The Role of Living Laboratories
Edited by Ariane König
Chapter 5: Can an environmental management system be a driving force for sustainability in higher education? A case from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden
This chapter presents a case study of the University of Gothenburg and how it proceeded in the implementation of an environmental management system (EMS). The University of Gothenburg was one of the first universities to develop and implement an EMS according to both the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (14001: 2004) and the Eco Management Audit Scheme (EMAS, European standard). Due to their high societal impact, universities are challenged to take a leadership role in sustainability issues. As universities educate the next generation of decision-makers and influencers, universities can have a vastly greater impact on sustainable development than any other single sector of society (Chambers, 2009). With this aim we explore how sustainable development can be integrated in higher education institutions and how EMS can improve campus sustainability. Our main issue is “can an EMS be a driving force for sustainability in higher education?” To achieve this we shall describe the implementation process of an EMS, and how it develops and improves over time. We shall also stress the importance that the EMS results in improved environmental performance.
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