Over the next two weeks, PRiMEtime will be celebrating the work that signatories around the world are doing in terms of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as highlighted in their Sharing Information on Progress (SIP) reports submitted throughout 2018. This is part of the information that was collected late last year exploring how the schools are exploring the SDGs. To read the full report click here.
Going through the SIPs it is striking just how many different ways schools are getting engaged in the SDGs, from embedding them into existing initiatives to creating new ones specifically focused on the SDGs. Here are 5 more ways that schools are embedding the goals (click here to read part 1).
Providing a platform for dialogue: The High Level Regional Forum on achieving the SDGs in Latin America was organised by ISAE/FGV in Brazil, the Global Compact, UN Cities Programme and PRME with the support of government and state actors. The event demonstrated good practices throughout Latin America in achieving the SDGs and in integrating the public, private, and educational sectors. The role of PRME as an integrator and producer of knowledge relating to the SDGs was reinforced.
Campus as the Living Laboratory: The environmental performance of KU Leuven Faculty of Economics and Business’s campus has been used as a “living laboratory” where students can apply theory to a practical setting as to how to improve the environmental performance of an organisation. For example, business management students have developed campaigns to encourage recycling and have completed thesis projects on topics including: waste reduction, energy reduction, and CO2 baseline setting.
Auditing coverage: Seattle Pacific University’s School of Business, Government and Economics in the US has made considerable progress in implementing the teaching of the SDGs in courses across all of the school’s component majors. There has been significant “buy-in” by the entirety of the school’s faculty. The school completed its first survey of all coursework in order to determine areas of strength and weakness in terms of the integration of the SDGs within our coursework – a useful tool for future planning and to ensure consistency across the school.
Identifying focus areas: Faculty at Universidad Externado in Columbia prioritized 7 of the 17 SDGs. They identified SDG 4 (Quality Education), 5 (Gender Equality), 8 (Decent work and economic growth), 9 (industry, innovation and infrastructure), 12 (responsible consumption and production), 16 (peace, justice and strong institutions) and 17 (partnerships for the goals) are the areas where they are currently contributing the most and aim to continue to have an impact. One example of how they engage in these issues is through a network of responsible business created in collaboration with the local Global Compact network aimed at strengthening SMEs in the country
Practicing what you preach: When the Gordon Institute of business Science (GIBS) was looking to contract a large commercial cleaning company, one of the Professors identified potential in one of the cleaners, affectionately known as Gogo (‘grandmother in Zulu). Prof Nick Binedell assisted her to start her own social enterprise, Mzansi Cleaning and Housekeeping, which has since grown to serivce the entire campus. GIBS assists Mzansi staff with early payment and above-industry salaries.