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Michael Smurfit Business School

UCD Michael Smurfit Graduate Business School is Ireland’s leading business school. Recently ranked by Financial Times in the world’s top 50 for open enrolment executive education. UCD Smurfit Executive Development, which sits alongside the School, delivers talent development programmes for mid-senior level managers representing a wide range of industry sectors.

In order to engage the global food industry with the Origin Green initiative, UCD Smurfit Executive Development partnered with Bord Bia in developing the Origin Green Ambassador Programme.  This two-year MSc in Business Sustainability attracts and develops a cohort of executive talent capable of leading the Irish food and drink industry in its ambition to become recognised as one of the most sustainable in the world.

Through exposure to best practice knowledge, insight and skill building opportunities, the programme has been designed to develop the necessary expertise required by industry. The programme selects talented, experienced (average five years) and motivated graduate professionals, from a large pool of applications. Participant Ambassadors complete an intensive full-time programme of taught modules, professional skills training, and industry insights activities. This is followed by practical International Industry Placements.

The programme is currently on its third cohort and follows highly successful previous iterations which included Industry Placements with the Host companies such as: Ahold, McDonalds, Unilever, Starbucks, World Wildlife Fund, Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestle, Walmart, Tesco, Metro, Abbots, Bunge, Asda, Marks & Spencer, PepsiCo, Subway, Fair Oaks and Danone.

The International Industry Placements, five months in duration, are a key element of the Origin Green Ambassador Programme, and provide:

  • The opportunity to input into the development and implementation of strategically significant sustainability initiatives on behalf of the Host Company.

  • The opportunity to take key learnings back to the Irish Food and Drink industry.

  • The opportunity to raise the profile and understanding of the Irish food and drink industry’s Origin Green initiative among key audiences internationally.

Sharing of insights into current sustainability best practice in leading global businesses.

Sharing Global Insights was an industry engagement session held in Bord Bia’s insight centre, the Think House, on August 2017. It provided the Irish food and drink industry with practical insights into how companies can address the challenges and opportunities in business sustainability.

These insights were captured from 30 of the Ambassadors’ from the 2015-17 programme. Professor Mary Shelman from Harvard Business School, who delivers modules at UCD Smurfit Executive Development, chaired the session which saw a large number of Irish food and drink companies in attendance.