Brigitte Grass, President, firstname.lastname@example.org
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- This voluntary initiative came from Higher Education Sustainability Initiative
Brigitte Grass – President
Description/achievement of initiative
On July 20th of 2012 our first day of sustainability will take place parallel to the conference in Rio de Janeiro (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20). Prior to this day will be held a press conference at Campus Süd of our university.
Initial important steps have been made within different faculties through diverse Sustainability-projects in a variety of modules and through specific modules regarding these topic areas e.g. Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainable Management. The UNGC principals are to be seen as cross-cutting issues and should be integrated extensively into academic teaching and curricula.
Thanks to our drinkable-water-project, which was enabled through Düsseldorf's municipal utilities by mounting several water dispensers that provide our staff and students with free and clean water at all times. Through this action a high degree of availability was archived, without negatively effecting the environment with packing waste.
As the first public university of applied science in North Rhine-Westphalia we became member of the UNGC and realized various activities together with companies that are also associates of the UNGC. We strive for more memberships in other relevant UN initiatives.
What we already did:With effect from September 24th of 2010 the Fachhochschule Düsseldorf (University of Applied Sciences) joined the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC).As a university with various functions such as teaching, research and qualification the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences has the goal to contribute to the implementation and realization of UNGC principals within the actions of enterprises and other institutions.This can be done, on one hand, through collaboration with the numerous contacts our University has to enterprises and other institutions through common research projects as well as by collaboration in teaching and advanced training. On the other hand are particularly our students today the decision makers of the companies and institutions of tomorrow.According to the expectations of the UNGC to all participating academic institutions the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences wants to enable their students to think cross-linked and appraise the intended and unintended consequences of their actions in economic, technical, social, cultural, political and ecological dimensions.We want to encourage our students for the future to make holistic decisions and actions under consideration of all relevant factors and that they learn to take responsibility for the effects of their behavior. In our opinion this is, apart from a good preparation for a qualified work-related future for them, one of the most important tasks of universities within the society and our contribution to make the world a better place. In this context the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences sees itself confronted with the tasks of the critical supervision and support of UNGC intentions and as an academic institution to furthermore accompany related activities of enterprises and other organizations.Universities shall improve the general knowledge about as well as the insight and recognition of Corporate Social Responsibility similarly sustainability-programs of businesses by means of “Thought Leadership”, research, teaching and advanced training and hence make their contribution to a further development and continuous advancement of the UNGC within a local and global range. Apart from the mentioned aspects the following reasons let to our decision to join the UNGC:- An explicit positioning as university that rises to the challenge to deal with current and future global social, ecological and economic issues and that wants to make a contribution to the establishment of a sustainable local and global economy and society within our range of influence.- Interdisciplinary identification-potential.- Creating a setting for interdisciplinary education and research, corresponding to annual themes of emphasis of the UN Global Compact.Against this background our university formed a working party on the day of our entry into the UNGC, the 24th of September 2010, in which all of our seven departments, the administration, the presiding committee and our students are represented. The respective representatives shall make a case for the integration of UNGC principals in teaching, research and advanced training within their particular scopes of action and influence.Beyond that the new constitutional order of the Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences is based on UNGC values. Regarding the university development plan the UNGC principals will be taken into account likewise.Immediately after joining the UNGC in 2010, as well as in the course of the first half year of 2011 all faculties, their staff, all students and the committees of our university were informed about UNGC principals and about the reasons for our entry and all newly planned activities. All freshmen are informed about our participation in the UNGC directly when starting to study at Düsseldorf University of Applied
Corresponding to the above mentioned goals and tasks for academic institutions, various activities were introduced in the different faculties as well as within the administrative circle of Düsseldorf University of Applied Sciences.
What we are doing at the moment:
On July 20th of 2012 our first “day of sustainability” will take place parallel to the conference in Rio de Janeiro (United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development – Rio+20). Prior to this day will be held a press conference at “Campus Süd” of our university. The day itself is planned and organized in an interdisciplinary student project and will be proceeding as follows:
09.00 a.m.: Meeting, warming-up and brainstorming to the question: “Which requirements will science and universities have to meet in responsibility for society?” at “Campus Süd” of our university.
10.00 a.m.: Beginning of a proclamation in the form of a walk over to the “Campus Nord” of our university.
12.00: The declaration of the University of Applied Science regarding sustainability will be handed over to the mayor of the federal state capital Düsseldorf at the city hall.
3.00 p.m.: Arrival of the participants at the “Campus Nord” of our university.
4.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.: Panel discussion with representatives of various enterprises that are also members of the UNGC and representatives of our university addressing the issue: “Which requirements will science and universities have to meet in responsibility for society?”
What we want to realize in the future:
Some explanatory notes on the Commitment to Sustainable Practices of Higher Education Institutions regarding our university:
Item 1 « Teach sustainable developments concepts »: Initial important steps have been made within different faculties through diverse “Sustainability-projects” in a variety of modules and through specific modules regarding these topic areas e.g. Corporate Social Responsibility or Sustainable Management. The UNGC principals are to be seen as cross-cutting issues and should be integrated extensively into academic teaching and curricula.
During the winter semester 2012/2013 a series of lectures concerning sustainability is planned. It forms part of the course of lectures “Horizonte erleben (Experiencing Horizons)”.
Frequent offers for advanced training to teachers and employees of our university, as well as all interested parties that do not form part of our staff, will help to contribute to a continuous and current transfer of knowledge within this topic area.
Item 2 « Encourage research on sustainable development issues »: Many promising starting points, for example a large number of research projects that focus on sustainability as their main emphasis exist already. Those have to be further encouraged.
Item 3 « Green our Campus »: Concerning this issue various basic approaches can be made regarding our new campus. It is of great importance to enforce those approaches in a consequent manner. Thanks to our drinkable-water-project, which was enabled through Düsseldorf's municipal utilities by mounting several water dispensers that provide our staff and students with free and clean water at all times. Through this action a high degree of availability was archived, without negatively effecting the environment with packing waste.
Furthermore a much more power efficient campus comes into being through our newly constructed building. Apart from this, our defined goal is to integrate social and ecological aspects as well as the idea of sustainability into the decision making processes of our procurement management.
Item 4 « Support sustainability efforts in the communities in which we reside“: Here we can successfully take action through steady dialog with the responsibles of our city Düsseldorf, as we already did within our project on June 20th.
We also take a stand for the construction of a memorial site at the Campus Derendorf to remember the Jewish victims of deportation during the National Socialist regime.
Item 5 « Engage with and share results through international frameworks »: As the first public university of applied science in North Rhine-Westphalia we became member of the UNGC and realized various activities together with companies that are also associates of the UNGC. We strive for more memberships in other relevant UN initiatives.
Fachhochschule Düsseldorf - University of Applied Science