Beyond the Right Thing to Do - The Value of Sustainability in Higher Education

Tags: higher education | sustainability practitioners | smart business

This document is intended to help higher education sustainability practitioners more powerfully articulate the value of sustainability to higher education leaders as well as the general public. 

Humanity faces a series of complex, interrelated, and, in some cases, existential sustainability challenges. These include climate destabilization and its attendant consequences, resource depletion and degradation, widening inequalities, a growing population, and loss of biodiversity. As the educators of future leaders and as laboratories for experimentation, institutions of higher education have an opportunity and a responsibility to help overcome these pressing challenges. This briefing demonstrates that sustainability isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s also smart business. By prioritizing sustainability, institutions can contribute to key institutional goals such as boosting revenue and enrollment, while also preparing students for solving society’s greatest challenges. A strong sustainability culture can alleviate administrative challenges and promote institutional success.