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Article
Publication date: 14 December 2017

Sandra Huber and Alexander Bassen

So far, sustainability reporting in higher education is in a very early stage – partly, because of the lack of an established and widely recognized sustainability

Abstract

Purpose

So far, sustainability reporting in higher education is in a very early stage – partly, because of the lack of an established and widely recognized sustainability reporting framework for higher education institutions (HEIs). Therefore, a modification of the sustainability code for the use in the higher education context was recently developed in Germany. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate this modification from an academic point of view.

Design/methodology/approach

The evaluation of the sustainability code is based on selected reporting principles drawn from frameworks of sustainability and financial reporting.

Findings

The evaluation shows that to a large extent, the modification of the sustainability code for HEIs contributes to the fulfillment of the selected reporting principles. However, it also became evident that there is still room for improvement, especially in terms of clarity and the inclusion of material aspects.

Practical implications

The need for an implementation manual regarding the modified HEI-specific sustainability code is emphasized, as the sustainability code requires further clarification to be manageable for HEIs.

Originality/value

This paper provides suggestions for the further development of a sustainability reporting guideline for HEIs to enhance its alignment with both sustainability reporting principles and the needs of HEIs.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 19 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2019

Barbara Galleli and Flavio Hourneaux Junior

The purpose of this paper is to identify how human competences are associated with sustainable strategic management (SSM) within organisations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify how human competences are associated with sustainable strategic management (SSM) within organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative study in two phases: first, a theoretical phase is developed, resulting in a proposal for the role of human competences in organisational sustainability; second, an empirical phase including instrumental case studies of two large, sustainability-oriented Brazilian companies. Data were obtained from interviews and companies’ reports. The authors used Atlas.ti software to perform the thematic content analysis.

Findings

Despite the importance of human competences in SSM, the authors find evidence that this concept has not been developed, even for companies with a consolidated position in sustainability. Human competences are a requirement for effective SSM.

Research limitations/implications

Coexisting elements within an organisation, often referred to as elements of organisational and human behaviour, can influence the dynamics of the expected interrelationships between human competences and sustainability management, in addition to the influencing factors presented in this study.

Originality/value

In general, studies advocate that the relationships among organisational competences, human competences and organisational strategies must be aligned and reinforced. Nevertheless, these relationships are not that solid as they should be as stated in both the literature and the conventional discourse of practitioners.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 3 October 2019

Coco Klußmann, Remmer Sassen and Elisa Gansel

The purpose of this paper is to answer the following research question: What are the key factors of the participatory process for establishing sustainability reporting in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to answer the following research question: What are the key factors of the participatory process for establishing sustainability reporting in German universities?

Design/methodology/approach

To answer the research question, this study uses qualitative methodology, following the grounded theory approach and triangulation of qualitative methods for accessing data.

Findings

The findings show that universities face a high level of difficulty in introducing sustainability reporting, which has an external and an internal dimension.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the understanding of sustainability reporting processes of universities from an internal perspective, specifically through experts who are involved in the preparation of sustainability reports. Furthermore, it delivers insights for a theory-based discussion, which may support universities in starting sustainability reporting activities and improving reporting processes.

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2009

Sui Pheng Low, Jun Ying Liu and Peng Wu

The Sino‐Singapore Tianjin Eco‐city Project, the agreement of which was signed in 2007, is an important milestone that would further cement ties between Singapore and the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The Sino‐Singapore Tianjin Eco‐city Project, the agreement of which was signed in 2007, is an important milestone that would further cement ties between Singapore and the People's Republic of China (PRC). The Eco‐city Project will be used to showcase the latest green technologies adopted in buildings with a view to reducing the adverse effects of global warming, carbon emissions, and climate change; leading in the process to sustainable facilities. The purpose of this paper is to examine the institutional compliance framework for transferring environmental sustainability regulations from Singapore to China.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper examines the current environmental sustainability regulations that are already in place in Singapore, with a view to possibly transfer these regulations as well as the supporting green technologies, codes and practices to the joint Sino‐Singapore Eco‐city Project in the PRC. The study proposes an understanding of the institutional compliance framework to facilitate this transfer.

Findings

There are existing statutory provisions within the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MEP) in the PRC that encourage the use of solar and renewable energy with a view to fostering sustainable construction, including provisions dealing with water pollution. However, beyond these generic areas, it appears that statutory provisions within the MEP do not institutionalize the same level of details that can be found in Singapore relating to the conceptualization, design and construction of sustainable facilities. Hence, transfer of such provisions from Singapore to the Tianjin Eco‐city Project can be facilitated through an understanding of the institutional compliance framework from the Chinese side.

Research limitations/implications

The environmental sustainability regulations that are already in place in Singapore will be examined in the paper. The study explains the reasons why these regulations were implemented in Singapore, and the framework within which such provisions may be transferred to the Tianjin Eco‐city Project.

Practical implications

The paper observes that while the legal systems in both Singapore and the PRC may be different, it would be strategic and expedient for the Chinese partners in the Eco‐city joint project to familiarize themselves with the environmental sustainability regulations within Singapore's jurisdiction with a view to possibly adopting them in the PRC through the institutional compliance framework.

Originality/value

Singapore is probably the first and only country in the world to enact building regulations pertaining to environmental sustainability with attendant inputs from an appropriate Code for Environmental Sustainability of Buildings and the Green Mark Scheme. The successful completion of the Tianjin Eco‐city Project could provide a role model for further development of Eco‐cities in the world, leading to greater emphasis to be placed on sustainable facilities anchored on the institutional compliance framework.

Details

Facilities, vol. 27 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Simona Fiandrino, Donatella Busso and Demetris Vrontis

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether Italian listed companies within the food and beverage (F&B) industry adopt sustainable responsible conduct beyond the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether Italian listed companies within the food and beverage (F&B) industry adopt sustainable responsible conduct beyond the boundaries of compliance and which industry-specific matters the companies address as core to their business within a regulatory setting of sustainability disclosure.

Design/methodology/approach

This study develops a multiple case study of the five Italian listed companies in the F&B industry and employs a content analysis on their sustainability reports.

Findings

This study reveals a policies–practices decoupling along with a means–ends decoupling that jeopardises the commitment to sustainability. The results show a reasonable level of compliance, but companies are at an early stage of coherent and practical application.

Practical implications

This study offers practical avenues for companies, regulators and policy makers. Companies in the F&B industry are guided towards the learning process to shape sustainable, responsible practices at the core of their business, as this study provides a replicable assessment of F&B sustainability issues. Regulators and policy makers are called to monitor the concrete implementation of sustainability issues and improve the understanding of the sustainability agenda to overcome the misalignments that companies are currently facing.

Originality/value

This study provides fertile ground for assessing the degree of maturity in favour of sustainable responsible conduct within the F&B industry and shows the obstacles to this commitment in the mandatory setting of sustainability disclosure.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 121 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2018

Warren Maroun, Kieran Usher and Hafsa Mansoor

This study aims to examine biodiversity reporting by South African food producers and retailers. It not only draws attention to the disconnect between reporting on an…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine biodiversity reporting by South African food producers and retailers. It not only draws attention to the disconnect between reporting on an important environmental issue and the sense of commitment to environmental responsibility, but also shows that over time, organisations are becoming more proactive about biodiversity reporting.

Design/methodology/approach

The research uses a content analysis of sustainability and integrated reports and organised hypocrisy as a theoretical framework for analysing biodiversity-related disclosures.

Findings

Consistent with an organised hypocrisy framework, the research finds that the several companies rely on corporate reporting to emphasise actions and internal management strategies that are already producing favourable results. In contrast, mission statements, firm policy commitments and forward-looking analysis are avoided. There is, however, evidence to suggest that the gaps between corporate reporting and action may be giving companies the time to reform their practices, align biodiversity disclosures with genuine corporate action and move towards truly integrated business models.

Research limitations/implications

Poor biodiversity reporting raises questions about the extent to which companies are managing serious environmental issues that can have a direct impact on their business models. Improvements in biodiversity reporting also suggest that corporate reporting is maturing and that some organisations are beginning to understand the need for managing their biodiversity impact.

Originality/value

The paper offers empirical evidence on how the disconnect between organisational rhetoric and action is used to manage stakeholder expectations and negate the need for environmental reforms. In this manner, organised hypocrisy is framed as a specific legitimisation strategy. The research also shows that organised hypocrisy is not absolute; despite the opportunity to engage in organised hypocrisy, some companies are taking a more proactive approach to biodiversity reporting. As a result, it may be appropriate to see organised hypocrisy as part of a transition to higher quality integrated or sustainability reporting.

Details

Qualitative Research in Accounting & Management, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1176-6093

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Article
Publication date: 30 May 2019

Usman Umar Akeel, Sarah Jayne Bell and John E. Mitchell

The purpose of this study is to present an assessment of the sustainability content of the Nigerian engineering curriculum in universities.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to present an assessment of the sustainability content of the Nigerian engineering curriculum in universities.

Design/methodology/approach

Content analysis is used to generate and analyse data from three engineering documents, namely, the Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards for Engineering Programmes in Nigeria and the engineering handbooks of two Nigerian higher education institutions.

Findings

The Nigerian engineering curriculum is revealed to have a low sustainability content, with environmental concepts being the most cited themes and social topics as the least stated issues.

Research limitations/implications

The sustainability assessment approach adopted in the study is constrained by the question of what constitutes a sustainability syllabus. Expert-derived sustainability themes used in the study are unavoidably incomplete and may limit the conduct of an exhaustive sustainability content assessment.

Practical implications

Based on the research outcome, the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria and other stakeholders can consider ways to adequately incorporate sustainability themes in the Nigerian engineering curriculum.

Originality/value

The research is an effort to determine the presence of sustainability issues in the Nigerian engineering education, which has hitherto been scarcely documented. This study provides a baseline and a rationale for sustainability education interventions in the Nigerian engineering curriculum. It also presents a methodology for analysing sustainability content in university curriculum and contributes to the continuing sustainability education discourse, especially in relation to sub-Saharan Africa.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 November 2020

Xin Hu

The majority of older Australians prefer living in their own home. Home modifications support older adults' ageing-in-place through mitigating environmental hazards of…

Abstract

Purpose

The majority of older Australians prefer living in their own home. Home modifications support older adults' ageing-in-place through mitigating environmental hazards of their home, and there is an increased interest in modifying older adults' residential environment in sustainable ways. However, an in-depth understanding of sustainability perceptions of home modification service providers (HMSPs) is lacking in Australia. Thus, the study aims to address this research gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative content analysis was adopted to identify sustainability perceptions through analyzing the retrieved home modification business information from the selected HMSPs' official websites. The results of qualitative content analysis were further analyzed by using independent-samples t-test and chi-square contingency table analysis to investigate the relationships between HMSP type and sustainability.

Findings

In total, 54 sustainability perceptions were identified, with the crucial ones being safe living environment, independent living and service diversity. Overall, there are no significant differences in sustainability perceptions between charitable and non-charitable HMSPs. Nevertheless, charitable HMSPs place more importance on social sustainability in comparison with non-charitable HMSPs.

Originality/value

The study results facilitate understanding about HMSPs' sustainability perceptions and sustainable home modifications in the ageing society, which facilities theory advancement and industry practice in the home modification area.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2020

Ashish Goel, L.S. Ganesh and Arshinder Kaur

Recent research on construction project management (CPM) envisions addressing wider social good while delivering value to the funding organizations. It is complemented by…

Abstract

Purpose

Recent research on construction project management (CPM) envisions addressing wider social good while delivering value to the funding organizations. It is complemented by a growing body of knowledge on social sustainability in construction projects. These two literature streams are currently scattered and there is a lack of holistic guidance on integrating social sustainability with CPM. The current study addresses this knowledge gap through a critical review of these two bodies of literature and thereby proposing a conceptual framework for socially sustainable CPM.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual modelling approach, involving sequential steps of knowledge acquisition, and knowledge abstraction and representation, has been used. Knowledge acquisition was based on a systematic search and short-listing of research articles and knowledge abstraction was performed through thematic analysis of the 81 shortlisted articles. The categories abstracted through thematic analysis were integrated and presented as the framework.

Findings

A framework for socially sustainable CPM, consisting of four social sustainability characteristics and six areas of social sustainability integration in CPM (SSI-CPM), has been proposed. It presents possibilities of integrating social concerns in CPM processes at various levels – ranging from permanent firms that provide resources to the temporary (project) organization that delivers value.

Originality/value

This study seeks to bridge the gap between theory and practice of realizing social good through construction projects. To this end, a conceptual framework has been proposed along with an agenda for future research encompassing social sustainability and CPM.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 18 March 2020

Euan Hague, Howard Rosing and Joseph P. Schwieterman

In this chapter the authors describe the development of an interdisciplinary graduate program focusing on sustainable urban development at Chicago’s DePaul University…

Abstract

In this chapter the authors describe the development of an interdisciplinary graduate program focusing on sustainable urban development at Chicago’s DePaul University. Locating the curriculum both in the administrative institutional context and the historical geography of a racially and economically segregated urban area, the authors discuss the process of program formation and adjustment over its first five years of operation, 2013–2018. The chapter highlights some of the challenges encountered by program faculty, from internal curricular competition to external classification of the program under federal educational designation, and notes some of the interdisciplinary innovations, such as requiring courses in Geographic Information Systems to aid spatial data analysis and visualizations. In the second part of the chapter, to assess the impact of the graduate program on students, the authors review and draw from reflection essays written by students who, while completing their studies, pursued internships with nonprofit organizations in Chicago. The chapter concludes by discussing the employment status of recent alumni to suggest how these former students are pursuing jobs that may come to impact sustainability policy and practice. The authors maintain it is necessary to push the understanding of “sustainability” beyond solely environmental concerns to incorporate understandings of how economic development and community engagement must be included to deliver a sustainable city. The interdisciplinary curriculum described challenges students to become leaders in local efforts to make urban areas not only more environmentally sustainable, but also more economically and socially sustainable for all residents.

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