Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2010 Proceedings
Publication year: 2010
Pages: 4507-4514
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095
Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain
Facts like population growth and higher development are producing changes in world society, such as increase of resource demand (energy, raw materials, food products…), rise of waste production, emission increase, more social inequality and poverty, etc. with associated concern related to sustainability.

Many authors recognize the need of new education approaches to include these concerns. That is one of the reasons for the inclusion of Social Responsibility (SR) in higher education agendas.

United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) adopted a resolution to put in place a UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), spanning from 2005 to 2014. However, not only education is imbued with sustainable development and social responsibility but also research, community outreach and campus management. All the areas of activity at university must be impregnated with social responsibility.

Although many higher education institutions are already undertaking initiatives to include social responsibility principles, it is important to incorporate them within the Institution Strategy. In this sense, there are different instruments to achieve integration of social responsibility in the culture and activities of the organization and one of them is the elaboration of a social responsibility report (SRR).

SRR shouldn’t be a goal itself, but a communication tool that allows making the Social Responsibility strategy of the institution and the accountability of the commitments in a strict way The preparation of a report following the methodology developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI-G3) requires the development of a series of steps that lead the organization toward the incorporation of SR that should be adapted to educational particularities. This paper presents the adaptation of the general GRI-G3 methodology to an engineering school and shows the results from its application to the School of Engineering at the Technical University of Madrid (ETSII-UPM) as a case study.

The methodology consists of 5 phases as follows:

1. Preparation. It includes the creation of the work structure. In the case study, a technical team and an Advisory Committee were formed. It also includes a first diagnosis of SR situation using general indicators .

2. Stakeholders identification. They are identified following the recommendations defined by Accountability AA100SE. Moreover, both communication channels and participation ways for each group are developed.

3. Definition. This phase consists of the identification of expectations and needs through various methods, including workshops such as focus groups with various interest groups and surveys for staff and students. It also includes the definition of relevant issues through methods suggested by the Accountability manual entitled ”Engagement with stakeholders” adapted to the educational case.

4. Monitoring. It includes the definition of specific commitments to improve relevant aspects counting specific plans, monitoring and evaluation of compliance with commitments set.

5. Report. This phase contains both writing and communicating the report.

The result of the practical application of these phases is reflected in the ETSII-UPM Social Responsibility Report 2007//09. This document is available on
Social Responsibility, Sustainability Report, Global Reporting Initiative, Accountability.