An integrated sustainability-management approach for universities

Umar, Tariq (2020) An integrated sustainability-management approach for universities. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability, 173(7), pp. 344-355. ISSN (print) 1478-4629


Sustainability has become a recognised important sector and a main concern in modern life. The attention towards sustainability was particularly increased when the UN set the target of achieving 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The role of universities cannot be ignored in promoting sustainability, but to play this role effectively, universities first need to be sustainable. This paper aims to describe a sustainability framework and suggests a process for using the proposed sustainability framework. A qualitative research method using a systematic review approach, semi-structured interviews and email interviews was adopted to achieve the aims and objectives of this research. The initial data were collected from 39 papers extracted from four main databases. Then, semi-structured interviews were held with a total of 11 sustainability experts working in different universities globally. A framework for sustainability in universities consisting of three main components related to the environment, social responsibility and teaching and research is finally developed and validated through email interviews held with 19 heads of different universities around the world. Each of the main sustainability components is divided into subfactors. Longitudinal studies are recommended to evaluate the impact of the proposed framework on university sustainability.

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