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An exploratory study of sustainability initiatives: a case of UKZN Campus Management Services.

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Sustainability has become a global challenge in the twenty first century and many higher education institutions are facing internal and external challenges in terms of managing sustainability. Higher education institutions are best equipped to address issues and find solutions to sustainability as they have a powerful tool, which is knowledge and education. The study focuses on the role of the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Campus Management Services (CMS) in managing sustainable initiatives for energy, water and waste. The qualitative research method was used and the data collected was done through semi- structured in-depth interviews. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants from CMS management staff. The sample size was twelve. The research concluded that UKZN does have implemented energy management and water management systems. However, the research found that UKZN is lacking in the area of waste management. Furthermore, the research concluded that UKZN has not been able to fully implement and manage sustainability initiatives due to a number of internal and external challenges. The research recommends that the present electronic energy system be monitored in an effort to better manage the energy costs. There is a need to implement a water monitoring system and to set up a waste management system for the different waste types so that UKZN can benefit from recycled, reduced and reused waste. Due to poor communication amongst top management, middle management and the municipality, the researcher recommended an effective communication system to improve the flow of information. There is a need to employ more skilled staff and to increase the knowledge and skills of management by implementing training workshops. There is a need for written policies to guide the management of sustainable initiatives. The researcher recommends that UKZN should embrace innovative technology and the need to collaborate with businesses to improve in the management of sustainability initiatives.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.