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ERIC Number: EJ1014218
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1467-6370
Communicating Sustainability: A Content Analysis of Website Communications in the United States
Dade, Aurali; Hassenzahl, David M.
International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, v14 n3 p254-263 2013
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate how institutions of higher education (IHEs) in the USA communicate sustainability through their websites. Specifically, the authors compare how and to what extent sustainability is communicated through an institution-wide sustainability website versus operational and academic department websites. Design/methodology/approach: This paper describes the results of a content analysis of over 700 websites at IHEs in the USA which were selected in a stratified random sample. Each website was coded with responses entered into a data matrix. The data in the matrix were then evaluated and compared for important factors related to communicating about campus sustainability. Findings: Although there has been an increase in the number of commitments to sustainability by IHEs, at the time of this content analysis the commitment was not reflected on the websites of the IHEs sampled. Given the common use of websites at IHEs in the USA to communicate to large groups, colleges and universities should ensure that their websites reflect actual practice. Practical implications: The findings from this study may encourage IHEs in the USA to better communicate their practice related to sustainability. The implementation of the sustainability communication component in AASHE STARS may also play an important role in increased and better communication about campus sustainability. Originality/value: This study describes the first large-scale content analysis of university websites evaluating sustainability characteristics. This paper gives a starting point and recommendations for IHEs who wish to enhance communication about sustainability through their websites. (Contains 2 figures and 1 table.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A