Sustainability A Study Of World Leading Universities Environmental Sciences Essay

Universities, as Centres for developing responsible and knowing worlds, prepare pupils to react to the rational, societal, and personal challenges that they will confront in community. To this terminal, universities will take usage of assorted resources. In this respect, the inquiry which rises is to what extent the universe taking universities take their environmental duty into consideration and how committed they are to environmental sustainability. This paper aimed to research this issue by analyzing the universe top 10 graded universities. The survey sample included Harvard University ( US ) , University of Cambridge ( UK ) , Yale University ( US ) , University College London ( UK ) , Imperial College London ( UK ) , University of Oxford ( UK ) , University of Chicago ( US ) , Princeton University ( US ) , Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( US ) , and California Institute of Technology ( US ) . The needed information was collected through the content analysis of the web sites and one-year studies of the mentioned universities. Findingss of the paper showed that all the studied universities were involved in a figure of assorted environmental activities and were committed to their environmental duties. The findings of the paper can be a benchmark for other universities. Since the environment is an of import pillar of corporate societal duty ( CSR ) and critical portion of sustainability, the findings have of import deductions for CSR policy of universities.
Keywords: Awareness, environmental sustainability, university.
Introduction

All worlds have a moral duty to continue the planet and there is no alibi for making nil to better the environmental province of the Earth. This besides applies to establishments of higher instruction ( Christensen et al. , 2009 ) . Organizations such as companies or universities are normally responsible for the terrible environmental debasement we have witnessed ( Alshuwaikhat and Abubakar, 2008 ; Hoffman and Woody, 2008 ; Haden et al. , 2009 ) . Nowadays, higher instruction establishments can do “ important environmental impacts ” ( Jabbour, 2010 ) . Many of them, due to their big size, expressive motion of people and vehicles, high ingestion of stuffs, and strong development of complex activities, may be considered as “ little towns ” ( Alshuwaikhat and Abubakar, 2008 ) . Therefore higher instruction institutes have a great environmental duty toward society. This could be through preparation alumnuss with suited environmental cognition every bit good as environmental programs and plans to cut down waste and preserve environment. Now, the inquiry which arises is how cognizant universities are toward their environmental duties toward society. To reply this inquiry, this survey will look into the issue among universe top 10 universities through reexamining their web site content and one-year studies. Although old surveies have been conducted in this country, they are chiefly instance surveies sing merely one university. This survey, nevertheless, considers 10 International universities at the same clip and attempts to supply a general image of how cognizant and responsible universe top universities are toward environment. Since the environment is an of import pillar of corporate societal duty ( CSR ) and critical portion of sustainability, the findings of this survey have of import deductions for CSR policy of universities.
ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY IN UNIVERSITIES
Sustainability is a form of resource usage which meets the demands of the present without compromising the ability of future coevalss to run into their demands. The chief thought of sustainable development is to accomplish the permanent satisfaction of human demands. Environmental direction may be defined as “ the survey of all proficient and organisational activities aimed at cut downing the environmental impact caused by a company ‘s concern operations ” ( Cramer, 1998, p. 162 ) . Although ab initio targeted for companies, this definition can besides be applied to service sector and universities. Universities apply assorted resources to supply quality instruction for pupils. This, in bend, will do impacts on the environment. Several simple illustrations of these impacts are electricity ingestion, production of waste and CO2 emanation caused by day-to-day printing of big Numberss of documents. A figure of dimensions define environmental direction patterns ( AragI?n-Correa, 1998 ; Klassen & A ; Angell, 1998 ; Klassen & A ; Whybark, 1999 ) . As Cespedes-Lorente et Al. ( 2003 ) reference, “ Peattie and Ringler ( 1994 ) drew a differentiation between package and hardware environmental activities. Software activities are those focused on organisational issues such us systems, processs, audits and manuals, whereas hardware activities are concerned with technological alteration to cut down the environmental impact of the house ” . Environmental sustainability refers to the environmental actions or impacts of what we do. There are a figure of surveies sing the issues of sustainability and environment in higher instruction. A survey by Wright ( 2010 ) , examined how a cohort of university presidents and vice-presidents in Canadian universities conceptualize sustainable development, sustainable universities, the function universities play in accomplishing a sustainable hereafter, cardinal issues confronting the university, and the barriers to implementing sustainability enterprises on campus. They showed that although the bulk of participants were good versed in the construct of sustainable development, they were less familiar with the construct of a sustainable university. However, bulk of them were dedicated to holding their university go more sustainable. The participants besides listed “ fiscal quandaries ” , “ deficiency of apprehension and consciousness of sustainability issues amongst the university population ” , and “ a opposition to alter ” as the chief barriers in the way of sustainability. Pollock et Al. ( 2009 ) besides insisted that “ complex and uneffective administration, traditional disciplinary boundaries, and the deficiency of a shared vision at academic establishments frequently hinder university ‘s advancement toward taking the universe to a more sustainable and desirable hereafter ” . Furthermore, a survey by Rauch and Newman ( 2009 ) in Yale University explored how an institutional mark can take to greater community action and long-run committedness than if no specific mark is established.
Methodology
Similar to a related survey by Capriotti and Moreno ( 2007 ) , this paper used a content analysis methodological analysis to analyse the web sites of the top 10 universe universities ranked by Times Higher Education ( THE, 2009 ) . This research studied the content of the university functionary web sites and tried to place universities environmental patterns, processs and programs. To this terminal, we have reviewed all the related web pages of the universities ( including intelligence, media, section web pages, etc. ) and non merely direct links from the home page.
The survey sample included Harvard University ( US ) , University of Cambridge ( UK ) , Yale University ( US ) , University College London ( UK ) , Imperial College London ( UK ) , University of Oxford ( UK ) , University of Chicago ( US ) , Princeton University ( US ) , Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( US ) , and California Institute of Technology ( US ) .
FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION
The findings of this research shows that universe taking universities are in some manner or another involved in environmental patterns and committed to their environmental duty. Table 1 summarizes the diverseness of the countries which these universities are involved in.
Table 1
Environmental patterns of studied universities
Environmental Practice
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Decrease of nursery gas emanations
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Decrease in the usage of fossil fuels and increase in the usage of renewable resources
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Waste recycle and direction
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Decrease of H2O usage
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Green edifices and environmentally responsible architecture
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Runing an specialised environmental centre/ web
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Decrease of the environmental impact due to the usage of paper
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Addition of environmental consciousness among staff & A ; pupils
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Minimization of environmental impact due to stuffs and services used by the university
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Minimization of environmental impact due to go
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Care of university sites in an environmentally sensitive manner
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Green buying for university procurance
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1: Harvard University ( US ) , 2: University of Cambridge ( UK ) , 3: Yale University ( US ) , 4: University College London ( UK ) , 5: Imperial College London ( UK ) , 6: University of Oxford ( UK ) , 7: University of Chicago ( US ) , 8: Princeton University ( US ) , 9: Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( US ) , 10: California Institute of Technology ( US ) .
With the turning concern on clime alteration around the Earth, most of the universities are taking this issue into consideration. For case, Harvard University proctors and publishes its nursery gas emanations statistics across its assorted schools in North America campus. As shown in their study ( Harvard, 2008 ) , the university managed to wholly diminish its nursery gas emanation to the sum of -2.3 % in twelvemonth 2008 compared to twelvemonth 2006 in their North America campus. At Harvard, they besides notice the issue of green edifices through specifying Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ( LEED ) undertakings. As mentioned in their environmental study ( ibid. ) , “ LEED is a evaluation system for green edifices and provides a nationally accepted third-party confirmation that a edifice undertaking meets the highest public presentation criterions ” . Similarly, in University of Cambridge, a pupil web named “ Architecture sans Frontieres ( ASF ) ” considers the possibilities of a new socially and environmentally responsible architecture. Through talks and exhibitions, this web aims to acquire people believing about how edifices can react to the demands of society and the environment ( Cambridge, 2007 ) . Yale University besides has an office of sustainability where they run assorted undertakings such as LEED evaluation. Similarly, California Institute of Technology utilizes the LEED criterion to guarantee its edifices meet and keep a high degree of energy, H2O and resource efficiency. In another case, Imperial College London was recognised by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers ( CIBSE ) for the attempts of the Facilities Management section to cut down its C production. Interestingly, University of Chicago has an interesting web site called “ green usher ” where they provide information related to wellness and environmental subjects at the University of Chicago and portion tips with visitants on how to populate a greenish life ( Chicago, 2006 ) . The university besides provided eco-tip of the month in its web site. Overall, all the studied universities take their environmental duty earnestly and are involved in this respect.
Decision
This survey showed that universe taking universities are cognizant of their environmental impacts and have taken necessary stairss toward sustainability. Many of them have defined one-year programs with aims to accomplish. This can be considered as a benchmark for other universities around the Earth. However, the key to success of such programs is commitment from all degrees of direction specially top leaders. As discussed by Wickenberg ( 2006 ) and cited by Axelsson et Al. ( 2008 ) , the norm support given by the leaders of the universities is necessary and important to success in local execution of sustainability programs. This is supported by the research of Christensen et Al. ( 2009 ) who showed that in malice of following an environmental policy and subscribing an understanding to work for sustainable universities, Aalborg University ( Denmark ) failed to make its aims due to the deficiency of committedness from top direction, the losing credence from proficient staff, and a narrow apprehension of the university ‘s environmental impacts. Other universities and their leaders can benchmark these programs and civilization to form their ain sustainability and environmental programs.
Recognition
The first writer would wish to thank Universiti Sains Malaysia ( USM ) for back uping this research through supplying Vice-Chancellor Award.

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