Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to determine what factors contributed to three universities achieving environmental sustainability. Design/methodology/approach – A case study methodology was used to determine how each factor contributed to the institutions' sustainability. Site visits, fieldwork, document reviews, and interviews with administration, faculty, staff, and students from the participating institutions were employed as primary data collection strategies. Findings – The six factors identified in the literature as contributing to environmental sustainability were present at all three institutions: green campus operation measures; campus administration, organization, and leadership; teaching, research, and service; campus‐wide actions and activities; institutional assessment of campus sustainability measures; and established methods for overcoming barriers. Research limitations/implications – This study was delimited to the six factors that were identified in the literature and the three institutions that participated in this study. The research will add to the literature on creating sustainable campuses and will also provide a foundation for further study on the progress and impact of campus sustainability efforts. Originality/value – A number of individual case studies have described what certain institutions have done. A smaller number of case studies have identified what factors have contributed to certain institutions' achieved environmental sustainability.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 6, 2012
Keywords: United States of America; Colleges; Universities; Higher education; Environmental sustainability; Sustainable design
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