Abstract: What is the role of universities in advancing sustainability? This paper delineates a unique program for promoting sustainability that was applied in Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB). The unique characteristics of the program are described in light of the positive sustainability framework. The five components of the program are designed to promote sustainable behavior of participants, through promoting goal-oriented hope: setting a goal; believing that one can successfully achieve the chosen goal (agency thinking); viewing the potential paths for achieving the goal (pathway thinking); and trusting other members of society to follow the same desired goal (social trust). The five components of the program are designed to jointly raise all the elements of hope. It starts with goal setting (estimate), which is aimed at evaluating the impact of the university on the physical environment. Secondly, the entire community of the university should be engaged in achieving the desired goal. The third component of the method is education about the potential options and actions for achieving the designed goal. Then, enabling the achievement of the goal takes place (meaning making it easy). Lastly, participants should be encouraged to pursue the goal by positive rewarding.

Original languageEnglish
Article number241
Number of pages13
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2019

    Research areas

  • Education for sustainability, Environmental behavior, Higher education, Positive psychology, Positive sustainability

ID: 43748370