"As future business leaders, when it comes to sustainable energy, you have to take your corporate social responsibility"
How do you use your energy resources in a sustainable way? - This was one of the questions presented to 151 Wittenborg students at the Block 2 Project Week Kick-Off meeting on 24th October, 2018. The meeting was guest lectured by Mr. Matthijs Postmas, CEO/owner of Vandentempel, a technology company for testing energy.
Project Week: The Kick-Off meeting
Block 2 project week at Wittenborg has officially kicked-off, and is based around sustainable alternative energy within the traditional business sector. Some 150 Phase 1 & 2 students attended the meeting lectured by CEO/owner of Vandentempel, Mr. Matthijs Postma.
In the presentation, students heard how essential energy is as a source of economic growth for businesses and the business sector. However, the rapidly increasing rate at which it is consumed is detrimental to the environment as it produces greenhouse gas emissions. This is especially worrying, not only for environmentalists but also for economists, considering the close relationship between energy and economic development. Renewable energy has been identified as a solution for significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Postma further stressed the importance of using alternative sources of energy, such as solar power. He highlighted that "more companies should shift toward utilising solar because there are no emissions produced, there is a reduction of noise, and the energy is drawn directly from the sun". In addition, he suggested that it could be of greater benefit to countries that have more sun than others. Mr. Postma also spoke about the disadvantages of solar power, such as the mining of raw materials like lithium and cobalt, which does not always meet acceptable standards of corporate social responsibility in areas like worker conditions.
During the discussion, students were asked to think about how energy resources can be preserved in a sustainable way, and what it means for businesses as well as for corporate social responsibility.
One resounding message given by Mr. Postma was: "You, as future business leaders, when it comes to sustainable energy, you have to take your corporate social responsibility". Furthermore, he highlighted that "students have to take smart decisions".
The responses by students were positive during and after the lecture, which left one commenting, "This really makes me think", in regard to the subject.
Project Weeks at Wittenborg
As part of the academic curriculum, it is compulsory for Phase 1 & 2 Bachelor programme students to complete 12 projects in all. Students work together on each project for a week, brainstorming and generating ideas in accordance with the topic.
Some projects may require in-company visits, while others are developed around seminars or guest lectures.
Projects are an essential part of the practical development of students. They enable them to work within a diverse group of people in preparation for the work environment. Through project weeks students develop reporting and writing skills, but most importantly leadership skills and intercultural communication due to the diverse nationalities they work with. All of these are beneficial not only academically, but also in preparation for the work environment, besides personal development.
by Rousanna Baird
©Wittenborg University Press