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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Michael Shriberg

Summarizes a study which provides a framework upon which to base management for sustainability in the University of Michigan’s Housing Division. Discusses three reasons…

Abstract

Summarizes a study which provides a framework upon which to base management for sustainability in the University of Michigan’s Housing Division. Discusses three reasons why organizations should be interested in pursuing sustainability management: morality and intergenerational equity; survival; and organizational benefits and risks. Proposes a sustainability mission statement for Housing and assesses five operational areas and six decision‐making areas in terms of environmental impact (specific audit data are presented) and prospects for sustainability management. Presents summaries of all findings, as well as more detailed descriptions of dining and staffing assessments. Concludes that management for sustainability must be holistic, systemic and integrative. Major recommendations include appointing a sustainability coordinator and/or task group; conducting sustainability audits; training staff on sustainability; using full‐cost accounting and life‐cycle assessment as decision‐making tools; creating an environmental procurement program; forming a sustainable dining team; involving outside entities in sustainability efforts; and developing partnerships for material reuse.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Michael Shriberg

Although popular press and internal media have dubbed the University of Michigan (U of M) a “sustainability leader”, it is not clear whether this label reflects a true

Abstract

Although popular press and internal media have dubbed the University of Michigan (U of M) a “sustainability leader”, it is not clear whether this label reflects a true commitment to environmental and interrelated social issues or simply a savvy public relations campaign. This case study (1997‐2002) explores these possibilities by analyzing the environmental organizational change process and outcomes at Michigan through my experiences as a student, activist, researcher and employee. I conclude that while the U of M is not an environmental laggard, the recent media attention exaggerates the campus’ progress by ignoring the fact that sustainability efforts are scattered and have not deeply permeated the culture, leadership, policies and practices of the institution. In terms of campus sustainability advocacy, this analysis highlights the importance of coordination and institutional leaders, a “spark” to move environmental issues onto the campus agenda, and tailoring advocacy approaches to stakeholder interests.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Michael Shriberg

This paper analyzes recent efforts to measure sustainability in higher education across institutions. The benefits of cross‐institutional assessments include: identifying…

Abstract

This paper analyzes recent efforts to measure sustainability in higher education across institutions. The benefits of cross‐institutional assessments include: identifying and benchmarking leaders and best practices; communicating common goals, experiences, and methods; and providing a directional tool to measure progress toward the concept of a “sustainable campus”. Ideal assessment tools identify the most important attributes of a sustainable campus, are calculable and comparable, measure more than eco‐efficiency, assess processes and motivations and are comprehensible to multiple stakeholders. The 11 cross‐institutional assessment tools reviewed in this paper vary in terms of stage of development and closeness to the “ideal tool”. These tools reveal (through their structure and content) the following critical parameters to achieving sustainability in higher education: decreasing throughput; pursuing incremental and systemic change simultaneously; including sustainability education as a central part of curricula; and engaging in cross‐functional and cross‐institutional efforts.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2003

Tarah Wright

Introduces the special issue on environmental sustainability initiatives in higher education. Highlights the work accomplished by students on college and university…

Abstract

Introduces the special issue on environmental sustainability initiatives in higher education. Highlights the work accomplished by students on college and university campuses around the world. Notes that the papers illustrate the challenges and success students have encountered while working toward sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 August 2000

Walter Leal Filho

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 1 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Hans van Ginkel

Abstract

Details

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

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2011

Nancy B. Kurland

The purpose of this paper is to examine the evolution of a sustainability network at a large California public university, as an example of organizational change.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the evolution of a sustainability network at a large California public university, as an example of organizational change.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper combines participant observation and case study techniques over a three‐year period. From 2007 to 2010, the author helped found the university's Institute for Sustainability and sat on both the Institute's first Advisory Board and the university's first Core Green Team. The author also interviewed 19 key informants to the sustainability network, including upper administrators, physical plant management (PPM) staff, faculty, and students.

Findings

This campus sustainability initiative evolved over three decades in three phases. Phase I evolved from the 1980s in facilities management and student recycling because of changing environmental demands, the 1994 Northridge earthquake, and strong leadership who believed in developing human resources. In Phase II, faculty and Academic Affairs established the Institute for Sustainability. Phase III examines the current state at May 2010. Forces driving change include leaders' core values, incentives, communication, and community outreach. Forces inhibiting change relate to funding, information, policies, shared values, time, and training. Key informants defined success in campus sustainability as actions which: increase efficiency (and reduce waste); educate and prepare graduates for a fundamentally different world; achieve broad‐based support; and improve the university's sustainability image.

Research limitations/implications

This study points to at least four avenues of future research. One, scholars interested in more completely revealing their organization's sustainability network can map it using social network analysis techniques. Two, scholars could seek to answer the extent to which a campus institute becomes a center of gravity or an excuse for others to step away. Three, scholars can directly measure the four parameters of success respondents in this study identified (increase efficiency/reduce waste, educate/prepare graduates, achieve broad‐based support, improve image). And four, scholars can examine how an organization's commitment to recycling affects its image.

Originality/value

This paper provides a longitudinal look at the evolution of a campus sustainability network. It highlights how sustainability efforts evolve in different parts of the university at different rates, and in the present case how PPM and facilities planning influenced Academic Affairs to embrace sustainability.

Details

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

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 29 January 2021

Kerry Shephard

Higher education likely makes significant contributions towards planetary sustainability through its research activities, but many hope that it will also have an impact…

Abstract

Higher education likely makes significant contributions towards planetary sustainability through its research activities, but many hope that it will also have an impact via its educational roles. International accords, national strategies and institutional commitments emphasise higher education's responsibilities with respect to education for sustainability, or for sustainable development, but research is hard-pressed to identify systematic changes in the attitudes and aspirations of young people as a consequence of the current efforts of higher education. This chapter analyses the evidence for learning gains but suggests that we should be open to the possibility of learning losses. The chapter ends by exploring if teaching students the skills and dispositions to think critically, deeply and independently, better than we do at present, might not only be a better fit to the liberal traditions and abilities of higher education but also best support generations to come to decide for themselves what their contribution to sustainability could be.

Content available
Article
Publication date: 6 February 2017

Abstract

Details

Personnel Review, vol. 46 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0048-3486

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