(New York, 1 March 2012) – The Secretariat of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) and the Global Compact Office today launched a global call for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to sign a declaration of Commitment to Sustainable Practices of Higher Education Institutions in support of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The initiative was launched in conjunction with the 3rd Global Forum for Responsible Management Education and the Rio+20 Corporate Sustainability Forum, and in partnership with an umbrella of UN organisations collaborating with university networks.
On the occasion of the Rio+20 Conference, leaders of the international academic community are called on to acknowledge the unique responsibility that their institutions bear in the pursuit of sustainable development by signing the declaration. Commitments will be recognised on the Rio+20 website at http://www.uncsd2012.org/HEI.
Given that the Rio+20 Conference presents a unique opportunity to define pathways to a safer, more equitable, cleaner, greener and more prosperous world for all, HEIs have a special responsibility to provide leadership on education for sustainable development. HEIs play a key role in building more sustainable societies and creating new paradigms by educating and training decision makers. Their mission is to promote development through research and teaching, disseminate knowledge to students and build their capabilities
Since its launch in 2007, the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative, together with key partners, has embarked on transforming management education based on universal values such as the Principles of the UN Global Compact. Georg Kell, Executive Director of the UN Global Compact welcomed the UN-wide HEI initiative: “Education for sustainable development will enable future business leaders to acquire the values, competencies, skills and knowledge necessary to contribute to building more sustainable societies. I encourage all signatories of PRME and the Global Compact academic network to endorse this declaration.”Visit the HEI Initiative and make your commitment today: http://www.uncsd2012.org/HEI. Contact
Head, PRME Secretariat
UN Global Compact Office
"As Chancellors, Presidents, Rectors, Deans and Leaders of Higher Education Institutions and related organizations, we acknowledge the responsibility that we bear in the international pursuit of sustainable development. On the occasion of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro from 20-22 June 2012, we agree to support the following actions:
- Teach sustainable development concepts, ensuring that they form a part of the core curriculum across all disciplines so that future higher education graduates develop skills necessary to enter sustainable development workforces and have an explicit understanding of how to achieve a society that values people, the planet and profits in a manner that respects the finite resource boundaries of the earth. Higher Education Institutions are also encouraged to provide sustainability training to professionals and practitioners;
- Encourage research on sustainable development issues, to improve scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technological knowledge, enhancing the development, adaptation, diffusion and transfer of knowledge, including new and innovative technologies.
- Green our campuses by: i) reducing the environmental footprint through energy, water and material resource efficiencies in our buildings and facilities; ii) adopting sustainable procurement practices in our supply chains and catering services; iii) providing sustainable mobility options for students and faculty; iv) adopting effective programmes for waste minimization, recycling and reuse, and v) encouraging more sustainable lifestyles.
- Support sustainability efforts in the communities in which we reside, working with local authorities and civil society to foster more liveable, resource-efficient communities that are socially inclusive and have small environmental footprints.
- Engage with and share results through international frameworks, such as the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, led by UNESCO, the UN University system, the UN Academic Impact, the Global Compact, the UN-supported Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative and the UN Environment Programme’s Environmental Education and Training initiatives, in order to exchange knowledge and experiences and to report regularly on progress and challenges."