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Advancing campus and community sustainability: strategic alliances in action

Leanne Bilodeau (Sustainability Office, University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, Canada)
Jackie Podger (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, Canada)
Alaa Abd-El-Aziz (University of British Columbia Okanagan, Kelowna, Canada)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 1 April 2014

1854

Abstract

Purpose

Universities can provide a leadership role to develop and mobilize knowledge to meet societal needs. In fulfilling this mission, universities can also serve as agents of sustainable development on campus and in communities they serve. The purpose of this article is to describe the drivers that have advanced the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus' operational and academic sustainability objectives; the initiatives and partnerships developed on campus and in the community in response to these drivers; and the outcomes and lessons learned.

Design/methodology/approach

This article summarizes the experience of the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus in leveraging key drivers to develop sustainability initiatives and partnerships for greater operational efficiencies, cost savings, environmental stewardship and applied research. The university's leadership commitment to sustainability, economic opportunities and provincial legislative requirements are among the drivers discussed. This paper also provides an innovative partnership framework to support sustainable community development.

Findings

Drivers of sustainability in higher education can contribute to the development of sustainability initiatives and partnerships that benefit institutions and communities and achieve operational and academic sustainability mandates.

Practical implications

This article provides information that can be applied by institutions of higher education to advance sustainability within the context of current economic conditions and societal needs.

Originality/value

The experience of the campus and the partnership framework presented in this paper is original. The framework provides a mechanism to engage students, faculty and the community in sustainable community development research. Key insights from multiple perspectives and lessons learned are shared.

Keywords

Citation

Bilodeau, L., Podger, J. and Abd-El-Aziz, A. (2014), "Advancing campus and community sustainability: strategic alliances in action", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 157-168. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-06-2012-0051

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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