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Sustainable campus: engaging the community in sustainability

Linda Too (Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture, Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia)
Bhishna Bajracharya (Institute of Sustainable Development and Architecture, Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 5 January 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify the major factors necessary for engaging university campus community in sustainability. While general awareness in sustainability issues has improved in recent years through mass media coverage, this knowledge is not always translated into actual sustainable practice. Studies have indicated that there are many factors for engaging the community in sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-disciplinary literature review is first undertaken to distil the drivers that enhance participation in sustainability programmes by the university community. Next, to illustrate the applicability of the factors identified in the community engagement framework, two case studies are undertaken to highlight the importance of the identified factors in influencing the level of community participation in their sustainability programmes.

Findings

The 6-P framework for community engagement includes factors such as psychological needs, physical facilities, personal motivations, public perception, price mechanisms and policies. The case studies of two universities’ sustainability projects illustrate that the framework is highly applicable to university communities.

Originality/value

While research on behaviour change has been undertaken by various disciplines such as urban planning, marketing and psychology, these have been done in isolation. The originality of this paper is therefore achieved by drawing together the knowledge from these well-established disciplines to develop an original 6-P framework. This framework has the potential of assisting university leaders in the development of their community engagement strategy to mobilise and motivate their community members to take practical steps towards building a sustainable campus. However, the robustness of this framework will need to be further validated in future studies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the support provided by Mr Isara Khanjanasthiti in the preparation of this paper.

Citation

Too, L. and Bajracharya, B. (2015), "Sustainable campus: engaging the community in sustainability", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 57-71. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-07-2013-0080

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited