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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2019

Mihaela Sima, Ines Grigorescu and Dan Bălteanu

This paper aims to identify campus greening initiatives on a sample of universities in Romania reflected in the university curricula, the behavioral patterns of students…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify campus greening initiatives on a sample of universities in Romania reflected in the university curricula, the behavioral patterns of students and teachers, the administrative actions that carry out empirical investigation of students/teachers/management staff perception on campus greening (based on self-administered questionnaires); detect the way campus greening initiatives are promoted/made visible; and identify the gaps and needs of the universities under scrutiny in terms of campus greening initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

The current research relies on two major components reviewing campus greening-related activities and initiatives, as reflected in the scientific literature and university curricula (empirical and quantitative assessment) and inquiring selected universities’ about the campus greening programs they unfold through questionnaire surveys (qualitative assessment).

Findings

Generally, sustainability topics (e.g. environmental protection, waste management and sustainable development) are largely addressed and, to some extent, applied in faculties dealing with earth sciences (e.g. geography, ecology) and technical sciences (e.g. environmental engineering). This can be explained by the traditional theoretical background of the first, and the experimental-oriented profile of the latter, which supports the development of innovative technologies (green technologies). However, there is a need to better undertake and promote greening initiatives for most of the higher education institutions in Romania. Some spatial (between institutions throughout Romania) and structural (according to the profile of the institutions) disparities are visible.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of the study might be the small number of universities providing a positive feedback to the questionnaire survey and the degree of subjectivity of some of the answers, directly linked with the professional background and issue awareness of the persons who answered the questions.

Practical implications

The findings can be useful to the university managers to better orient their actions toward campus greening, increasing their knowledge and awareness toward sustainability-related actions.

Originality/value

This is the first attempt reporting in the literature to analyze the campus greening initiatives to a large number of universities in Romania based on a common approach, identifying the main gaps and challenges in this process.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Marianne Dahle and Eric Neumayer

This paper explores the greening of higher educational institutions. It is based on a survey carried out on a sample of higher educational institutions within London, UK…

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Abstract

This paper explores the greening of higher educational institutions. It is based on a survey carried out on a sample of higher educational institutions within London, UK. A qualitative research approach, using semi‐structured interviews, is applied to assess: how far the relevant institutions have reached with respect to greening within the areas of energy and solid waste management; what the interviewees consider to be the most important barriers to further greening their campuses; and how such barriers can be reduced, or possibly overcome. The study maintains that although the institutions are not at ground zero with respect to greening, their overall environmental quality is relatively poor, particularly concerning recycling. It is argued that the barrier suggested to be of greatest significance by the interviewees, namely budgetary constrains, is at least partly due to a lack of knowledge concerning how greening initiatives can save costs as well as an institutional reluctance to change. It is concluded therefore that one of the most important measures that needs to be undertaken to overcome barriers to greening is to raise the environmental awareness within campus communities.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 April 2013

Elaine J. Cole and Laura Fieselman

The purpose of this paper is to design a community‐based social marketing (CBSM) campaign to foster sustainable behavior change in paper reduction, commingled recycling…

3752

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to design a community‐based social marketing (CBSM) campaign to foster sustainable behavior change in paper reduction, commingled recycling, and purchasing environmentally preferred products (EPP) with faculty and staff at Pacific University Oregon.

Design/methodology/approach

A CBSM campaign was developed after a nine month pilot study. A six‐month mixed methods research approach used pre‐postsurveys, office supply purchasing reports, a recycling study, and a waste audit. The CBSM campaign strategies used were prompts, communication, incentives, commitment, convenience, norms and social diffusion.

Findings

The campaign titled, Greening Pacific! successfully identified and ranked key barriers to paper reduction, recycling and purchasing environmentally preferable products and developed CBSM tools and materials that were instrumental in affecting change. The CBSM campaign strategies and materials that were effective include recycling and paper reduction prompts, a sustainable office pledge, initiating a green team and training staff leaders, and deskside recycling box distribution. An increase in campus‐wide purchasing of recycled content paper and EPP was found. Post‐survey results found that 74 percent of staff and faculty changed their behavior because of the CBSM campaign.

Research limitations/implications

The study could have benefited from a longer data collection period.

Practical implications

Establishing aspects of green office practices on campuses can have significant impacts on purchasing EPP, waste reduction, energy and cost savings, and reducing the use of toxic chemicals. CBSM is a valuable framework for fostering behavior change.

Originality/value

Community‐based social marketing provides higher education institutions and other organizations with an effective model to foster environmental change in a targeted and community‐oriented way.

Article
Publication date: 8 May 2019

Carolyn Susan Hayles

This paper aims to explore the outputs of an internship programme, one of a number of campus-based sustainability activities that have been introduced at the University of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the outputs of an internship programme, one of a number of campus-based sustainability activities that have been introduced at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, to encourage student-led campus-based greening initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach was undertaken, allowing the researcher to investigate the programme in its real-life context. The researcher used multiple sources of evidence to gain as holistic a picture as possible.

Findings

Interns report positive changes in their behaviours towards sustainability, s well as encouraging feedback on their experiential learning, the development of their soft skills and the creation of new knowledge. Moreover, students communicated perceived benefits for their future careers. The reported outcomes reflect mutually beneficial relationships for student and institution, for example, raising the profile of campus greening activities and supporting the University’s aim to embed sustainability throughout its campus, community and culture.

Research limitations/implications

The researcher recognises the limitations of the research, in particular, the small sample size, which has resulted primarily in qualitative results being presented.

Practical implications

Feedback from previous interns will be used to shape future internships. In particular, Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE) will look for opportunities to work more closely with University operations, departments, faculties and alongside University staff, both academic and support staff.

Social implications

Following student feedback, INSPIRE will give students opportunities for wider involvement, including an opportunity to propose their own projects to shape future internships that meet the needs of student body on campus.

Originality/value

Despite being one case study from one institution, the research highlights the value of such programmes for other institutions.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 November 2013

Miklós Antal

A student-led department greening competition brought significant change to certain departments at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary. The…

Abstract

Purpose

A student-led department greening competition brought significant change to certain departments at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary. The purpose of the paper is to help sustainability groups at other tertiary education institutions to organize similar competitions.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the approach and methodology of the competition are explained in detail. Second, results of the competition in the first three years are summarized. Third, opportunities for improvement are discussed. Fourth, potentials and limitations are reviewed. Finally, the most important success criteria are listed.

Findings

Eight weeks of assisted learning and two audit-based assessments are appropriate to facilitate the greening process of departments. To successfully organize a competition, a reliable team with a core group of at least five to six experienced members is needed. Maximal effectiveness can only be achieved if local environmental leaders at departments are activated.

Practical implications

If local environmental leaders act as internal project managers, environmental practices can change significantly. Improvements can affect material and energy use, transportation behavior and external outreach activities.

Originality/value

The project description shows a structure for how to engage in greening departments. A consistent rubric was applied across multiple departments over a span of three years, which allows for drawing general conclusions. Insights can facilitate similarly effective projects elsewhere.

Details

Sustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8021

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2007

Gregory R.A. Richardson and Jennifer K. Lynes

To explore the barriers and motivations to the construction of green buildings at the University of Waterloo (UW) by documenting and analysing the UW building process.

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Abstract

Purpose

To explore the barriers and motivations to the construction of green buildings at the University of Waterloo (UW) by documenting and analysing the UW building process.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted 13 semi‐structured in‐depth interviews with key UW individuals as well as analyzing numerous internal reports in order to document UW's building process. Based on the literature, a set of key ingredients for successful green building projects is developed as a basis from which to evaluate UW's current practices.

Findings

Based on the four key ingredients needs for successful green building projects at Institutions of Higher Education (IHE), UW was found to have weaknesses in all four areas including: a lack internal leadership amongst stakeholders with decision‐making power, a lack of quantifiable sustainability targets, an operational structure that does not reward building designs with lower energy costs, and lack of communication between professional designers, facilities management and faculty. While UW has implemented many green initiatives on campus, the current financial and organizational structure of the University's current system does lend itself to the creation and implementation of green buildings on campus.

Originality/value

Most research at IHE document existing green building initiatives and the lessons learned from their design and construction. There has been limited research into the processes by which decisions to proceed with the construction of green buildings are made, particularly within large institutions. As a consequence, the research documents many of the pitfalls, traps, and solutions that are experienced during the construction of green buildings, but have limited knowledge of the reasons why some proposed green buildings never get developed. This research identifies barriers to the construction of green buildings within institutional decision‐making processes and makes specific recommendations for realizing green building construction based on the UW case study.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2019

Hani Abu Qdais, Osama Saadeh, Mohamad Al-Widyan, Raed Al-tal and Muna Abu-Dalo

The purpose of this study is to describe the efforts undertaken to convert the large university campus of Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) into a green

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to describe the efforts undertaken to convert the large university campus of Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) into a green, resource-efficient and low-carbon campus by following an action-oriented strategy. Sustainability features of the campus were discussed and benchmarked. Challenges were identified and remedial actions were proposed.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking 2015 as the baseline year, data on energy, water consumption and solid waste generation for the university campus were collected. Energy consumption for cooling, heating and transportation, besides electric power consumption, were reported, and the associated carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions were estimated. By calculating the full time equivalent of students and employees, carbon emission and water consumption per capita were calculated. A comparison with other universities worldwide was conducted.

Findings

Although located in a semiarid region with scarce water resources, JUST has set an example by greening its campus through an action-oriented approach. It was found that the per capita carbon emission for JUST campus was 1.33 ton of CO2 equivalent, which is less than the emissions from campuses of other universities worldwide. As for water, this study revealed that the daily per capita water consumption was about 56 L, which is approximately one-third of that for students in institutions in the USA. Furthermore, the findings of this study indicated that the average solid waste generation rate was 0.37 kg per student per day compared to 0.31 kg per capita per day when considering the university community (students and employees) collectively. These figures were less and thus compare favorably to the corresponding data for other universities in both developing and developed countries.

Originality/value

This research addresses the issue of greening JUST campus, which is one of the largest university campuses in the world. JUST campus is located in a semiarid, water-scarce country, which on its own poses a serious challenge. The originality and value of this study mainly stem from the facts that on the one hand, this is one of the unique and pioneering comprehensive studies of its type and, on the other hand, other universities with similar conditions can benefit from the findings of this research to meet the sustainability objectives on their campus operations.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 September 2020

Liguang Liu and Lianhong Gao

This paper aims to study the mechanism of how the public universities have funded the campus sustainability projects in China, by identifying key actors and examining the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the mechanism of how the public universities have funded the campus sustainability projects in China, by identifying key actors and examining the processes.

Design/methodology/approach

Besides a review of campus sustainability initiatives at higher education institutions in China, the case of Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) is selected to provide an empirical understanding of the campus sustainability management in a typical university.

Findings

The paper points to dominant roles played by the state ministries in financing university conservation programs and the absence of a national policy framework and low sustainability proactiveness in a majority of higher educational institutions. It argues that more discretionary power and more policy deliberations are needed for the transformation.

Research limitations/implications

Universities in China vary distinctively in status, operations and performance. In terms of campus sustainability management, the case of CUFE is highly representative as it shares more common features with universities that develop in a routine manner.

Practical implications

With the financial support from government agencies, the campus conservation-oriented projects have been conducted and financially supported in hundreds of pilot universities, but failed in diffusing to more universities. This study identifies the barriers and challenges.

Social implications

An in-depth understanding of the working mechanism in financing university sustainability initiatives will promote a discussion on China’s policymaking process and will provide useful insights regarding its future policy options.

Originality/value

China has conducted nationwide conservation-oriented campus constriction for almost a decade and many universities increase their investment in campus facilities and their operations; however, there is a lack of understanding of the rationale of the funding models and how they have been implemented.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

Luís Cruz, Eduardo Barata, João-Pedro Ferreira and Fausto Freire

This paper aims to explore the potential contribution of integrated traffic and parking management strategies to ensure more rational use of available parking spaces and…

1524

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the potential contribution of integrated traffic and parking management strategies to ensure more rational use of available parking spaces and to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by commuters traveling to the University of Coimbra (UC) main campus.

Design/methodology/approach

An integrated modelling approach is used, including the characterization of supply and demand for parking and public transport, the creation and implementation of a survey to campus users and a life-cycle approach to assess six transportation and parking strategy scenarios.

Findings

This comprehensive analysis demonstrates the importance of integrated management measures to greening commuters’ transportation and parking within a University campus, identifying and quantifying opportunities for successfully making the transitions toward a more sustainable future, namely, increasing well-being and reducing environmental impact.

Practical implications

Results demonstrate that effective control of illegal parking and different forms of modal shift toward public transportation may contribute to important reductions in environmental impacts.

Social implications

Local population reveals willingness to participate in collective efforts to tackle traffic and parking problems, challenging authorities to take action and empowering ever more people to engage in such cathartic changes.

Originality/value

This comprehensive approach is highly valuable for the management of parking and traffic within the UC campus, providing innovative lessons on the social and environmental impacts that would result from this policy approach to urban areas (e.g. historical centers) facing the typical problems of a carbon society, such as traffic congestion, non-regulated parking and intensive car use.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 18 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 October 2020

Raquel Martinez-Buján, Elvira Santiago-Gómez, Carlos Diz, Jose A. Cortes-Vazquez and Montserrat Golías

This paper aims to show how the Green Campus Program has been implemented at the Faculty of Sociology of the University of A Coruña (Spain). It describes the criteria used…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to show how the Green Campus Program has been implemented at the Faculty of Sociology of the University of A Coruña (Spain). It describes the criteria used to create teaching sustainability actions related to community engagement to introduce education for sustainable development into college curricula.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on a human-centered design model approach, as well as on transformative teaching theories, this study explores the criteria used to build the Free Classroom based on a participatory model.

Findings

The authors argue that the success of this activity depends on how it relates to the theme-based specialization of the different academic degrees through which they are managed. Equally important is the creation of permanent spaces that enable the collaboration of other organizations, such as non-governmental associations and local public administrations.

Originality/value

The findings provide valuable insights into how the social dimension of sustainability in higher education institutions can be emphasized. A model of implementation of the activities is offered under which academic, political, student and community agents are coordinated to favor the change of attitudes and behaviors to strengthen SD.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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