Online sustainability reporting at universities: The case of Hong Kong

Yi An, Howard Davey, Harun HARUN, Zebin Jin, Xin Qiao, Qun Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this study is to examine the current state of online sustainability reporting in the Hong Kong higher education sector from a variety of perspectives.
Design/methodology/approach – The multiple case study was the research method for this research. Content analysis of the university website, as well as interview with university management, personnel in the sustainability office, academics and students, were adopted for data collection. An assessment framework for sustainability reporting was developed as an instrument for content analysis, based on G4 guidelines and prior literature.
Findings – The authors observe that most Hong Kong public universities have a specific webpage for sustainability reporting on the website, which consists of an amount of sustainability-related information in terms of general aspects, specific aspects and stakeholder participation. Moreover, they notice that Hong Kong public universities attach importance to sustainability and its reporting, and they would like to communicate their sustainability activities to various stakeholders and the community where they operate.
Practical implications – This paper indicates some practical implications for academics, university management, policymakers and sustainability education amongst universities in Hong Kong and beyond.
Social implications – This paper argues that universities, as a central place to foster talents and future leaders, should operate in a sustainable manner at the first place and then report their sustainability related activities taking full advantage of the current information and communication technologies, so as to discharge accountability to various stakeholders and meet the expectations of the community where they operate.
Originality/value – This paper uses a multiple case study approach to explore the status of online sustainability reporting at Hong Kong universities, which contributes to limited research in the area, particularly for online sustainability reporting in the higher education institutions, and makes some contributions to the extant literature.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)887-901
Number of pages15
JournalSustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sept 2020


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