Sustainable Practices in Higher Education: Finance, Strategy, and Engagement

Gabrielle Machnik-Kekesi's picture
Call for Papers
June 1, 2021 to July 1, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Educational Technology, Environmental History / Studies, Social Sciences, Teaching and Learning, Economic History / Studies


The John Molson School of Business at Concordia University (Montreal) and the School of Sciences and Engineering at the American University in Cairo kindly invite contributions to the edited book collection entitled Sustainable Practices in Higher Education: Finance, Strategy, and Engagement, to be published by Palgrave-Macmillan.

Co-edited by:

- Thomas Walker, Professor of Finance; Concordia University Research Chair in Emerging Risk Management;
the Jacques Menard/BMO Center for Capital Markets Research, John Molson School of Business, Concordia University

- Khaled Tarabieh, Associate Professor of Sustainable Design and Associate Chair, Department of Architecture,
The American University in Cairo

- Sherif Goubran, Instructor, Department of Architecture, The American University in Cairo
- Gabrielle Machnik-Kekesi, Research Assistant, Emerging Risks Information Centre, Concordia University



Our book aims to highlight both the positive and negative experiences that universities have had in their sustainability ambitions and explore the most up-to-date research on sustainable financial practices in higher education to encourage our anthology’s readership to implement such innovative practices in their academic contexts. While prior texts on the subject have offered interested parties valuable contextual information, case studies on sustainability in universities, as well as country-specific examinations, there remains a gap in the literature with respect to the myriad of financial and strategic dimensions a shift to sustainability may encompass for a given university.


We specifically focus on how finance-related and long-term oriented decision-making can be a catalyst for the uptake of sustainable practices. As large employers in the cities in which they are located and as centers of both critical thinking and innovation, higher education institutions (HEIs) must lead the way in supporting sustainable practices. Consistent with the mission of Palgrave-Macmillan, our collection aims to set the agenda for future directions at the interface of sustainable development and university strategies.



1. Engaging students

  • Curriculum (“greening” education)
  • Education for sustainable finance
  • Education for sustainable development
  • Use and selection of course materials
  • Student initiatives and student activism
  • Changes to pedagogy
  • E-learning/hybrid learning models
  • Sustainability in student orientation and basic sustainability principles
  • Sustainability in student-related services

2. Engaging faculty and staff

  • Greening and biodiversity initiatives
  • Emission reduction targets and plans
  • Carbon footprint (tracking, reductions, and prediction of future scenarios)
  • Waste reduction initiatives (composting, recycling, reusing)
  • Sustainable event planning (e.g., policies for conferences)
  • Faculty research practices and travel
  • Server use and data storage policies
  • Training, seminars, and workshops for faculty and staff
  • Sustainability in faculty and staff orientation

3. Engaging administrations, donors, and the wider community

  • Divesting
  • Environmentally conscious building design
  • Managing relationships with/expectations of donors
  • Sustainability focused donations and funding
  • ESG-focused management of endowments
  • Links between sustainability and enrollment
  • Greening university marketing
  • Fund allocation for emergent research
  • Integration of Indigenous perspectives
  • Collaborations with minorities and other marginalized communities
  • Sustainability and green funds in universities

Per our intended global scope, the co-editors welcome contributions from the international community of scholars and administrators at the intersection of sustainability, finance, education, governance, policymaking, and research. Contributions may present, review, and/or critically analyze sustainable practices in higher education. Chapters may highlight current hurdles and challenges that are slowing or derailing on-campus financial or strategic initiatives and practices geared towards sustainability. The edited collection also seeks contributions that investigate the applicability and limits of the current sustainable financial tools and policies that HEIs employ.


Considering the interconnected and complex nature of the topic, the co-editors welcome contributions that are transdisciplinary in their approach. Moreover, they strongly encourage chapters that use case studies or comparative studies in this context. Finally, as a reflection of the global nature of climate change and its multi-scale consequences, the co-editors invite authors to critically consider the scalar relevance – at the local, regional, national, and supranational levels – of their contributions.


Submitted chapters must be original and exclusively prepared for the book, with no part of the article having been published elsewhere.


Researchers and practitioners are invited to submit abstracts of no more than 500 words, a bibliography for their proposed chapter, and a CV to the contact email below. Abstract submissions are expected by July 31st, 2021.