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Sustainable Development in Higher Education Incorporation, assessment and reporting of sustainable development in higher education institutions

Lozano-Ros, Rodrigo (2003)
The International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics
Abstract
The effects of modern economic systems have put extensive pressure on the environment and society, both for this and future generations. Sustainable Development (SD) may offer the solution of pursuing development while ensuring the preservation of economic, environmental and social aspects for present and future generations.

Throughout the centuries, universities and their faculty members have served as educators of the majority of entrepreneurs and decision-makers, hence the current need to incorporate SD into the higher education system.

There have been several efforts, such as declarations and charters, by universities, to address the problematic issues associated with implementing SD. Of these, two stand out above the others, the... (More)
The effects of modern economic systems have put extensive pressure on the environment and society, both for this and future generations. Sustainable Development (SD) may offer the solution of pursuing development while ensuring the preservation of economic, environmental and social aspects for present and future generations.

Throughout the centuries, universities and their faculty members have served as educators of the majority of entrepreneurs and decision-makers, hence the current need to incorporate SD into the higher education system.

There have been several efforts, such as declarations and charters, by universities, to address the problematic issues associated with implementing SD. Of these, two stand out above the others, the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter. The first highlights that education is vital to solve most of the current economic, environmental and social aspects; while the Earth Charter states the principles upon which to build a just, sustainable and peaceful global society.

Higher educational institutions should be places where new ideas are created and tried; they should serve as teaching and learning grounds for different disciplines, but bearing in mind that this process must increasingly be built upon the principles of sustainability.

The incorporation of SD is welcomed by some but rejected by other universities; and even within the universities, some individuals welcome it while others reject it. It is thus important for university leaders to understand the factors and reasons that create this resistance and to create strategies to overcome the barriers to change and to accomplish the institutionalisation of SD.

The incorporation must be performed in all five dimensions of the university system: Education, Research, Operations, Community outreach, and Assessment and reporting.

One of the principles of SD is the participation of stakeholders. Assessment, transparency and reporting play key roles in helping to ensure involvement and commitment of key stakeholders. Many tools have been developed for SD, most of them for corporations; some examples of these are the ISO standards, the Global Reporting Initiative, etc. Universities have two choices to fulfil their assessment and reporting obligations: 1. to create new tools, 2. to modify the existing corporate tools. This thesis presents one example of each.

For this thesis, two universities, Lund University (Sweden) and Monterrey Tec (Mexico), were chosen to gain insight into the process and progress of implementation of SD within them.

The findings from these two case studies are presented along with recommendations for how other universities may speed up their involvement in similar activities. (Less)
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@misc{1325193,
  abstract     = {The effects of modern economic systems have put extensive pressure on the environment and society, both for this and future generations. Sustainable Development (SD) may offer the solution of pursuing development while ensuring the preservation of economic, environmental and social aspects for present and future generations.

Throughout the centuries, universities and their faculty members have served as educators of the majority of entrepreneurs and decision-makers, hence the current need to incorporate SD into the higher education system.

There have been several efforts, such as declarations and charters, by universities, to address the problematic issues associated with implementing SD. Of these, two stand out above the others, the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter. The first highlights that education is vital to solve most of the current economic, environmental and social aspects; while the Earth Charter states the principles upon which to build a just, sustainable and peaceful global society.

Higher educational institutions should be places where new ideas are created and tried; they should serve as teaching and learning grounds for different disciplines, but bearing in mind that this process must increasingly be built upon the principles of sustainability.

The incorporation of SD is welcomed by some but rejected by other universities; and even within the universities, some individuals welcome it while others reject it. It is thus important for university leaders to understand the factors and reasons that create this resistance and to create strategies to overcome the barriers to change and to accomplish the institutionalisation of SD.

The incorporation must be performed in all five dimensions of the university system: Education, Research, Operations, Community outreach, and Assessment and reporting.

One of the principles of SD is the participation of stakeholders. Assessment, transparency and reporting play key roles in helping to ensure involvement and commitment of key stakeholders. Many tools have been developed for SD, most of them for corporations; some examples of these are the ISO standards, the Global Reporting Initiative, etc. Universities have two choices to fulfil their assessment and reporting obligations: 1. to create new tools, 2. to modify the existing corporate tools. This thesis presents one example of each.

For this thesis, two universities, Lund University (Sweden) and Monterrey Tec (Mexico), were chosen to gain insight into the process and progress of implementation of SD within them.

The findings from these two case studies are presented along with recommendations for how other universities may speed up their involvement in similar activities.},
  author       = {Lozano-Ros, Rodrigo},
  keyword      = {sustainable development,universities,innovation,barriers,assessment in higher education,SD in Lund University,SD in Monterrey Tec,Environmental studies,Miljöstudier},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Sustainable Development in Higher Education Incorporation, assessment and reporting of sustainable development in higher education institutions},
  year         = {2003},
}