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The state of sustainability reporting in universities

Rodrigo Lozano (Sustainability Research Institute, School of Earth and Environment, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 11 January 2011




The purpose of this paper is to review and assess the state of sustainability reporting in universities.


Analysis of the performance level of 12 universities sustainability reports using the Graphical Assessment of Sustainability in Universities tool.


The results show that sustainability reporting in universities is still in its early stages (both in numbers of institutions reporting and in level of reporting) when compared to sustainability reporting in corporations.

Research limitations/implications

The research is limited by the limited number of universities that publish sustainability reports. However, the results show that universities could learn from the experiences of corporate sustainability reporting efforts, and incorporate them into their efforts as learning organisations to better align their systems with sustainability.

Practical implications

University leaders and champions need to consider publishing more information on the social and educational dimensions.


The paper provides an analysis of sustainability reporting in universities, which has the potential to better incorporate and institutionalise sustainability.



Lozano, R. (2011), "The state of sustainability reporting in universities", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 12 No. 1, pp. 67-78.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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