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Sustainability 2015, 7(7), 8881-8903; doi:10.3390/su7078881

Sustainability Reporting in Higher Education: Interconnecting the Reporting Process and Organisational Change Management for Sustainability

1
Centre for Economics and Corporate Sustainability, KU Leuven—University of Leuven, Warmoesberg 26, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium
2
Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, P.O. Box 80115, 3508TC Utrecht, The Netherlands
3
Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Autonomous University of Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 14 May 2015 / Revised: 1 July 2015 / Accepted: 2 July 2015 / Published: 8 July 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
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Abstract

Although there has been a considerable increase in the publication of sustainability reports in the corporate world in the last decade, sustainability reporting in higher education institutions is still in its early stages. This study’s aim was to explore the relationship between sustainability reporting and organizational change management for sustainability in higher education. A survey was sent to higher education institutions worldwide that have published sustainability reports in the last ten years. The survey was answered by 23 institutions out of a total of 64. The findings showed that sustainability reporting has been predominantly driven by internal motivations, and that the sustainability reporting process leads to incremental changes, such as an increase in awareness of sustainability and improvements in communication with internal stakeholders. Some factors impeding change are the absence of an external stakeholder engagement process, the lack of inclusion of material impacts in reports, and the lack of institutionalization of sustainability reporting in the higher education system. The paper proposes that higher education institutions need to consider sustainability reporting as a dynamic tool to plan sustainability changes, and not just as a communication activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainability reporting; higher education institutions; organizational change management; Global Reporting Initiative sustainability reporting; higher education institutions; organizational change management; Global Reporting Initiative
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Ceulemans, K.; Lozano, R.; Alonso-Almeida, M.M. Sustainability Reporting in Higher Education: Interconnecting the Reporting Process and Organisational Change Management for Sustainability. Sustainability 2015, 7, 8881-8903.

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