Encyclopedia of Sustainability in Higher Education

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho

Sustainability Domains in Higher Education

  • Naomi M. Maina-OkoriEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-63951-2_489-1

Synonyms

Definition

Sustainability domains in higher education refer to individual but interrelated areas within which sustainability is integrated. Key sustainability domains in higher education include overall governance, curriculum, research, operations, and community engagement. Together, these domains constitute a holistic approach for integrating sustainability into the higher education system.

Introduction

In the wake of catastrophes such as the recent tsunami in Indonesia and ravaging hurricanes Michael and Florence in the USA, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a report calling for urgent and wide-spread action to limit global warming to 1.5 °C above preindustrial levels (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2018). This report adds a renewed sense of urgency to previous calls to ensure survival of ecosystems and global communities. Following these initial calls,...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Alkaher I, Avissar I (2018) Assessing the impact of a program designed to develop sustainability leadership amongst staff members in higher education institutes: a case study from a community of practice perspective. Environ Educ Res 24:492–520.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2017.1291799CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ávila LV, Leal Filho W, Brandli L et al (2017) Barriers to innovation and sustainability at universities around the world. J Clean Prod 164:1268–1278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bekessy SA, Samson K, Clarkson RE (2007) The failure of non-binding declarations to achieve university sustainability: a need for accountability. Int J Sustain High Educ 8:301–316CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beringer A, Adomßent M (2008) Sustainable university research and development: inspecting sustainability in higher education research. Environ Educ Res 14:607–623CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Beveridge D, McKenzie M, Vaughter P, Wright T (2015) Sustainability in Canadian post-secondary institutions: the interrelationships among sustainability initiatives and geographic and institutional characteristics. Int J Sustain High Educ 16:611–638CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bieler A, McKenzie M (2017) Strategic planning for sustainability in Canadian higher education. Sustainability 9:161.  https://doi.org/10.3390/su9020161CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Blake J, Sterling S (2011) Tensions and transitions: effecting change towards sustainability at a mainstream university through staff living and learning at an alternative, civil society college. Environ Educ Res 17:125–144.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2010.486477CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bodorkós B, Pataki G (2009) Linking academic and local knowledge: community-based research and service learning for sustainable rural development in Hungary. J Clean Prod 17:1123–1131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bothun GD (2016) Data networks and sustainability education in African universities: a case study for Sub-Saharan Africa. Int J Sustain High Educ 17:246–268CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Brundtland GH (1987) Our common future (Report for the World commission on Environment and Development, United Nations). Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
  11. Caeiro S, Filho WL, Jabbour C, Azeiteiro UM (eds) (2013) Sustainability assessment tools in higher education institutions. Springer International Publishing, ChamGoogle Scholar
  12. Ceulemans K, Molderez I, Van Liedekerke L (2014) Sustainability reporting in higher education: a comprehensive review of the recent literature and paths for further research. J Clean Prod 106:127–143.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.09.052CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Chalker-Scott L, Tinnemore R (2009) Is community-based sustainability education sustainable? A general overview of organizational sustainability in outreach education. J Clean Prod 17:1132–1137CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Christie BA, Miller KK, Cooke R, White JG (2013) Environmental sustainability in higher education: how do academics teach? Environ Educ Res 19:385–414CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Cortese AD (2003) The critical role of higher education in creating a sustainable future. Plan High Educ 31:15–22Google Scholar
  16. Cotton DRE, Warren MF, Maiboroda O, Bailey I (2007) Sustainable development, higher education and pedagogy: a study of lecturers’ beliefs and attitudes. Environ Educ Res 13:579–597CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dentoni D, Bitzer V (2015) The role (s) of universities in dealing with global wicked problems through multi-stakeholder initiatives. J Clean Prod 106:68–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Dyer G, Dyer M (2017) Strategic leadership for sustainability by higher education: the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment. J Clean Prod 140:111–116CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Elliott H, Wright T (2013) Barriers to sustainable universities and ways forward: a Canadian students’ perspective. In: The 3rd world sustainability forumGoogle Scholar
  20. Gaziulusoy AI, Boyle C (2013) Proposing a heuristic reflective tool for reviewing literature in transdisciplinary research for sustainability. J Clean Prod 48:139–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Grindsted TS (2015) The matter of geography in education for sustainable development: the case of danish university geography. In: Leal Filho W (ed) Transformative approaches to sustainable development at universities. Springer, Switzerland, pp 13–24Google Scholar
  22. Holdsworth S, Wyborn C, Bekessy S, Thomas I (2008) Professional development for education for sustainability: how advanced are Australian universities? Int J Sustain High Educ 9:131–146CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Holmberg J, Svanström M, Peet D-J et al (2008) Embedding sustainability in higher education through interaction with lecturers: case studies from three European technical universities. Eur J Eng Educ 33:271–282CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (PCC) (2018) Global warming of 1.5 °C. http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/. Accessed 12 Oct 2018
  25. Jorge ML, Madueño JH, Peña FJA (2015) Factors influencing the presence of sustainability initiatives in the strategic planning of Spanish universities. Environ Educ Res 21:1155–1187.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2014.977231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kanyimba A, Hamunyela M, Kasanda CD (2014) Barriers to the implementation of education for sustainable development in Namibia’s higher education institutions. Creat Educ 5:242CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Karatzoglou B (2011) Critical perspectives from the literature review on the contribution of universities to regional sustainable development. In: Barton A, Dlouhá J (eds) Multi-actor learning for sustainable development in Europe: A handbook of best practice. Grosvenor House Publishing Ltd, Surrey, UK, pp 19–46Google Scholar
  28. Leal Filho W, Manolas E, Pace P (2015) The future we want: key issues on sustainable development in higher education after Rio and the UN decade of education for sustainable development. Int J Sustain High Educ 16:112–129CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lee K-H, Barker M, Mouasher A (2013) Is it even espoused? An exploratory study of commitment to sustainability as evidenced in vision, mission, and graduate attribute statements in Australian universities. J Clean Prod 48:20–28.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.01.007CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lidstone L, Wright T, Sherren K (2015) An analysis of Canadian STARS-rated higher education sustainability policies. Environ Dev Sustain 17:259–278CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Lozano R (2006) Incorporation and institutionalization of SD into universities: breaking through barriers to change. J Clean Prod 14:787–796.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2005.12.010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Lozano R (2011) The state of sustainability reporting in universities. Int J Sustain High Educ 12:67–78.  https://doi.org/10.1108/14676371111098311CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Lozano R, Lukman R, Lozano FJ et al (2011) Declarations for sustainability in higher education: becoming better leaders, through addressing the university system. J Clean Prod 48:10–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Lozano R, Lozano FJ, Mulder K et al (2013) Advancing higher education for sustainable development: international insights and critical reflections. J Clean Prod 48:3–9.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2013.03.034CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Lozano R, Ceulemans K, Alonso-Almeida M et al (2014) A review of commitment and implementation of sustainable development in higher education: results from a worldwide survey. J Clean Prod 108:1–18.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.09.048CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Macgregor CJ (2015) James Cook university’s holistic response to the sustainable development challenge. In: Leal Filho W (ed) Transformative approches to sustainable development at universities. Springer, Switzerland, pp 25–40Google Scholar
  37. Mickwitz P, Melanen M (2009) The role of co-operation between academia and policymakers for the development and use of sustainability indicators – a case from the Finnish Kymenlaakso Region. J Clean Prod 17:1086–1100CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Moore J (2005) Policy, priorities and action: a case study of the University of British Columbia’s engagement with sustainability. High Educ Policy 18:179–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Mulder KF, Ferrer D, Segalas Coral J et al (2015) Motivating students and lecturers for education in sustainable development. Int J Sustain High Educ 16:385–401CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Murray J (2018) Student-led action for sustainability in higher education: a literature review. Int J Sustain High Educ 19:1095–1110.  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-09-2017-0164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Portman ME, Teff-Seker Y (2017) Community-level environmental projects as learning tools for planners: a case study of graduate planning students. Environ Educ Res 23:415–435CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Remington-Doucette S, Musgrove S (2015) Variation in sustainability competency development according to age, gender, and disciplinary affiliation: implications for teaching practice and overall program structure. Int J Sustain High Educ 16:537–575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Roorda N, Martens P (2008) Assessment and certification of higher education for sustainable development. Sustain J Rec 1:41–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Rose G, Ryan K, Desha C (2015) Implementing a holistic process for embedding sustainability: a case study in first year engineering, Monash University, Australia. J Clean Prod 106:229–238CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Ryan A, Tilbury D, Blaze Corcoran P et al (2010) Sustainability in higher education in the Asia-Pacific: developments, challenges, and prospects. Int J Sustain High Educ 11:106–119CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sherren K (2006) Core issues: reflections on sustainability in Australian university coursework programs. Int J Sustain High Educ 7:400–413CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Sidiropoulos E (2018) The personal context of student learning for sustainability: results of a multi-university research study. J Clean Prod 181:537–554.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.01.083CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Stephens JC, Hernandez ME, Román M et al (2008) Higher education as a change agent for sustainability in different cultures and contexts. Int J Sustain High Educ 9:317–338CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Sterling S (2004) Higher education, sustainability, and the role of systemic learning. In: Corcoran PB, Wals AEJ (eds) Higher education and the challenge of sustainability: problematics, promise, and practice. Springer Netherlands, Dordrecht, pp 49–70CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Sylvestre P, Wright T, Sherren K (2013) Exploring faculty conceptualizations of sustainability in higher education: cultural barriers to organizational change and potential resolutions. J Educ Sustain Dev 7:223–244CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Sylvestre P, Wright T, Sherren K (2014) A tale of two (or more) sustainabilities: AQ methodology study of university professors’ perspectives on sustainable universities. Sustainability 6:1521–1543CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Tilbury D (2011) Higher education for sustainability: a global overview of commitment and progress. High Educ World 4:18–28Google Scholar
  53. Togo M, Lotz-Sisitka H (2013) The unit-based sustainability assessment tool and its use in the UNEP mainstreaming environment and sustainability in African universities partnership. In: Caeiro S, Filho WL, Jabbour C, Azeiteiro UM (eds) Sustainability assessment tools in higher education institutions: mapping trends and good practices around the world. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 259–288CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Vaughter P, Wright T, McKenzie M, Lidstone L (2013) Greening the ivory tower: a review of educational research on sustainability in post-secondary education. Sustainability 5:2252–2271CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Vaughter P, McKenzie M, Lidstone L, Wright T (2016) Campus sustainability governance in Canada: a content analysis of post-secondary institutions’ sustainability policies. Int J Sustain High Educ 17:16–39CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Velasco A, Valencia M, Morrow S, Ochoa-Herrera V (2018) Understanding the limits of assessing sustainability at Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, Ecuador, while reporting for a North American system. Int J Sustain High Educ 19:721–738CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Velazquez L, Munguia N, Sanchez M (2005) Deterring sustainability in higher education institutions: an appraisal of the factors which influence sustainability in higher education institutions. Int J Sustain High Educ 6:383–391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Velazquez L, Munguia N, Platt A, Taddei J (2006) Sustainable university: what can be the matter? J Clean Prod 14:810–819CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Vincent S, Danielson A, Santos BSR (2015) Interdisciplinary environmental and sustainability education and research: institutes and centers at U.S. research universities. In: Leal Filho W, Brandli L, Kuznetsova O, do Paço AMF (eds) Integrative approaches to sustainable development at university level: making the links. Springer International Publishing, Cham, pp 275–292Google Scholar
  60. Waas T, Verbruggen A, Wright T (2010) University research for sustainable development: definition and characteristics explored. J Clean Prod 18:629–636CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Wals AEJ (2009) A mid-DESD review: key findings and ways forward. J Educ Sustain Dev 3:195–204.  https://doi.org/10.1177/097340820900300216CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Wals AE (2014) Sustainability in higher education in the context of the UN DESD: a review of learning and institutionalization processes. J Clean Prod 62:8–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Wells P, Bristow G, Nieuwenhuis P, Christensen TB (2009) The role of academia in regional sustainability initiatives: Wales. J Clean Prod 17:1116–1122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. White SS (2014) Campus sustainability plans in the United States: where, what, and how to evaluate? Int J Sustain High Educ 15:228–241.  https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-08-2012-0075CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. White R, Harder MK (2013) The journey towards sustainability via community: lessons from two UK universities. In: The sustainable university: progress and prospects. Routledge, New York, p 132Google Scholar
  66. Wood BE, Cornforth S, Beals F et al (2016) Sustainability champions? Academic identities and sustainability curricula in higher education. Int J Sustain High Educ 17:342–360CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Wright TS (2002) Definitions and frameworks for environmental sustainability in higher education. Int J Sustain High Educ 3:203–220CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wright T, Wilton H (2012) Facilities management directors’ conceptualizations of sustainability in higher education. J Clean Prod 31:118–125CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Yarime M, Trencher G, Mino T et al (2012) Establishing sustainability science in higher education institutions: towards an integration of academic development, institutionalization, and stakeholder collaborations. Sustain Sci 7:101–113.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-012-0157-5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Zeegers Y, Francis Clark I (2014) Students’ perceptions of education for sustainable development. Int J Sustain High Educ 15:242–253CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Zilahy G, Huisingh D, Melanen M et al (2009) Roles of academia in regional sustainability initiatives: outreach for a more sustainable future. J Clean Prod 17:1053–1056CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Zimmerman KS, Halfacre-Hitchcock A (2006) Barriers to student mobilization and service at institutions of higher education: a green building initiative case study on a historic, urban campus in Charleston, South Carolina, USA. Int J Sustain High Educ 7:6–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada

Section editors and affiliations

  • Rudi Pretorius
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa