What are the motivations for and obstacles to disclosing voluntary sustainability information by U.S. universities in STARS reports?

Research output: Contribution to journalResearch articleContributedpeer-review


This study investigates voluntary sustainability reporting by U.S. universities. Using a structural equation modeling approach and Poisson regression, this analysis explores the relevant motivations for and obstacles in disclosing sustainability information through the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. The preparation of sustainability reports on a voluntarily basis involves significant financial costs for universities that typically grapple with tight budgets. However, universities may want to inform their stakeholders about relevant developments at the university. The results show that the fulfillment of societal expectations is one of the most relevant motivations, whereas a lack of reporting-related organizational structures represents the most important obstacle. The study provides important theoretical and practical contributions to the literature, including scales that measure the level of motivations and obstacles to reporting sustainability information. Furthermore, the findings can improve universities’ sustainability reporting and assessment frameworks.


Original languageEnglish
Article number131912
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of cleaner production
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2022

External IDs

unpaywall 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.131912
WOS 000805716400002
Mendeley 46d0f72c-23da-3337-bec0-e713aea9a5e7
Scopus 85129693217
ORCID /0000-0002-6891-8948/work/142244697


Sustainable Development Goals


  • Motivations, Obstacles, Structural equation modeling, Sustainability reporting, Universities

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