In April 2016 Furtwangen University became certified under the EMAS Eco-Management and Audit Scheme and has been registered under number DE-169-000 in the EMAS Register since 10 May, 2016. An EMAS Board was set up to accompany and drive EMAS as a continual process.
The goal of EMAS (Article 1 of the EMAS regulations) is as follows: "Support of the continual improvement of the environmental performance of organizations, in which the organizations set up and apply an environmental management system which allows for a systematic, objective and regular evaluation of such systems, provides information on the environmental performance, carries out an open dialogue with the public and in which the staff of the organization are actively involved and appropriate training on the topic is provided."
The operation of the university can be made continually more sustainable by systematically examining material and non-material resources. The aim in doing so is to take stock of what the university can do today so that all vital resources are available tomorrow.
In principle, 3 perspectives are possible: an economic, a social and an ecological perspective. The economic perspective involves ensuring the performance ability of the University. The social perspective involves the human and socially acceptable interactions at the University. The ecological perspective looks at the effect of operations on the environment. HFU works continuously in all three areas developing concrete solutions. This includes the anchoring of sustainability in our teaching. The EMAS certification is a milestone in the long-term sustainability strategy of the University. EMAS helps HFU to enter the necessary cycle of continual improvement.
Because Furtwangen University was already strongly committed to the idea of sustainability before becoming certified by EMAS, and sustainable practices were already being implemented in many areas of the university, it was decided to integrate the EMAS process into their sustainability management.
For this reason the designation of the EMAS building blocks is adjusted to the sustainability communication of the University. The first validated Environmental Declaration was therefore published in the form of a Sustainability Report upon which the updated environmental declarations build. These are listed below:
- Updated Environmental Declaration 2018
- Updated Environmental Declaration 2017
- Environmental Declaration 2016
- Sustainability Report 2015
Newspaper article: EMAS: University and sustainability