Laureate Education, Inc. and its nearly 70 universities of the Laureate International Universities Group, of which, in Portugal, Universidade Europeia, IPAM and IADE – Universidade Europeia are part of, received, once again, a worldwide distinction with the B Corporation® certification, awarded by B Lab – an international movement with more than 2 000 companies in 50 countries and 130 industries. This certification distinguishes good business practices with a positive impact on a social and environmental context.
After a rigorous assessment conducted by B Lab, the Laureate Group, with close to 70 higher education institutions on all continents, was awarded the final score of 104, almost 10 marks more than in 2015. The greatest evolution in relation to the previous audit was the positive impact of institutions on the lives of students, which increased about 25 %. Together with this global recertification, Laureate International Universities institutions in Portugal were also certified last year. A new assessment is scheduled for 2019.
A B Corporation certification reinforces the importance of Laureate International Universities’ Social Responsibility policy, as well as its commitment to develop good environmental, economic and social practices, namely with communities where the Group is represented. Laureate Education is the largest B Corp in the world and Laureate International Universities is the largest international higher education group in world to have all its institutions and subsidiaries be awarded this certification. It is also the world’s first higher education network to receive the B Lab’s Higher Education Addendum certification, specific for higher education institutions committed to having a positive impact on the lives of their students.
For Pedro Barbas Homem, Rector of Universidade Europeia, this certification represents an international recognition, by an external entity with global impact, of the work that Laureate International Universities and its institutions in Portugal have been doing to leverage their students’ development. “We are extremely proud of this distinction, and even more committed to our work for diversity, equality of opportunities and positive and lasting impact in the lives of our students, professors and employees: We believe that when our students shine, countries prosper and societies evolve.” he stated.
Eilif Serck-Hanssen, CEO of Laureate International Universities Group, shares the same sense of pride. "We believe it is possible to transform people's lives through education and influence the communities we serve in a positive and lasting way, while also presenting an interesting investment opportunity to shareholders.".
Laureate International Universities Group’s latest recertification highlights, among others, the following good practices:Laureate International Universities Group’s latest recertification highlights, among others, the following good practices:
• Approximately, and on average, 46 % of students from Laureate International Universities come from traditionally disadvantaged and minority groups, representing the first generation of many families to have access to higher education;
• Close to 81 % of institutions have, at least, 95 % of their management team working in their country of origin;
• All Laureate International Universities institutions have a Corporate Citizenship Programme which includes donations, volunteer programmes, pro bono services and/or community development programmes;
• 71 % of Laureate institutions have developed a sustainable environmental management system and 86 % of institutions have adopted energy efficiency measures.
““B Lab’s objective was, from the beginning, to build a global movement of people who use the business activity as a force for good. I have to mention Laureate International Universities’ remarkable commitment with our mission throughout the years”, says Jay Coen Gilbert, B Lab co-founder. “Laureate International Universities remains a champion for its positive impact on education, economy and society. Its efforts around the world show that companies of all sizes can do the same.”
The Laureate International Universities Group received its first B Corp certification in October 2015 and its higher education institutions in December 2015. Currently, there are more than 2 300 international companies with B Corp certification.