Social Responsibility

ALBA Graduate Business School at the American College of Greece has a vision of a more prosperous society for all stakeholders, for a business world thriving with activity, innovation and sustainability, for leaders who inspire, aspire and enact.

Our mission is to educate the visionary leaders of tomorrow, who will be the agents of change for a societywhere human rights are respected, labor is honored, the environment is protected and corruption is nonexistent.

We believe that academic institutions play a key role in enriching, promoting and supporting business ethics, social responsibility and sustainability. 

 

HISTORY

ALBA Graduate Business School initially formalized its Social Responsibility activities through the formation of the Social Responsibility Committee in 2009.
Given the ALBA Social Responsibility scope, activities and plans since then, we decided in 2013 to establish the ALBA Center for Business Ethics, Social Responsibility and Sustainability (C.E.RE.S)


Related actions

The ALBA Social Report

MISION AND OBJECTIVES

Vision

To be a national and international actor, point of reference and think tank for issues relating to Business Ethics, Social Responsibility and Sustainability.

 

Mission

  • To engage in activities independently or in cooperation with key stakeholders aiming to enhance knowledge and awareness on relevant topics.
  • To further enhance and report the ALBA Business Ethics, Social Responsibility and Sustainability Initiatives, as outlined by our five (5) pillars
  • To enhance and promote Business Ethics, Social Responsibility and Sustainability to the Business Community and Society at large, by organizing events and activities
  • To further engage with other key stakeholders and key organizations for the enhancement of Business Ethics, Social Responsibility and Sustainability, nationally and internationally
  • To provide the platform for the creation and utilization of active, national and international networks of key stakeholders
  • To further develop training platforms, educational programs and modules on Business Ethics, Social Responsibility and Sustainability
  • To undertake and contribute to theoretical and applied research on Business Ethics, Social Responsibility and Sustainability related topics


Related actions

The ALBA CERES Presentation and Overview

PHILOSOPHY AND VALUES

Our Philosophy

We believe that academic institutions play a very important role in raising awareness, promoting, enriching and supporting corporate social responsibility. Therefore, we believe that ALBA can make a difference in this role. We see this role as two-fold:

To be a catalyst in the understanding and implementation of corporate social responsibility, through

  • knowledge dissemination (education and training)
  • knowledge creation (research) and
  • leading by example (our own culture and practices),

To create links of cooperation between different social partners, such as companies, public authorities and other stakeholders.

 

Participation

This commitment to social responsibility is demonstrated though the participation of the school in organizations aiming to promote, enhance and facilitate social responsibility. In particular, ALBA

  • Was the first Greek Business School to become a participant of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) in December 2009.
  • In this context, we repeat our commitment to the UN PRME: “As institutions of higher learning involved in the education of current and future managers we are voluntarily committed to engaging in a continuous process of improvement of the [PRME] Principles and their application, reporting on progress to all our stakeholders and exchanging effective practices with other academic institutions.
  • Became an academic participant of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), in March 2008
  • Became listed in the Business in Society Gateway, in spring 2009

 

 


RESPONSIBLE EDUCATION

ALBA offers academic programs and executive development programs. Social responsibility and sustainability values have been incorporated in both types of programs. The main aspects of the dissemination of knowledge and skills on social responsibility through education include:

  • Inclusion of a core course titled 'Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Ethics' in all of our academic programs.
  • Integration of the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility in individual courses, such as Financial Accounting
  • Provision of courses and seminars on leadership and corporate citizenship as part of Academic Programs and Executive Education program
  • Construction of knowledge on social responsibility through the dissertation work of students
  • The school further plans better integration of corporate social responsibility concepts throughout each academic program and increase in the number of available courses and executive seminars on social responsibility and sustainability issues.

 

Academic Programs

Social responsibility and sustainability values and practices have been incorporated in the ALBA academic programs in three ways:

  • Through core (obligatory) courses on Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in each of the academic courses, as well as through core and elective courses on Leadership
  • Through the enrichment of other core and elective course with Social Responsibility elements and interrelations (for example, in the case of Financial Accounting, Social Responsibility forms an integral part of the course)
  • Through dissertations and field consulting projects undertaken by students focusing on Corporate Social Responsibility. Especially in the case of field consulting projects, the opportunity is created to cooperate with a company interested in developing its Social Responsibility strategy and practices.

 

Executive Development Programs

Knowledge dissemination on Social Responsibility is enacted by the ALBA executive development programs through the provision of seminars dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility, Leadership and Corporate Governance.

It is our aim to further develop programs on social responsibility and social responsibility related areas. We consider executive education on social responsibility of outmost importance as the very aim of the executive development is “to educate business leaders to become catalysts of change.”


RESPONSIBLE RESEARCH

Research at ALBA takes two forms:

  • Academic research that formulates and tests original theories and hypotheses on a wide range of management issues. This activity leads to the creation of new knowledge which is published in top academic journals;
  • Applied research, which deals with the generation of new practical applications for business.

 

Academic Research

Academic research comprises the core of the ALBA faculty research activity aiming at publications in top academic journals. A lot of the ALBA faculty research is directly or indirectly related to social responsibility.

 

Applied Research

The Applied Research & Innovation Department was established in 1995 and has conducted since then more than 30 research projects. Most of the applied research projects are financed by Public Funding Bodies such as the EC or Greek Ministries. However, there is a number of research activities which are self-funded by ALBA and focus on the creation of new knowledge for the societal well-being. The main objective is to awaken the Greek Business community and to provide them with useful research results that will enable them to improve and prosper. On the other hand, in the framework of funded research projects there are several research outputs and dissemination activities that promote the ‘responsible’ research profile of ALBA.

 

Hubs and Centres

ALBA Graduate Business School has founded the ALBA Hub of Enterprise & Development, AHEAD. AHEAD was set up in May 2009 in order to bring together all ALBA activities dedicated to entrepreneurship and its aim is to promote the understanding and development of enterprise within Greece, and beyond. High growth entrepreneurial ventures, including social enterprises, offer tremendous potential for invigorating the economic landscape with innovation, vision, and value.

 

Research Seminars Series

ALBA Research Seminar Series was launched in 2003 with the aim of providing a forum for the dissemination of business related research. For presenters, these research seminars provide an eager and open-minded audience, which engages in a dialogue and gives constructive feedback, whilst participants have the opportunity to hear about cutting-edge research in a wide range of business disciplines. The research seminars are held at ALBA on Tuesdays from 4.00-5.30 pm. Occasionally, additional seminars are scheduled depending on the availability of speakers. The seminars are open to all academics and researchers.


RESPONSIBLE EMPLOYEES

ALBA’s interest in contributing to societal well-being extends beyond the day to day operations of the school, namely education, research and culture and is also enacted through the initiatives undertaken and the voluntary activities of the employees. In 2004, the Dean, Professor N. Travlos, initiated the process for the creation of a committee that would work on Social Responsibility initiatives. By 25 November 2004, the Good Citizenship Committee, representing the ALBA employees, had been formed.

The mission of ALBA’s Good Citizenship is the initiation, organization and / or contribution to activities that enhance societal wellbeing and the public good. The list of identified areas of activities and examples of activities follow:

Type of Activity: Environment
Example of Activity: Energy Efficiency and Conservation, ‘Forest Friendly’ Practices, Recycling Efforts, ‘Clean Seaside’ initiatives

Type of Activity: Community Involvement
Example of Activity: School / education programs, Partnerships in the Community, Local and Global Community Involvement

Type of Activity : Philanthropy
Example of Activity: Employee Volunteerism, Product and Service Donations to Individuals

Type of Activity: Health
Example of Activity: Blood Donations,

Type of Activity: Informative Events
Example of Activity: Events that raise awareness on social responsibility / good citizenship issues

One of the Good Citizenship Committee concerns has been to contribute to raising awareness in relation to the importance of social responsibility. The Communication efforts of the committee have been towards internal and external stakeholders. To facilitate this interaction we have created an e-mail account dedicated to Good Citizenship, as well as a bilingual (Greek and English announcements) blog:

goodcitizenship@alba.edu.gr

http://alba-goodcitizenship.blogspot.com/


RESPONSIBLE WORKPLACE

ALBA has made sure for the workplace to be safe and functional for all employees.

All ALBA employees are considered to be full members of the Library, and they are eligible to use all the available services. These include the lending service and the use of the electronic resources available to them through our internal network or via remote access.

In addition to the above mentioned policies, ALBA has been supportive to its people in every aspect of their professional and personal life. Many employees (more than 12 during the last three years) have got full scholarships to study at the ALBA Master programs, or full funding for their undergraduate studies at other Universities. The personal and professional development for both our employees and our students is a top priority.

Furthermore, ALBA has recently acquired a piece of land of about 10 acres (40.500 square meters) in a developing suburb of Athens (Koropi), near the Athens airport and in between the northern and southern suburbs of Athens, in a special zone designated for schools, hospitals and other charitable institutions. The new Campus is expected to be ready in 2013 and it is currently designed according to international standards for the provision of state of the art educational services (traditional and distance learning needs, labs, dormitory, athletics, etc).

The school has already proceeded with the assignment of the architectural, electromechanical and static designs of the new campus. It’s worth noticing that it has been designed to be a bioclimatic building, with photovoltaic systems for saving energy, thus protecting the environment.

Our care for the Environment is also illustrated through our recycling programs throughout our premises, including paper, batteries and aluminum recycling, as well as the recycling of old hardware.


RESPONSIBLE CULTURE

The ALBA Culture can be described through our Commitments to:
Scholarship and Actionable Knowledge
Knowledgeable Action
Acting as Catalysts for Change
Professionalism
A Humanistic Culture
Ethical Conduct
Making a Contribution to the Community

Some of the activities undertaken, which illustrate our culture and commitments, as well as our interaction with different stakeholders include:

 

Academic Code of Conduct

An extract from the Academic Regulations Handbook fully explains the role and importance of the Code of Conduct:
“...All members of the ALBA community (students, graduates, staff and faculty) are expected to demonstrate its norms of moral responsibility. Students in particular are expected to note and understand the ethical dimension of their actions. Fulfilling this mission is a collective responsibility of the ALBA community. Consequently, ALBA has adopted the following Code of Ethics, the aim of which is to promote adherence to the highest standards of academic integrity and ethical conduct. ...”

 

Scholarships and Financial Aid to Students

Appreciating knowledge as a public good, ALBA has decided to provide a set of scholarships and different financial aid programs to students, who have a high academic standing and a deprived financial background. Scholarship programs range from covering the full fees to covering a percentage of the fees. This combination of different types of scholarships and financial aid programs has been created in order to support different students with different needs.

Scholarships provided are of two types: scholarships provided and funded by ALBA and scholarships provided and funded by other organizations (companies and authorities).

 

Public Events

Events open to the public are an important component of the ALBA activities, as they facilitate and enhance further knowledge dissemination to society as a whole, as well as further cooperation with companies, other organizations and authorities.

There are four types of public events:

  • Events organized solely by ALBA (titled herein ‘ALBA Events’)
  • Events organized in cooperation with other organizations (titled herein ‘Co-organized Events’)
  • Conferences and Forums, where ALBA acts as a scientific partner (titled herein ‘Events Under the Scientific Coordination of ALBA’)
  • Events organized by third parties, where the Resident Faculty of ALBA has been invited to participate and has participated (titled herein ‘Participation in Events’)

 

Communication

Besides the organization of and participation in public events, ALBA wishes to be in touch with its stakeholders in writing. There are two important ways of written communication: the publication of short articles by the ALBA Faculty in Greek Newspapers and the preparation and issuance of the ALBA Newsletter, called The ALBAnac.


EVENT SERIES

ALBA Graduate Business School launches this year a series of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Events, titled “The ALBA Social Responsibility Series”

The purpose of The ALBA Social Responsibility Series is:

  • to discuss, debate, facilitate, enhance, and disseminate Social Responsibility
  • to provide a venue for the exchange of ideas and practices between different stakeholders
  • to provide opportunities for the cooperation between different stakeholders
  • to encourage the generation and development of new ideas and practice

Τhe Inaugural Event «...and now what? Disseminating Corporate Social Responsibility Activities»took place on 13 March 2013, at ALBA premises downtown, 6-8 Xenias Str, (near Mavili Square), Athens, ground floor auditorium, from 15:00 to 20:00.

The event explored issues relating to the Dissemination of Information and Activities about CSR by companies.


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