Sustainability at Universities - Opportunities, Challenges and Trends

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Sustainability is widely defined as the ability to meet the needs of the present while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems and without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs . However, the goal of managing today's resources so that they may be available to future generations is not easy to reach. Indeed, in order to achieve this ambitious goal, it is important that universities - similar to other sectors of society - become engaged in the sustainability debate, not superficially as it has largely been the case until now, but in a manner not seen before. This book provides a concrete contribution towards the goal of fostering sustainability at universities, by especially focusing on opportunities, challenges and trends. It contains a wide range of papers written by university lecturers, professors, students and practitioners, as well as practical projects, which illustrate some of the latest trends and future perspectives related to sustainability in higher education. It was prepared as part of the project JELARE (Joint European-Latin American Universities Renewable Energy Project), funded by ALFA III, an EU programme of co-operation between the European Union and Latin America, in the framework of higher education and training. This book is meant to inform, inspire and engage all members of the University community in the wide debate on how the principles of sustainable development may be implemented into practice. Produced mid-way in the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, led by UNESCO, it serves the purpose of documenting and disseminating current initiatives all round the world, also paving the way for new ones.