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Ecological footprint: a tool for environmental management in educational institutions

Ecological footprint: a tool for environmental management in educational institutions The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, as few universities have assessed their ecological footprint (EF), a benchmark for Colombian universities is presented. Second, a practical calculation tool for measuring the EF in educational institutions (EIs) is developed. The purpose of this tool is to facilitate the process of assessing the EF in EIs that are starting sustainability initiatives and to unify criteria with those already involved.Design/methodology/approachThe development of the Ecological Footprint for Educational Institutions (EFEI) calculator is detailed showing the seven categories analyzed and the adaptation to the Colombian context.FindingsResults are presented from a case study of EFEI implementation at Universidad Icesi. Furthermore, the relation between these results and the action taken to mitigate EF at the university is detailed.Practical implicationsColombian EIs have recently joined the sustainable campus movement. The EF methodology and this tool serve to assess impacts and identify what EIs can do to ameliorate their environmental stewardship.Social implicationsEIs are called on to lead by example in terms of sustainability, not only in teaching and researching cutting-edge technologies but also in being sustainable and transferring this knowledge to future generations.Originality/valueFirst, an EF benchmark for Colombian universities is presented. In addition, a unified methodology for EIs is developed. The availability of a standard tool will encourage other EIs to move forward in the effort to achieve a sustainable campus. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education Emerald Publishing

Ecological footprint: a tool for environmental management in educational institutions

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References (29)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1467-6370
DOI
10.1108/ijshe-09-2018-0156
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, as few universities have assessed their ecological footprint (EF), a benchmark for Colombian universities is presented. Second, a practical calculation tool for measuring the EF in educational institutions (EIs) is developed. The purpose of this tool is to facilitate the process of assessing the EF in EIs that are starting sustainability initiatives and to unify criteria with those already involved.Design/methodology/approachThe development of the Ecological Footprint for Educational Institutions (EFEI) calculator is detailed showing the seven categories analyzed and the adaptation to the Colombian context.FindingsResults are presented from a case study of EFEI implementation at Universidad Icesi. Furthermore, the relation between these results and the action taken to mitigate EF at the university is detailed.Practical implicationsColombian EIs have recently joined the sustainable campus movement. The EF methodology and this tool serve to assess impacts and identify what EIs can do to ameliorate their environmental stewardship.Social implicationsEIs are called on to lead by example in terms of sustainability, not only in teaching and researching cutting-edge technologies but also in being sustainable and transferring this knowledge to future generations.Originality/valueFirst, an EF benchmark for Colombian universities is presented. In addition, a unified methodology for EIs is developed. The availability of a standard tool will encourage other EIs to move forward in the effort to achieve a sustainable campus.

Journal

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Jul 19, 2019

Keywords: Ecological footprint; Educational institutions; Environmental management; Sustainability; Colombia

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