Integrating health and sustainability: the higher education sector as a timely catalyst

Orme, J. and Dooris, Mark T orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-5986-1660 (2010) Integrating health and sustainability: the higher education sector as a timely catalyst. Health Education Research, 25 (3). pp. 425-437. ISSN 0268-1153

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Higher education is an influential sector with enormous potential to impact positively on health and ustainability. The purpose of this paper was to explore its emergent role as a key setting for promoting health and sustainability
and for addressing their challenges in an integrated and coherent way. Acknowledging both the relative narrowness of the environmental focus that has to date characterized and
driven universities’ work in relation to sustainability
and the demonstrable value of adopting a whole-system approach, this paper will explore the concept of ‘Healthy Universities’ as a means of furthering debate and facilitating synergy between public health, sustainable development and climate change. Higher education represents one large-scale sector with a unique combination of roles that can be harnessed to focus and mobilize its education,
knowledge exchange, research, corporate responsibility and future shaping agendas to achieve significant impacts in this area. It is the growing commitment to embedding health
and well-being within the mainstream business of higher education coupled with the expectation that universities will act sustainably in all that they do that provides the perfect springboard to influence a process of ‘co-ordinated
action’ to address climate change and impact positively on the integrated health and sustainability agenda.

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