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The Benefits and Challenges of Developing and Implementing an Environmental Management System Using a Participatory Approach: A Case Study of Manchester Metropolitan University, UK

Tinker, H and Tzoulas, K (2014) The Benefits and Challenges of Developing and Implementing an Environmental Management System Using a Participatory Approach: A Case Study of Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. In: Integrating Sustainability Thinking in Science and Engineering Curricula. Springer, pp. 425-438. ISBN 978-3-319-09474-8

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Abstract

Participatory approaches to developing and implementing environmental management in universities could be central in the successful integration of indirect aspects such as teaching and research. The aim of this research was to develop additional insights into the benefits and challenges associated with a participatory approach to environmental management. The objective was to undertake a case study of the participatory approach to environmental management followed by Manchester Metropolitan University, UK. The approach reported here comprised four stages: (a) an environmental review; (b) a stakeholder analysis, (c) participatory meetings and workshops, and (d) synthesis. The outcomes of this approach were a comprehensive management system covering twelve environmental aspects, including teaching and research; a management group chaired by a lead stakeholder for each aspect; a high level environmental strategy board; and university wide networks in facilitating collaboration in sustainability teaching and research. Benefits of increased capacity and reduced conflict were greater than the effort required for overcoming challenges such as securing commitment from and providing support to stakeholders. This chapter will be useful to universities planning to implement ISO 14001 and/ or those that already have an environmental management system and are wishing to expand the scope to include teaching and research.

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