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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Dan Beveridge, Marcia McKenzie, Philip Vaughter and Tarah Wright

This paper aims to report on a census of high-level sustainability initiatives at all accredited post-secondary institutions in Canada by documenting the institutions that…

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1167

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to report on a census of high-level sustainability initiatives at all accredited post-secondary institutions in Canada by documenting the institutions that have undertaken sustainability assessments, have signed one or more sustainability declarations, have sustainability offices or officers or have sustainability policies. The aim was to better understand the broad-scale patterns of commitments by post-secondary institutions to these sustainability initiatives by exploring the interrelationships among them, and with geographic and institutional characteristics.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected on existing high-level sustainability initiatives at Canada’s 220 accredited post-secondary institutions. Patterns in the data were analyzed using exploratory statistical techniques. This paper proposes a sustainability initiative score to help understand the diversity and patterns of sustainability initiative uptake.

Findings

Institutions located in larger communities, and in British Columbia and Québec, tended to have higher sustainability initiative scores. Institutions in Saskatchewan and the territories had the lowest sustainability initiative scores. It was found that sustainability office(r)s, assessments and policies co-occurred disproportionately, potentially suggesting positive reinforcement mechanisms. On the other hand, having signed a declaration was not strongly linked to other sustainability initiatives. Terminological preference had shifted from “environment” and “sustainable development” to “sustainability”.

Research limitations/implications

The scope was limited to a discrete set of high-level sustainability initiatives appropriate for a nation-wide census, at a moment in time, and is therefore not exhaustive in subject or temporal extent. This broad-scale comparative analysis compels further study into the relationship between the sustainability policy environment and sustainability practices on the ground, as well as implications for how post-secondary institutions engage with sustainability. The patterns and interrelationships this paper discovered help to structure future critical and comparative in-depth analyses of sustainability policies and practices within post-secondary education.

Originality/value

Almost no extensive, comparative empirical studies of sustainability policy and practice in post-secondary institutions exist. This void is addressed by documenting and analyzing high-level sustainability initiatives across all accredited post-secondary institutions in Canada.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 16 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 March 2021

Hongor Miller, Byron Ronald Miller Jr and Jeffrey Spoelstra

The purpose of this paper is to explore the strategies and an effective model for creating and implementing a sustainability internship program at a university campus.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the strategies and an effective model for creating and implementing a sustainability internship program at a university campus.

Design/methodology/approach

This study assessed Western Michigan University’s sustainability program’s interns’ gain of environmental knowledge on sustainability topics via pre- and post-test assessments. A sample of 50 interns between fall 2016 and spring 2019 comprising six cohorts participated in this study. Data were analyzed using statistical package for social sciences to calculate descriptive statistics and sign tests.

Findings

The sign tests of the accumulative internship pre- and post-test assessment scores significantly increased for all 14 sustainability knowledge dimensions.

Research limitations/implications

The pre- and post-test assessments of the internship program are unable to track and predict the long-term behavior changes of the interns after the completion of the program. Therefore, a future longitudinal study is needed.

Practical implications

This sustainability internship program’s content and experiential learning model has been proven to be effective in increasing interns’ knowledge of sustainability issues and creating sustainability stewards. Institutions and universities should consider creating their own sustainability internship program based on Western Michigan University's program using pre- and post-test assessments as a method of evaluation.

Social implications

The internship programs’ main strength is that it offers students from all academic backgrounds an opportunity to dig deep into sustainability issues, build new social networks, gain knowledge, develop leadership skills, become sustainability stewards and immediately apply what they have learned on campus and in their local community. On-campus internships are unique learning opportunities worthy of study and refinement.

Originality/value

This research paper is unique because it analyzes the combined pre- and post-test scores of six cohorts of interns’ across multiple knowledge dimensions of sustainability. This study empirically shows that the combined interns’ sustainability knowledge across all dimensions significantly increased from the pre- to post-test over the semester-long program.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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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…

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3630

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.

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Article
Publication date: 1 July 2014

Graeme Newell, John MacFarlane and Roger Walker

Green office buildings have recently taken on increased significance in institutional property portfolios in Australia and globally. The key issue from an institutional…

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1966

Abstract

Purpose

Green office buildings have recently taken on increased significance in institutional property portfolios in Australia and globally. The key issue from an institutional investor perspective is the assessment of whether green office buildings add value. Using an extensive portfolio of green office buildings, the purpose of this paper is to empirically assess the level of energy rating premiums in the property performance of green office buildings in Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a portfolio of over 200 green office buildings in Australia benchmarked against a comparable portfolio of non-green office buildings, the level of energy rating premiums in the property performance of green office buildings in Australia is empirically evaluated. Hedonic regression analysis is used to account for differences between specific office buildings and to explicitly identify the “pure” green effect in identifying the level of energy rating premiums in several commercial property performance characteristics (e.g. office value, rent).

Findings

The empirical results show the added-value premium of the 5-star National Australian Built Environment Rating Scheme (NABERS) energy rating scheme and the Green Star scheme in the property performance of green office buildings in Australia, including office values and rents. Energy rating premiums for green office buildings are evident at the top energy ratings and energy rating discounts at the lower energy ratings. The added-value “top-end” premium of the 5-star vs 4-star NABERS energy rating category is clearly identified for the various property performance parameters, including office values and rents.

Practical implications

This paper empirically determines the presence of energy rating premiums at the top energy ratings in the performance of green office buildings, as well as energy rating discounts at the lower energy ratings. This clearly highlights the added value dimension of energy efficiency in green office buildings and the need for the major office property investors to prioritise the highest energy rating to facilitate additional property performance premiums. This will also see green office buildings become the norm as the market benchmark rather than non-green office buildings.

Social implications

This paper highlights energy performance premiums for green office buildings. This fits into the context of sustainability in the property industry and the broader aspects of corporate social responsibility in the property industry.

Originality/value

This paper is the first published property research analysis on the detailed determination of energy rating premiums across the energy rating spectrum for green office buildings in Australia. Given the increased focus on energy efficiency and green office buildings, this research enables empirically validated and practical property investment decisions by office property investors regarding the importance of energy efficiency and green office buildings, and the priority to achieve the highest energy rating to maximise property performance premiums in office values and rents.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 32 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

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Article
Publication date: 12 December 2020

Claudia Mac-lean, Luis Santiago Vargas, Gonzalo Uribe, Cristian Aldea, Lorna Lares and Oscar Mercado

The purpose of this paper is to provide a panoramic and systematic view of 10 Sustainable Campus Network (SCN) universities’ internal entities in charge of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a panoramic and systematic view of 10 Sustainable Campus Network (SCN) universities’ internal entities in charge of the sustainability effort – such as offices, committees, units, programs, or other, showing how some institutions have gained increasing deployment and momentum. However, their appearance and growth pathways have had significant disparities.

Design/methodology/approach

Global and local agendas have had a strong influence on Chilean higher education institutions. A relevant signal has been the creation of the SCN, formed by 21 Chilean universities, whose vision is to help shape a fair and environmentally healthy civilization contributing from the higher education realm. This work adopts a survey design methodological approach. It describes the following resulting components obtained from the aggregated data: (a) emergence processes and environments, (b) governance models and operational mechanisms, (c) networks and collaboration, and (d) final products generated, for sustainability governing entities within universities in Chile.

Findings

The main findings indicate that at the institutional level, the Cleaner Production Agreement for higher education institutions and the creation of the SCN have been key drivers in the formalization of several entities leading the sustainability efforts within Chilean universities. Also, regarding the degree of commitment to sustainability, the most active internal stakeholder corresponds to students.

Originality/value

The present work represents a pioneering effort in the Chilean context to identify and systematize the challenges, organizational structures, and key accomplishments of sustainability governing entities in higher education nationwide.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Ahmed Farouk Radwan and Engy M. Abou Sreea Khalil

This paper aims to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices adopted among University of Sharjah (UOS) students toward sustainability efforts done by their university.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to assess the level of knowledge, attitudes and practices adopted among University of Sharjah (UOS) students toward sustainability efforts done by their university.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was emailed to students with the assistance of the UOS Sustainability Office. The survey consisted of four sections assessing knowledge, attitudes, practices and preferred media to obtain sustainability information. A total of 200 responses from male and female students, representing 4 levels of study in sciences and humanities colleges, were received. Research data is analyzed using the IBM SPSS Statistics (version 26). For assessing knowledge, eight items were developed to measure if the student knew about the university’s projects and activities in the field of sustainability. For assessing attitudes, six items were developed to indicate the level of agreement or disagreement toward main sustainability issues. For assessing practices, ten items were developed to measure the frequency of acting in a sustainable manner.

Findings

Survey results showed an advanced level of basic knowledge among university students regarding the programs and activities conducted by UOS, and a positive attitude toward these efforts and toward the importance of supporting sustainable practices. Most of the participating students disagreed with limiting the use of cars on campus – this may be because of a cultural aspect among young people in the Emirati society, who consider driving cars as an essential part of their daily life. Most students also indicated that they care about the behavior that supports sustainability in the university environment, such as rationalizing water consumption and using environment friendly products.

Research limitations/implications

The study’s limitations are that it was applied to one university – UOS. The sample of the online survey was only 200 students from undergraduate students. Different universities may have their own sets of different environmental approaches, and because of this reason, university students may exhibit different levels of knowledge, attitude and practice toward sustainability in contrast to the findings from this study.

Practical implications

Findings from this research can give decision-makers a good picture of the university’s performance in accomplishing sustainability. The authors recommend that UOS sustainability communication programs should be more comprehensive, and not only limited to protecting the environment that some students perceive as the primary aspect of sustainability. These efforts must address all economic and social aspects emphasized by the United Arab Emirates 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the current study is considered one of the first studies addressing sustainability efforts in Emirati universities and seeking to assess the level of student knowledge, attitudes and practices toward sustainability issues in the country. The study is crucial in providing better insights such as the level of knowledge, attitude and practices toward UOS sustainability performance. As found in this study, even with sufficient knowledge, students still lack the drive to convert them into actions. So, future research could investigate deeper into the barriers of converting sustainable knowledge and attitudes into practices. The results represent an added value to the research literature concerned with sustainability issues in the Arab world and the Middle East region. This paper will also contribute to the sustainability literature that will be benefited by other various organizations.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2015

Junaidah Jailani, Richard Reed and Kimberley James

The purpose of this paper is to address two major challenges faced by sustainable building owners: first, address the gap between an occupant’s expectations of sustainable…

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1297

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address two major challenges faced by sustainable building owners: first, address the gap between an occupant’s expectations of sustainable building outcomes and what the building actually provides and second, overcome the lack of user knowledge about sustainability design and operation for a particular with regards to performance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a focus group approach to investigate the gap between: user expectations and sustainable building performance. The study surveyed occupants of sustainable office buildings in Melbourne, Australia.

Findings

There is no significant relationship between users’ expectations and users’ experience of sustainable building performance and users’ knowledge about sustainability and the building they were worked in.

Research limitations/implications

The research was limited to sustainable office buildings. New office buildings seeking to incorporate sustainability which need to focus on the needs of tenants in order to maximise value.

Practical implications

There is an urgent need to ensure sustainable office buildings meet the needs of present and future occupiers without compromising short and long-term occupier satisfaction levels with regards to sustainability and operation of the building.

Social implications

Increasing the level of sustainability in office buildings has been a major trend over the past decade however the tenants need to be consulted in the post-occupancy phase.

Originality/value

Little attention has been given in the property management literature to sustainable office buildings and value drivers. This is an original and innovative study, partly due to the recent developments in sustainable buildings.

Details

Property Management, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Susan St Lawrence

If a company wishes to lease office space that reflects its corporate social responsibility (CSR)and brand aspirations, is there property out there to match the demand…

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1283

Abstract

If a company wishes to lease office space that reflects its corporate social responsibility (CSR) and brand aspirations, is there property out there to match the demand? Are developers really resistant to building properties that are environmentally and socially responsible, or is that an outdated myth? If true, what are the pressures driving change in the marketplace and who is applying them? Are the barriers hindering the uptake of sustainability in the corporate real estate market insurmountable? This paper summarises the findings from a stakeholder review carried out as part of the Cambridge University Programme for Industry, Sustainability Learning Network 2003 course, where key players in the corporate real estate arena were asked these questions. It identifies those sectors engaged in driving sustainability uptake and those resistant. It illustrates the level of activity through case studies.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Pernille Hoy Christensen

The purpose of this paper is to understand both the facts and the values associated with the breadth of issues, and the principles related to sustainable real estate for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand both the facts and the values associated with the breadth of issues, and the principles related to sustainable real estate for institutional investors. Sustainable real estate is a growing sector within the commercial real estate industry, and yet, the decision-making practices of institutional investors related to sustainability are still not well understood. In an effort to fill that gap, this research investigates the post-global financial crisis (GFC) motivations driving the implementation of sustainability initiatives, the implementation strategies used, and the predominant eco-indicators and measures used by institutional investors.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents the results of a three-round modified Delphi study conducted in the USA in 2011-2012 investigating the nature of performance measurements and reporting requirements in sustainable commercial real estate and their impact on the real estate decision-making process used by institutional investors. Two rounds of in-depth interviews were conducted with 14 expert panelists. An e-questionnaire was used in the third round to verify qualitative findings.

Findings

The key industry drivers and performance indicators influencing institutional investor decision making were associated with risk management of assets and whether initiatives can improve competitive market advantage. Industry leaders advocate for simple key performance indicators, which is in contrast to the literature which argues for the need to adopt common criteria and metrics. Key barriers to the adoption of sustainability initiatives are discussed and a decision framework is presented.

Practical implications

This research aims to help industry partners understand the drivers motivating institutional investors to uptake sustainability initiatives with the aim of improving decision making, assessment, and management of sustainable commercial office buildings.

Originality/value

Building on the four generations of the sustainability framework presented by Simons et al. (2001), this research argues that the US real estate market has yet again adjusted its relationship with sustainability and revises their framework to include a new, post-GFC generation for decision making, assessment, and management of sustainable real estate.

Details

Journal of Property Investment & Finance, vol. 35 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-578X

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2020

James Hardy Speer, Virgil Sheets, Tina M. Kruger, Stephen Peter Aldrich and Nicholas McCreary

The purpose of this study is to assess environmental concern at a Midwest university, analyze trends in concern over time and determine the effect of the development of a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to assess environmental concern at a Midwest university, analyze trends in concern over time and determine the effect of the development of a campus sustainability office.

Design/methodology/approach

A multi-question survey was administered through peer-to-peer recruitment from an undergraduate environmental science class each fall from 2010–2017. This exercise was originally developed as a pedagogical exercise on the scientific method.

Findings

Over eight years, incoming freshmen have expressed more concern that humans are harming the environment and students also express greater concern as they progress through college.

Research limitations/implications

The first year of the survey (2010) and the year that the lead PI was on sabbatical (2014) saw reduced response rates (∼1%–3% of the student population) compared to 6%–9% of the student population in other years.

Practical implications

Responses to all of the questions in the survey provide guidance for university administrations and sustainability offices about the concerns of the campus community, awareness about campus efforts and support for sustainability activities on campus.

Originality/value

Few studies have been published on students’ perspectives on environmental concern and sustainability activities on university campuses. These data provide an overview of environmental concern, perceived government action and empowerment to action over an eight-year period. This approach is recommended as a technique to teach the scientific method in introductory classes and as a means to collect data about student perspectives on sustainability.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 21 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

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