International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education

The Declaration, Volume 3, Number 2 : September 1999  [Spotlight]

By Walter Leal Filho

The International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE) is a fully-refereed academic journal. The journal aims at addressing environmental management systems (EMS), sustainable development and Agenda 21 issues at higher education institutions worldwide. It intends to act as an outlet for papers dealing with curriculum greening and methodological approaches to sustainability. In addition, the journal shall report on initiatives for environmental improvements at universities, disseminate case studies, projects and programs with consideration of market opportunities, cost savings and the increased competitiveness that self-regulatory mechanisms such as environmental auditing and EMS bring to universities. The journal will also serve to foster information exchange with respect to pilot projects on transport, recycling, waste management, analysis of legislation and appraisals of the impacts of regulations, among other topics. Moreover, it will serve as a vehicle for the documentation and dissemination of what universities and colleges are doing to pursue the path of sustainable development.

National legislation in countries such as the United States, UK and Sweden, plus current European legislation (e.g. European Environmental Management Systems, ISO 14001, etc) will encourage universities to be more pro-active in relation to environmental affairs and curriculum greening. The UK Toyne Report, which requires universities to publish environmental policies and the EMAS regulations, which compel European universities to green their campuses and produce environmental statements, are some examples of the challenges now facing institutions of higher education. Although many universities are already using sustainability as part of their marketing strategies and promotional work, others are not as yet active in this field and the journal shall try to show the advantages the goal of sustainability may bring to individual institutions in both industrialised and developing nations.


The issue of sustainability in a higher education context is, to some extent, a rather recent theme. Current journals are either focusing on sustainable development per se, or on higher education generally. There are no specific fully-refereed outlets to date, to disseminate the broad body of work and knowledge currently available on sustainability in a higher education context. IJSHE is therefore the first scholarly publication to specifically address the need for the dissemination of information on sustainability matters at higher education institutions. IJSHE will include:

  • papers: scientific descriptions of projects, experiments or pilot projects dealing with sustainability-related issues, management, curriculum greening, etc.
  • articles: short texts outlining approaches, methods or case studies in which institutional approaches to sustainability are described.
  • book reviews: describing recent publications on the topic and on related matters.
    news: items of general interest and matters of relevance to all readers.
  • features: broader descriptions of facts, trends, phenomena or developments in the field.

A balanced provision of information on matters of regional and international relevance will be provided.


The journal will be of special interest to higher education institutions. Target groups of the journal are university administrators (e.g. Rectors, Vice-Chancellors, Presidents and Principals), Professors/Assistant Professors, Lecturers/Senior Lecturers and other members of staff (e.g. research fellows, research associates, adjuncts) working with environmental matters. In addition, staff working in estate departments and other members of staff (at universities and colleges) in charge of health and safety, water and electricity consumption and transport policies among others, will find IJSHE of interest. Students are also among the groups the journal intends to reach.


The journal will be the first one to focus specifically on the subject of sustainability and sustainable development at universities. Since over 600 universities worldwide have committed themselves to sustainability by signing international agreements and conventions such as the Bologna Charter, The Halifax Declaration, the Talloires Declaration (signed to date by over 270 colleges and universities worldwide) and the Copernicus Charter for Sustainable Development (signed to date by over 240 European universities), this journal will be of special interest to them. It will be helpful to subscribers by:

  • providing up-to-date information on new developments and trends
  • reporting on international experiences, especially from Europe and North America, but also from other parts of the world (e.g. Africa, Latin America, Asia, Oceania)
  • serving as a tool for the dissemination of reliable information
  • enabling networking and information exchange on a global basis

Finally, IJSHE represents a step forward in the provision of a peer-reviewed journal that will promote the work of people in the field and disseminate the efforts and initiatives of their institutions to an international audience.


Materials particularly suitable for IJSHE will deal with one or more of the following contents:

· environmental management systems
· sustainable development
· curriculum greening
· Agenda 21
· operational aspects of universities
· energy, water, recycling, waste management
· planning and design of campuses
· environmental reports
· environmental policies and action plans
· staff and student initiatives

Other themes associated with the above or emerging ones will also be considered. It is envisaged that, thanks to its scope and contents, IJSHE will be not only interesting to people working in the academic sector, but also to practitioners, consultants and professional writers.

Published in conjunction with the University Leaders for a Sustainable Future (ULSF), Washington DC (USA)


UNESCO, Paris (France)
UN Environment Programme, Nairobi (Kenya)
International Association of Universities, Paris (France)
Standing Conference of Rectors of German Universities (HRK), Bonn (Germany)
Second Nature, Boston (USA)
National Wildlife Federation’s Campus Ecology Program (USA)
Associated Colleges of the South, Atlanta (USA)


Editor: Prof. Walter Leal Filho, Ph.D., DSc (TuTech, Hamburg and Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm)
Deputy-Editor: Richard Clugston, Ph.D. (ULSF, Washington DC)
News Editor: Wynn Calder (ULSF, Washington DC)
Books Editor: Mark Starik, Ph.D. (Georgetown University, Washington DC)
Features Editor: A features editor will be asked to contribute to each issue, writing on a theme of general interest.


Steve Breyman, Rensalaar Polytechnic, USA
Carol Carmichael, Georgia Tech, USA
Sanjeev Chaudhari, Indian Institute of Technology, India
Roland Clift, University of Surrey, UK
Anthony Cortese, Second Nature, USA
Peter Corcoran, Florida Gulf University, USA
Andreas Englund, Mid-Sweden University, Sweden
Don Huising, University of Lund, Sweden
Heila Lotz, Rhodes University, South Africa
Gerd Michelsen, University of Luneburg
Karel Mulder, T U Delft, The Netherlands
Haydee Olveira, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
David Orr, Oberlin College, USA
Paul Pace, University of Malta, Malta
Jacques Roturier, Bordeaux, France
Klaus Schleicher, University of Hamburg, Germany
Anne Smith, University of Hertfordshire, UK
Farrukh Tahir, Alama Iqbal Open University, Pakistan
Kurt Teichert, Brown University, USA
Hans van Weenan, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Robert Whyte, Southern Universities Consortium, USA


Prof. Walter Leal Filho, Editor
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education (IJSHE)
Technical University Hamburg-Harburg,Technology Transfer (TUHH/TuTech)
Schellerdamm 4
D- 21079 Hamburg
Tel: +49-40-76618050
Fax. +49-40-76618058

For information on subscriptions or for any other information, please contact:

Jenny Pickles, Managing Editor
MCB University Press
60-62 Toller Lane
West Yorkshire BD8 8BY
Tel: +44-1274-777700
Fax: +44-1274-785200

The journal’s web site may be visited at:, where information on submissions and details on subscriptions can be seen.

The first issue is due out in January 2000. Papers are being accepted now.

Professor Walter Leal Filho coordinates various European projects on environmental communication and teaches environmental communication and education issues at universities in Europe, Africa and Asia. He is the editor of the journal, “Environmental Management and Heath,” the “European Environmental Education Newsletter” and the series “Environmental Education, Communication and Sustainability,” with publications in English and German. He can be reached at TUHH/TU-TECH, Environmental Technology, Schellerdamm 4, D-21079, Hamburg, Germany or by email at

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.