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Apathy to climate change high amongst Bangladeshi businesses

Aston University welcomes Dhaka University researchers
L-R: Dr. Prasanta Dey (ABS), Dr. Mohobbot Ali, Dr. Taiabur Rahman and Dr. Ataur Belal (ABS)

2nd February 2010

Aston Business School (ABS) has embarked on a three year research project to gauge corporate attitudes to climate change in Bangladesh – one of the world’s most at risk countries.

British Council and the INSPIRE (International Strategic Partnership in Research and Education) Scheme have funded the research project, led by Aston University and Dhaka University. They aim to increase awareness amongst Bangladeshi corporate managers on the importance of climate change and more significantly, influence the future corporate social responsibility (CSR)* policy of the Bangladeshi Government.

Bangladesh, a low lying country with a vast coastline, could see large areas of land go under water as sea levels continue to rise, potentially displacing millions of people. The impact of higher temperatures and extreme weather events is already felt in Bangladesh and is expected to continue to intensify.

Results from the first stage of the study concluded that only 10% of companies identified climate change as an important factor that may affect future business decisions. An even smaller 5% of companies disclosed that they had an effluent treatment plant (ETP) despite this being mandatory in Bangladesh. ETPs are being implemented across Bangladesh as a mechanism to treat wastewater that has been contaminated by commercial activities prior to its release into the environment or its re-use.  Further stages of the project will analyse the views of both corporate managers and stakeholders.

Key researchers from project partner Dhaka University, Prof Taiabur Rahman and Dr Mohobbot Ali, paid a visit to Aston University last month to discuss progress of the study. During the visit, which was hosted by ABS, they discussed the possibility of establishing a partnership agreement between the two universities.  

Dr Ataur Rahman Belal, finance and accounting lecturer at ABS, is leading the project. His recent research has focused on CSR practices across developing countries. He commented, “It is an excellent research collaboration between Aston Business School and Dhaka University, Bangladesh. For the first time in Bangladesh, the project will examine corporate responses to the critical issue of climate change. It is expected that this project will lead to further collaborations with Dhaka University and we are pleased to have them as our research partner in this project.”

ENDS

For further information please contact Munira Jasat on 0121 204 4547 or m.jasat@aston.ac.uk

Notes to editors:

1. The British Council is Britain’s international cultural relations body that helps connect the UK to the rest of the world. They focus on cultural relations and the importance of creating a globally sustainable future. For more information, log onto the British Council.

2. INSPIRE is a British Council funded project that aims to strengthen academic and research partnerships between UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and HEIs in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kazakhstan, Pakistan and Uzbekistan.

*Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a voluntary initiative integrated into a business.  It requires businesses to consider the corporate social, ethical and environmental impact into the operational activities of business.

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