Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society

Volume 26, 2015

Proceedings of the Twenty-Sixth Annual Meeting

Yves Fassin
Pages 179-191

The Status of CSR and Sustainability Reporting at Universities in Europe: a Survey

The results of a survey carried out in 2014 around the status of CSR and sustainability practice and reporting at the European Universities show this to be a recent phenomenon. While 82% of the 73 responding European universities (response rate 11,5%) had adopted CSR and sustainability in their strategy, 70% declared to report on sustainability, half of them after 2010, and with varying level of comprehensiveness and integration. It is the sustainability dimension that overhauled university management to communicate and to report on these issues with 20 years of delay as compared to business. As commonly with innovation, it are not always the most reputed universities that are innovators in sustainability, but less known universities in a competitive strategy of differentiation. Drawing on institutional theory and on the innovation literature, our study allows us to deduce that sustainability reporting at universities has reached its phase of dissemination and institutionalization.