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Sustainability 2019, 11(1), 156;

Education for Sustainable Development: Emerging Themes from Adopters of a Declaration

Department of Management, Deakin University, Geelong, 3220, Australia
Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, Auburn University, Auburn, 36849, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 November 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 22 December 2018 / Published: 29 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Education and Approaches)
PDF [227 KB, uploaded 29 December 2018]


Universities that sign the Talloires Declaration signify their commitment to education for sustainable development. This research explores whether the signification is a strategic desire to be seen to be doing the right thing, or a genuine commitment to enhancing sustainability and helping the environment. This semi-structured interview research involves communication with the sustainability managers in the majority of Talloires signified universities in Australia. Since Australia has a comparably high rate of commitment to the Talloires Declaration, the findings represent rich and deep insight into reasons and motivations that can inform the adoption process around the world. Applying institutional theory and related concepts of structuration, isomorphism, and signaling, the findings are analyzed to reveal the range of environmental initiatives and the underlying explanation of themes. Current strategies and future directions for universities are indicated. Findings are that higher education is a key mechanism in business and society for finding and harnessing knowledge-based solutions. The challenge is that institutionalization has created resistance to change through coercive, normative, and mimetic isomorphism, along with rhetoric. Structuration factors should be considered in the context of making positive changes for sustainability in the university sector. View Full-Text
Keywords: Talloires Declaration; universities; environmental management; interviews; institutional theory Talloires Declaration; universities; environmental management; interviews; institutional theory

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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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Zutshi, A.; Creed, A.; Connelly, B.L. Education for Sustainable Development: Emerging Themes from Adopters of a Declaration. Sustainability 2019, 11, 156.

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