Sustainable Development: Educating with Purpose - ISCN and GULF Universities Share Best Practice Report at the World Economic Forum

At the World Economic Forum, the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) in collaboration with the Global University Leaders Forum (GULF) shared exemplary campus sustainability case studies provided by 42 of the world’s leading universities all focused on sustainable development.

The focus of this year’s GULF meeting was universities and social inclusion in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, one characterized by the World Economic Forum as a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries, and even challenging ideas about what it means to be human.

In contemplating how higher education institutions fit into this new revolution and how to navigate the potential social fractures, the ISCN serves as a mechanism for cohesion. Further as our members work collectively on sustainable development, we look to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) developed by the United Nations as one highly recognizable way to map sustainable activities on our campuses.

“ISCN members are increasingly integrating the SDGs into governance, operations, teaching, learning, research, and engagement” say Victoria Smith and Melissa Goodall, ISCN Advisory Committee in a co-authored foreword for the report. “Not only do the case studies in this report offer evidence of the remarkable scope and breadth of the work being done by ISCN members, they will inevitably inspire others to forge new paths and challenge the status quo.”

Higher education institutions serve as a catalyst for change and the collection of case studies by members of the ISCN and GULF reflect the sophistication of sustainability in higher education institutions and their purposeful contributions to the SDGs to enhance the surrounding community, higher education sector, and world.

Download the full report, [download id="521"]

“This year marked a milestone for us at the ISCN with the outpouring of case studies to demonstrate how universities are engaging with stakeholders to integrate sustainability into teaching, research, governance and service.” said Zena Harris, Executive Director, ISCN. “Collectively, the projects described in our report, Educating with Purpose impact and influence thousands of people from students to community members and we commend the work by the report contributors to enhance the betterment of the world.”

The ISCN-GULF Sustainable Campus Charter was ratified in 2010 at the GULF meeting at the WEF and ISCN has been contributing exceptional case studies to this group since 2011 as part of our mission to provide a global forum for the exchange of information, ideas, and best practices for achieving sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability into research and teaching.

In 2018 we will update the Charter to reflect the evolution of our network and global priorities on sustainable development. The ISCN will continue this knowledge exchange and engagement on the Charter update at our annual meeting, ISCN 2018 Sustainable Development: Acting with Purpose, hosted by KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden, June 11-13, 2018.

For more information on the ISCN, please visit:

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For more information on GULF, please visit:

ISCN Sustainable Campus Excellence Awards: 2018 Call for Nominations!

The International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) is the premiere international forum for leading universities to share ideas and best practices for sustainable campus operations and integrating sustainability in research and teaching. The ISCN Sustainable Campus Excellence Awards promotes landmark projects that demonstrate how the environmental, social and economic issues of our time provide opportunities for university administrations and faculty alike to improve campus infrastructures and university administration and recognize opportunities to integrate them into their research and learning activities. 

About The Award

The ISCN is pleased to announce the call for nominations for the Tenth Annual International Sustainable Campus Excellence Awards. As the premier organization that provides international awards recognizing excellence in the areas of Building, Campus Planning, Collaboration, and Student Leadership, the ISCN is dedicated to building a gallery of outstanding projects that showcase excellence and leadership from around the globe.Select winners of the awards may be invited to the award ceremony as part of the ISCN 2018 ConferenceSustainable Development: Acting with Purpose, at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, June 11-13, 2018. All awardees will receive a plaque and will be featured in the ISCN gallery of landmark projects where they will serve as case studies to inspire university members on what is possible and how successful projects can be developed. Through the global presence of the ISCN, the visibility of the awards will not only fertilize the improvement of campus development internationally, but will also help continue the momentum for the awardees on their own campuses.


  • Building and Innovative Infrastructure
  • Campus Planning and Management Systems
  • Innovative Collaboration
  • Student Leadership