indicadores clave de desempeño, key performance indicators, sostenibilidad, sustainability, environmental management system, sistema de gestión ambiental, higher education institution, universidad, INGENIERIA QUIMICA, and PROYECTOS DE INGENIERIA
Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) should be lighthouses for society. Therefore, they must have an exemplary behavior in all sustainability areas: economy, social and environment. The environmental awareness of the educational community - student, professors, researchers, staff and managers - has increased considerably in the first decades of this century. The Environmental Management Systems (EMS), either ISO certified or EMAS verified, have gained popularity in HEIs seeking for a better disclosure of their environmental behavior and the improvement of their environmental performance.Due to the structure of HEIs, the EMS has difficulties when being incorporated into the overall management system. To respond in real time to the changes that occur as a result of the environmental performance of the HEI, a better integration of the environmental assessment in the overall management system is needed.In this research, several methodologies and tools have been tested trying to improve the interaction between the environmental behavior and the general management system of the HEI. Reporting tools like the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System¿ (STARS®) have proven to be useful to report sustainable behavior to specialize stakeholder. However, their intricacy make them difficult to used directly in the everyday management or as a disclosure tool.The aggregated indicators like the ecological footprint have proven to be useful to communicate the environmental performance on a comprehensive way although with restrictions in the assessment. The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and its recently launched adaptation of the LCA for Organizations (O-LCA) also allows to describe and evaluate the environmental impact of these institutions. However, the complexity of performing this type of assessment and the high requirements of quality data not always available have become a handicap.This research analyzes the complexity of HEIs and the particularities of these tools and methodologies to propose a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for the environmental assessment of these organizations. The Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), specially one of its environmental units (EPSA), is used as a case study.As a result, a methodology to define the most suitable environmental KPIs for a HEI is presented. The methodology considers a life cycle approach with an operational control as a consolidation method. The environmental management system is used as the main data provider. The information managed by the accounting system has been explored and a classification method has been proposed to use the accounting system as a complementary source of quality data.The methodology has been applied to the case study defining 7 environmental KPIs that assess the most significant environmental impacts of EPSA UPV and can be easily integrated in the current general management system of a HEI.