Today, Oxford College of Business has more opportunity than ever to make a positive difference. The pandemic has continued to impact people, some of whom are facing increased inequality in access to essential services, including education – especially in more disadvantaged communities. Oxford College of Business has a significant role to play in enabling and encouraging people to harness trends in digitalisation and a heightened focus on the global energy transition. Our approach to sustainability is evolving to further increase the alignment between our corporate and sustainable business strategies. In 2021, we introduced a selection of new non-financial KPIs (see pages 16 and 17 of this annual report) to help us measure progression of our strategy, achieve all our ambitions and drive behavioural change. Oxford College of Business will only succeed as a business if all our stakeholders also succeed, and this notion is central to how we run our operations.
OCB’S ESG PILLARS
The latest step in the evolution of our sustainable business strategy is to introduce three pillars that represent the environmental, social and governance (ESG) areas where Oxford College of Business can make the biggest positive impact. They have also been selected as the most influential in helping Oxford College of Business succeed as a business. These pillars have a clear, natural link to our non-financial KPIs, reflecting the common goal of alignment between our corporate and sustainable business strategy. They also contribute to advancing the UN SDGs we have prioritised – numbers 4, 8 and 10 relating to education and learning. The three pillars build upon the focus areas of our Sustainable Business Plan 2030, and introduce a greater emphasis on our people with a new pillar, ‘Empowering Our People to Make a Difference’, in recognition that they are our greatest asset to influence society and succeed in our business goals. As Oxford College of Business builds out its plans for each pillar, a small number of additional targets will be considered alongside our existing carbon reduction target and environmental commitments. Underpinning our three pillars is OCB’s robust corporate governance, strong corporate culture and a range of effective policies to ensure we achieve our ambitions. We want our products and services to help more people make better progress – regardless of their income level, the way they learn or their background
UNITED NATIONS SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (UNSDG)
This report will also communicate the myriad of ways Oxford College of Business is addressing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As one of Asia’s leading research institutions and Sri Lanka’s first higher education institutions to have social responsibility as a core goal, we’re tackling the SDGs in four inter-related ways: through our research, our learning and students, our public engagement activity and our operations. Impact on sustainable development involves complex methodological challenges and limitations.
Sustainability is, however, a shared endeavour – for public, private sector organisations and citizens – locally, nationally and internationally. We’ve championed sustainable development through actions through regional, national and global partnerships and our commitment to transparent reporting in publications like this. This report is aimed at a wide range of local, national and international audiences across the public, private, NGO, policy and education sectors. We hope it stimulates further ideas, actions and collaboration opportunities and partnerships so that, together, we can play a full role in tackling the world’s SDGs by 2030.