Toward the Dissemination of Sustainability Issues through Social Media in the Higher Education Sector: Evidence from an Italian Case

Elena Gori, Alberto Romolini, Silvia Fissi, Marco Contri
2020 Sustainability  
Nowadays, universities play a pivotal role in building a more sustainable society, promoting sustainable development by reducing the negative impacts of their activities. Accordingly, universities have been incorporating sustainability into the different dimension of their activities (i.e., campus operations, research, teaching, and community engagement). Against this backdrop, the active involvement of stakeholders is a critical element, and, in this regard, social media platforms are
more » ... tforms are particularly well-suited tools thanks to their inherent dialogic features. While there are several studies on the implementation of sustainability within university activities, only a few previous researches explore whether and how such institutions use social media platforms (SM) to disclose their green initiatives and engage users. Based on this, our paper aims to fill the literature gap by exploring the case of the University of Florence. To achieve this aim, we performed a content analysis of the posts published by the university on Facebook. In contrast with prior studies which found scarce use of SM to share green activities in the higher education sector, our findings reveal that the University of Florence has been using SM to disclose their sustainability initiatives. Moreover, our results suggest that most posts are related to the community engagement dimension, while previous research pointed out prevalent attention to the environmental aspect. Finally, this research reveals a low interaction level between the university and its followers, which greatly hampers the dialogic potential of social platforms themselves.
doi:10.3390/su12114658 fatcat:tqqm44gmcngifhy6imzcsrlv5m