Noakhali Science Technology University (NSTU) Business Club, partnering with the Financial Express (FE), organised a webinar on the topic "Emerging issues of Sustainability management and practices in Bangladesh" on Jan 07. It was an interactive webinar where academics from different universities, both from home and abroad, exchanged dialogue and shared their views on the current scenarios and practices of sustainability management in Bangladesh, and also discussed the ways to overcome current challenges.
Dr Abdul Kaium Masud, associate professor of NSTU Business Administration, was present as the keynote speaker. Panel speakers were Dr Mahfuzur Rahman, senior lecturer at University of Malaya, Malaysia, Dr Mizanur Rahman, associate professor at Cumilla University, Dr Mohammad Ashraful Ferdous Chowdhury, associate professor at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST), with Md Arafat Rahman, NSTU campus ambassador for FE, as the moderator.
Dr Mahfuzur Rahman initiated the discussion defining sustainability as the concept of fulfilling unlimited demand within the limited resources. When business interacts with this concept, sustainable management arrives. "It is important to understand the overall impact of business on its stakeholders and community people. Only maximising shareholders' profit is not sustainable, because people, plant and profit-- which are called triple bottom line-- need to grow simultaneously without compromising each other."
"Bangladesh is among the top ten countries that are at risk to climate. More effective measures such as technological advancement through innovation, strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities, sustainable management practices need to be taken for minimising the risks posed by climate change," opined Dr Abdul Kaium. He also advocated vigilant monitoring to make sure these measures are taken effectively. "Besides, plans must be formulated on adopting renewable energy, ensuring proper management of water and performing effective waste management."
Dr Mizan, on the other hand, emphasised problems related to population growth."Population increase results in the reduction of cultivable lands to accommodate residences. Hence, ploy culture instead of monoculture is a demand of time to avoid any food crisis in the future," he explained. However, he warned about the use of harmful chemicals in poly culture practice which might hamper sustainability.
Dr Ashraful Ferdous Chowdhury convened a collective approach by the policy makers, financial institutions and businesses to encourage the usage of renewable energy. "Providing financial support to those sectors who follow the Green Banking Act, and encouraging them to adopt renewable energy through giving loans at convenient terms can help us maintain balance between economic development and ecological balance. Adopting solar energy can be cost effective as well."
After a constructive discussion about sustainability management, a short question and answer session was held for the viewers. As one of the viewers raised the issue of cost in dealing with green technology installation, Dr Ashraful Ferdous Chowdhury addressed it saying, "We can hire experts from the developed countries for a quick solution. But we have to create our own skilled manpower giving necessary financial incentives and motivation to our universities and vocational institutes to revive them. It may seem costly at present, but will save our future cost."
The writer is a business student at NSTU. He can be reached at