Faculty & Leadership Blog / Research and Practice

Prof. Sulkowski’s Climate Change/Sustainability Efforts With Municipalities

As world leaders gather in Paris for COP-21 climate accord talks, Associate Professor Adam Sulkowski’s efforts in Warsaw earlier this year show how municipalities can manage sustainability.

According to the Warsaw Sustainability Report 2014: “The City of Warsaw, capital of Poland, has just published its second sustainability report. It is intended to provide inhabitants and other stakeholders comprehensive and objective data on the state of economics, society, environment, as well as public opinion in the city.

This edition of the report used both the most widely adopted guidelines in the business world, the G4 standard of the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) plus the more recently published ISO37120:2014 standard for reporting on the sustainable development and quality of life of cities.

Adam Sulkowski

Adam Sulkowski

Not everyone knows that 25 % of Warsaw is a green space or that the Sewage Treatment Plant “Czajka” in 100 % covers its demand for heat and provides 40 % of the demand for electric energy thanks to own generated biogas. Warsaw is also a good place to live – more than 8 out of 10 Varsovians are satisfied with their lives in the city. In the report the reader could find many more interesting facts.

Warsaw’s report is the product of cooperation between the academic world and local government. Significantly, data gathering and preparation of this report was largely the work of students in the post-graduate CSR Manager program of Collegium Civitas. “We are delighted to have worked on a project – with a ‘real world’ client – where we engaged in a practice that almost all large corporations have adopted, but is still new among cities,” said Joanna Gajda, speaking on behalf of herself, Alicja Marcinek, Magdalena Obłoza, Magda Skrocka-Kołodziejska, and Joanna Wakulińska.

“It’s been a privilege to work with all those involved – we’re proud of the hard work of the students and are hopeful that this regular practice of reporting continues to spread and continually improve,” said project co-supervisor Magdalena Kraszewska, a lecturer at Collegium Civitas.

“We were very happy, during 2014 and 2015, to have found a team of students in need of a project for a course and co-supervisors – including their instructor, a respected reporting professional – who were motivated to help them continue sustainability reporting with Warsaw,” said initiator and supervisor of the project Prof. Adam Sulkowski. “It is great to see that we now have a framework and willing partners to work with student teams to continue what we started in 2013. We have successfully used a similar approach in the United States.” The involvement of Prof. Adam Sulkowski was supported by the Warsaw University of Life Sciences’ Division of Economics and the Polish-American Fulbright Commission.”

Sulkowski, who attended COP-19, said of COP-21: “Both those celebrating and complaining have a point. It’s better than nothing, but on its own there’ll likely still be nasty costs and misery.”