Social and Environmental Reporting in the Italian Higher Education System: Evidence from Two Best Practices
The increasing need of accountability to key stakeholders, and the demand for new tools that are useful for governance at universities, have led to the development of new forms of reporting, including social and environmental reports (SERs), which are helpful in the implementation of knowledge and building awareness of sustainability issues. SERs are not only a useful tool for reporting but are a way to educate organizations and stakeholders to a greater sensitivity to SD topic, building virtuous circles that involve students, professors, employees, and community. This study presented a picture of the development of SERs in the Italian Higher Education sector, the main frameworks spontaneously developed, and two selected best practices where SER was improved significantly: Università di Macerata and Università di Ferrara. To reach this aim, the main informants involved in the reporting process on the governance level, as the sustainability responsible, or the rectors of the universities were interviewed. The findings outlined the peculiarities of this process in two successful cases, such as governance compliance and the sharing of knowledge.
KeywordsSocial and environmental report Universities Sustainable development Italy
The authors acknowledge the people interviewed at Università di Ferrara and Università di Macerata for sharing with us their knowledge and experience and their feeling that the path of SER could be developed.
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