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Energy sustainability in teaching and outreach initiatives and the contribution to the 2030 Agenda

Amanda Lange Salvia (Graduate Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, Brazil)
Luciana Londero Brandli (Graduate Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, Brazil)
Walter Leal Filho (European School of Sustainability Science and Research, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany)
Bianca Gasparetto Rebelatto (Graduate Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, Brazil)
Giovana Reginatto (Graduate Program in Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Passo Fundo, Passo Fundo, Brazil)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 2 September 2020

Issue publication date: 11 December 2020

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Abstract

Purpose

Considering the different roles universities can perform to contribute to sustainable development, it is through teaching and outreach that they might be able to connect to the academic and local communities the most. The purpose of this study is to investigate the extent to which energy sustainability is being considered in campus teaching and outreach activities of different higher education institutions worldwide. In this context, this exploratory study was developed.

Design/methodology/approach

Through an online survey, a group of 36 universities from all continents was inquired about the level of sustainability in energy aspects of teaching and outreach activities, including curriculum change, training courses for staff and the regularity of outreach projects.

Findings

The results allowed global analysis concerning challenges and opportunities of these educational activities. This study also touches upon the interconnection between these practices and the contribution of universities towards the 2030 Agenda, and how universities can expand their activities and contribute practically to society. In terms of practical contributions, this study provides recommendations for higher education institutions to develop further in the area of energy sustainability through teaching and outreach.

Originality/value

Energy is a sustainability aspect relatively well covered by actions on campus operations, but there is a paucity of studies connecting this topic to teaching and outreach activities. This study is an approach to not only fill this gap but also reinforce the university role and contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was financed in part by the Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior – Brasil (CAPES) – Finance Code 001.

Citation

Lange Salvia, A., Londero Brandli, L., Leal Filho, W., Gasparetto Rebelatto, B. and Reginatto, G. (2020), "Energy sustainability in teaching and outreach initiatives and the contribution to the 2030 Agenda", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 21 No. 7, pp. 1607-1624. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-05-2020-0180

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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