To read this content please select one of the options below:

Trends in research: carbon footprint reduction in universities as a way to achieve a green campus

Liziane Araújo da Silva (Federal Institute of Santa Catarina (IFSC), University of Southern Santa Catarina (UNISUL), Florianópolis, Brazil)
Ana Regina de Aguiar Dutra (Research Group on Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (GREENS), University of Southern Santa Catarina (UNISUL), Florianópolis, Brazil)
Thiago Coelho Soares (Research Group on Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (GREENS), University of Southern Santa Catarina (UNISUL), Florianópolis, Brazil)
Robert Samuel Birch (School of Engineering, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)
José Baltazar Salgueirinho Osório de Andrade Guerra (Department of Research Group on Energy Efficiency and Sustainability (GREENS), University of Southern Santa Catarina (UNISUL), Florianópolis, Brazil)

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

ISSN: 1467-6370

Article publication date: 15 September 2022

Issue publication date: 3 February 2023

634

Abstract

Purpose

Reducing our carbon footprint (CF) or decarbonizing is a sustainable development goal. Although there has been an increase in research on this topic, little is known about the status of CF research within universities. The purpose of this paper is to identify the initiatives implemented in universities aimed at reducing CF in their efforts toward creating a Green Campus.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a bibliometric method, the status of this field of research was examined for the purpose of identifying the main publications and the most central researchers in terms of productivity and citations. Also, by using an exploratory factor analysis (EFA), the regions of the world with the most active research, as well as the direction of research, were identified.

Findings

The survey identified the region that published the most on the subject in the past 10 years, as well as the most relevant authors in the publications. Through this factor analysis, it was possible to identify, among the 105 publications analyzed, four distinct factors (clusters) with different thematic strands that appear to define a difference between the related studies on this topic. These factors were identified as campus management: supply and consumption operations; greenhouse gases emissions assessment: CF calculation; university air travel; sustainable food systems. The changes in people’s attitudes and in the use of university spaces during the COVID-19 pandemic in relation to the CF was also noted as a point that can be investigated in future research. As well as the reflection of the reduction in academic air travel and the “forced” occurrence of online events during the same period.

Originality/value

The paper aims to innovate by applying the multidimensional scaling method and EFA to scientific articles on the topic of decarbonizing campuses and identifying the clusters that constitute this field of study. The research seeks to contribute to current metric knowledge on the topic and to the creation of a specific research agenda.

Keywords

Citation

da Silva, L.A., Dutra, A.R.d.A., Soares, T.C., Birch, R.S. and Guerra, J.B.S.O.d.A. (2023), "Trends in research: carbon footprint reduction in universities as a way to achieve a green campus", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 24 No. 3, pp. 584-601. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-10-2021-0440

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles