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Students of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management discuss Code of Responsible Conduct for Business

Marking the beginning of their studies at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, 27 students from four countries developed and presented their positions on corporate responsibility on international, national and local level.

The seminar on March 18, 2014 was led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Suchanek, Dr. Werner Jackstädt Chair of Economic and Business Ethics at HHL and Chairman of the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics (WCGE).

At the beginning, Dr. Manuela Glass, project manager at WCGE, introduced the "Code of Responsible Conduct for Business", an initiative moderated by the WCGE and supported by 53 leading German companies and organizations. It sets out verifiable standards for responsible entrepreneurial conduct suited for everyday use. Subsequently, the students presented their view on the Code and emphasized that companies have to improve in responsible conduct on all levels. Furthermore they need to ensure that every single employee personally stands up for the Code.

"Corporate responsibility assumes an increasingly important topic on young leaders' agendas and also influences their choice of employers. At the same time, the issue is becoming more and more complex within the context of globalization, which presents companies with ever changing challenges. The WCGE and the Code of Responsible Conduct for Business Initiative therefore welcome the HHL's concept of teaching students the necessary skills in a practice-oriented manner," said Dr. Manuela Glass.

Additionally, Dr. Torsten Christen (Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs) discussed with the HHL students about the regulatory framework in Germany and Europe, particularly against the background of the UN guiding principles on economy and human rights. In conclusion, Gudula Kienemund (IdeenQuartier) presented V- Faktor, an initiative on conducting business in a responsible fashion, focusing on the special conditions found in small and medium-sized enterprises in the economic zone of Central Germany. "CSR and ethical questions in the economy have become a major topic at least since the latest financial crisis for all students from the fields of business and economics. I was very impressed with the intellectual performance and openness of the new class," said Gudula Kienemund.

The WCGE will continue to work closely with HHL and embed the impulses from the students, being potential future young leaders, into its work.