MENDELU celebrates a year of sustainability with the Corporate Social Responsibility Day

26. 4. 2023
The year 2023 will be marked by sustainability for Mendel University in Brno. In connection with this, it will launch the Sustainable MENDELU website, which clearly brings together all the university's activities related to sustainability. The launch of the website will take place on Wednesday, 26 April, when the university is organising its Corporate Social Responsibility Day. The programme will also include the signing of memorandums of cooperation with the VIDA! science centre, St. Anne's University Hospital, the Partnership Foundation and the Moravian Library.

The event will take place from ten to fifteen o’clock in front of the Q building and its aim is to connect students with non-profit organizations and social or responsible businesses,” said Sylvie Formánková, founder of the Centre for Social Responsibility and Sustainability at MENDELU, which organizes the entire Social Responsibility Day.

Visitors can buy snacks, bags of peas or trinkets at the bazaar. Profits from these voluntary contributions will support animal shelters and the university’s Pea Nursery. They can also participate in a clothing swap, or clothing exchange, which is an eco-friendly alternative to revitalize their wardrobe. “A person comes in with their piece of clothing and swaps it for a pin, which they can then exchange for another piece of clothing. Or people can take the pins and exchange them for clothes on the spot for a financial contribution. The proceeds from these pins then go to a young artist who re-stitches old pieces of clothing and engages in so-called up-cycling,” Formánková explained. Those interested will also get information about responsible meat consumption and alternatives, and can also taste insects.

I believe that study, science and all other creative activities of Mendel University inspire a change in thinking, which we urgently need for sustainable life on our planet,” said Jan Mareš, the university’s rector. “We have been thinking about the activities of the University in a sustainable way for a long time. Recognising that universities have a major impact on society and future generations, it is crucial that they not only adopt a sustainable approach but actively communicate this fact. That is why this year we want to strengthen the university’s communication in this area,” said Jiří Skládanka, Vice-Rector for Internationalisation and External Relations.

A competitive exhibition of socially responsible projects by male and female students of the university will also be launched. “As part of the course, they are asked to come up with a socially responsible and sustainable activity that they can implement during the semester or on this day, which is always the last day of classes. For example, they go to help in a home for the elderly, children’s homes or hospitals, organise awareness-raising events, organise educational seminars or support animal shelters,” Formánková outlined. The programme will also include presentations by responsible and social enterprises and non-profit organisations. Traditionally, there will be coffee and cakes from the deaf café U Žambocha.

The day will also include the signing of memoranda of cooperation with a total of four partners. “The University will cooperate with the Partnership Foundation, for example, in the development of the Josef Vavroušek Environmental Award, the initiative We Bet the Future or the Tree of the Year survey at national and European level. The cooperation with the Moravian Library will focus, for example, on the exchange of experience in the field of digitisation, the development of software using library data or the organisation of joint events,” Martin Klimánek, Vice-Rector for Strategy, Sustainability and Purposeful Activities, listed examples of cooperation with some of the partners. The other two partners are the VIDA! science centre and St. Anne’s University Hospital, with which the university will collaborate on blood donations.

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