ATHENS — Addressing environmental issues and challenges through coordinated interdisciplinary approaches as well as the important role of environmental education were at the heart of the two-day event entitled "Celebrating the Environment 2021: Reimagine, Recreate, Restore", held by The American College of Greece in the context of the initiative ACG150 and the celebration of World Environment Day.
The event was organized by the Environmental Studies Program, the Department of Science and Mathematics, the ACG Center of Excellence in Sustainability and the Office of Public Affairs.
On the first day of the event, Claudia Carydis, Vice President, Public Affairs, The American College of Greece, opened with a greeting, noting, among others: “We, at The American College of Greece, are proud to be a leading academic institution on sustainability and environmental related issues. The ACG takes a holistic approach to relevant initiatives, both academically and operationally, following mostly US best practices. The ACG Center of Excellence in Sustainability has played an important role in strengthening the adoption and implementation of such practices, making ACG a role model Institution not only in Greece but also internationally. A major achievement was the STARS Gold Rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) for the College's recent practices and performance in sustainable development, making ACG the only Academic Institute in Greece that has received such a distinction."
In his opening remarks, Loren J. Samons, Vice President for Strategic Initiatives, Executive Director, ACG Institute for Hellenic Culture & the Liberal Arts and Professor of Classical Studies, Boston University, said: “Through the ACG 150 initiative we want to support research and the creation of that kind of technology that will lead to success in different sectors of the economy and will really reach our maximum potential. But our desire is for this to become a reality, while protecting our planet, so that we leave to the next generation a planet that will be healthy and beautiful. "
In the discussion that followed under the coordination of Dr. Stella Apostolaki, Associate Faculty – Lecturer I, Environmental Studies Program Coordinator, Chair of the Academic Advisory Board of the Center for Excellence in Sustainability, The American College of Greece, professors of the ACG analyzed how different disciplines within The American College of Greece can contribute to the common goal of environmental restoration and how prosperity can be ensured for future generations.
More specifically, international solutions and initiatives for tackling biodiversity loss and sustainable water resources management were analyzed also in connection with the Environmental Studies Program at Deree-ACG. Holistic approaches to environmental protection and human health were also presented, analyzing the effects of climate change on world cultural heritage, as well as the concepts of "sustainable cities" and "environmental justice".
Particular reference was also made to environmental approaches of the sectors of food and tourism but also to the major environmental challenges and opportunities in the shipping, transport and supply chain sectors. The concept of Greenwashing in the business world was also analyzed, i.e., the tendency of companies to claim that they are "greener" than they really are. Finally, regarding the role of research and digital innovation in environmental protection, the emerging needs and priorities were highlighted.
The panel was attended by: Dr. George Kokosalakis, Executive Director, Center of Excellence in Logistics, Shipping & Transportation and Assistant Professor, School of Business and Economics, Deree-The American College of Greece, Dr. Athanasios Krystallis, executive Director, Center of Excellence in Food, Tourism & Leisure and Associate Professor of International Business, Deree-The American College of Greece, Dr. Christina Marouli, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of Science and Mathematics; Founder and ex-Director, Center of Excellence in Sustainability, Deree-The American College of Greece, Dr. Konstantinos Papadias, Executive Director of Research, Technology & Innovation Network (RTIN), The American College of Greece, Dr. Paraskevi Papadopoulou, Professor of Biology and Head, Department of Science and Mathematics & Biomedical Sciences Program, Deree-The American College of Greece and Dr. Pavlos A. Vlachos, Associate Professor of Marketing, Alba Graduate Business School, The American College of Greece.
On the second day of the event, ACG students and professors focused on the environmental education provided by the College, as well as how ACG approaches sustainability not only academically but also by activating community involvement.
More specifically, an introduction of the Department of Science and Mathematics was made by Dr. Paraskevi Papadopoulou, a presentation of the Environmental Studies Program by Dr. Anastasia Misseyanni, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies, Department of Science and Mathematics, and sustainability initiatives within the ACG by Ms. Rania Assariotaki, Senior Manager for Sustainability, Office of Public Affairs. Research projects were presented by students and graduates of the Environmental Studies Program regarding, among others, creative projects with environmental focus, winning entries in environmental competitions and student research programs on the environment and sustainability. Finally, sustainability initiatives undertaken by ACG with the active participation of students and in particular by the ACG Sustainability Leaders, were presented.
You can watch the first day of the event here and the second here.
For more info:
Nasia Ntinopoulou, tel.: (+30) 2106009800, ext: 1476, email mailto:%firstname.lastname@example.org@acg.edu.
Thalia Thomatou, Pitch – Public Relations and Strategic Communications, tel.: (+30) 216 800 1595, email: email@example.com.
About The American College of Greece
The American College of Greece (ACG) is a private, independent, non-profit educational organization founded in 1875 and the oldest and largest American-accredited educational institution in Europe. Today, ACG comprises three divisions: Pierce (secondary education), Deree (undergraduate and graduate programs) and Alba Graduate Business School. Faithful to its mission of providing equal access to high quality education, ACG supports its students through a €8 million financial aid program.
About ACG 150
In view of its 150th anniversary in 2025, The American College of Greece has launched ACG 150, a visionary strategic plan to leverage educational programs for economic and social impact, as well as to consolidate, support and expand ACG’s activities in performing research, creating technology and fostering innovation. As a leading academic institution spanning three educational divisions, ACG will be engaging in focused research and related projects and in creating new academic programs and initiatives that address the continuously changing landscape of the Greek and the global economies. ACG 150 initiatives bring together the academic, private and public sectors to ignite innovation and spur growth, empowering ACG to continue to cultivate the necessary soft and hard skills for our students—the leaders of tomorrow—equipping them as effective agents of change.
About the Environmental Studies Program, Department of Science and Mathematics, Deree-ACG
The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program that provides the students with a sound background and skills, necessary to address the global environmental problems. In this increasingly complex world, there is urgent need for sustainable solutions and for mitigation and adaptation options to address the global problems at multiple levels, environmental, social, economic, and political. The students of this program obtain skills that make them competitive in the pursuit of green and sustainability-related careers and can undertake graduate studies in environment-related fields.
The American College of Greece’s Approach to Sustainability
Following US best practices and as also reflected in its President’s 2025 vision, The American College of Greece (ACG) is gradually developing an ever-growing number of sustainability best practices. ACG is committed to systematically addressing issues from sustainability focus in academic programs and research and reducing its carbon footprint while improving its energy efficiency, to enhancing its social impact and increasing transparency and accountability in its daily operations. For all its relevant activity, ACG has been awarded the STARS Gold Rating, in recognition of its best practices in five categories: Academics, Engagement, Operations, Planning & Administration and Innovation & Leadership. ACG is the only academic institution in Greece to have received a distinction by the US AASHE – an internationally acclaimed association. Through its membership in the UN Global Compact, the UN Academic Impact and the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), ACG has committed to always operate in support of the UN SDGs – and most importantly, Goal No 4: Quality Education. In this context, the ACG Center of Excellence for Sustainability (CES), officially established in 2011, is a collaborative initiative, operating under the Office of Public Affairs, which leads all sustainability-related activity, bringing together education, research and operations to advance sustainability on campus.