INDITEX-UDC CHAIR OF SUSTAINABILITY
In 1987 the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development released the Brundtland report, that defined ‘sustainable development’ as the type of development “that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. Almost three decades later, in 2015, a universal agenda for sustainable development was agreed among countries in the form of 17 goals−the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and their 169 associated targets. This sustainable development agenda unites governments, private sector, civil society and citizens around a common objective that goes from the agreement on the goals to their implementation and achievement.
Social responsibility, both in its ethical and strategic dimension, increasingly conditionate the way in which public and private organizations direct their activity towards the ends that justify their existence. From the strategic point of view, the principles and techniques that are part of the phenomenon that we know as Social Responsibility (SR) have proved useful to enhance the capacity of any human organization to create economic, social and environmental value. The remarkable increase in the capacity to innovate, manage risk and improve relations with society found in those organizations that have opted for the integration of these principles in their policies and strategies is proof of this.
Universities, as institutions committed to social, economic, and cultural progress, naturally cannot ignore the sustainable development of societies and the social responsibility of organizations. That is why in 2010 Inditex and the University of A Coruña (UDC) entered into a collaboration agreement whereby both institutions undertook to implement a Corporate Social Responsibility model at UDC, committing to launching initiatives designed to improve the strategy of UDC in the fields of sustainability and CSR and to bring this issue closer to the university students, faculty and staff and to the society at large, through training, applied research, and the effective transfer and implementation of the results.
A clear example of the potential of collaboration between the University and the company is the Inditex-UDC Chair of Sustainability, that is one of the most important results of this strategy. With the support and coordination of the Social Council of the University of A Coruña, the Inditex-UDC Chair of Sustainability (called the Inditex-UDC Chair of Social Responsibility until the 2018/2019 academic year) was born as a space for community reflection, academic training and applied research on the different dimensions of the sustainability and responsibility and social innovation of public administrations, universities, companies and non-profit entities.