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Implementing Sustainability in the Classroom at Université Laval

Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


Université Laval has embraced a global approach to sustainability education. Although sustainability has been addressed in the classroom by individuals in the past, it is now being articulated with a vision. In May 2009, the Study Council voted to add a new article to the university’s Academic Regulations stating that all undergraduate students must be introduced to the concept of sustainability. This decision was followed by the creation, in 2012, of a multi-cycle, interfaculty committee on sustainability education. In order to obtain and maintain sustainability certifications, Université Laval must submit lists of courses and programs related to sustainable development. This obligation presented an opportunity to develop a unique and global approach in collaboration with professors and heads of programs. Based on Wiek and collaborators’ report entitled “Key competencies in sustainability: a reference framework for academic program development” (2011), a mandated work group produced a survey on courses and programs. This survey was created to gain a better understanding of the scope of sustainability education at Université Laval and how sustainability competencies can be developed in any field of studies. This case study is an illustration of concrete and transparent measures that could be implemented in order to make account of SD training on offer.


  • Sustainability
  • Implementation
  • Universities

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-47895-1_9
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  1. 1.

    The committee also worked to establish the criteria for evaluating programs, but this work is not presented here.

  2. 2.

    Before presenting the approach used, it can be said that a high number (approximately 45 %) of the analyses conducted by the professors in charge of courses led them, based on their answers to the questionnaire, to conclude that their courses did not qualify as SD courses.

  3. 3.

    This competence will thus be found in the analysis of programs currently underway.

  4. 4.

    Online (in French only):

  5. 5.

    Note: it is also possible for the professor to download a brochure that presents the questionnaire in detail and includes all the information found in the various hyperlinks provided.

  6. 6.



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The authors would like to thank the members of the advisory Committee on sustainability education (CCOFDD) for their contribution to this paper.

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Correspondence to Vincent Richard .

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Richard, V., Forget, D., Gonzalez-Bautista, N. (2017). Implementing Sustainability in the Classroom at Université Laval. In: Leal Filho, W., Mifsud, M., Shiel, C., Pretorius, R. (eds) Handbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development in Higher Education. World Sustainability Series. Springer, Cham.

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