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European Sustainability Academy (ESA)

Member: NGO Premium
Since: 01.05.2013
Sustainable Business and Corporate Responsibility (CSR) International Centre

Drapanos, GR-730 08 Chania, Crete, Greece


The first of its kind in Europe the "European Sustainability Academy" (EΣA) is a purpose built residential seminar and conference facility on the Greek island of Crete (see about Crete). EΣA is a Sustainable Business and Corporate Responsibility (CSR) international centre for management and leadership teaching and business management research.

This unique centre for sustainable business teaching and learning has been constructed as a fully sustainable building (see sustainable building) with an architecturally elegant design, which uses only renewable energy. EΣA was constructed during 2011 using a combination of Greek and UK expertise to design and build it. Where possible all building materials were sourced from within Greece to support the principles of both broader sustainability and the local economy. The location of EΣA is a stunning 8000 m2 ancient olive grove in the rural, hilltop Cretan village of Drapanos. Drapanos hill is a protected NATURA 2000 area to preserve its natural beauty, flora and fauna for future generations.

The European Sustainability Academy eco-buildings are located across 2 beautiful plots of land, comprising of a state of the art ecological training centre and an accommodation building (scheduled for completion during 2013). The conference centre seminar room and dining room can accommodate 50 people and the accommodation building will have 10 bedrooms for multiple day experiential workshops and executive retreats.

The academy has been designed to compliment the natural landscape so that the learning spaces are interlinked between the ecological building and the natural environment. The combination of indoor and outdoor learning spaces give the feeling of a natural ‘agora’ , or places of assembly for learning and debate.

The purpose of E∑A is to provide teaching and research, for local and international businesses, in the areas of:
  • Sustainable business
  • Social entrepreneurism
  • Corporate Responsibility (CSR)
Some of the world's leading business practitioners and academics contribute to designing and delivering learning programmes at EΣA and to the ongoing research and organisational development in the field of managing sustainable business and CSR. The working philosophy of EΣA is to engage in international collaboration with best in class sustainable organisations to develop global case studies of best practice.

All learning programmes and activities at EΣA have been developed with a practical organisational development focus, and underpinned by robust academic organisational theory in terms of HOW TO EMBED these important, contemporary issues into day-to-day business operations.

Sustainable business learning subjects include:
  • Driving Practical Business Ethics
  • Engaging Employees in a Sustainable Business
  • Communications for a Sustainable Business
  • Managing day to day operations of a Sustainable Business
  • Strategic marketing for Sustainable Business
  • Leading change for a Sustainable Business
  • Managing Effective Stakeholder Relationships
  • Managing organisational image and reputation
  • Developing organisational culture and identity for a Sustainable Business
  • Measurement and Reporting for Sustainable Business
Learning programmes range from 1 day seminars, to 1 week executive transformational retreats and 1 year modular, certified qualifications in sustainable business & sustainable leadership.

E∑A also offers customised executive education programmes which are tailored specifically for an organisation or international group. These programmes combine learning around strategic organisational development with individual development and enhancement of leadership and management skills to drive sustainable business.

E∑A supporters: the EΣA initiative is in principle endorsed by Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) and WWF Greece