Sophia University

About Sophia University - SDGs & Sustainability

Sophia University - SDGs & Sustainability

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), also known as the Global Goals, were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

Ever since the university's founding by Jesuits in 1913, by continuing its educational principles as well as Christian traditions, Sophia University promoted educational and research activities basing on the spirit of charity and globalism through encounters and dialogues with many others of diverse background in hope to bringing solutions for the issues to our tormented world of today. While our values diversify, to foster global perspectives to view our earth and society and to nurture willing attitudes to responding to needs generated by the heart of people is what is required for advancing SDGs further. Here we would like to introduce many of our doings in order to realize SDGs based on the university's founding motto, "Sophia - Bringing the World Together."

SPSF (Sophia Program for Sustainable Futures)

Based on our initiative for the Top Global University Project, Sophia University is currently developing the "Sophia Program for Sustainable Futures (SPSF)," a new English-based undergraduate program scheduled to launch in the autumn semester of 2020.

As Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the UN, a wide range of global level issues related to war and conflicts, economic disparity, poverty, environment, education and more are required to be tackled by international communities. Against the backdrop of today's rapidly globalizing world, society is witnessing an eruption of such global issues transcending nations and regions and complex, difficult issues where diverse value systems collide. SPSF aims to establish curricula to work on finding solutions to these new issues and foster students' abilities to overcome them.

Sophia University United Nations Weeks

As an institution of higher education participating in the United Nations Academic Impact initiative, Sophia University organizes "Sophia University United Nations Weeks," which started in Academic Year 2014, every year in early June and late October, around United Nations Day (October 24).

With the concept "To consider our world and the future through U.N activities," various events and projects are held including international symposia, lectures, photo exhibitions and movie shows.

These events and projects are opened to our students as well as to the public and every time we have a large audience of working people and high school students. Since Academic Year 2016, we have put great efforts into holding lectures and symposia on SDGs. (in Japanese)

United Nation's Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI)

Sophia School Corporation signed the United Nation's Principles for Responsible
Investment (PRI) in November 2015 in order to implement the principles of UN Global Compact in our investment management practice. PRI's mission is that all investors incorporate ESG issues into investment analysis and decision-making processes for realization of a sustainable society. By signing the PRI, we incorporate ESG issues into our investment policy consistent with Sophia University's founding philosophy. As a school corporation and a responsible asset owner, we are committing to contribution towards the global sustainability issues all of us face through ESG investment.

United Nations Global Compact

The United Nations Global Compact (hereafter UNGC) was announced by then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in an address to the World Economic Forum in 1999, and was officially launched at UN Headquarters in New York City on 26 July 2000. It is an international framework under which business sectors and non-business organizations are expected to take responsible and creative leads for the society toward the sustainable development.

At present more than 13800 entities in 161 countries and regions have signed up for UNGC and conducting the Ten Principles in the areas of human rights, labor, the environment and anti-corruption, and striving after the SDGs.

Sophia University became a signatory member of UNGC in May 2015 and also affiliated with the Global Comact Network Japan (GCNJ), the local area network. Since then Sophia has been jointly hosting a series of symposiums with GCNJ during the UN Weeks in collaboration with the member companies and UN organizations.

Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact

Human Rights Principle 1: Businesses should support and respect the protection of internationally proclaimed human rights
Principle 2: make sure that they are not complicit in human rights abuses
Labour Principle 3: Businesses should uphold the freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining
Principle 4: the elimination of all forms of forced and compulsory labour
Principle 5: the effective abolition of child labour
Principle 6: the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation
Environment Principle 7: Businesses should support a precautionary approach to environmental challenges
Principle 8: undertake initiatives to promote greater environmental responsibility
Principle 9: encourage the development and diffusion of environmentally friendly technologies
Anti-Corruption Principle 10: Businesses should work against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery