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As green as we think? The case of the College of Charleston green building initiative.
Zeitschriftenausgabe (-> Ref.Nr):
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
Seite (von-bis):
– This paper seeks to disseminate knowledge regarding the experiences of a student team in implementing a campus-level sustainability initiative, outlining the strategy to measure the potential impact of this initiative.

– Project design is a case study. Via interviewing and surveys, the study observed student and faculty attitudes, information levels and behaviors regarding sustainability both before and after project implementation. Calculated sustainability scores were calculated for both faculty and students. Data were collected with the intention of understanding first, if any changes occurred in these campus community members, and second, if changes occurred, could the changes be linked to the project.

– Faculty experienced a significant increase in sustainability scores over the course of the project. Faculty interviews were used to glean a rich understanding of attitudes, information and behaviors about sustainability. A building waste audit was conducted to substantiate any self-reported changes in recycling behavior. In contrast, students experienced either a significant decrease in sustainability scores or an insignificant decrease in sustainability scores. Large-scale, campus-wide behavioral changes of individuals did not take place. Some community members showcase sustainable behaviors, but for reasons not definitively linked with this project and its outreach.

Practical implications
– This project serves as a stepping stone for other student teams; an opportunity to learn from our successes and mistakes, improving design of similar projects. General information about this type of project was discovered namely faculty and student participants were cooperative and outreach was not as extensive as imagined. The study also suggest future research could benefit from analyzing barriers to sustainable behaviors, addressing these in outreach for a similar project. Evaluating future projects to understand their effectiveness produces increasingly informative research.

– This paper looks beyond the initial enthusiasm for conducting campus sustainability projects, shedding light on the ways they may effect the campus community.
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