The university is an organisation that has a strong impact on economic, cultural, social and political development. For this reason, it is a reference point in those areas where it should become a model. The university has always had, and still has, a clear commitment to society, and in this sense, social responsibility is an inescapable duty for this institution. Businesses have been implementing corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives for some time now, developing actions that have led them to integrate social and environmental concerns into their companies. From this perspective, we consider Social Responsibility and Sustainability (SRS) to be one of the institution's duties, and a commitment to society that expresses the relationship between the work carried out by the university and what society expects of it. This duty is what obliges the university to adopt policies and management systems in the economic, social and environmental spheres that have a positive impact on the environment, sustainable development and solidarity, in relation to both the local environment and that of developing countries, with the aim of achieving an improvement in the quality of the university system that at the same time benefits the society that finances it.
Social responsibility, sustainability and solidarity constitute the cornerstone of the university’s Third Mission. The goal of this mission must be to contribute to a model of social, cultural, economic and environmental innovation and development that is socially responsible and sustainable and with solidarity. The SRS has a strategic role in the transfer from knowledge and technology, combining innovation with the welfare of society.
To contribute to a model of social, cultural, economic and environmental innovation and development that is socially responsible, sustainable and supportive
In recent years, universities have made considerable efforts and carried out many actions to promote SRS, bringing together the social, economic and environmental dimensions that form part of social responsibility. As early as 1998, the World Declaration on Higher Education for the 21st Century in Paris declared this to be both important and necessary. More recently in our country, StrategyUNIVERSIDAD 2015 reflected this in 2009, and even more recently there have been publications that attempt to provide common elements to promote it, such as the one promoted by the Ministry of Education and Culture in 2011. La responsabilidad social en la universidad y el Desarrollo Sostenible , published with the aim of clearly defining SRS and indicating to universities the path to be followed in this area. On the other hand, it should be noted that many universities have created their own structures to promote SRS from a coordinated work perspective, and among these it is worth highlighting the role that the Social Responsibility Chairs financed by Banco Santander have played and continue to play.
The role of Càritas de Girona: studies and research in promoting CRS
The creation of the USR Chair has in part been driven by a request from Càritas Girona for the creation of a university structure that would collaborate in carrying out studies and research to foster corporate social responsibility in business people in our region, and that would be able to collaborate closely with its Empreses amb Cor [Companies with Heart] programme, which is supported by this institution.