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Toward a Quintuple Bottom Line in Higher Education Institutions: Sustainability Practices in Higher Education

Abraham Mulamoottil


As the “trendsetter in education,” the experiments and experiences of Mar Athanasios College for Advanced Studies Tiruvalla (MACFAST) already show it to be an exceptional model of education, innovation, and sustainability that leverages the triple bottom line (TBL), focusing on how projects disturb the planet, affect people, and address profit. Yet MACFAST added two more areas of concern—the passion for study and the purpose of life, making for a quintuple bottom line. Such a “MACFASTian” praxis for action and reflection is evident in various projects. For example, MACFAST became the first education institution in India to be fully-powered by solar and energy self-sufficient. The college also began the Clean and Green Campus project, an awareness-action-research programme that was subsequently expanded into a campaign for the surrounding town—Clean and Green Tiruvalla—which eventually led to an award for best municipality in the state. MACFAST’s “go green” praxis has resulted in biogas generation from toilets for use in various cooking purposes, and the institution owns the first campus-based community radio station in the country, Radio MACFAST 90.4, which has become one of their main sources of income. Indeed, by rereading its vision both in continuity with and discontinuity from tradition, MACFAST innovations continue to rise and endure, allowing their brand to remain noticeably secular, neutral, inclusive, and professional. 


sustainability; quintuple bottom line; praxis for action and reflection; innovations

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13185/JM2019.07205