An exploratory study of environmental practices in two Brazilian higher education institutions
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This study aimed to identify the barriers and motivations that influence the adoption of sustainable practices in higher education institutions (HEIs). A multiple case study approach was used to analyze the influence of the barriers and motivations identified in the literature on two Brazilian HEIs. Five propositions were identified and discussed: Government Directives coercively boost the adoption of EMS practices in HEIs; stakeholders boost the adoption of EMS practices in HEIs; the combination of top-down and participatory approaches is essential for maintaining EMS practices in HEIs; the adoption of EMS practices in HEIs tends to face the challenges of several barriers; the adoption of EMS practices in HEIs tends to be motivated by a variety of factors. This study has certain limitations common to qualitative research: case studies do not provide generalizations, and research results are valid only within limited contexts. It was suggested further in-depth research into the role of bureaucracy in pursuing sustainability in HEIs. Additionally, “bureaucracy” should also be considered a significant barrier.
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