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Analysing and evaluating environmental information disclosure in universities: the role of corporate governance, stakeholders and culture

Jesús Mauricio Flórez-Parra (Department of Finance and Accounting, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Maria Victoria Lopez-Perez (Department of Finance and Accounting, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Antonio M. López Hernández (Department of Finance and Accounting, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)
Raquel Garde Sánchez (Department of Finance and Accounting, University of Granada, Granada, Spain)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 7 June 2021

Issue publication date: 2 July 2021

257

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the internal and external factors related to the disclosure of environmental information in universities which reflect the actions carried out in these universities.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking as reference the first 200 universities in the Shanghai ranking, several factors associated with the degree of environmental information disclosure in universities – governance dimension, the relationship and participation of stakeholders, position and prestige as signs of the quality of the institution and cultural concern in the university’s country for the environment – are analysed.

Findings

The results obtained show that the size of the leadership team, stakeholder participation, the position of the university in rankings and cultural concern in the university’s country for the environment are determining factors in the university’s environmental actions and, consequently, in their disclosure. Other factors – such as the size of the university, the level of self-financing and financial autonomy – do not affect the disclosure of environmental information.

Originality/value

Scant research exists on the environmental commitments of universities; this paper aims to fill that gap. Their role as the main channel of research and as instructors of future professionals makes them points of reference in society. Research on university ranking has traditionally focussed on teaching and research results, but environmental issues are becoming increasingly important. This paper enumerates the factors that influence the dissemination of environmental information in the most prestigious universities. This research also provides an original approach by considering not only top-down but also bottom-up strategies through communication channels and the incidence of cultural factors.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding: R&D Projects. European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) Andalusia 2014-2020 Operational Program, Grant/Award Number: B1-SEJ-387-UGR18.

Citation

Flórez-Parra, J.M., Lopez-Perez, M.V., López Hernández, A.M. and Garde Sánchez, R. (2021), "Analysing and evaluating environmental information disclosure in universities: the role of corporate governance, stakeholders and culture", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 22 No. 4, pp. 931-957. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-08-2020-0323

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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