Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
Urquiza-Goméz F., Sáez-Navarrete C., Rencoret-Lioi S. and Ishanoglu V. (2015)

Adaptable model for assessing sustainability in higher education

Revista : Journal of Cleaner Production
Volumen : 107
Páginas : 475-485
Tipo de publicación : ISI Ir a publicación


Many universities have started to measure sustainability, and many tools have been developed to assist them in this process. For universities at an early stage of sustainability implementation, choosing a tool that fits their specific context is an important step in their assessment process. The goal of this paper is to introduce an Adaptable Model for Assessing Sustainability into higher education institutions that enable the assessment of sustainability within different implementation stages and data availability scenarios. The model’s design was based on previous experiences in the field of sustainability in higher education, and takes into account international declarations and other assessment models. The result is a model based on a four tiered hierarchy, with three main criteria: institutional commitment, example setting, and advancing sustainability. In order to establish the weight assigned to each tier of the proposed hierarchy, the analytic hierarchy process was applied. The results of this process showed a preference for institutional commitment and example setting/leadership criteria, with weights of 36.1%and 38.2% respectively, and less preference for the advancing sustainability criterion, with a weight of 25.7%. The resulting model enables the assessment of sustainability within different contexts while maintaining a universal methodological approach; this allows for comparison within a cluster of institutions with similar contexts. The assessment model could be used to improve other assessment tools by following the same process used to build the model, facilitating the participation of stakeholders and experts.