Sustainability at universities: Students’ perceptions from Green and Non-Green universities

Sustainability at universities: Students’ perceptions from Green and Non-Green universities As institutions of higher education, universities have a significant impact on society and can play a key role in sustainability provision. Particularly, it is expected that green universities, because they are becoming more widespread, would contribute to the sustainability performance the most. However, none of the case studies have analysed the differences in sustainability performance between the “green” and the “non-green” universities from the perspective of the students. Therefore, the objective of this study was to contribute to this topic and compare students' attitudes towards sustainability in Vytautas Magnus University (a non-green university) and Kaunas University of Technology (a green university). According to a survey conducted in 2015, the differences in campus sustainability, environmental information, the university's role in sustainable development, students' attitudes to the university's self-presentation as green, and students' involvement in sustainability in these two universities were analysed. Results indicate that there were no significant differences regarding sustainability aspects in general, but green university students more often agree that their university presents itself as environmentally friendly. They get more environmental information and more often participate in sustainability activities compared with students from the non-green university. After applying the regression analysis, it was found that only campus sustainability and environmental information determined students' involvement in sustainability significantly. This suggests that official declarations and commitments should be realised in particular activities on campus and via information campaigns to contribute to sustainability provisions in a more holistic manner. Otherwise, commitments will remain as statements only. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Cleaner Production Elsevier

Sustainability at universities: Students’ perceptions from Green and Non-Green universities

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0959-6526
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.jclepro.2018.01.213
Publisher site
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Abstract

As institutions of higher education, universities have a significant impact on society and can play a key role in sustainability provision. Particularly, it is expected that green universities, because they are becoming more widespread, would contribute to the sustainability performance the most. However, none of the case studies have analysed the differences in sustainability performance between the “green” and the “non-green” universities from the perspective of the students. Therefore, the objective of this study was to contribute to this topic and compare students' attitudes towards sustainability in Vytautas Magnus University (a non-green university) and Kaunas University of Technology (a green university). According to a survey conducted in 2015, the differences in campus sustainability, environmental information, the university's role in sustainable development, students' attitudes to the university's self-presentation as green, and students' involvement in sustainability in these two universities were analysed. Results indicate that there were no significant differences regarding sustainability aspects in general, but green university students more often agree that their university presents itself as environmentally friendly. They get more environmental information and more often participate in sustainability activities compared with students from the non-green university. After applying the regression analysis, it was found that only campus sustainability and environmental information determined students' involvement in sustainability significantly. This suggests that official declarations and commitments should be realised in particular activities on campus and via information campaigns to contribute to sustainability provisions in a more holistic manner. Otherwise, commitments will remain as statements only.

Journal

Journal of Cleaner ProductionElsevier

Published: Apr 20, 2018

References

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