Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to describe the state of sustainability reporting in Canada's higher education sector, while understanding who is reporting on sustainability performance, how is information being reported, and what is being reported. Design/methodology/approach – A framework with ten categories and 56 indicators based on the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) guidelines and campus sustainability assessment tools was developed to analyse the contents of a cross‐sectional sample of sustainability reports published by Canada's largest 25 universities (by student enrolment). Each author analysed two to three reports. Evidences were checked for accuracy by a different author and finally discussed in a focus group. Findings – The analysis has shown that sustainability reporting is an uncommon and diverse practice at Canadian universities. Primarily under the coordination of sustainability offices or students, seven universities published sustainability reports in the analyzed period (2006‐2008). While all reports shared a non‐integrated indicators framework, a variety of approaches were used in the selection of indicators. Reports generally had limited scopes emphasizing eco‐efficiency. The potential value of current documents as a tool to inform sustainability‐oriented decisions is limited. Practical implications – Findings are particularly relevant to university administrators and sustainability offices planning to publish or enhance sustainability reports. The paper also explores the challenges of applying the GRI guidelines to the higher education sector. Originality/value – Most descriptive studies on sustainability reporting have addressed large multinational corporations. This paper is one of the first to address the incipient practices of higher education institutions.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 11, 2011
Keywords: Sustainable development; Higher education; Canada
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera