ECIU sustainable Charter










Sustainability is an issue that is of growing concern and benefit to Society and Universities are increasingly involved in helping companies, local communities and regions address this issue. Within this context, Universities should also be true examples of the application of the concept of Sustainability within their own campuses. Thus, at the Executive Board Meeting held at the Universidade de Aveiro on May 5, 2010, the Executive Board gave its approval for the creation a Sustainable Campus Initiative and entrusted an Action Working Group of the Knowledge Triangle/Industry-University Steering Committee to implement this initiative, having as its


To have ECIU be an exemplary model of an organization whose member universities have Sustainable Campuses that also extend the benefits of their efforts to their Local Communities and Regions, and as



To develop a set of Minimum Requirements and Indicators that would qualify a member institution as a Sustainable Campus


To Jointly share efforts to have ECIU members readily implement and achieve minimum standards and extend these benefits to local communities and regions

Participants in the Action Group were confirmed in the summer of 2010 and during its 1st Meeting held in Zurich on December 7-8, 2010:

The Sustainable Efforts of ECIU Members were determined (and later updated in the 3 subsequent meetings of the Action Group)

A Benchmarking Dialogue and Analysis was conducted with the International Sustainable Campus Initiative (led by the Federal Polytechnic Institutes of Switzerland) and the Global University Leaders Forum of the World Economic Forum based in Geneva (ISCN/GULF Partnership).

Out of this Benchmarking Dialogue and Analysis of the ISCN/GULF Initiative, the Action Group proposed the following General Strategy for implementing the Sustainable Campus Initiative, which was approved by Executive Board at its meeting held in Brussels in October 2010:

Establish a General CHARTER containing the main issues that describe ECIU’s understanding of what it means to be a Sustainable Campus and have it signed by all willing Members at the Executive Board Meeting that will be held in Twente in November 2011.

Have each of the signing member universities:


Establish its POLICY on the various Sustainability issues (Energy, etc)


Adopt common ECIU INDICATORS (Standards) for each issue


Have each ECIU Member BENCHMARK its Present Situation and set Pro-Active Goals


Establish an ACTION Plan for moving from Benchmark to Goal


IMPLEMENT the Action Plan


REPORT on Progress


Joining the group of signatories of the ECIU Charter is open to any university that is a member of the ECIU consortia involved in research or higher education that plans, builds, or maintains multi-building complexes dedicated to these activities and interacts with the region within which it is embedded.

By signing the Charter, a member university becomes a part of ECIU’s Sustainable Campus Working Group Network. The organization’s commitments to the Charter are valid until it withdraws its Charter endorsement. It can do so at any time by written notice to ECIU’s Sustainable Campus Working Group Chair.

The ECIU Sustainable Campus Charter complements pre-existing and more regionally or topically focused initiatives on sustainability that are presently being carried by ECIU’s member universities. Consistent with the ECIU’s mission to pro-actively act on campus sustainability, it aims to enhance, rather than replace, other commitment processes with a framework that is open to all member universities that want to commit to continuous action and regular reporting on campus sustainability. To these, ECIU’s Sustainable Campus Working Group also adds a strong focus on the exchange of best practices, as well as regular reporting on self-set goals under the Charter’s principles. Since close cooperation and exchange with complementary regional initiatives is a key operational principle of ECIU’s Charter on Sustainable Campus, it also gives member universities that have endorsed regional or topical networks and commitments, the opportunity to share their commitments and achievements with an open community of colleagues.

Upon its approval by the Board, the Charter will be maintained by ECIU’s Sustainable Campus Working Group, which is part of ECIU’s Knowledge Triangle/Industry-University Initiative, by in depth knowledge exchange of experiences on a periodic basis. In addition, the Sustainable Campus Working Group will develop and maintain Charter Guidelines concerning concrete issues that might be considered, which add further detail to the explanations provided under each of the Charter’s three basic dimensions of sustainability,

The Draft Charter that is now being proposed to ECIU’s Executive Board is based on discussions that have taken place within ECIU’s Sustainable Campus Working Group, as well as on dialogues with the International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN) administration officials and members, on how the Charter can best serve as a commitment to sustainability by ECIU’s member universities of research and higher education.

The majority of the text was drafted by the Sustainable Campus Working Sub-Group coordinated by Anders Carlsson (Linköping) and integrated by Anne Mette Dalum Kaalund (Aalborg), Grzegorz Wielgosinski (Lodz), and Marielle Winkler (Twente). Strategic inputs, as well as valuable contributions

that were key for developing and preparing the current version of this Charter were also given by the rest of the members of the Sustainable Campus Working Group, which is co-chaired by Antonio Pita (ITESM) together with Janerik Lundquist (Linköping) and integrated by Luis Pedro Amaral (Aveiro), Dean Drobot (Strathclyde), Anders Englund (Linköping), Louis Lemkow (UA Barcelona), Sören Lökke (Aalborg), Nikolay Morgun (SFRostov) and John Susebeek (Twente).



Since the global development of today implies a serious threat to present and future generations, the ECIU is committed to play a key role in the societal change towards sustainability. In this regard we will not only use our research and educational resources to achieve this, but will make our campuses a living laboratory for sustainable solutions and extend this commitment to the regions in which we are embedded.


By signing the Charter we commit ourselves to follow and stress the importance of handling a proactive approach while working on the three basic dimensions of sustainability, which implies that the critical activities of an institution are environmentally sound, socially aligned and economically viable.

In this regard, we understand that our environmental dimension encompasses handling resources in a sound and responsible way, within the context of the changing global realities. This implies providing the management, knowledge, tools and research capabilities that will help reduce the environmental impact of their handling, not only within our own facilities, but also within the context of our surrounding regions.

Within our social dimension we not only recognize that as a consortia of innovative universities we have an important role to play in preparing tomorrow’s professionals, leaders and decision makers, but that we will therefore make sustainability a topic that has a systematic presence in our programs. In doing so, every student upon graduation will have become familiar with this concept in a meaningful way and should be able to apply and disseminate it during his or her professional life. We also recognize that collaboration with our surroundings and contributing to the development of our regions is as equally important

Regarding the economic dimension, our universities will work within the necessary financial framework that will ensure the sustainability of their current and future development, which includes establishing strategic partnerships and links between government, industry and the community sectors.

We acknowledge the different starting points for sustainability and the diverse socioeconomic and environmental contexts in which each university is set. We recognize that this represents a major advantage for our network, as we encourage the sharing of knowledge and best practices between our members. Therefore the Charter emphasizes continuous improvement towards sustainability rather than fixed levels of performance in any of the three dimensions of sustainability.

As signatories to the ECIU Charter, we commit ourselves to:


establish a sustainability Policy that encompasses the three ECIU sustainable dimensions


set concrete and measurable goals for each of the three dimensions and strive to achieve them


regularly report on our organizations’ performance


share our goals, best practices and experiences on sustainable campus initiatives


Signature Date

Aalborg University _____________________________

Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona _____________________________

Universidade de Aveiro _____________________________

Université de Technologie de Compiègne _____________________________

Dublin City University _____________________________

Techniche Universität Hamburg-Harburg _____________________________

Linköping University _____________________________

University of Strathclyde _____________________________

Universiteit Twente _____________________________

Southern Federal University _____________________________

Swinburne University of Technology _____________________________

Tecnológico de Monterrey _____________________________

Technical University of Lodz _____________________________

Tallin University of Tecnology _____________________________