Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environment, Economics, and Politics (EEP)

Second Department

Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Morhardt, Emil

Reader 2

Blomberg, Brock

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Rights Information

© 2014 Robert Heilmayr


Multiple declarations, governmental and non-profit organizations and universities have issued a call for proper reporting of social and environmental impacts and initiatives within academia. Such reporting can increase awareness of environmental and social impacts, encourage development of sustainable policy and build a campus culture more committed to sustainability. Sustainability reporting at Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) has the added benefit of being a powerful teaching aid. This paper follows multiple lines of inquiry in order to determine whether HEIs are taking advantage of the opportunities afforded by sustainability reporting. The analysis evaluates the history of sustainability reporting at HEIs and compares the practices of HEIs to those in other sectors. We use the Pacific Sustainability Index to methodically evaluate and rank the social and environmental reporting of 20 HEIs. We find that sustainability reporting is generally less rigorous in academia than other industries. The analysis emphasizes the need for greater institutional support for sustainability reporting at HEIs.