30% of students consider sustainability in college selection – March 2023

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Accountant-led sustainability platform discovers that 30% of students consider sustainability in college selection (latest survey results) March 2023

For colleges and universities across the US, much like the accountancy profession, understanding the motivations and drivers of future generations and incoming talent is vital.

Veritrove – a tech-enabled ESG & sustainability firm – recently conducted an insights study into student perceptions on sustainability and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in higher education. What the team found in this study – released in March 2023 – is a true prevalence of sustainability as an emerging and important consideration.

Veritrove’s CEO Matthew Wheatley is a Chartered Accountant (ICAEW) and Pittsburgh chapter head for CAW Network USA. Matthew sees this as an important finding for universities and colleges to:

  • tailor their own campus enhancements, curriculum, student activities and outward communications.
  • continue to perform for and appeal to incoming generations
  • see this as a leading indicator for future talent for the accountancy profession, at home and abroad.

“We think that CAW has begun emerging as a leading professional voice around the increasing needs and benefits of corporate sustainability and ESG reporting; and the raft of legislative and commercial pressures on organizations to address climate change is being matched with a significant increase in support from the home accountancy institutes. This positive trend must continue, as these latest results reinforce the importance of these broader topics to current and prospective students of today, who are the future talent of the profession tomorrow.”

Veritrove have issued the following press release:

New Study Finds 30% of Students Consider Sustainability in College Selection

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, March 21, 2023

The latest survey conducted by Veritrove, a leading provider of ESG & Sustainability software and consulting services for higher education institutions, governments, and for-profit businesses, has revealed key insights into student perceptions on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues in higher education.

The survey of 200 students, ages 16-24, from across the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States aimed to understand students’ awareness and engagement with ESG and sustainability topics (from carbon emissions to diversity efforts) and their expectations for their institutions to address these issues.

The survey results indicate that students increasingly consider ESG and sustainability to be essential and relevant to their education and future careers. A key finding was that 30% of the respondents selected sustainability as a top three factor when selecting a college, and 10% selected it as the number one factor.

The survey was conducted as part of a larger qualitative study, which included in-depth interviews with students and a literature review of existing research on the topic.

“The results demonstrate that students are becoming more aware and engaged with environmental and other ESG issues and are looking to their universities to take a leadership role in addressing them,” said Matt Wheatley, CEO of Veritrove. “This highlights the importance for higher education institutions to prioritize sustainability in their operations and curriculum to meet the expectations and needs of their students.”

Additionally, many students believe their institutions should disclose information about their environmental and social impact. “When speaking with students, we find that students increasingly want digital tools such as dashboards to view their institution’s performance,” said Angela Moriarity, Sustainability Analyst at Veritrove.

Veritrove is committed to working with higher education institutions and other organizations to promote and advance ESG & sustainability performance, providing additional value and market differentiation beyond just reporting and compliance. The company offers a range of services, including sustainability assessments, ESG software & reporting, and sustainability consulting, to help organizations drive value and meet the expectations and needs of their stakeholders, including students.

You can access a videographic showing the results of the survey here

For more information about Veritrove and its services, please visit the company’s website at veritrove.com. Contact: Matt Artz, Head of Product & UX, Veritrove: martz@veritrove.com | Phone: +1.855.218.5757

Note to editors: For more information, news, and perspectives from Veritrove, please visit the Veritrove Newsroom at veritrove.com/news. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Veritrove’s corporate communications team at hello@veritrove.com.