Despite advances made there is still an implementation gap with regard to Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in formal educational systems at the school level. The present paper focuses on sustainability reporting as a recently emerging practice in the school sector. It presents the approach and findings of an exploratory interview study at three pioneer schools in Germany that have started to establish sustainability reporting mechanisms. The study has examined how the reporting process is evaluated by project managers with regard to its benefits and challenges. Findings support the potential of sustainability reporting at schools to contribute to an increase in students’ participation in sustainability-related activities at school, create accountability concerning the school’s efforts, help structure the existing sustainability projects and demonstrate new possible courses of action. The high expenditure of time, the teachers’ high workload and lack of support given to the teachers have been identified as major challenges of the reporting process. Further directions for future research into reporting practices at schools are given.
Adomßent, M., & Michelsen, G. (2006). German Academia heading for sustainability? Reflections on policy and practice in teaching, research and institutional innovations. Environmental Education Research, 12(1), 85-99.
Barth, M. (2013). Many roads lead to sustainability: A process oriented analysis of change in higher education. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 14(2), 160-175.
Barth, M., Fischer, D., Michelsen, G., Nemnich, C., & Rode, H. (2012). Tackling the knowledge-action gap in sustainable consumption: Insights from a participatory school programme. Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 6(2), 135-146.
Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3(2), 77-101.
Breiting, S., Mayer, M., & Mogensen, F. (2005). Quality criteria for ESD-schools. Guidelines to enhance the quality of education for sustainable development. Vienna.
Ceulemans, K., Molderez, I., & van Liedekerke, L. (2015). Sustainability Reporting in Higher Education. A comprehensive review of the recent literature and paths for further research. Journal of Cleaner Production, 106(0), 127-143.
Christ, C., & Dobbins, M. (2016). Increasing school autonomy in Western Europe. A comparative analysis of its causes and forms. European Societies, 18(4), 359-388.
Cincera, J., & Krajhanzl, J. (2013). Eco-Schools: What factors influence pupils’ action competence for pro-environmental behaviour? Journal of Cleaner Production, 61, 117-121.
Deutsche UNESCO-Kommission (DUK) & Kultusministerkonferenz (KMK). (2007). Empfehlungen zur “Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung in der Schule”, Bonn.
Disterheft, A., Caeiro, S., Azeiteiro, U. M., & Filho, W. L. (2015). Sustainable universities - A study of critical success factors for participatory approaches. Journal of Cleaner Production, 106, 11- 21.
Dumay, J., Guthrie, J., & Farneti, F. (2010). GRI sustainability reporting guidelines for public and third sector organizations. Public Management Review, 12(4), 531-548.
Fischer, D., Jenssen, S., & Tappeser, V. (2015). Getting an empirical hold of the sustainable university: a comparative analysis of evaluation frameworks across 12 contemporary sustainability assessment tools. Assessment & Evaluation in Higher Education, 40(6), 785-800.
Haan, G. de. (2006). The BLK ‘21’ programme in Germany: a ‘Gestaltungskompetenz’based model for Education for Sustainable Development. Environmental Education Research, 12(1), 19-32.
Iliško, D., & Badjanova, Y. (2014). A case study of ESD implementation: Signs of sustainable leadership. Discourse and Communication for Sustainable Education, 5, 38-48.
Kalaitzidis, D. (2013). Sustainable school indicators: Approaching the vision through the sustainable school award. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 14(2), 168-180.
Kolk, A. (2003). Trends in sustainability reporting by the Fortune Global 250. Business Strategy and the Environment, 12(5), 279-291.
Kolleck, N. (2015). Uncovering influence through Social Network Analysis. The role of schools in Education for Sustainable Development. Journal of Education Policy, 31(3), 308-329.
Kools, S., McCarthy, M., Durham, R., & Robrecht, L. (1996). Dimensional analysis. Broadening the conception of grounded theory. Qualitative Health Research, 6(3), 312-330.
Lozano, R. (2006). Incorporation and institutionalization of SD into universities: Breaking through barriers to change. Journal of Cleaner Production, 14(9-11), 787-796.
Lukk, K., Veisson, M., & Ots, L. (2008). Characteristics of sustainable changes for schools. Journal of Teacher Education for Sustainability, 9, 35-44.
Lysgaard, J. G., Larsen, N., & Læssøe, J. (2015). Green flag eco-schools and the challenge of moving forward. In V. W. Thoresen, D. Doyle, J. Klein & R. J. Didham (Eds.), Responsible Living. Concepts, Education and Future Perspectives (pp. 135-150). Dordrecht: Springer.
Mayring, P. (2004). Qualitative Content Analysis. In U. Flick, E. von Kardorff, & I. Steinke (Eds.), A Companion to Qualitative Research (pp. 266-269). London: SAGE.
Meuser, M., & Nagel, U. (2009). The expert interview and changes in knowledge production. In A. Bogner, B. Littig & W. Menz (Eds.), Interviewing Experts (Research methods series, pp. 17-42). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Million, A., Heinrich, A. J., & Coelen, T. (2015). Educational landscapes and urban development. contextual and spatial interfaces and linkages. Planning Practice & Research, 30(5), 587-601.
Prexl, A. (2010). Nachhaltigkeit kommunizieren - nachhaltig kommunizieren. Analyse des Potenzials der Public Relations für eine nachhaltige Unternehmens- und Gesellschaftsentwicklung. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag.
Rickinson, M., Hall, M., & Reid, A. (2015). Sustainable schools programmes. What influence on schools and how do we know? Environmental Education Research, 22(3), 360-389.
Salter, Z. (2015). Impact of whole-school education for sustainability on upper-primary tudents and their families. Environmental Education Research, 22(3), 436-437.
Schellenbach-Zell, J., & Gräsel, C. (2010). Teacher motivation for participating in school innovations - supporting factors. Journal for Educational Research Online, 2(2), 34-54.
Seawright, J., & Gerring, J. (2008). Case selection techniques in case study research. A menu of qualitative and quantitative options. Political Research Quarterly, 61(2), 294-308.
Sterling, S. & Thomas, I. (2006), Education for sustainability: the role of capabilities in guiding university curricula, International Journal of Innovation and Sustainable Development, 1(4), 349-370.
Thijssens, T., Bollen, L., & Hassink, H. (2016). Managing sustainability reporting. Many ways to publish exemplary reports. Journal of Cleaner Production, 136, 86-101.
Transfer-21 ‘Quality and Competencies’ Working Group. (2007). Developing Quality at “ESD Schools” Quality Areas, Principles & Criteria, Berlin.
UNESCO. (2014). Roadmap for Implementing the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development. Paris: UNESCO.
Wals, A. E. J. (2012). Shaping the Education of Tomorrow. 2012 Full-length Report on the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development. Paris: UNESCO.