EMAS-Certification of the KU Linz
Since 2010 the Catholic Private University Linz has been participating in the EMAS environmental management system and has been registered to the EMAS organization directory via the Ministry of Agriculture. The private university is thereby entitled to use the EMAS logo.
As an institution of the Church the KU Linz is committed to a responsible and careful use of the gifts of creation. As an educational and research institution the KU is actively involved in the sensitization of people for the challenges of the 21st century. Thus, the KU sees it as its perfect duty to implement the goal of sustainable management in its own workspace and to authentically combine the theory and practice of environment protection.
The KU Linz has been financially supported in this endeavour by the federal province of Upper Austria and the Oberösterreichische Versicherung AG.
EMAS Environmental Statement (2015) EMAS-Umwelterklärung 2015
EMAS Environmental Statement (2011) EMAS-Umwelterklärung 2011
EMAS Survey 2013 EMAS-Umfrage 2013
(A survey concerning commuter mobility, indoor climate, and supply of refreshments at the KU Linz)
Climate and environmental protection as a starting point
Since the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, all countries of the world have pledged to establish processes to guarantee sustainable development, which will secure the needs of future generations as well as those of the current world population. A crucial endeavour such as this requires involvement and commitment of states and state institutions, as well as the commitment of NGOs and private companies.
For industrialized countries, sustainability means to reduce consumption of natural resources, particularly of fossil fuels, by 80% until 2050. However, our consumption levels are still increasing as our lifestyles are more wasteful than ever. Thus, it is the imperative of our time to search for new means and ways, and to apply those that enable a radical rethinking and thereby help us embark on new paths. One possibility to achieve this goal is for companies and institutions to install a common environmental management system.
What is EMAS? Cf. https://www.bmnt.gv.at/umwelt/betriebl_umweltschutz_uvp/emas.html
EMAS is a voluntary environmental management system implemented by the European Union. The acronym stands for “eco - management and audit scheme.” Since 1993, the European Union has been offering this tool for sustainable development in public administration as well as to participating certified private businesses and organisations. EMAS now has become the standard tool for innovative and committed companies.
The EMAS Philosophy
EMAS is a step-by-step approach. Little by little we will reach our goal. It is not important where you start from or what exactly will have been achieved within the first year. What matters is the continuous effort, the little steps we take day by day towards a more sustainable and more environmentally friendly future for all of us. The details of the steps themselves are not what matter most, for it is by a reliably operating (environmental) management system that the continuous improvement of our interaction with the environment is ensured.
Practical implementation of EMAS :
If an organization aims to become certified, it is obliged to appoint an EMAS officer and to establish an EMAS task force. They first analyze the current state of the institutions’s environmental impacts. Then the officer and task force set realistic goals to be achieved over manageable periods of time. Finally, they ensure to assess the achievement of these goals and communicate these across the enterprise.