Identifying and overcoming obstacles to the implementation of sustainable development at universities

Walter Leal Filho, Yen Chun Jim Wu*, Luciana Londero Brandli, Lucas Veiga Avila, Ulisses Miranda Azeiteiro, Sandra Caeiro, Lucia Rejane da Rosa Gama Madruga

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

157 Citations (Scopus)


Although there have been proven and successful developments in the field of Higher Education for Sustainable Development over the past 15 years or so, there are still numerous challenges to be overcome. Among these challenges is the need for Higher Education Institutions to improve the integration of sustainability in the curriculum and in research, and most importantly, to integrate it holistically in their systems. This paper presents an analysis of the fundamental obstacles to the incorporation of sustainable development in universities. It reports on an empirical study performed with universities across the world, where some of the main barriers are identified. It is recommended that these barriers are viewed as obstacles and entrepreneurial opportunities, and addressed accordingly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-108
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Integrative Environmental Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jan 1


  • Campus
  • Curriculum
  • Education
  • Sustainability
  • Universities

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • General Environmental Science
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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