RCE Central Macedonia

Photo Credit:
Rce details
Region:
EUROPE
Country:
Greece
Overview
Date of RCE acknowledgement:
January, 2011
Description of RCE and Geographic Region:

RCE Central Macedonia has been established with the aim of integrating sustainable development into formal education processes and to assist in tackling some of the most important challenges the region faces, including solid waste management, unsustainable production and consumption, soil degradation, over-pumping of groundwater, deforestation, and climate change.

RCE Central Macedonia is located in the city of Thessaloniki and focuses on the region of Central Macedonia, the largest of the thirteen administrative regions of Greece, covering a surface of 19.147 km2 (14.51% of the country’s total) and hosting the second largest urban area in Greece after the Attica region. The population numbers 1,931,870 (2005) resulting in a population density of about 100 inhabitants/km². The city of Thessaloniki ranks second in Greece in population and is the capital of the region.

Goals and Objectives:

RCE Central Macedonia’s vision is to instigate and foster collaboration among the regional educational, entrepreneurial, and social actors towards researching, developing, and promoting Education for Sustainable Development and Social Responsiveness to sustainability issues, so as to optimise the use of the local resources for the emergence of a sustainable Central Macedonia.

RCE Central Macedonia’s objectives are:

Short-term:

  • Initiate and run projects that fall within the wider RCE scope
  • Raise public awareness and action about the key regional sustainability issues
  • Promote the RCE idea to other parts of Greece and neighbouring Balkan countries
  • Disseminate research findings, knowledge, experience and good practices widely

Long-term:

  • Develop an effective communication network with local stakeholders
  • Establish dynamic collaborations governance and administrative systems between the RCE members and other local actors
  • Establish a continuous monitoring system of the regional natural, social, economic, and legal environment
  • Organise and train workgroups towards researching and managing the impacts of such changes
  • Identify, secure and expand reliable funding resources to assure the RCE’s ongoing operation
  • Expand and enrich the existing environmental education program for the primary education students
Organisation Hosting RCE Secretariat:

University of Macedonia

Key Partners:

Name of organisation: Economics and Management of Sustainable Development (EMSD) Research Unit, University of Macedonia
Role: Partner
Contact name: Professor Eleftherios Filippiadis
Contact email: efilipp@uom.edu.gr

Name of organisation: Laboratory of Heat Transfer and Environmental Engineering, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
Role: Partner
Contact name: Professor Nicolas Moussiopoulos
Contact email: moussio@eng.auth.gr

Name of organisation: Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (FING)
Role: Partner
Contact name: Katerina Tzitzinou
Contact email: tzitzinou@sbe.org.gr

Activities
Current Activities:

UoM’s Recycling Program
Extension of the University of Macedonia’s recycling program to include another two items: glass and styrofoam. The extensive recycling program inside the University, already includes 14 separate materials, among which: paper, plastic, electrical and electronic devices, batteries, lamps, CDs/DVDs, inks, toners, wood pallets, organic waste (compost), metal, plastic lids, aluminum. The University’s recycling program has a very high educative value, since all students and staff participate. It is also a venue of communication with the local community due to common recycling activities with other organisations in the city.

Specific Activities Planned for 2019

  • May 2019: Yearly First Aid Seminar (10 May 2019), open to all the students and personnel of the University as well as participants from the broader community. 
  • May 2019: Spring 2019 mountain trip (25-26 May 2019), open to all the students and personnel of the University as well as participants from the broader community. One of the two yearly visits to Greece’s natural parks.
  • September 2019: Series of events at the University to welcome new students and invite them to participate in environmental activities.
  • October 2019: Reforestation activities in coordination with other regional ecological organisations. 
  • December 2019: Educational visit to the recycling centre of Thessaloniki.

Yearly events
RCE Central Macedonia participates every year in cleaning events, cooperating with other regional NGOs, in various areas of natural beauty around the area of Thessaloniki.

Every year, two to three environmental seminars are organised on issues such as Climate Change, Ecology and Science, Social Economy, Ecological Footprint, Veganism and Animal Rights, Voluntarism, etc.

Greening of public and social spaces events are also organised, mainly in the area of Thessaloniki.


Cleaning the area of Axios river, April 2017 (Photo credit: RCE Central Macedonia)

Upcoming Activities:

Eco-management and Eco-innovation Activities
RCE Central Macedonia's main partners (UoM and FING), are leading a project entitled 'A Knowledge Alliance in Eco-Innovation Entrepreneurship to Boost SMEs Competitiveness' with the acronym SMecoMP, financed by the Balkan-Mediterranean 2014-2020 Program (INTERREG V-B). The project aims at establishing a strong and resilient knowledge alliance among Higher Education Institutes (HEIs), vocational education training (VET) centres and SMEs, to promote eco-entrepreneurship, -management and -innovation by developing an educational framework based on solid research and the exchange of experiences and best practices and using innovative education and training tools and methods. The overall objective is to improve quality of education and enhance SMEs' competitiveness in the progamme area.

RCE Central Macedonia, with the financial help of this specific program, will start and in the future continue to develop a basis for collaboration on these issues with the following goals:

i) develop an innovative learning framework, by collaboration of the strategic partners (HEIs, VET centres and SMEs), to support education modernisation and SMEs’ staff lifelong learning,

ii) develop a learning-outcomes-based curricula jointly by the HEIs and VET centres and the labor market actors based on the identified SMEs professionals’ cognitive and training needs,

iii) develop and deliver tailor-made training modules adapted to eco-innovation entrepreneurial knowledge and skills required by SMEs staff,

iv) increase professionals and SMEs’ awareness on eco-innovation and sustainable economy practices,

v) establish an active transnational network of academics, vocational trainers, researchers, mentors, professionals, spin off staff and new business entities to foster the integration of education, research and business.


Annual visit at the Thessaloniki recycling center, December 2017 (Photo credit: RCE Central Macedonia)

Achievements:

University of Macedonia’s EMAS Certification
RCE Central Macedonia is collaborating with the Eco-Management Office of the University of Macedonia (EMAS-EDIN) aiming at the constant improvement of the University’s Eco-Management System, which was first certified according to the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme, EMAS (Regulation (EC) No 761/2001 (EMAS II)) in 2005. RCE Central Macedonia provides all necessary help to keep the project going and to renew the certification annually. The main two goals are the reduction of the University’s environmental impact and the constant improvement of the University community’s environmental awareness. UoM is the first public organisation in Greece certified by EMAS.

Students’ Environmental Team
RCE Central Macedonia coordinates the volunteer Students’ Environmental Team of UoM, which is open to all students. It is a group of people actively working towards sustainability, contributing to moving towards a society that respects both human and natural capital. Its environmental activities include: visits in places of environmental interest, such as Recycling Centres and environmental exhibitions, tree planting in the rural areas near Thessaloniki, cleaning events in various areas of natural beauty, greening of public and social spaces, educational excursions in mountainous areas of north Greece, participation in many ecological festivals, events and competitions, cooperation with environmental NGOs, voluntary organisations and public organisations, publishing our actions in the media, etc.  

Environmental Content in the University of Macedonia’s Curriculum
There is an ongoing effort to introduce the environmental aspect in any subject that is relevant. Over the last decade, University of Macedonia has introduced a number of courses with environmental content. Examples include, Environmental Economics, Natural Resource Management, Environmental Management and Entrepreneurship, Introduction to Environmental Economics and Cost Benefit Analysis that are offered in a number of undergraduate programs. A continuously increasing number of students are registering in these courses. Furthermore, a number of graduate programs offer relevant courses and an increasing number of dissertations are dedicated to environmental issues.

Organising Workshops - Conferences on Environmental Issues
Example: Workshop on International Environmental Agreements, May 18-19, 2019 at the Conference Hall, University of Macedonia. The workshop discussed issues related to international negotiations for global environmental problems and mainly climate change. A number of academic presentations were delivered by well-established academics from Europe and North America (including, Prof. Rabah Amir, The University of Iowa; Prof. Aart J. de Zeeuw, Tilburg University; Prof. Effrosyni Diamantoudi, Concordia University; Prof. Michael Rauscher, Universität Rostock; Prof. Alessandro Tavoni, London School of Economics and Prof. Anastasios Xepapadeas, Athens University of Economics and Business). This event was mainly directed at students of the two participating Universities. Also a publicly open event to discuss international environmental policy issues was held, with the participation of academics and policy makers including the Alternate Minister of Environment and Energy Mr Socrates Famellos.


Workshop on climate change and energy, April 28, 2018 (Photo credit: RCE Central Macedonia)

Communication Channels
RCE Website:
Publications:
Facebook page:
Twitter handle:
YouTube page:
Other(s):
Contact Details
Main RCE Contact:
Professor Eftichios Sartzetakis
esartz@uom.edu.gr
Secondary RCE Contact:
Dr. Veniamin Karatzoglou
venos@uom.edu.gr
RCE Youth Coordinator(s):
Aris Chatzinikolaou
General RCE email:
RCE mailing address for correspondence:

RCE-Central Macedonia
University of Macedonia
156 Egnatia Street
Thessaloniki 54636
Greece