Sustainability and Social Responsibility

PRME – Principles for Responsible Management Education

From 2007, the United Nations has collaborated with higher education institutions around the globe in an initiative to educate responsible leaders, stressing social responsibility and sustainability. Bifröst University became a signatory to PRME in 2011, being the first university in Iceland to participate. PRME stands for Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME). The objective of PRME is to integrate the principles, values and ethos of sustainable development into all aspects of universities’ teaching and operations and thus increase the academic community’s awareness and understanding of sustainability and social responsibility.

Universities throughout the world were criticised in the wake of the economic crisis for graduating individuals who were guided primarily by profits and short-term thinking, while at the same time neglecting to teach their students aspects such as ethics, good management practices, social responsibility and respect for the environment and the interests of the whole. Bifröst University is prepared to accept the challenge that this entails and has set itself the goal of integrating sustainability and social responsibility into university operations and activities, thereby taking an active role in making the necessary changes to leadership education for future generations.

Universities play a key role in educating business, political and scientific leaders. If a mentality of sustainability and social responsibility is to be successfully integrated in strategic planning and policy formulation in business and society, universities must be at the forefront.

Six Principles for Responsible Management Education

The UN-supported initiative is based on the Six Principles, which signatories to PRME commit to implementing. The Principles are as follows:

1. Purpose: We will develop the capabilities of our students as future leaders to work for a just and sustainable global economy.

2. Values: We will reflect the principles of sustainable development and social responsibility in our curricula, course materials and teaching methodologies.

3. Method: We will provide educational materials, teaching methods and environments at the University that enable our students to develop their capabilities as responsible leaders.

4. Research: We will emphasise engagement in research at the University that advances our understanding about the role and potential impacts of corporations in the development of sustainable social, environmental and economic value.

5. Partnership: We will interact with managers of business corporations to extend our knowledge of the social and environmental challenges faced and to develop jointly effective approaches to meeting these challenges.

6. Dialogue: We will initiate critical discussion and dialogue among educators, students, business, government, media and other interested groups and stakeholders in society on social responsibility and sustainability.

Social values in the Bifröst University community

The lifestyle that students adopt during their university years can have a significant effect on individuals’ well-being and academic performance. Healthy living, physical fitness, environmental awareness and social solidarity are therefore all actively encouraged for students and employees in the Bifröst community. Students at Bifröst University thereby gain experience in developing their social capabilities alongside their leadership training. No less priority is given to fostering the well-being of other members of the Bifröst community.


Reviewed at a meeting of the University Council, May 15th 2019

Approved by the Rector, June 4th 2019

This is a translation of the document Sjálfbærni og samfélagsábyrgð. In the event of any discrepancies between the translation and the original text, the original shall take precedence.