Global MBA Green Energy and Sustainble Businesses: interview with Alessandro Pastore

12 March 2024

Alessandro Pastore, entrepreneur and sustainability expert, co-founder of the Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses track of the Global MBA at Bologna Business School. Today, in the same GMBA, industry leader.

The concept of sustainability is constantly evolving. So is the business world. How does this Global MBA stay in synch with the shifts in the dynamic between business and sustainability?

The concept of sustainability is sharply defined today. The measures to be implemented in the company are evolving rapidly. The demand for carbon dioxide reduction from the 2015 Paris Agreement has generated a range of steps that must be translated into best practices to achieve ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) goals. The framework is clear; groups are now working on standardized methods to assess the achievements of those goals.
What we do in the Global MBA track in Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses was designed to keep pace with market demands, allowing for ongoing adaptations to emergent priorities. We started in 2011 – the first MBA in Europe, and among the first in the world, to deal organically with the topic of sustainability, studying its most practical applications and evolving legislative standards. The ability to anticipate the needs of the global and local business landscape is in our DNA, both because we have been dealing with this topic for so long and because of the variety of student and faculty backgrounds. We have been the catalyst for gathering and mobilizing scientific skills that were scattered and uncoordinated till now. Added to this is our appeal to students from all over the world: the diversity of our classroom allows multicultural approaches to different focal points, plural and productively competing perspectives on key issues, and the generation of original responses with innovative potential.

How will the skills acquired during the Global  MBA prepare the students to secure their dream job?

For example, between now and 2028 legal obligations will require companies to publish annually a sustainability report. In Italy, there are thousands of companies engaged in these pathways and not enough consultants to serve this market demand. The demand outstrips the number of managers being trained in this field. The Global MBA Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses is usable immediately because Bologna Business School is so well connected to the business world but sustainability does not simply entail management of the legal requirements, but demands new business leaders capable of designing and implementing strategies for the next twenty to thirty years for companies of any sector that want to lead this epochal change.

The integration of sustainability issues into business strategies is a global trend. This GMBA has a strong focus on the relevance and applicability of the subjects studied. How can this pathway help its participants grasp market demands?

Again, anticipating requests is key. We started first, so today we have a vibrant community of alumni: being chosen to attend this program at BBS offers, among other benefits, the opportunity to connect and collaborate with those who have already been on this path and are building their careers.
This turns our program into an antenna capable of taking in, and responding to, what is happening in the business world in real time. This year, a few alumni will collaborate on the Global MBA Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses, enabling a bridge between the School, global companies committed to reducing emissions, and the global organizations working on the new practical and legal standards that will become laws and obligations. Thanks to this partnership, Bologna Business School is at the beating heart of sustainability in all its forms.

An all-Italian advantage is the presence of the world’s largest public utility group that produces electricity from renewable sources: Enel Green Power. Historically, Italy has faced fossil fuel scarcity (little coal and little oil): hence, doing more with less has always been an inherent part of the Italian approach. We are inheritors of a history of proactive and resourceful sustainability.

Sustainability is a word that encapsulates many other concepts. How does this GMBA translate the many theoretical issues related to the concept of sustainability into operational tools of immediate use?

Every course in the Global MBA Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses features an alter ego: if we have a professor from an academic background, we have one from the business world working on the same focus, and vice versa. This allows us to maintain our position at the forefront of the industry. A concrete example: from 2011 to 2015, the focus was on international negotiations ahead of the Paris Agreement. Once past that point, the nucleus shifted to legal issues: class action lawsuits that take large companies to court because they are not doing enough to reduce harmful emissions are now commonplace. At BBS, our alter ego for the course that focuses on Environmental Law has been working at the firm that won the largest class action against Shell in the Netherlands.

What is the advantage offered by Bologna Business School’s GMBA over other institutions of higher education?

The Bologna Business School offers several bonus points.

The first is diversity. The unique variety of backgrounds in the composition of classes not only generates a positive impact on the subjects studied but also attracts international faculty who can encounter each other productively in an environment not easily available in other business schools.
The second distinction is our singular approach. Instead of adhering to the structure of classic product-based MBAs which are now inadequate, we activate a powerful global network involving companies, faculty, and alumni to predict and prepare for the fast-evolving demands of the business world.

And then, we have Bologna as our site and partner! If you come to study here, you will walk to Piazza Galvani, where there is a statue of the scientist whose discovery in the second half of the 18th century laid the grounds for electrophysiology and opened the path to the invention of the electric battery;  you will walk past Marconi House, the pioneer of radio communications and Nobel Prize winner for physics. In Bologna, you will enter the story and the history and future of electricity and energy.

And finally, but crucially, is our EQUIS – EFMD Quality Improvement System accreditation. This title is a guarantee of being part of a very small elite (1% of the total of higher education schools) whose standards are dictated by global agencies that monitor the real condition of the School as it evolves. The salary level offered by multinational companies to our students is, accordingly, aligned with these standards.


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