Implementing Sustainability Principles – Sharing Information on Progress

Universidad Nacional de San Martin
Universidad Nacional de San Martin

Every month, several new Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) reports come across my desk. These SIP reports are full of interesting and innovative projects aimed at embedding the Principles of PRME across campus. In this new series of blogs, I will feature just a small selection of these projects taken from recently submitted reports. This month, we take a look at examples from the US, Germany, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Egypt, and Sweden

1. Purpose: San Francisco State University College of Business, USA

For over thirty years, the College of Business at San Francisco State University has required each graduate and undergraduate student to take a course that covers the social, ethical, legal, political, and environmental issues facing business. To reinforce this, the College of Business has been putting on Business Ethics Week since 2006. Every Fall semester, the College focuses a full week on topics related to social, ethical, and environmental issues. Speakers and panel discussions are scheduled and are open to all students and faculty. In addition, all faculty in the College are asked to focus at least one class session that week on ethical, social, or environmental topics related to their discipline (accounting, finance, marketing, etc.). During Business Ethics Week, over 4,000 business students participated and well over 50 percent of faculty integrated ethics-related modules or speakers. Events in 2013 included an extensive range of lectures including: Violations In Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Can Cities Ethically Yet Successfully Partner With Private Interests?, and In Defense Of Ethics: Customer Acquisition Cost And Lifetime Value For Start-Up Entrepreneurs.

2. Values: School of Economics and Business, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Germany

The School of Economics and Business at Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg believes it is important that students are given competencies in analysing the interdependencies between social structures. One key way to do this is through interactive and interdisciplinary courses that include co-teaching and group work, role-plays, strategy simulations, and practical projects. One of the practical projects that students take part in is the School’s partnership with GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit), the German Development Agency, which has been in place since 2008. Within the scope of academic courses, student teams analyse a practical project currently being carried out by a division of the GIZ. These types of experiences help students to see with their own eyes how conflicts may be structured and how consensual solutions can be implemented.

3. Method: Universidad Nacional de San Martin, Argentina

During the first semester of 2013, Universidad Nacional de San Martin launched its new Diploma in Advanced Studies in Corporate Social Responsibility. The new programme is organised in collaboration with the School of Economics and Business, with support from the Global Compact Network Argentina and CEADS, the local Chapter of WBCSD (the World Business Council for Sustainable Development).

4. Research: Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), Austria

Corporate Social Responsibility is an integral part of MCI’s research portfolio. In particular, MCI has spearheaded the discussion of corporate social responsibility in the Western Austrian region. These projects empirically investigated a broad range of issues, such as the interrelationship of CSR and corporate strategy, the effect that CSR has on customer loyalty, and the nexus of CSR and corporate governance. In the Spring 2013 term, MCI’s Research and Development unit offered a workshop entitled “Business ethics and creating shared value,” in which faculty and staff presented their ongoing projects and intellectual contributions on contemporary business ethics, thereby facilitating an exchange of ideas and fostering dialogue. MCI has also created a joint initiative with the University of Innsbruck called Science and Responsibility, which aims at investigating scientific affairs with respect to their ethical relevance and to strengthening the interaction between universities and society. The programme is freely accessible to all.

5. Partnerships: University of New England, Australia

The University of New England has a number of research projects looking at carbon taxes, including work by Professor Mahinda Siriwardana on Carbon Tax Impact Modelling. The University is part of a key research project, in partnership with the Australian Research Council, which looks to uncover the optimal response of the energy sector to changes in energy demand in rural and regional Australia during the economic transformation induced by the carbon tax. The project will address three important issues in Australia. First, by comparing the environmental and economic effects of each energy sector response, this project will find the trade off between environmental protection and economic growth. Second, it will look at the future of the energy sectors in a low carbon economy, in particular relating to their response to the carbon tax. Third, it will examine the vulnerability of rural and regional communities. The research project is due for completion in 2016.

6. Dialogue: The American University of Cairo, Egypt

The Corporate Governance Club at the American University in Cairo (AUC) is the first Egyptian student-based academic club that is dedicated to the dissemination of corporate governance principles and best practices among students. It aims at encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue among students of business, finance, economics, law, and accounting who share a common interest in working in a fair and transparent corporate environment. One of these events includes a 6 hour workshop on Combating Money Laundering, which was delivered to more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students from AUC, Ain Shams University, and Cairo University. The workshop focused on how proceeds of crime are laundered and what could be done to mitigate such practices. Participants were able to interact with leading experts from the Money Laundering Combating Unit (MLCU) and the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Central Bank of Egypt. All participants also received a certificate of completion from the Egyptian Banking Institute.

+Organisational Practices: The School of Business, Economics and Law at University of Gothenburg, Sweden

The School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg’s 2013 report focused on the work done by a group put together by the School’s management team consisting of representatives from the Department of Law, Economics, Business Administration as well as the Environmental Coordinator at the School. The group was tasked to explore how to integrate the aim of sustainable development in the School’s courses and study programmes.


To read all the latest Sharing Information on Progress reports visit the PRME website.


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