Sustainable Universities

This project will benefit from the experiences of University of Gothenburg and all participating Universities with the objective of sharing knowledge and make progress on 1) how sustainable development can be integrated in higher education institutions and 2) how environmental management system (EMS) can improve campus sustainability.

Expected outcomes from project participation:

  • Collaborative projects among the participating Universities for the development of academic programs and joint research related to environmental sustainability.
  • A platform for a systematic process, including an Environmental inventory, setting up an organization etc. at participating universities. 
  • A plan for reduced environmental impact and fulfilment of environmental legislation
  • A plan for development of campus sustainability
  • Better management of resources, energy,  & materials
  • Increased internal as well as external credibility.
  • Groundwork for possible ISO 14001 certification.
  • A Network of practitioners for sustainable development @ universities.

A university system consists of four dimensions, namely education, research, outreach and university operations, such as travels and meetings, energy use, buildings, purchasing, waste management, chemicals and risk management.

These dimensions have often been seen as separate, based on hierarchical and competitive structures. But in order to develop a vision for a sustainable campus, it is necessary to understand the interdependence among these dimensions and to increase the collaboration and synergy between them, “as all parts are critical to achieving a transformative change (Cortese 2003).

For a successful implementation of environmental management, it is essential that management accepts and legitimizes the work. One could argue that the top management has a key position in the change towards sustainable development. Management should have a vision of the future development, an understanding of sustainable development and provide the necessary support (Sammalisto 2007).

Therefore, participation in this project will require:

  1. that the university management accepts and legitimizes the work/project
  2. that there is a person or a team responsible for working with sustainability issues on campus

Methodology: This project will be carried with a combination of Web meetings, two face to face workshops and tasks to be developed by participants.


Project management at University of Gothenburg:

  • Eddi Omrcen, Environmental manager, Environmental Unit, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Ullika Lundgren, Environmental controller, Environmental Unit, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Coordination @ Columbus: