The Important Role of Universities in Enhancing Sustainability: The Case of the University of Milano-Bicocca

  • Alessandro CapocchiEmail author
  • Paola Orlandini
  • Cinzia Vallone
  • Murad Harasheh
  • Stefano Amelio
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


During the last decade, an increasing number of universities have started to play an active role in creating a more sustainable future, with many implementing sustainability initiatives on campus. Following recent studies of other significant initiatives, this paper aims to analyse recent sustainability policies introduced by the University of Milano-Bicocca to examine how these policies have worked and how improvements have been measured. The results of this analysis, based on an evaluation of the sustainability initiatives, indicate that sustainability reporting in Italian universities is still in its infancy but, at the same time, suggests (i) that certain areas of progress and positive results can be identified, with several benefits for the stakeholders and for the local community, and (ii) that the example offered by the university provides a potential pathway to the creation of specific modules in the degree programs. Based on the experience of the University of Milano-Bicocca, we suggest that standardization in sustainability reporting will play a central role in the near future. Standardization is very important, not only in terms of the creation of sustainability reports but also in terms of their interpretation. This paper explains the current work in progress and the efforts of an Italian university to better incorporate and institutionalize sustainability and to become a template for the Italian University System in facilitating the standardization and the implementation of a unique assessment and reporting model capable of adoption across the National University System.


Sustainable development Reporting Universities Education Voluntary disclosure CSR 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alessandro Capocchi
    • 1
    Email author
  • Paola Orlandini
    • 1
  • Cinzia Vallone
    • 1
  • Murad Harasheh
    • 1
  • Stefano Amelio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business Administration, Finance and Law (DiSEADE)University of Milano-BicoccaMilanItaly

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