For the past 60 years, Antwerp Management School (AMS) has been at the forefront of innovation, transformation, entrepreneurship and ecosystems – always in the best interest of people and society. In all these years our ambition has remained unchanged. Our baseline perfectly captures what we stand for: “Opening minds to impact the world”. Our three key values haven’t changed either: global perspective, societal consciousness and self-awareness are still at the heart of everything we do.
In 2018, the school underwent a re-organization, which gave us the opportunity to do a deep strategic review. Our ‘mission base’ (below) illustrates our aim to contribute to the development of the leadership qualities and responsible management skills of ‘Global Citizens’ who seek to contribute to a sustainable society.
To further anchor our mission, AMS has also subscribed to the United Nations Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) since 2012. In this blogpost, we’ll elaborate on PRME Principle 3, stating that ‘we will create educational frameworks, materials, processes and environments that enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.’
In 2018, the Antwerp Management School moved into a new building – partly newly built and partly renovated – at Boogkeers 5. The move was an excellent opportunity for us to redo a sustainability scan of the organization and to develop new policies, objectives and performance indicators within a working group context. The scan showed there was still room to improve our environmental footprint, so this was taken into account during the (re)design of the new building:
The building is an example of circular architecture as it can be redesigned for different purposes with a minimum of adaptations. All construction materials are produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. Additionally, we have three circular economy contracts:
- The furniture is partially recuperated and will be reused in the future, following the circular economy principles that we agreed upon with our contractors. And all of our carpets are cradle to cradle certified.
- We have a circular lighting system, which means we purchase light – not lamps – for a fixed amount per month, including installation, equipment and maintenance.
- We have a circular audiovisual system. In the lease contract is stipulated that after use the audiovisual equipment will be replaced and well recycled.
Additionally, part of our energy supply comes from solar panels on the roof and the rainwater is collected for use in the sanitary installations. We also separate waste in 4 different carton waste baskets, which are in themselves fully recyclable. And our paper coffee cups are recycled to paper hand towels for our own restrooms.
Transforming towards an innovative labor organization
Creating an environment in which students, faculty and staff can thrive is equally important to us. So in the year after the move, we formed different working groups to help us roll out our new strategic plans. Based on the values in our mission base, we defined our own organizational style: a ONE AMS Culture. The graphic below highlights the main working areas; sustainability is firmly anchored in the objectives of each working group.
The ONE AMS Culture approach tries to bring staff and faculty closer together through different social and strategic projects. We enhance well-being, for example, by organizing yoga classes and the introduction of salad Thursdays. Fresh fruit is always available. Our staff also participates in the Antwerp 10 Miles, the Urban Trail and other sports events in the city of Antwerp.
“The word transformation has been a common thread over the past few years, as we transformed as an organization, moving from rented premises to our own low-impact building; sharing the same workspace enabling us to transform into a ONE AMS culture and building a healthy and innovative work climate geared around our human assets”
Dean Prof. dr. Steven De Haes
Before moving to Boogkeers, we already worked hard to integrate sustainability into our campus management. Yet we still lacked an overall campus policy on this topic. Now, thanks to our re-organization and the new building, we’ve successfully been able to adapt and bring new sustainability initiatives to life on campus.