Sustainable development at its simplest can be defined as “meeting our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” It is a societal goal with three core pillars, environmental, social, and economical. In higher education, environmental sustainability is an expectation of today’s students. It is of such importance that 74% of respondents in the 2022 Princeton Review state that a college’s commitment to environmental sustainability would affect their choice of school. This figure will only continue to increase and proves that higher education providers have a central role and responsibility to bring about positive change for the future.

Implementing Sustainability in Higher Education

Colleges and universities across the world are rising to the challenge of sustainability. They are raising awareness of campus sustainability, introducing sustainable development goals, and building partnerships with energy-conscious vendors. Digital transformation is another step towards sustainability and this is where digital credentials can support institutions in their efforts. 

Digital Credentials vs Physical Certificates

Digital credentials, as the name suggests, are entirely digital and eliminate the need to produce and print physical certificates. Digital credentials are hosted online on a unique URL that is available to view and verify at any time from any device. 

Digital credentials provide several key benefits over physical certificates for recipients:

  • They gain peace of mind for the longevity of their achievement as it is protected against loss and damage
  • They are able to share their credential to social media without concern around fraudulent use
  • Their credentials can be verified in seconds by a third-party without delaying employment or background checks

For the issuing institution, the benefits of digital credentials over physical credentials include:

  • Control remains with the issuer and the credential can be revoked or expired at any time
  • Easy to implement automation through integration with existing LMS or LXP platforms
  • Reduce the cost and time commitments of credentialing and managing credentials

Digitizing Supplementary Documentation

Certificates are not the only documents that are core to a graduate’s experience, they may also receive or request academic transcripts, exam results, dissertation scores, reports, and/or records. These documents often carry a fee and are produced and printed as physical documents that are given or sent through the mail to the recipient. As digital credentials are hosted on a dedicated page, additional documentation can be uploaded as evidence of demonstrable skills, competencies, and academic performance. Not only is all supplementary documentation available in one location for easy review, this eliminates the need for further paper use and contributes towards sustainable practices. 

Accredible’s Connect and Growth plans enables issuers to also generate transcript letters through the ACMS that are attached as a PDF, saving time on manual creation. The transcript letter can be set-up to generate using attributes that ease the burden on credentialing staff or administrators. More information on transcript letters can be found in our knowledge base article here: How to Use the Transcript Letter Feature.

In Summary

Sustainability and greener workings need to be built into the core foundations of organizations and higher education institutions. It is a demand of today’s students and becoming a mainstream focus for faculty members and the general public. Through implementation of digital credentials, issuers take impactful steps towards better sustainable practices while benefiting from automated processes, reduced administrative resources, cost effective credentialing, and protection against credential fraud. 

See digital credentials in action and book a platform demo with Accredible today, or reach out to our team to learn more about our digital credentialing solution, integrating Accredible, and the benefits of white-labeled credentials.

Further Reading

To better understand the benefits and applications of digital credentials in higher education, download our guide Digital Credentials in Higher Education. In this guide we explore the demands of students, the challenges of credentialing, and how institutions can use digital credentials to deliver enhanced graduate experiences. Use this guide to:

  • Identify the challenges of credentialing in higher education
  • Research solutions for secure, verifiable credentialing
  • Implement easy-to-manage, scalable digital credentials 
  • Learn how to use digital credentials to engage and motivate learners
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