The "Greenest Department Competition": An exemplary student-led project

Miklós Antal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: A student-led department greening competition brought significant change to certain departments at the Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Hungary. The purpose of the paper is to help sustainability groups at other tertiary education institutions to organize similar competitions. Design/methodology/approach: First, the approach and methodology of the competition are explained in detail. Second, results of the competition in the first three years are summarized. Third, opportunities for improvement are discussed. Fourth, potentials and limitations are reviewed. Finally, the most important success criteria are listed. Findings: Eight weeks of assisted learning and two audit-based assessments are appropriate to facilitate the greening process of departments. To successfully organize a competition, a reliable team with a core group of at least five to six experienced members is needed. Maximal effectiveness can only be achieved if local environmental leaders at departments are activated. Practical implications: If local environmental leaders act as internal project managers, environmental practices can change significantly. Improvements can affect material and energy use, transportation behavior and external outreach activities. Originality/value: The project description shows a structure for how to engage in greening departments. A consistent rubric was applied across multiple departments over a span of three years, which allows for drawing general conclusions. Insights can facilitate similarly effective projects elsewhere. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)366-383
JournalSustainability Accounting, Management and Policy Journal
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2013


  • Assisted learning
  • Campus sustainability
  • Department greening
  • Environmental audit
  • Local environmental leader
  • Student-led project


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