New article: Communicating the sustainability message in higher education institutions

October 3, 2011

A. Djordjevic and D.R.E. Cotton, “Communicating the sustainability message in higher education institutions,” International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education 12 (2011): 381-394. Available from http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?articleid=1953898&show=abstract

This paper from the most recent edition of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, provides a poignant illustration of the challenges faced by those promoting sustainability across their university.

Even in an institution known for its commitment to sustainability where (presumably) senior management buys into the vision, barriers remain:

  • Not seen as relevant to individual/ subject area
  • About recycling/ estates/ printing on both sides of the paper
  • Senior management enthusiasm/ support can be interpreted as ‘an agenda’ (‘agenda’ never seems to be viewed positively when used of senior management)
  • Different views about what ‘sustainability’/ sustainable development means
  • Lack of dialogue/ too much communication is electronic
  • Attempted ownership by one discipline/ department

The authors’ recommendations can be found by reading the full paper (!)