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Article

Niclas Sandström and Anne Nevgi

This paper aims to study a change process on a university campus from a pedagogical perspective. The aim of the process, as expressed by facilities management and faculty…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study a change process on a university campus from a pedagogical perspective. The aim of the process, as expressed by facilities management and faculty leadership, was to create campus learning landscapes that promote social encounters and learning between students and researchers, as well as other embedded groups. The paper addresses how pedagogical needs are or should be integrated in the design process.

Design/methodology/approach

The data of this case study regarding change on campus consist of semi-structured interviews of information-rich key stakeholders identified using snowball sampling method. The interviews were analysed to find common themes and reference to pedagogical needs and expectations.

Findings

Campus usability and reliability are improved when pedagogy informs the design, and needs such as sense of belonging (human) and connectivity (digital) are fulfilled. User-centred design should be followed through during the whole campus change process, and there should be sufficient communications between user groups.

Research limitations/implications

The discussion is based on one case. However, the recommendations are solid and also reflected in other related research literature regarding campus change initiatives.

Practical implications

The paper states recommendations for including pedagogical needs in campus learning landscape change and underlines the role of real user-centred processes in reaching this goal.

Originality/value

The study introduces the concept of campus reliability and highlights a missing link from many campus change cases – pedagogy – which is suggested to be essential in informing campus designs that produce usable and reliable future-ready outcomes.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate , vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article

Jessica Finlay and Jennifer Massey

The purpose of this paper is to argue that Richard Register's ecocity model offers a strategic framework to help guide sustainability initiatives in North American higher…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to argue that Richard Register's ecocity model offers a strategic framework to help guide sustainability initiatives in North American higher education (HE) institutions.

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper examines the theory of the ecocity and investigates the implications for its proposed building strategies for university and colleges, as institutions seek to create more sustainable campuses. The paper examines previous efforts to achieve sustainability and how the concept of the eco‐campus can be practically and productively applied.

Findings

There is no single campus that has fully embraced every facet of sustainability, but numerous HE institutions are strong leaders in diverse areas. The eco‐campus model provides concrete principles that proactively address HE institutions' ecological footprints and develops sustainable community practices.

Social implications

Sustainability is a pressing social issue. As world leaders in research, innovation, and education, universities and colleges are key places to address this global issue and foster progressive action within current and future generations. The eco‐campus approach represents an opportunity to initiate a cultural paradigm shift, whereby university and colleges become global leaders in sustainability.

Originality/value

While sustainability is now a cornerstone of research and teaching, North American HE institutions are faced with the challenge of realigning institutional practices, processes and resources to fully institute sustainability on campus. The eco‐campus model provides an innovative guide around which to hinge the development of sustainable institutional practices, structure progressive action, and foster meaningful change.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Albert Mawonde and Muchaiteyi Togo

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how universities can play a pivotal role in implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs). It recognises the advantage that…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how universities can play a pivotal role in implementing sustainable development goals (SDGs). It recognises the advantage that universities have in responding to social challenges through their functions and operations, mainly through research and innovation and academic prowess. Not much guidance is available on how they can contribute to SDG implementation. The research is a case study of the University of South Africa, a distance education institution. It showcases how its science campus in Johannesburg has incorporated SDGs in its operations.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through interviews with campus operations managers and sustainability office managers, a survey with environmental science honours students was conducted and observations of the Unisa Florida campus environment were undertaken to establish practices that contribute towards SDG implementation. Document analysis assisted in complementing the data collection process. Data were analysed by aligning practices with SDG indicators.

Findings

The research revealed a number of practices that align with SDGs in teaching, research, community engagement and campus operations management. Unisa is however challenged by financial limitations and as an open distance education and learning (ODeL) institution, it struggles to involve students in these projects. The paper concludes that while the most obvious contribution of universities to SDGs is towards quality education (SDG 4), higher education, including distance education institutions, can play an active role in implementing other SDGs as well.

Research limitations/implications

This research was limited to one institution, Unisa, owing to time limitations. While this might seem like the research was too selective, it was intentional, as the aim was to research a distance education institution. The research targeted staff involved in campus operations at Unisa’s Florida Campus, which is located in Johannesburg. Interviews were limited to students pursuing BSc Honours in Environmental Management. This was a methodological decision to contain the research, but making sure that the targeted respondents were the most informed. Individual case studies are often critiqued for being insufficiently representative to allow generalisations to other contexts (Jupp, 2006). This applies to this research in terms of “populations and universes” (Yin, 2003, p. 10), but generalisations to “theoretical propositions” (ibid) are possible.

Originality/value

There are few studies in Africa which researched implementation of SDGs in universities, let alone in ODeL institutions. The research revealed the challenge of involving students in sustainability practices in distance education institutions and serves as a testimony that such institutions can still have successful projects on and off campus. It suggests involving students in applied research based on the current sustainability projects on and off campus.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Anjali Helferty and Amelia Clarke

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive list of student‐led, campus‐based climate change initiatives, and offers details on many specific cases. The paper…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive list of student‐led, campus‐based climate change initiatives, and offers details on many specific cases. The paper also documents the roles students have played and considers the larger youth engagement implications. Many of these initiatives can be replicated elsewhere, thereby providing a starting point for students wanting to begin an initiative or providing ideas for other campus stakeholders wanting to engage students in initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

Campus reports were collected by the Sierra Youth Coalition from 65 Canadian Universities and Colleges. This qualitative information was coded for student‐led climate‐related initiatives, and for the roles students played in those initiatives. The patterns were identified and clustered, and are presented in this paper.

Findings

Students were found to be successfully leading eight different types of campus climate change‐related initiatives, both with the support of other campus stakeholders and without this support. Students were also found to be able to successfully take on a variety of types of leadership roles in these initiatives. Youth engagement ranged from socialization to influence to power, depending on the type of initiative.

Research limitations/implications

A limitation of this research is that only 65 of the approximately 227 colleges and universities in Canada participated. Also, it is possible that some schools may not have reported all student‐led initiatives, or all the student roles. In addition, the data were limited to the 2007/2008 academic year, so is limited to the initiatives which occurred in that year.

Originality/value

This paper presents different types of student‐led climate change initiatives, the roles students have played in these initiatives, and the implications for youth engagement in creating climate change solutions. It contributes to the climate change, the campus sustainability, and the social movements literatures.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Kelly Boulton, Eric Pallant, Casey Bradshaw-Wilson, Beth Choate and Ian Carbone

Approximately 700 colleges and universities have committed to climate neutrality, which will require significant reductions in energy consumption. This paper aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

Approximately 700 colleges and universities have committed to climate neutrality, which will require significant reductions in energy consumption. This paper aims to explore the effectiveness of an Annual Energy Challenge in curtailing electricity use by changing consumption behaviors at one liberal arts college.

Design/methodology/approach

From 2010 to 2014, Allegheny College (Meadville, PA, USA) ran four-week energy challenges. Electricity consumption was measured and compared to a baseline year of 2008. An alternate baseline, more granular data for 20 sub-metered buildings and historic utility bill consumption trends were further analyzed to identify any persisting change and understand the impact of behavior change separate from efficiency retrofits, changes in population and normal seasonal shifts.

Findings

Electricity consumption during the challenge period dropped an average of 9 per cent compared to the 2008 baseline and 6 per cent compared to the baseline of the 4 weeks preceding each challenge. Consumption trends changed in the years during challenge implementation compared to the years before engaging the campus community. All analyses reinforce that the challenge reduces electricity consumption. However, results must be analyzed in multiple ways to isolate for behavior change.

Practical implications

The analyses used to isolate energy challenge results due to behavior change are replicable at other institutions and would allow campuses to compare results and share proven strategies.

Originality/value

While many campuses organize energy challenges, few have published details about the results both during the challenge and continuing afterwards. Nor has a research explored the need to put results into contexts such as natural seasonal trends to isolate the impacts of behavior change.

Details

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

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Article

Melissa Kazemi Rad, David Riley, Somayeh Asadi and Parhum Delgoshaei

The purpose of this paper is to examine significant steps taken by the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) to account for both energy cost savings and greenhouse…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine significant steps taken by the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) to account for both energy cost savings and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goals through strategic investments in energy conservation measures (ECMs) in campus buildings. Through an analysis of multiple years of investment in facility upgrades across the university, the impacts of ECMs of various types are characterized by building type. The standards and criteria for ECMs investments are also evaluated with the goal to develop a predictive tool to support decision making pertaining to an annual investment in a portfolio of ECMs that will maintain a trajectory to achieve both financial return on investment as well as GHG reduction goals.

Design/methodology/approach

This study is comprised of three main parts: analyzing the energy costs saving and GHG emissions reduction contribution of various building types in which ECMs were conducted, analyzing costs saving and GHG emissions reduction contribution of each ECM while considering the average annual investments made in them and estimating the impact of upgrading Penn State’s steam plants from firing a mixture of coal and natural gas to natural gas only on the GHG emissions.

Findings

These analyses help identify which types of buildings and ECMs would have larger savings and emissions reduction contributions. A calculator is also created to enable forecasting of costs saving and GHG emissions reduction of investment distribution strategy among ECMs. This study demonstrates that the calculator based on data from previous years will benefit decision makers in more wisely configuring the investment portfolio.

Originality/value

This paper fulfills an identical need to couple energy efficiency strategies coupled with the environmental impacts associated with different fossil fuel energy sources.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Riikka Kyrö, Antti Peltokorpi and Lauri Luoma-Halkola

The fast advancement of medical technology and processes poses challenges to hospital construction and management. The purpose of this paper is to provide a structured…

Abstract

Purpose

The fast advancement of medical technology and processes poses challenges to hospital construction and management. The purpose of this paper is to provide a structured approach to advancing adaptability in hospital retrofits, proposing the preferable timing and scope of different adaptability strategies.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research approach was chosen, with 28 semi-structured interviews designers, project managers, clients and healthcare professionals as the primary research data.

Findings

This paper presents a model for planning for the future in hospital retrofits. The model includes 11 different adaptability strategies, categorized based on the level of adaptability. Furthermore, each strategy is linked to an open building system level, indicating the appropriate timing. Based on the findings, generality strategies in the tertiary building system level are the most effective forms of adaptability, as they are easy to implement and answer to non-specific changes in hospital operations.

Research limitations/implications

The findings contribute to existing knowledge on adaptability in buildings, and provide practical guidance particularly for designers. A new type of service offering, an adaptability roadmap detailing the scope and timing of adaptability, is suggested.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the existing research by detailing different approaches and knowledge related to adaptability and its strategies in hospital retrofits. More specifically, the three-fold categorization of adaptability is linked to both timing and intrusiveness in a novel way.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article

Almut Beringer, Tarah Wright and Leslie Malone

The purpose is to ascertain the state of sustainability in higher education (SHE) in Atlantic Canada (sustainability education/curriculum; research and scholarship;…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose is to ascertain the state of sustainability in higher education (SHE) in Atlantic Canada (sustainability education/curriculum; research and scholarship; operations; faculty/staff development and rewards; community outreach and service; student opportunities; and institutional mission, structure and planning).

Design/methodology/approach

All Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) member institutions in Atlantic Canada were sampled in 2005/2006 to examine sustainability performance. Data were collected using the sustainability assessment questionnaire (SAQ) and were triangulated with document, webpage, and additional survey research.

Findings

The majority of higher education institutions in Atlantic Canada are engaged in sustainable development work, most notably in the area of curriculum. Sustainability research and scholarship is spread amongst faculty and students; many institutions have inter‐ or multi‐disciplinary research structures to address sustainability questions across campus and in collaboration with community partners. Much unrealized potential remains within physical operations, faculty/staff development and rewards, and student opportunities. No single university emerges as the Atlantic Canadian SHE leader; Acadia University (Wolfville, Nova Scotia), St Francis Xavier University (Antigonish, Nova Scotia) and Mt Allison University (Sackville, New Brunswick) excel in a regional peers comparison.

Research limitations/implications

The Atlantic Canada study commences a series of five regional SHE assessments in Canada.

Practical implications

The study strengthens ongoing efforts for creative institutional solutions to reduce the ecological footprint of higher education institutions. It contributes to SHE knowledge transfer and capacity‐building.

Originality/value

The study is the first regional SHE performance assessment in Canada. It serves as a pilot study and strategic planning tool.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Makena Coffman

The purpose of this paper is to present the University of Hawaii at Manoa's (UHM's) initiatives in achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions on campus and at the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the University of Hawaii at Manoa's (UHM's) initiatives in achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions on campus and at the state level.

Design/methodology/approach

UHM has taken a “lead by example” approach to climate change mitigation in terms of working to meet the American College & University Presidents Climate Commitment, becoming a founding member of The Climate Registry, and providing university leadership in crafting the policy to meet Hawaii's Climate Change Solutions Act of 2007.

Findings

Universities are uniquely poised to play a role in not only climate change research, education, and community outreach, but also in the regional and national policy‐making arena. In the absence of federal legislation, states are paving the way to create binding US GHG reduction commitments – making crafting innovative and appropriate policy all the more important and meaningful at the state and regional levels.

Practical implications

The paper discusses the multi‐prong approach UHM is taking in addressing the threats of climate change: from on‐campus GHG measurements and reductions to helping guide overarching state policy.

Originality/value

Islands are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. UHM has taken a comprehensive approach to addressing climate change, from forming strategic partnerships with the electric utility, to developing campus and state GHG reduction strategies, to helping mobilize planning for impacts like sea‐level rise. This paper presents the efforts of UHM, including faculty, student and administration‐led projects, specifically illustrating the role of Universities in meeting GHG reduction commitments through a “lead by example” approach at both the university and state levels.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article

Marena Brinkhurst, Peter Rose, Gillian Maurice and Josef Daniel Ackerman

The dynamics of organizational change related to environmental sustainability on university campuses are examined in this article. Whereas case studies of campus

Abstract

Purpose

The dynamics of organizational change related to environmental sustainability on university campuses are examined in this article. Whereas case studies of campus sustainability efforts tend to classify leadership as either “top‐down” or “bottom‐up”, this classification neglects consideration of the leadership roles of the institutional “middle” – namely the faculty and staff.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors draw from research conducted on sustainability initiatives at the University of Guelph combined with a review of faculty and staff‐led initiatives at universities across Canada and the USA, as well as literature on best practices involving campus sustainability. Using concepts developed in business and leadership literature, faculty and staff are shown to be universities' equivalent to social “intrapreneurs”, i.e. those who work for social and environmental good from within large organizations.

Findings

Faculty and staff members are found to be critical leaders in efforts to achieve lasting progress towards campus sustainability, and conventional portrayals of campus sustainability initiatives often obscure this. Greater attention to the potential of faculty and staff leadership and how to effectively support their efforts is needed.

Originality/value

In the paper, a case is made for emphasizing faculty and staff leadership in campus sustainability efforts and several successful strategies for overcoming barriers are presented.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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