Discussing Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility



Ifrane, September 21, 2012 – Al Akhawayn University students met on September 18, 2012 with professors David Crowther and Shahla Seifi in a series of lectures about social responsibility and sustainability, organized by the School of Business Administration. 

David Crowther, from De Montfort University, in the UK, presented his lecture on “Producing a Socially Responsible Cup of Coffee”. Shahla Seifi, from the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran, in Tehran, addressed the theme of “Socially Responsible Energy Utilization.” 

More than 60 students and faculty members attended the talks and took part in the one-day-visit program that included a campus tour, a series of meetings, and discussions with the School of Business Administration - faculty and students. 

"Exposing our students to such topics as sustainability and corporate social responsibility is crucial in achieving our mission of educating and shaping ethical and responsible leaders and managers of the future," said Wafa El Garah, Dean of Al Akhawayn School of Business Administration.

In his presentation, Crowther underlined the importance of water, its use and management across the world, solutions for a better or proper use of it relating to environmental aspects, and the necessity of water management to reach sustainability. 

Along the same lines, Seifi’s lecture reflected on energy consumption rates and implications, the definition of sustainability and social responsibility, focusing on labeling and ethics, and international sustainable energy standards.  

Both lectures offered a platform for students to interact with the visiting faculty and enrich their knowledge about contemporary topics. A session of questions and answered followed whereby further inquisitive reflections from both students and guest speakers were shared, as well as ideas for possible solutions. 

David Crowther is a Professor of Corporate Social Responsibility and Head of the Centre for Research into Organizational Governance at De Montfort University, Leicester, in the UK. He is also Visiting Professor at Yildiz Technical University in Istanbul, Turkey. His research focuses on corporate social responsibility with a particular emphasis on the relationship between social, environmental, and financial performance. Crowther has published over 40 books and has also contributed more than 350 articles to academic, business, and professional journals, and to edited book collections. 

Shahla Seifi works at the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran, in Tehran. She has been a member of the Iranian Shadow ISO 26000 working group. Her main concerns are with aspects of sustainability and the development of appropriate consumer information to assist socially responsible choices. She is currently undertaking a PhD at Universiti Putra Malaysia. Together with David Crowther, she has recently authored two books on relevant topics. She has previously translated the 11 ISO development manuals for the developing countries which were the basis for teaching standardisation in Iran. She has also authored two other books the details of which can be found in her website.