Österreichisches Portal für Umweltbildung und Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung

History and Background

The Austrian Sustainability Award for Universities: History and Background

The Austrian Sustainability Award is a joint initiative of the Austrian Federal Ministry of Sustainability and Tourism and the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research and was established in 2007 as a means of promoting and increasing awareness for sustainability processes within Austrian universities. After a starting phase of networking and communication with the relevant stakeholders, the project supports pioneers in this field by organizing a nationwide “Sustainability Award” for higher education institutions as an incentive for sustainable higher education every two years.

The innovation was to link a publicity related approach with internal learning process and benchmarking. The award was also the first approach to link different (and separated) sustainability initiatives among various universities.

Until 2007 many university initiatives for sustainable development were isolated and did not get the necessary support from their administration. Inviting the whole university to take part in the award competition led to 42 applications by 13 universities in 2008. Two years later, 17 universities submitted projects. Interestingly enough, the number of submissions stayed roughly the same (45), due to much more internal coordination within the universities. This picture changed in 2012. 22 universities submitted 77 projects, meaning a significant increase both in the number of universities involved and the number of projects submitted.

Cover Brochure Sustainability Award © FORUM Umweltbildung

Brochure Sustainability Award 2018

Brochure Sustainability Award 2016 © FORUM Umweltbildung

Brochure Sustainability Award 2016

Brochure Sustainability Award 2014 © FORUM Umweltbildung

Brochure Sustainability Award 2014

Brochure Sustainability Award 2012 © FORUM Umweltbildung

Brochure Sustainability Award 2012

Brochure Sustainability Award 2010 © FORUM Umweltbildung

Brochure Sustainability Award 2010

Brochure Sustainability Award 2008 © FORUM Umweltbildung

Brochure Sustainability Award 2008