Higher Education Sustainability Initiatives [HESI]: A Case Study on the American International University – Bangladesh [AIUB] and the Local Perspective


  • Carmen Z. Lamagna American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB)
  • Shama Islam American International University-Bangladesh (AIUB)


“Sustainability” has been one of the most monopolizing ‘buzz word’ in recent times, that has gone global. The very concept has evolved over time, gradually realizing its significance from various industries, different households, to the entire governance and infrastructure of nations across borders. It has diversified its meaning, however, donning on multiple facets of ‘sustainability’. More and more individuals and entities, whether it be consumers or corporations, have started thinking on issues related to health, society, and the environment as a whole. This trend seems to go a long way, especially when it comes to organizations and institutions, spanning through a wide range of genres.

It has grown in its importance. It no longer holds just ethicalor moral values, but this even adds to the cost of doing business, the impact of each person as a global citizen, and not to mention, the future of our planet that hangs in the boughs as we know it. Given the socio-economic and political scenario, the South Asian region is only beginning to catch up to the idea of how such actions effectthe lives of its people. Traditionally, generations have been involved in ‘serving the community’ through the ‘volunteering’, ‘charitable donations’, ‘social welfare & development’ etc. for decades, but the scales and scope were limited in their reach and, with the lack of proper guidance and literacy, the efforts and approaches were incohesive and incoherent to have any real impression or influence on the local level. In time, if the population can be educated in masses, and not just encourage but rather enabled to contribute towards the global landscape of sustainability, perhaps we can power through climate change, not just in the South Asian region but internationally in the global landscape.

Education for all has always been an integral part of the sustainable development agenda. There is growing international recognition of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as an integral element of quality education and a key enabler for sustainable development. Over two years ago, an unprecedented number of higher education institutions (HEI) from all corners of the globe assembled on a single platform to collaboratively champion education, research and actions for sustainable development in the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in July 2012. Although education is a dedicated sustainable development goal 4 - "Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all" – with a set of associated targets, it is also a key driver for achieving many of the other sustainable development goals. Established as an unprompted initiative for sustainable development,HESI for Rio+20 aims to get institutions of higher education to commit to teach sustainable development concepts, encourage.Contributions from higher education institutions part of the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative are sought, in responding to the pressing current issues of climate change.




How to Cite

Lamagna, C. Z., & Islam, S. (2016). Higher Education Sustainability Initiatives [HESI]: A Case Study on the American International University – Bangladesh [AIUB] and the Local Perspective. AIUB Journal of Business and Economics, 13(1), 179–193. Retrieved from https://ajbe.aiub.edu/index.php/ajbe/article/view/68