' ); } ?>

New Member Spotlight: ZHAW School of Management and Law

Institutional Profile

ZHAW School of Management and Law


Dean: Prof. Dr. Reto Steiner

GBSN Ambassador: Stephan Loretan

Current and pending accreditation(s):
AACSB (since 2015)
Equis (in progress)

Emerging Markets: Institute or Center:
International Management Institute

Current Partnerships with GBSN Members:
GBSN Business and Human Rights Impact Community

PRME Champions Group

The ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) is one of the largest business schools in Switzerland, with around 9,500 students in Bachelor’s, Master’s, and continuing education programs. It is also represented in the renowned Financial Times rankings and meets the high standards of the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB). The strategic focus areas of the SML are banking, finance, insurance, general management, international business, law, and public sector management. Our degree courses support companies and institutions in making the right decisions, and our research seeks solutions to society’s challenges. We stand for Swiss excellence and global reach, and because people are at the very center of everything we do, we practice respectful and appreciative interaction across all hierarchical levels. We also encourage freedom of inquiry and diversity of thought and create opportunities for discovery and advancement.

Network Engagement

The ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) vision is well aligned with the aspirations of GBSN:

“Our educational programs and our research in management and law enable entrepreneurial activity and contribute to resolving social challenges. We stand for Swiss excellence with a global reach.”

We are recognized for our excellence in entrepreneurial education. Our Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship researches, teaches early-stage entrepreneurial development, and advises in the thematic areas of business innovation and innovation systems. The Institute and faculty from across the University have led and delivered international business projects, entrepreneurship training programs, and start-up challenges and competitions.
As part of PRME Champions since 2018, the SML is firmly committed to collaborating and working closely with the GBSN and other PRME members to develop and promote activities that will address shared barriers and deliver value to businesses and society as a whole.

Institutional contributions to the network platform in the first year

The ZHAW School of Management and Law is ready to take an active role in supporting GBSN Impact Community Groups. We are already engaged in the Business and Human Rights Community Group. Our expertise will also allow us to contribute to the Sustainable Finance and ESG Investments and the Entrepreneur in Residence impact communities.
We are keen to share our experiences through GBSN and the PRME Champions group to help develop a guide on SDG integration in research, curricula, and partnerships. In addition, we wish to work with GBSN members to introduce novel pedagogies and practices that will support creativity, authenticity, and the push for more sustainable development across all disciplines of business education.
Finally, as a school that teaches, researches, and covers management and legal disciplines, we also want to be involved in GBSN project work with the World Intellectual Property Organization through the creation of learning resources for faculty members.

Institutional engagement with fellow GBSN member institutions

The GBSN has an outstanding network of business schools, all committed to developing responsible management education. When the SML joined, we were excited to discover that more than 20 existing members were already partnered with us. As a result, we now feel a broader connection to all GBSN members, which can only strengthen our work and create new opportunities. We hope to learn from and collaborate with other GBSN members, particularly in the areas of entrepreneurship.
We view the value of GBSN membership through participation in its programs, activities, and events while engaging and collaborating with other business schools to promote and develop responsible management education. In addition, we wish to share our experiences and expertise for the wider benefit of GBSN members, faculty, and students.

The biggest challenge facing management in your community and how the institution addresses this challenge.

ZHAW is developing its work in the field of the circular economy. It is committed to sustainability by imparting and developing knowledge and skills in that area and supporting individuals and organizations in their efforts to make a valuable contribution to society. The University sees this as a management and societal challenge that extends beyond Switzerland’s borders. In September 2023, we will be launching an interdisciplinary program aimed at sustainable transformation – the MSc in Circular Economy Management. We intend to actively promote and develop a broad understanding and skill set in all dimensions of the circular economy – economic, technological, social, and environmental sustainability issues. The program has been designed and developed jointly by three ZHAW schools – Life Sciences and Facility Management, Engineering, and Management and Law – and utilizes and combines expertise from several disciplines. We are enthusiastic about sharing our work on the circular economy with other GBSN members.

Program Highlight

In recent years, the SML has built up a unique, impact-oriented research program in sustainable finance that covers a full range of topics – sustainable investment, sustainable finance and sustainable insurance. The SML combines excellent academic research with the development of innovative solutions to global challenges.
Examples include using satellite data as alternative data for sustainable investment and developing an innovative financing solution for Fairtrade producers.