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Destination: Sustainability. EAUC Conference 2009 Anne Raudaskoski, University of Westminster Liesl Truscott, CSR Consultancy. CSR: the path to sustainability. Why CSR How to develop it? Opportunities & Challenges Your experience Some solutions & ideas

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destination sustainability


EAUC Conference 2009

Anne Raudaskoski, University of Westminster

Liesl Truscott, CSR Consultancy

csr the path to sustainability
CSR: the path to sustainability
  • Why CSR
  • How to develop it?
  • Opportunities & Challenges
  • Your experience
  • Some solutions & ideas
  • Universities That Count benchmarking
For the first time…

we now have an opportunity to holistically understand what our performance and impact as an institution is.

Why should universities engage in CSR?
Jonathon Porritt, Chairman of the UK Sustainable Development Commission & Founder Director, Forum for the Future:

"42% of the university applicants in our Future Leaders Survey said they would like to know more about the environmental performance and social values of the university they choose. For this reason, we enthusiastically welcome Universities that Count, which offers the only authoritative, independently assessed benchmarking system to show how universities are performing in these areas."

university of westminster
University of Westminster

Universities should have a dual transformative role, i.e. unlocking the individual’s potential as well as improving a sense of collective wellbeing. This new vision of quality provides us with the opportunity “to demonstrate the full power and potential of higher education for the individual, for the economy, for the environment and for society.”

(New economics foundation: University Challenge: Towards a well-being approach to quality in higher education, 2008).

university of westminster1
University of Westminster

“Universities should embrace corporate social responsibility principally because they are well placed to exercise the necessary leadership.”

Director of Estates & Facilities

“CSR shows that a university thinks of itself as part of a greater community, and provides a link to the outside world for its students.”

…It makes students understand the importance of CSR and 360 degree benefits that accompany and carrying it forward into the organizations they join after graduation.”

Tomorrow’s Leaders Project Coordinators

university of westminster2
University of Westminster

“Our day-to-day activities will have an effect on the local, regional and global environment in a number of ways. For Universities, this means action in all aspects of our everyday work, not only internally through our policies, but through our procurement and supply chains and, through our learning, teaching and research activities. We need to do the same with our external communities, whether locally, regionally, or overseas."

Pro Vice-Chancellor

“UTC has been truly an enlightening process. It has made me ask questions I had never thought of before.”

Director of Finance



What is CSR?? …not how but why

“We’re a university, not a corporation…”

CSR and its many faces: “I get the environmental side, but what about this social bit?”

Fragmented organisational structures

Many lines of responsibilities: Committees, Executives, Marketing, SHE, E&F, HR…

Gap: Strategic Operational staff

Limited resources (no CSR dept.)

Being Jack-of-all-trade: CSR Expert, Activist, Catalyst, Facilitator*

Communicating it effectively

Building up the CSR agenda: development of a unique approach

Trade-offs: tight budgets…

No internal/external support

What else..?

*Source: Wayne Visser



Increasing cross-departmental collaboration, e.g. HR, E&F, SU. Schools…

Catalyst for organisational development

Improving the institution’s reputation

Being a great neighbour…enables to express value base

Creating new partnerships

Bringing together the “triple bottom line ethos”: environment, social & economic decision-making and practices: making the case for CSR stronger

Academics and operational staff working together

Greater self-governance

Improves accountability, trust and transparency

Brings people together

Improves employee motivation and morale

Makes ethical statements practical

Streamlines environmental, ethical and social initiatives

HEIs and FEIs providing thought leadership in creating future

Understanding responsibility beyond providing education

Saving money

What else..?

your experience
Your experience

“Challenges I face in my job...”

  • Lack of leadership
  • Hierarchy involved/red tape
  • Breadth of agenda
  • Lack of interest
  • Frustration in getting things done
  • University engaged in change
  • Difficulty with resources
  • Language/terminology involved

“What I love about my job...”

  • Breadth of agenda
  • Interaction with the sector
  • Embracing change
  • Student engagement
  • Meeting and working with people
  • More moral perspective
  • Doing what trained in
  • Opportunity to make difference
Analyse the current situation
      • identify the gaps
        • plan
          • use cascade approach to reach all levels of the organisation
  • You probably need to be (a bit of!)

Jack-of-all-trade Expert…Catalyst…


and keep the ball rolling

  • Initiate and delegate
  • Use multiple channels
Welcome to EAUC e-news
  • (Positive!) communication constitutes participation
  • Never underestimate the power of thank you!
  • Talk to people, listen to them and their ideas…make your agenda relevant to them
cr index model
Corporate Strategy

Performanceand Impact




3 Env Impacts


3 Social Impacts



Assurance process

CR Index Model
the cr index questions
The CR Index - Questions

Corporate Strategy

Performanceand Impact




CR principles



Risk mgmt


Integration of principles

Business conduct

Performance mgmt

Remuneration systems

Strategic decision-making

Training & development

Senior training

Stakeholder engagement


Key issues

Objectives/ targets

Allocation of responsibilities

Training/ support

Internal monitoring and reporting

Measuring and reporting

Scope of data

Quality of data

Target setting

Performance improvement

presenting the results
Presenting the results

Institution’s feedback reports:

  • Confidential from us to you
  • Specific to the Institution
  • Comparison against HE Sector
  • Comparison against the overall Index universe
  • Detailed gap-analysis for action planning
what makes a university that counts
What makes a ‘University That Counts’

= leadership and commitment at the highest level

= policies to ensure responsible behaviours across the HEI

= CR/SD issues integrated into strategic decision making,

= objectives and targets set to drive continuous improvement

= clear responsibilities defined at all levels

= effective communication to share learning and knowledge

= training for relevant staff to ensure delivery of objectives

= process for stakeholder consultation and engagement

= monitoring systems to assess and report progress

= public reporting of key issues, targets and performance

= willingness to disclose information and share best practice

= SD/CR integrated into teaching, learning, and research

For more information…