Sustainable Universities: Rhetoric Versus Facts

  • Valerie Padilla Carroll
  • Rhonda R. Janke


This chapter summarizes several recent calls for higher education to adopt more sustainable, environmentally friendly practices, policies, and environmental literacy courses. It then reviews nine pledges and scorecards that contain metrics to determine if the university is making progress toward sustainability goals. Most of the scorecards consider only environmental policy, and only two include any social policy recommendations. In addition, cultural systems, specifically the concepts that underpin capitalism and consumerism, are problematic when used to structure both universities and their environmental policy. Specific questions and recommendations with respect to underlying issues are provided to get at whether university policies embrace both social and environmental issues. Higher education needs to address both environmental policy and social policy to achieve genuine sustainability goals.


Social Justice Environmental Policy Sustainability Assessment Report Card Global Reporting Initiative 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Women’s StudiesKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  2. 2.Department of Horticulture, Forestry and Recreation ResourcesKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA

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