders to engage in transformative learning, develop collaborative networks, and drive innovative climate solutions. We are building a coalition of like-minded peers, industry leaders, and partners that will shape corporate cultures and operational norms and deliver a sustainable, net-zero future.”

Candidates at 15 MBA programmes globally invited to take the pledge

Initially, MBA candidates from 15 MBA programmes are invited to take the free pledge, which has already been signed by more than 40% of the 2023/24 Cambridge MBA cohort at Cambridge Judge.

Those MBA programmes are the ‘Magic Seven’ (M7) in the US:

  • Columbia Business School
  • Harvard Business School
  • MIT: Sloan
  • Northwestern University, Kellogg School of Management
  • Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • University of Chicago: Booth
  • University of Pennsylvania: Wharton

In the UK and EU, the MBA programmes are the founding business schools of the organisation Business Schools for Climate Leadership:

  • HEC Paris
  • IE Business School
  • IESE Business School
  • IMD (International Institute for Management Development)
  • London Business School
  • Cambridge Judge Business School
  • Oxford Saïd Business School