Skip to main content
Erschienen in: Sustainability Management Forum | NachhaltigkeitsManagementForum 1-4/2018

19.07.2018 | Originalbeitrag / Original article

Recent trends in sustainability reporting by German universities

verfasst von: Leyla Azizi, Colin Bien, Remmer Sassen

Erschienen in: Sustainability Nexus Forum | Ausgabe 1-4/2018

Einloggen

Aktivieren Sie unsere intelligente Suche um passende Fachinhalte oder Patente zu finden.

search-config
loading …

Abstract

Voluntary sustainability reporting in the higher-education sector is still in its early stages. To better understand it, we looked at all 401 German universities to examine the specific contents of disclosure; methodologically, we applied content analysis using a university-specific indicator system. This study covers 40 sustainability reports that were published by 21 universities prior to August 2016. The results provide insights into recent trends in universities’ voluntary sustainability reporting by comparing the current results to international studies as well as an earlier study using the same population, which was published in 2014. Our findings indicate significant differences in reporting as well as an overall trend towards a broader and deeper coverage of reported content. In general, there is a strong focus on the university dimension, whereas the social dimension attracts much weaker attention. The reason for such emphasis on the university dimension can be traced back to self-profiling or attracting potential students and young scientists as well as to foster a positive public perception, for example, to increase the chances to acquire third-party funding.

Sie haben noch keine Lizenz? Dann Informieren Sie sich jetzt über unsere Produkte:

Springer Professional "Wirtschaft+Technik"

Online-Abonnement

Mit Springer Professional "Wirtschaft+Technik" erhalten Sie Zugriff auf:

  • über 102.000 Bücher
  • über 537 Zeitschriften

aus folgenden Fachgebieten:

  • Automobil + Motoren
  • Bauwesen + Immobilien
  • Business IT + Informatik
  • Elektrotechnik + Elektronik
  • Energie + Nachhaltigkeit
  • Finance + Banking
  • Management + Führung
  • Marketing + Vertrieb
  • Maschinenbau + Werkstoffe
  • Versicherung + Risiko

Jetzt Wissensvorsprung sichern!

Springer Professional "Technik"

Online-Abonnement

Mit Springer Professional "Technik" erhalten Sie Zugriff auf:

  • über 67.000 Bücher
  • über 390 Zeitschriften

aus folgenden Fachgebieten:

  • Automobil + Motoren
  • Bauwesen + Immobilien
  • Business IT + Informatik
  • Elektrotechnik + Elektronik
  • Energie + Nachhaltigkeit
  • Maschinenbau + Werkstoffe




 

Jetzt Wissensvorsprung sichern!

Anhänge
Nur mit Berechtigung zugänglich
Literatur
Zurück zum Zitat Adams CA (2013) Sustainability reporting and performance management in universities: challenges and benefits. Sustain Account Manag Policy J 4(3):384–392CrossRef Adams CA (2013) Sustainability reporting and performance management in universities: challenges and benefits. Sustain Account Manag Policy J 4(3):384–392CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Azizi L, Sassen R (2018) Strategien und Prozesse der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung an Hochschulen in Deutschland. ZfU Z Umweltpolit Umweltr 41(2):1–35 Azizi L, Sassen R (2018) Strategien und Prozesse der Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung an Hochschulen in Deutschland. ZfU Z Umweltpolit Umweltr 41(2):1–35
Zurück zum Zitat Bice S, Coates H (2016) University sustainability reporting: taking stock of transparency. Tert Educ Manag 22(1):1–18CrossRef Bice S, Coates H (2016) University sustainability reporting: taking stock of transparency. Tert Educ Manag 22(1):1–18CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Bien C, Sassen R, Held H (2017) Die transformative Universität in der Gesellschaft: Ein Überblick über verschiedene Konzepte. GAiA 26(3):259–268CrossRef Bien C, Sassen R, Held H (2017) Die transformative Universität in der Gesellschaft: Ein Überblick über verschiedene Konzepte. GAiA 26(3):259–268CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Böcking H‑J (2017) CSR-Richtlinie-Umsetzungsgesetz gesellschaftliche Verantwortung und Wertewandel: neue Herausforderungen und Chancen für die Nachhaltigkeit. Betrieb 70:5–8 (CSR Directive Implementation Act. Social responsibility and change in values: new challenges and opportunities for sustainability) Böcking H‑J (2017) CSR-Richtlinie-Umsetzungsgesetz gesellschaftliche Verantwortung und Wertewandel: neue Herausforderungen und Chancen für die Nachhaltigkeit. Betrieb 70:5–8 (CSR Directive Implementation Act. Social responsibility and change in values: new challenges and opportunities for sustainability)
Zurück zum Zitat Ceulemans K, Molderez I, Van Liedekerke L (2015) Sustainability reporting in higher education: a comprehensive review of the recent literature and paths for further research. J Clean Prod 106(Special Issue):127–143CrossRef Ceulemans K, Molderez I, Van Liedekerke L (2015) Sustainability reporting in higher education: a comprehensive review of the recent literature and paths for further research. J Clean Prod 106(Special Issue):127–143CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Chapple W, Moon J (2005) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in asia: a seven-country study of CSR web site reporting. Bus Soc 44(4):415–441CrossRef Chapple W, Moon J (2005) Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in asia: a seven-country study of CSR web site reporting. Bus Soc 44(4):415–441CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Dagilienė L, Mykolaitienė V (2016) Sustainability reporting in the higher education sector—Case study of Lithuania. Z Öffentl Gemeinwirtsch Unternehm 39(1–2):163–174CrossRef Dagilienė L, Mykolaitienė V (2016) Sustainability reporting in the higher education sector—Case study of Lithuania. Z Öffentl Gemeinwirtsch Unternehm 39(1–2):163–174CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Deegan C (2002) Introduction: the legitimising effect of social and environmental disclosures – a theoretical foundation. Account Auditing Account J 15(3):282–311CrossRef Deegan C (2002) Introduction: the legitimising effect of social and environmental disclosures – a theoretical foundation. Account Auditing Account J 15(3):282–311CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Deegan C, Gordon B (1996) A study of the environmental disclosure policies of Australian corporations. Account Bus Res 26(3):187–199CrossRef Deegan C, Gordon B (1996) A study of the environmental disclosure policies of Australian corporations. Account Bus Res 26(3):187–199CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Dienes D, Sassen R, Fischer J (2016) What are the drivers of sustainability reporting? A systematic review. Sustain Account Manag Policy J 7(2):154–189CrossRef Dienes D, Sassen R, Fischer J (2016) What are the drivers of sustainability reporting? A systematic review. Sustain Account Manag Policy J 7(2):154–189CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Elkington J (1994) Towards the suitable corporation: win-win-win business strategies for sustainable development. Calif Manage Rev 36(2):90–100CrossRef Elkington J (1994) Towards the suitable corporation: win-win-win business strategies for sustainable development. Calif Manage Rev 36(2):90–100CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Etzkorn, Singer-Brodowski (2017) Executive Summary. Verankerung von Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung im Bildungsbereich Hochschule. Freie Universität Berlin, Institut Futur, Arbeitsstelle beim Wissenschaftlichen Berater des Weltaktionsprogramms “Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung”, Berlin Etzkorn, Singer-Brodowski (2017) Executive Summary. Verankerung von Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung im Bildungsbereich Hochschule. Freie Universität Berlin, Institut Futur, Arbeitsstelle beim Wissenschaftlichen Berater des Weltaktionsprogramms “Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung”, Berlin
Zurück zum Zitat Fischer D, Jenssen S, Tappeser V (2015) Getting an empirical hold of the sustainable university: a comparative analysis of evaluation frameworks across 12 contemporary sustainability assessment tools. Assess Eval High Educ 40(6):785–800CrossRef Fischer D, Jenssen S, Tappeser V (2015) Getting an empirical hold of the sustainable university: a comparative analysis of evaluation frameworks across 12 contemporary sustainability assessment tools. Assess Eval High Educ 40(6):785–800CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Fonseca A, Macdonald A, Dandy E, Valenti P (2011) The state of sustainability reporting at Canadian universities. Int J Sustain High Educ 12(1):22–40CrossRef Fonseca A, Macdonald A, Dandy E, Valenti P (2011) The state of sustainability reporting at Canadian universities. Int J Sustain High Educ 12(1):22–40CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Gamage P, Sciulli N (2016) Sustainability reporting by Australian universities. Aust J Public Adm 76(2):187–203CrossRef Gamage P, Sciulli N (2016) Sustainability reporting by Australian universities. Aust J Public Adm 76(2):187–203CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Guthrie J, Petty R, Yongvanich K, Ricceri F (2004) Using content analysis as a research method to inquire into intellectual capital reporting. J Intellect Cap 5(2):282–293CrossRef Guthrie J, Petty R, Yongvanich K, Ricceri F (2004) Using content analysis as a research method to inquire into intellectual capital reporting. J Intellect Cap 5(2):282–293CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Hahn R, Kühnen M (2013) Determinants of sustainability reporting: a review of results, trends, theory, and opportunities in an expanding field of research. J Clean Prod 59(1):5–21CrossRef Hahn R, Kühnen M (2013) Determinants of sustainability reporting: a review of results, trends, theory, and opportunities in an expanding field of research. J Clean Prod 59(1):5–21CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Kamal A, Asmuss M (2013) Benchmarking tools for assessing and tracking sustainability in higher educational institutions. Int J Sustain High Educ 14(4):449–465CrossRef Kamal A, Asmuss M (2013) Benchmarking tools for assessing and tracking sustainability in higher educational institutions. Int J Sustain High Educ 14(4):449–465CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Krippendorff K (2012) Content analysis, an introduction to its methodology. SAGE, London Krippendorff K (2012) Content analysis, an introduction to its methodology. SAGE, London
Zurück zum Zitat Lodhia S, Jacobs K, Park YJ (2012) Driving public sector environmental reporting: the disclosure practices of Australian Commonwealth Departments. Public Manag Rev 14(5):631–647CrossRef Lodhia S, Jacobs K, Park YJ (2012) Driving public sector environmental reporting: the disclosure practices of Australian Commonwealth Departments. Public Manag Rev 14(5):631–647CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Lopatta K, Jaeschke R (2014) Sustainability reporting at German and Austrian universities. Int J Educ Econ Dev 5(1):66–90CrossRef Lopatta K, Jaeschke R (2014) Sustainability reporting at German and Austrian universities. Int J Educ Econ Dev 5(1):66–90CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Lozano R (2006) A tool for a Graphical Assessment of Sustainability in Universities (GASU). J Clean Prod 14(9–11):963–972CrossRef Lozano R (2006) A tool for a Graphical Assessment of Sustainability in Universities (GASU). J Clean Prod 14(9–11):963–972CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Lozano R (2011) The state of sustainability reporting in universities. Int J Sustain High Educ 12(1):67–78CrossRef Lozano R (2011) The state of sustainability reporting in universities. Int J Sustain High Educ 12(1):67–78CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Lozano R, Huisingh D (2011) Advancing higher education for sustainable development: international insights and critical reflections. J Clean Prod 19:99–107CrossRef Lozano R, Huisingh D (2011) Advancing higher education for sustainable development: international insights and critical reflections. J Clean Prod 19:99–107CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Lozano R, Young W (2013) Assessing sustainability in university curricula: exploring the influence of student numbers and course credits. J Clean Prod 49:134–141CrossRef Lozano R, Young W (2013) Assessing sustainability in university curricula: exploring the influence of student numbers and course credits. J Clean Prod 49:134–141CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Madeira AC, Carravilla MA, Oliveira JF, Costa CAV (2011) A methodology for sustainability evaluation and reporting in higher education institutions. High Educ Policy 24:459–479CrossRef Madeira AC, Carravilla MA, Oliveira JF, Costa CAV (2011) A methodology for sustainability evaluation and reporting in higher education institutions. High Educ Policy 24:459–479CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat del Mar Alonso-Almeida M, Marimon F, Casani F, Rodriguez-Pomeda J (2015) Diffusion of sustainability reporting in universities: current situation and future perspectives. J Clean Prod 106(Special Issue):144–154CrossRef del Mar Alonso-Almeida M, Marimon F, Casani F, Rodriguez-Pomeda J (2015) Diffusion of sustainability reporting in universities: current situation and future perspectives. J Clean Prod 106(Special Issue):144–154CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Martin B (2012) Are universities and university research under threat? Towards an evolutionary model of university speciation. Cambridge J Econ 36(3):543–565CrossRef Martin B (2012) Are universities and university research under threat? Towards an evolutionary model of university speciation. Cambridge J Econ 36(3):543–565CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Milne MJ, Adler RW (1999) Exploring the reliability of social and environmental disclosures content analysis. Account Auditing Account J 12(2):237–256CrossRef Milne MJ, Adler RW (1999) Exploring the reliability of social and environmental disclosures content analysis. Account Auditing Account J 12(2):237–256CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Myers OE, Beringer A (2010) Sustainability in higher education: psychological research for effective pedagogy. Can J High Educ 40(2):51–77 Myers OE, Beringer A (2010) Sustainability in higher education: psychological research for effective pedagogy. Can J High Educ 40(2):51–77
Zurück zum Zitat Parker LD (2005) Social and environmental accountability research: a view from the commentary box. Account Auditing Account J 18(6):842–860CrossRef Parker LD (2005) Social and environmental accountability research: a view from the commentary box. Account Auditing Account J 18(6):842–860CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Ralph M, Stubbs W (2014) Integrating environmental sustainability into universities. High Educ 67(1):71–90CrossRef Ralph M, Stubbs W (2014) Integrating environmental sustainability into universities. High Educ 67(1):71–90CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Rodríguez Bolívar MP, Garde Sánchez R, López Hernández AM (2013) Online disclosure of corporate social responsibility information in leading Anglo-American universities. J Environ Policy Plann 15(4):551–575CrossRef Rodríguez Bolívar MP, Garde Sánchez R, López Hernández AM (2013) Online disclosure of corporate social responsibility information in leading Anglo-American universities. J Environ Policy Plann 15(4):551–575CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Romanski J (2016) Die Forschung selbst nachhaltig gestalten. In: Filho WL (ed) Forschung für Nachhaltigkeit an deutschen Hochschulen. Springer Spektrum, Wiesbaden, pp 163–182CrossRef Romanski J (2016) Die Forschung selbst nachhaltig gestalten. In: Filho WL (ed) Forschung für Nachhaltigkeit an deutschen Hochschulen. Springer Spektrum, Wiesbaden, pp 163–182CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Romolini A, Fissi S, Gori E (2015) Quality disclosure in sustainability reporting: evidence from universities. Transylv Rev Adm Sci 44E:196–218 Romolini A, Fissi S, Gori E (2015) Quality disclosure in sustainability reporting: evidence from universities. Transylv Rev Adm Sci 44E:196–218
Zurück zum Zitat Sassen R, Azizi L (2018b) Voluntary disclosure of sustainability reports by Canadian universities. J Bus Econ 88:97–137 Sassen R, Azizi L (2018b) Voluntary disclosure of sustainability reports by Canadian universities. J Bus Econ 88:97–137
Zurück zum Zitat Sassen R, Dienes D, Beth C (2014) Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung deutscher Hochschulen (Sustainability reporting of German higher education institutions). ZfU Z Umweltpolit Umweltr 37(3):258–277 Sassen R, Dienes D, Beth C (2014) Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung deutscher Hochschulen (Sustainability reporting of German higher education institutions). ZfU Z Umweltpolit Umweltr 37(3):258–277
Zurück zum Zitat Schmitt CT, Sassen R (2018) Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung: Betriebswirtschaftliche und psychologische Aspekte von Reporting. In: Schmitt CT, Bermberg E (ed) Psychologie und Nachhaltigkeit. Springer Nature, Wiesbaden, pp 179–190CrossRef Schmitt CT, Sassen R (2018) Nachhaltigkeitsberichterstattung: Betriebswirtschaftliche und psychologische Aspekte von Reporting. In: Schmitt CT, Bermberg E (ed) Psychologie und Nachhaltigkeit. Springer Nature, Wiesbaden, pp 179–190CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Schreck P, Raithel S (2015) Corporate social performance, firm size, and organizational visibility: distinct and joint effects on voluntary sustainability reporting. Bus Soc 34:1–37 Schreck P, Raithel S (2015) Corporate social performance, firm size, and organizational visibility: distinct and joint effects on voluntary sustainability reporting. Bus Soc 34:1–37
Zurück zum Zitat Siboni B, del Sordo C, Pazzi S (2013) Sustainability reporting in state universities: an investigation of Italian pioneering practices. Int J Soc Ecol Sustain Dev 4(2):1–15CrossRef Siboni B, del Sordo C, Pazzi S (2013) Sustainability reporting in state universities: an investigation of Italian pioneering practices. Int J Soc Ecol Sustain Dev 4(2):1–15CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Del Sordo C, Farneti F, Guthrie J, Pazzi S, Siboni B (2016) Social reports in Italian universities: disclosures and preparers’ perspective. Meditari Account Res 24(1):91–110CrossRef Del Sordo C, Farneti F, Guthrie J, Pazzi S, Siboni B (2016) Social reports in Italian universities: disclosures and preparers’ perspective. Meditari Account Res 24(1):91–110CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Stawinoga M (2017) Directive 2014/95/EU and CSR-Directive-Implementation-Act—A normative analysis of the adoption process as well as the implications on accounting and assurance practice. UWF 25:213–227 Stawinoga M (2017) Directive 2014/95/EU and CSR-Directive-Implementation-Act—A normative analysis of the adoption process as well as the implications on accounting and assurance practice. UWF 25:213–227
Zurück zum Zitat Unerman J (2000) Methodological issues. Reflections on quantification in corporate social reporting content analysis. Account Auditing Account J 13(5):667–681CrossRef Unerman J (2000) Methodological issues. Reflections on quantification in corporate social reporting content analysis. Account Auditing Account J 13(5):667–681CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Unerman J, Zappettini F (2014) Incorporating materiality considerations into analyses of absence from sustainability reporting. Soc Environ Account J 34(2014):172–186CrossRef Unerman J, Zappettini F (2014) Incorporating materiality considerations into analyses of absence from sustainability reporting. Soc Environ Account J 34(2014):172–186CrossRef
Zurück zum Zitat Vaughter P, McKenzie M, Lidstone L, Wright T (2016) Campus sustainability governance in Canada: a content analysis of post-secondary institutions’ sustainability policies. Int J Sustain High Educ 17(1):16–39CrossRef Vaughter P, McKenzie M, Lidstone L, Wright T (2016) Campus sustainability governance in Canada: a content analysis of post-secondary institutions’ sustainability policies. Int J Sustain High Educ 17(1):16–39CrossRef
Metadaten
Titel
Recent trends in sustainability reporting by German universities
verfasst von
Leyla Azizi
Colin Bien
Remmer Sassen
Publikationsdatum
19.07.2018
Verlag
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Erschienen in
Sustainability Nexus Forum / Ausgabe 1-4/2018
Print ISSN: 2948-1619
Elektronische ISSN: 2948-1627
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00550-018-0469-8

Weitere Artikel der Ausgabe 1-4/2018

Sustainability Management Forum | NachhaltigkeitsManagementForum 1-4/2018 Zur Ausgabe