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Higher education institution sustainability assessment tools: Considerations on their use in Brazil

Heloisa Cronemberger de Araújo Góes (Energy and Environmental Planning Program, Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute for Graduate Studies and Research in Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Quality Management Division, Institutional Management and Development, Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Alessandra Magrini (Business Administration Institute, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPEAD/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and Energy and Environmental Planning Program, Alberto Luiz Coimbra Institute for Graduate Studies and Research in Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (COPPE/UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 3 May 2016

1105

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gather elements to propose a sustainability assessment tool (SAT) to be used in higher education institutions (HEIs) in Brazil and the related program to be created for SAT dissemination and HEI monitoring, publication of results and benchmarking.

Design/methodology/approach

The characteristics of eight SATs were identified, seven of which are applied through widely known international programs to identify aspects to be considered in the definition of the Brazilian model.

Findings

In Brazil, stakeholders usually do not know how HEIs develop their potential to contribute with the construction of a sustainable development model. There currently is an international trend, which Brazil must join, to assess HEI sustainability through SATs. The comparison between different international SATs and respective programs yields some recommendations for a Brazilian model, such as definition of their purpose, types of questions to be used, the possibility to apply SATs to HEI sub-units, means of dissemination and others.

Research limitations/implications

The research limitation is the difficulty to obtain information allowing a deeper understanding of sustainability-related activities developed by Brazilian HEIs.

Practical implications

This paper provides a base on which to construct SAT and program models tailored for Brazil.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that stresses the importance of adopting a SAT tailored for Brazil, by comparing and discussing models that may be used for that purpose.

Keywords

Citation

Cronemberger de Araújo Góes, H. and Magrini, A. (2016), "Higher education institution sustainability assessment tools: Considerations on their use in Brazil", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 322-341. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-09-2014-0132

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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