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Unfolding the complexities of the sustainability reporting process in higher education: a case study in the University of British Columbia
Toulouse Business School, France.
University of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada.
University of LeuvenBrusselsBelgium.
University of Antwerp, Belgium; Center for Economics and Ethics, KU Leuven, Belgium.
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2020 (English)In: International Business, Trade and Institutional Sustainability / [ed] Walter Leal Filho, Paulo R. Borges de Brito, Fernanda Frankenberger, Springer, 2020, p. 1043-1070Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Sustainability reporting is an important tool for the assessment and communication of sustainability performance in the corporate world; however, it is still in its early stages in higher education. Only a limited number of universities around the world have published sustainability reports, and there is still a lack of empirical evidence of how the sustainability reporting process is organized and how it contributes to sustainability integration in higher education. The aim of this paper is to provide in-depth insights into the complexities of the sustainability reporting process. A case study is presented on sustainability reporting in The University of British Columbia (UBC), Canada, covering the period of 2008–2014. The case consists of document analysis and interviews with the internal actors of the sustainability reporting process at UBC. In the study, it was found that even in an institution with a deliberate sustainability strategy and integration process, sustainability reporting is a complex undertaking. Some of the key elements adding complexity to the reporting process are the search for suitable lead authors and relevant content for the reports in consecutive reporting cycles; the different aims that reporting tries to achieve simultaneously for the sustainability integration process; and suitably addressing the different internal stakeholders that are involved in the reporting process in higher education. In order to reduce complexity in universities, assigning an internal hybrid actor to facilitate the reporting process could be helpful. Unfolding the key complexities arising when undertaking consecutive reporting cycles can help internal actors of other institutions to better design and implement the process of sustainability reporting and integration in their universities. © 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2020. p. 1043-1070
Series
World Sustainability Series, ISSN 2199-7373, E-ISSN 2199-7381
Keywords [en]
Higher education, Sustainability integration strategies, Sustainability performance, Sustainability reporting
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-30997DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-26759-9_61Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85074689688ISBN: 978-3-030-26758-2 (print)ISBN: 978-3-030-26759-9 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-30997DiVA, id: diva2:1371642
Note

Funding:

University of British Columbia

Fonds Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek

Available from: 2019-11-20 Created: 2019-11-20 Last updated: 2019-11-20Bibliographically approved

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Lozano, Rodrigo

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