BOKU Sustainability Strategy

As one of the first universities of in Austria, the BOKU prepared a sustainability strategy in 2013/14. Sustainability objectives and individual measures for the period 2013-2015 and subsequent years (2016-18) were defined in the following areas:

  1. Research
  2. Education
  3. Identity and Society (organisational culture, strategy and interactions with society)
  4. Operations (environmental management and social responsibility) 

The process was set-up and carried out by a core group that consists of members of the BOKU Centre for Global Change and Sustainability, rectorate and service staff. The development of the strategy started in June 2013 with a kick-off workshop that was open for BOKU-personnel and students. 40 participants collected first ideas on stakeholders to be involved, visions of a sustainable BOKU and the status-quo. Between October and December 2013 the process was continued by four topic-specific workshops in the above mentioned fields.

The discussion in each thematic workshop was structured along the AISHE-Tool that proposes six criteria for each topic. These criteria were assessed individually by all participants in regard to the status quo and the year 2015 (desired situation). This – subjective – appraisal was the starting point for the further discussion that focused on objectives and measures that the BOKU could do to reach the desired situation. Each workshop was led by the rector or one of his vice-rectors and attended by 20-30 BOKU-members – covering academia, researchers, administration and students.

In January 2014, a synthesis workshop was held, that included around 50 participants. The strong commitment of the university management was shown through the participation of the rector and all vice-rectors. The aim of this workshop was to give an overview of the outcomes from former workshops and to prioritise objectives and measures that were elaborated so far.


The participatory process of fall and winter 2013/14 resulted in 39 sustainability objectives, which were consolidated from the results of the thematic workshops. To each objective, one to several measures were named, which were also extracted from the thematic workshops. In total, about 70 measures were elaborated. The synthesis workshop also resulted in a clear ranking of all objectives and gave a good impression of which measures are favored by the participants.

For further questions or remarks, please contact:

Thomas Lindenthal or Lisa Bohunovsky: nachhaltigkeitsstrategie(at) oder DW +43/ (0)1/ 47654 - 7705.