To motivate and enable European universities to foster environmental education and research, the European University Association launched COPERNICUS CAMPUS and announced the CRE COPERNICUS Charta in autumn 1993. Since then, the network of universities which signed the COPERNICUS Charta increased to 326 until the year 2005. Those 326 universities signed the Charta as a self commitment to follow ten principles: institutional commitment, environmental ethics, education of university employees, programs in environmental education, interdisciplinarity, dissemination of knowledge, networking, partnerships, continuing education and technology transfer.
Actions by the COPERNICUS CAMPUS gradually reduced and finally wound down a few years ago. Recently, the EU Project ‘Virtual Campus for Sustainable Europe’ brought together a group of partner universities formerly strongly involved in COPERNICUS actions, so the opportunity was taken to revitalize the initiative as the COPERNICUS Alliance.
After a year of preparation, finally in 2009, the constitutional meeting was held in Graz, Austria, that was followed by the COPERNICUS Alliance start-up workshop in July 2010 in Graz, Austria.