Applied Sustainable Development: A Way Forward in Promoting Sustainable Development in Higher Education Institutions
Walter Leal Filho Abstract Purpose: Since the discussions on sustainable development are not new and there is at present a plethora of texts, declarations and resolutions paving the way for its further promotion, but with a limited degree of success, time is now ripe for the development of new approaches, methods and means to further the cause of sustainability in a higher education context, without being trapped in conceptual debates. Design/Methodology/Approach: By means of an in-depth description of the concept of applied sustainability, and examples of a set of projects surrounding matters related to sustainable development, the paper shows how this can be achieved. Findings: The paper illustrates how much higher education institutions can achieve by pursuing applied sustainable development initiatives. Originality/value: This paper presents the principle of “applied sustainable de- velopment”, an action-oriented and practice-based approach, where principles of sustainable development are put into practice, leading to concrete outputs and tangible results. Introduction: a brief overview of the evolution of the sustainability debate Even though the origins of the term “sustainable development” or “sustainability” go back many decades and both terms have been used on an ad hoc basis, public perception about – and the international visibility of – sustainable development was substantially enhanced with the publication of “Our Common Future”, also 12 Walter Leal Filho known as the “Brundtland Report” (WCED 1987). This publication reported on the deliberations of the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED), which was a body set up by the United Nations a few years...
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