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E L B A N I A T N S S O SU MPU SATI I A N C GA OR CHAPTER 1

Universities are complex organisations that house a range of buildings and spaces, such as libraries and laboratories, as well as services – from teaching and research to housing and catering. Challenges to sustainability programming and engagement include that campuses are often geographically spread out and that various academic and administrative departments tend to have distinct identities and cultures. Additionally, since the 2008 recession, many universities have had to cut back on funding for activities that are not considered core to the mission. There is no set way to organise campus sustainability, but how such an initiative is structured will shape the university’s capacity for results and success. By establishing mechanisms to set goals, implementing activities to support those goals, and regularly reporting on progress, universities can lead by example while they are training tomorrow’s leaders. No matter what the context of the campus, or how far along its sustainability efforts are, it is critical for ‘green’ planning and implementation to reflect the three pillars of sustainability: ecosystem vitality, financial viability, and human well-being. The more that environmental benefits can be associated with positive financial and social outcomes, the more engaged members of the community will be.  

SUSTAINABLE CAMPUS ORGANISATION

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IARU - Green Guide for Universities – pathways towards sustainability