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Today, the fact that human activity impacts nature and climate in a harmful manner with direct consequences on the environment, society and the economy is an undisputed scientific reality. It is vital for today’s students -the leaders of tomorrow- to understand how sustainable development can reverse environmental degradation and the climate change spiral and mitigate their tremendous social and financial side effects.
Following US best practices and as also reflected in its President’s 2025 vision, The American College of Greece is gradually developing an ever-growing number of sustainability best practices. ACG is committed to systematically addressing issues from sustainability focus in academic programs and research and reducing its carbon footprint while improving its energy efficiency, to enhancing its social impact and increasing transparency and accountability in its daily operations.
For all its relevant activity, ACG has been awarded the STARS Silver Rating, in recognition of its best practices in four categories: Academics, Operations, Community Engagement & Social Responsibility, and Planning and Administration. ACG is the only academic institution in Greece to have received a distinction by the US AASHE – an internationally acclaimed association. Through its membership in the UN Global Compact, the UN Academic Impact and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), ACG has committed to always operate in support of the UN SDGs – and most importantly, Goal No 4: Quality Education. In this context, the ACG Center of Excellence for Sustainability (CES), officially established in 2011, is a collaborative initiative, operating under the Office of Public Affairs, which leads all sustainability-related activity, bringing together education, research and operations to advance sustainability on campus.
ACG aims to be a national leader in sustainability among academic institutions, by actively contributing to a more inclusive, socially responsible, financially viable and environmentally sustainable society.
To raise awareness and engagement of ACG students with sustainability best practices and empower them to become knowledgeable, sensitized and responsible citizens of the world.
In December 2017, ACG was awarded the STARS Silver Award for its second assessment, in recognition of its sustainability practices.
The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating System (https://stars.aashe.org/ – STARS®) is developed by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE). It is a documented and comprehensive standard for sustainability reporting in higher education.
The next STARS® evaluation for ACG will take place in December 2019.
SIERRA Magazine “Cool Schools” List
The Office of Public Affairs is happy to announce that, following the STARS Silver Rating achievement in 2017, ACG is further recognized for its sustainability efforts and best practices. ACG made for the first time the SIERRA Magazine “Cool Schools” list for 2018, aka the “greenest” colleges list!
In 2019, ACG was included on the “Cool Schools” list for the second consecutive year.
AASHE Sustainable Campus Index (SCI)
ACG has been, once again, recognized as a top performer in the 2019 Sustainable Campus Index, achieving the top spot in the area of Wellbeing & Work, tying for third place in the area of Grounds, and ranking fifth in Food & Dining. A publication from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the Sustainable Campus Index recognizes top-performing sustainable colleges and universities overall and in 17 impact areas, as measured by the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System (STARS).
ACG has been a top performer in AASHE’s Sustainable Campus Index (SCI) consecutively since 2016.
The Princeton Review
The Office of Public Affairs is happy to announce that the American College of Greece (ACG) is one of the 399 most environmentally responsible colleges according to the Princeton Review.
The Princeton Review chose the schools for this ninth annual edition of its “green guide” based on data from the company’s survey 2017-2018 of hundreds of four-year colleges concerning schools’ commitments to the environment and sustainability.
As of May 31st 2017 The American College of Greece serves as a member of the UN Academic Impact. ACG joined over 1000 academic and research institutions in more than 120 countries that are members of UNAI. In Greece, ACG is the fifth academic institution to be a member and the first and only one private.
The United Nations Academic Impact (UNAI) established in 2010, is a global initiative that aligns institutions of higher education with the United Nations in promoting its global priorities, including peace, human rights and sustainable development through activities and research in a shared culture of intellectual social responsibility.
As of 2018 The American College of Greece serves as a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) joining institutions and organizations, including universities, research institutions, foundations, civil society, in a unique network of problem solvers aiming at contributing to practical solutions for sustainable development.
The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) was established in 2012 under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General. SDSN mobilizes global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical solutions for sustainable development, including the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement.
In the context of our membership, we co-organized and hosted the first Symposium on Climate Change at ACG on April 3, 2019.
UN SDSN – Youth member
As of March 2018, ACG has become an official Member Organization of SDSN Youth.
SDSN Youth aims at working together with its Members Organizations in order to educate and empower youth globally to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and provides opportunities for them to create sustainable solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.
As of January 2019, ACG has become a member of the CSR Hellas Network.
CSR Hellas is a non-for-profit business association based in Athens, founded in June 2000 by a group of 3 business organizations and 13 companies, numbering more than 130 members today. It is the National Partner Organization (NPO) of CSR Europe, the leading European business organization for CSR, counting several members among the largest multinational companies as well as a network of more than 40 National Partner Organisations across Europe.Moreover, CSR Hellas hosts by 2008 the Coordinating Secretariat of the national Global Compact Hellenic Network of the United Nations (UN Global Compact Network Hellas) and is also representing in Greece the Global Network “CSR 360”.
In the context of our membership, we co-organized and hosted the first Summer School on Corporate Sustainability & Responsibility at ACG from September 23-27, 2019.
UN Global Compact
As of January 2019, ACG has become a member of the UN Global Compact, a voluntary initiative based on CEO commitments to implement universal sustainability principles and to take steps to support UN goals.
As of November 2018, ACG has signed a MoU with the NGO Boroume.
Boroume is a non-profit organization whose mission to reduce food waste and to fight malnutrition in Greece aligns perfectly with the ACG sustainability efforts in terms of social responsibility and community engagement.
In the context of our collaboration, we have adopted a farmers’ market – the ACG Farmers’ Market – where we volunteer on a weekly basis, every Monday, since November 2018.
As of September 2019, ACG has signed a MoU with the NGO HOPEGenesis.
HOPEGenesis is a non-profit organization in the field of medicine that addresses the issue of low birth rates in Greece. Its mission is to provide comprehensive medical care and treatment for women who become pregnant until the day they give birth. The organization focuses mainly on women who live in remote rural areas or isolated islands in Greece.
In the context of this collaboration, HOPEgenesis will be an active participant at the Mind Body Spirit Fest 2019, October 8-12, with a presentation and an information booth.