15 December 2021 | Policy input

Greening: a governance, funding and efficiency perspective

Luisa Bunescu, Thomas Estermann

Given their education, research and societal missions, universities are important actors in the transition towards carbon neutrality, sustainable societies and economies. They are well placed to play a key role in achieving the objectives of the UN SDGs, the Agenda 2030 and the European Green Deal.


This EUA policy input focuses on four areas through which sustainability and greening can be addressed at higher education institutions: funding, efficiency and effectiveness, procurement, governance and leadership. It analyses the role that national financing models and European initiatives such as NextGenerationEU can play, how green procurement can be a game changer, which efficiency measures can also benefit the green agenda and how leadership and leadership development can be instrumental in driving implementation.

This publication builds on EUA’s 2021 survey on greening in European higher education institutions, which collected evidence on the diverse activities and approaches to greening. The survey data is analysed in connection with findings of several other EUA work such as the Public Funding Observatory, the DEFINE project, the procurement study and  the recent NEWLEAD report on institutional transformation and leadership development.

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