Sustainability reports are increasingly used by universities to report both on their contribution to sustainable development and on their own sustainable university development, as well as to sharpen their institutional sustainability profile in the long term. They are a suitable means of communicating the assumption of social responsibility and demonstrating how the challenges of sustainable development are being addressed by the university. Nationally and internationally, a trend is emerging that is prompting universities to report on their sustainability activities and publicise their offerings.
The University of Oldenburg was one of the first German universities to set out on this path and published a sustainability profile back in 2007. In December 2013, the first comprehensive sustainability report was published. Followed by the second sustainability report in December 2017. The uniqueness of the compilation process through the involvement of students has not only led to a lot of positive reactions within the university.
The University has now produced its third report, which provides information on the University's environmental, economic and social performance. It focuses on the university-specific implementation at the University of Oldenburg.
In the summer semester of 2021, significant parts of the report were developed as part of a practical seminar in which around 20 students from the Master's Cluster Environment and Sustainability took part. In this course, the students took on a large part of the data collection and preparation for the sustainability report and entered it into the software used.
Organisationally, the sustainability reporting is anchored at the University's Centre for Environmental and Sustainability Research (COAST). The project was led by Prof. Dr. Bernd Siebenhüner.