University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Sustainability practices at private universities: a state-of-the-art assessment

Leal Filho, W., Kovaleva, M., Fritzen, B., Fudjumdjum, H., Emblen-Perry, Kay ORCID:, Platje, J., Tuladhar, L., Vasconcelos, C., LeVasseur, T.J., Minhas, A., Farinha, C.S., Buil-Fabrega, M., Novo-Corti, I., Tirca, D-M. and Antonio de Cunha, D. (2020) Sustainability practices at private universities: a state-of-the-art assessment. International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology. ISSN Print: 1350-4509 Online: 1745-2627

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Private universities also play a key role in the sustainability debate. But despite their importance, there a shortage of research on how sustainability is being implemented at private
universities. Based on the need to address this gap, this paper investigates the nature and
diversity of sustainability-based practices undertaken at private universities. It outlines the
ways private universities see and perceive sustainability, and examines by means of a survey
involving 10 universities from across all geographical regions which educate over 150.000
students, how these universities incorporate sustainability-related practices, as part of their
operations. The results suggest that, unlike their public counterparts, about half of the
respondents stated that they do not have projects undertaken to promote sustainability in
local communities or in their respective regions. Also, some private universities perceive
themselves as leaders in sustainability in higher education, while some are still developing
a more robust sustainability profile. The conclusions of the paper are that the special features
related to sustainable development teaching and research at private universities need to be
better identified, in order to involve them more on sustainability efforts. Also, whereas many of
them are highly engaged on improving energy efficiency, reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
promote sustainable water usage and promote sustainable landscaping, there is a need for
them to also engage in other areas. Finally, private universities should engage on further efforts
to increase their sustainability activities, which are beneficial to them in financial terms, as well
as in respect of their image and their operations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information:

Staff and students at the University of Worcester can access the full-text of the published version via the UW online library search. External users should check availability with their local library or Interlibrary Requests service.

Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: sustainability practice, private university, sustainability in higher education, sustainable development network, sustainable university
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education > LB2300 Higher Education
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > Worcester Business School
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Kay Emblen-Perry
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 11:20
Last Modified: 23 Dec 2021 01:00

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