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Article citation: Walter Leal Filho, (2011) "Editorial", International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, Vol. 12 Iss: 1, pp. -
Welcome to a further issue of International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education. Readers will find in this issue a further set of papers which illustrate what universities all over the world are doing in pursuing the challenge of sustainable development.
As part of this editorial, I would like to comment on the current efforts seen in a number of universities in the USA, which are pursuing a new drive towards sustainability. The first example is from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), which, as mentioned in the “News” section of this journal, announced their new ambitious plan to cut their electricity use by 15 percent in three years, in addition to receiving two awards from the city of Cambridge for their sustainable energy projects. MIT joins a growing national movement to research and develop more energy efficient alternatives in a rapidly developing world faced with limited resources.
A second example comes from Harvard University’s Office for Sustainability, which announced its goal of reducing the university’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2016. On its web site, Harvard reported that from fiscal year 2006 to fiscal year 2009, they achieved a 7 percent overall reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
The Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future, whose mission is to “support sustainability as a critical focus of teaching, research, operations, and outreach at colleges and universities worldwide,” lists over 90 institutions of higher education in the USA with campus sustainability programs and committees. Many of these student groups initiate projects to encourage students to conserve energy and be aware of their environmental impact. Such projects include offering locally grown food in dining halls, organizing recycling campaigns, holding talks and panel discussions on sustainability, and composting food waste. These are examples to be followed!
Enjoy your reading!
Walter Leal Filho