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Mainstreaming environmental management
Case studies from Australasian universities
School of Resources, Environment and Society, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, and
Mainstreaming environmental management 19
Facilities and Services Division, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia Keywords Australasia, Environmental management strategy, Universities Abstract Discusses the extent to which environmental management is considered a mainstream business activity within Australian and New Zealand universities. Describes how a survey instrument was used to collect data on environmental programs, their resourcing and control processes, and the level of community involvement in their development and ongoing management. These indicators of mainstreaming are discussed and particular reference is made to the Australian National University (ANU) and its experience with mainstreaming environmental management. The survey data indicate that in the majority of the surveyed institutions, environmental management cannot be considered a mainstream business activity. To aid universities in assessing their progress towards mainstreaming, a conceptual framework is presented and a model of organisational change is discussed.
Introduction In response to the calls for ecologically sustainable development (WCED, 1987) and for leadership in environmental protection (Leal Filho et al., 1996), many universities throughout the world are recognising the need to adopt environmental management systems and to integrate these systems into their business operations. However, in the USA and Europe, at least, few universities are vigorously pursuing green initiatives (Dahle and Neumayer, 2001). One reason for this may be that environmental management remains a peripheral management issue. This article suggests that if environmental programs are to succeed, they must be mainstreamed into university operations, rather than sidelined as a soft management issue. This article provides an analysis of environmental management in ten universities surveyed throughout Australia and New Zealand. While much information about environmental management in both US (e.g. HammondCreighton, 1998; Herremans and Allright, 2000), and European (e.g. Delakowitz and Hoffman, 2000; Noeke, 2000; Dahle and Neumayer, 2001) tertiary institutions has been forthcoming, aside from Howard et al.’s (2000) case study of the Charles Sturt University, little information about environmental management at Australian and New Zealand universities is available.
International Journal of Sustainabilit in Higher Education, y Vol. 3 No. 1, 2002, pp. 19-37. # MCB UP Limited, 1467-6370 DOI 10.1108/14676370210414155
Hopefully this contribution will stimulate discussion and interest and encourage further empirical studies on environmental management in Australasian universities. The aim of this investigation is to identify the extent to which environmental management systems are underpinned by business management practice and thus mainstreamed into university management processes. Herremans and Allright (2000) have suggested that the level of financial investment, and the level of senior executive involvement indicate how mainstreamed environmental management programs are within tertiary institutions. While agreeing, we feel that there are other indicators of mainstreaming that demonstrate organisational commitment. These include community involvement, the development of environmental plans and the presence of control processes. This article examines features of each of the environmental programs surveyed, with particular emphasis on the following: . The presence of an environmental...