Sustainable development and universities: Institutionalising sustainable development into universities: advantages & solutions

By | February 26, 2015

This is the 3rd article in the series of 4 by Sorina Antonescu. See overview of articles here >>

1.      Universities and the Challenge of Larger Systems Interactions

STOC0044According to Velazquez et al. (2006, p. 812) a sustainable university can be defined as

A higher educational institution, as whole or as a part that addresses, involves and promotes, on a regional or global level, the minimisation of negative environmental, economic, societal and health effects generated in the use of their resources in order to fulfil its function of teaching, research, outreach and partnership, and stewardship in ways to help society make the transition to sustainable lifestyles.

Similarly, Cole (2003, p.30) envisages a sustainable campus community as

 (…) one that acts upon its local and global responsibilities to protect and enhance the health and well-being of humans and ecosystems. It actively engages the knowledge of the university community to address the ecological and social challenges that we face now and in the future.

Undoubtedly, statements similar to the ones outlined above stand proof to the well-intended, ambitious and even visionary nature of their authors. Yet, despite their far-sighted goals, these relatively broad and abstract views fail to provide the genuine contribution required to compile a comprehensive and detailed guide, narrower in scope, such that it becomes possible to take the proactive steps necessary to turn this seemingly impracticable feat of sustainable-universities-leading-by-example into a tangible reality.  Read more >>