Reflections on developing a collaborative multi-disciplinary approach to embedding education for sustainable development into higher education curricula

Louise Logan, Scott Strachan, Debra Willison, Roderick Bain, Jen Roberts, Iain Mitchell, Roderick Yarr

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In recent years, HEIs across the UK have made pledges to reduce their carbon footprints, with initiatives involving high investment in estates conversion and transitioning to plastic-free campuses and meat-free canteens. Alongside these sustainability promises, commitments to achieving net zero carbon emissions are now an expectation for institutions across the UK. These interventions are rightly seen as vital responses to sustainability problems including climate change, biodiversity depletion, dwindling natural resources, and inequality (Steffen et al 2015, Raworth 2017). However, the last decade has seen a re-defining of what it means to be a 'sustainable institution', with a realisation that in addition to what institutions install or sell on their campuses, it is the values they instil and skills they develop in their students that will ultimately prove to be the most impactful contribution they can make to the sustainability agenda. In short, all across Higher Education (HE), sustainability has gone from being considered almost exclusively as an operational challenge to a pedagogical one.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages26
JournalEmerald Open Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 Aug 2021


  • higher education
  • sustainable development
  • VIP
  • pedagogy
  • education for sustainable development
  • interdisciplinary

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