Towards an eco-citizen university

Towards an eco-citizen universityUnisVerts5Cités project, UPPA's contribution to sustainable development issues

On 9 May 2019, the university officially announces that it is committing to a university social responsibility (USR) policy. Social responsibility (better known as CSR for companies) is the voluntary integration by companies of social and environmental concerns into their business activities and their relations with stakeholders, as defined by the European Commission.

Let's all be actors!

In other words, CSR is, in particular, "the contribution of companies to the challenges of sustainable development". Generally speaking, social responsibility (SR) concerns any individual or organisation (public or private) whose behaviour generates or involves processes that directly or indirectly deteriorate our environment. We are therefore all individually concerned by societal responsibility through our behaviour in our personal, professional or social lives.

The recognition of social responsibility by public bodies such as universities is relatively recent (about 10 years). However, social responsibility policies, although free, are strongly encouraged by many organisations: the Ministries of Higher Education and Ecological Transition, the french Conferences of University Presidents (CPU) and Grandes Ecoles (CGE), french student networks such as RESES, the french national network of SD&RS managers, etc.

Let's build our own university social responsibility together

The UnisVerts5Cités USR project of the UPPA aims to inscribe its political action by contributing to the issues of climate, sustainable development, change of mentalities and behaviours (CDD-CMC). Thus, the strong values guiding the actions and decisions of our institution are grouped around 9 principles, the first 7 of which are fundamental

  1. Accountability ;
  2. Transparency ;
  3. Ethical behaviour;
  4. Recognition of stakeholders' interests;
  5. Respect for the principle of legality;
  6. Consideration of international standards of behaviour;
  7. Respect for human rights.

To these principles, we add the notions of Resilience (8) and Caring (9).


Our USR roadmap has 4 phases

  • Take stock of USR in UPPA;
  • Establish a strategy and an action plan;
  • Build its USR indicators;
  • Communicating, promoting and giving credibility to the approach;

as shown, in french, in the following figure.

In May 2021, all the departments of our institution contributed to the first phase, that of the inventory of our USR. Based on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for saving the world, established by the member states of the United Nations (UN-2015), a french guide (2018) produced by the CPU, the CGE and B&L évolution, among others, intends to show how the functions and professions of a higher education and research institution can contribute to their implementation.

The RSU that we wish to set up at UPPA concerns all the functions, all the services of our institution and concerns us all individually. Its impact in favour of changing mentalities and behaviours will be all the more important if the strong values of behaviour are followed by the greatest number.

This is why we invite you all to participate by sending us your ideas, your remarks, your projects likely to make us progress in favour of the change of mentalities and behaviours as well as to associate you in the collective construction of our USR.