MSc students visit Denmark to understand the Scandinavian approach to sustainable enterprise
Each year, students studying the Smith School’s MSc in Sustainability, Enterprise and the Environment (MSc SEE) embark on a week-long field trip to Denmark to visit and learn from leading companies in one of the world’s most sustainable countries.
This year, the cohort visited seven companies across a range of industries to hear about their approaches to net zero and sustainable development first hand, including: Lundbeck, a brain health and pharmaceutical firm; Novozymes, a biotechnology company and shipping and logistics provider Maersk.
The trip also included a tour of the Carlsberg brewery as well as a guided city tour, all-class dinners and a lecture on the Danish political system.
“The annual field trip allows the course concepts to come alive,” explains Dr Laurence Wainwright, Director of the MSc SEE. “Extensive research shows that Scandinavian companies perform disproportionately well in measures of sustainability and corporate social responsibility. Visiting these companies and hearing from senior sustainability leaders not only enabled students to transcend the theory-practice divide, but also served as a valuable opportunity to hear first-hand accounts as to what a career in sustainability entails.”
Students offer their reflections
“I was impressed by learning about A.P. Moller-Maersk's robust endeavour in pioneering its move away from fossil fuels and seeking a sustainable future for the shipping industry…” said MSc student Seoyoung Lee said. “It was refreshing to see the level of hope and inspiration Maersk brings to the future of low-carbon shipping, which will constitute the backbone of the green, resilient and sustainable world.”
Student Garima Desai said: “I am really grateful for my class visit to Novozymes. Our presenters were extremely knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and passionate about teaching us about their work. It was inspiring to see a business incorporating sustainability into all aspects of their practice.”
“I feel that we seldom look to pharmaceutical companies – like Lundbeck – as examples of companies that are capable of having a significant societal impact,” said William Richards. “More recognition is certainly deserved.”
“A big thank you to all the companies that hosted our MSc SEE cohort,” said Dr Wainwright. “The students greatly enjoyed, and benefitted from, the visit. I look forward to returning to Denmark with an expanded MSc cohort next year.”