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Sustainability in Brazilian HEI: practices overview

Manoela Maria Caron Moura (Business School, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana, Curitiba, Brazil)
Fernanda Frankenberger (Business School, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana, Curitiba, Brazil and Business School, Universidade Positivo, Curitiba, Brazil)
Ubiratã Tortato (Business School, Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Parana, Curitiba, Brazil)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 8 August 2019

Issue publication date: 17 September 2019




The purpose of this paper is to verify how Brazilian HEIs apply sustainability practices, as means to improve their effects towards society, making clear to the public, including current and future students, what the university is doing and how it is concerned with sustainability.


Based on the Brazilian Education Ministry evaluation, 123 HEIs were selected as sample for the study. The websites of these HEI were verified to check for sustainability practices.


In general, the HEI focuses on helping people who live around the campus with social projects, health and work preparation. Further practices areas are new forms of energy, selective collection and new standards of plastic consumption. HEI with higher evaluations from the Education Ministry focuses mainly on educational programs and projects to improve sustainability inside and outside the campus.

Research limitations/implications

With the methodology used, not all HEIs in Brazil were analyzed, which gives a great opportunity for further studies.

Practical implications

HEIs may use the findings of this research to develop their sustainability practices, either in the curriculum, projects, strategic plans or even organizational structure.

Social implications

Communities are positively supported by universities applying sustainability practices. Such support includes education, health, guidance and provision of services to the community, financial aid and social well-being.


Focusing on sustainability practices of HEI located in Brazil, the research finds, besides the practices, gaps in several of the researched universities.



Moura, M.M.C., Frankenberger, F. and Tortato, U. (2019), "Sustainability in Brazilian HEI: practices overview", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 832-841.



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