Intellectual Capital Report with Focus on Sustainability of the Austrian University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences

bridges vol. 12, December 2006 / Noteworthy Information

The University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences , Vienna ("BOKU"), as the first Austrian university complying with the University Act 2002, published its Intellectual Capital Report (IC Report) in 2004. Because of the successful implementation of the Environmental Management System (EMAS) in spring 2006, BOKU further developed its concept of a "Responsible University" in its 2005 IC Report . Consequently, BOKU published its IC Report 2005 together with a Sustainability Report based on the "Reporting Guidelines 2002" of the Global Reporting Initiative . Thus, BOKU reports not only about "classical" parts of an IC report but also about "Ecological Responsibility" and "Social Responsibility."

The present report consists of two different parts. The first part, the IC Report 2005, follows the reporting structure of the Intellectual Capital Report Act published by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in February 2006. The second part includes an overview of the sustainability report according to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). Sections pertaining to the sustainability report are integrated into the intellectual capital reporting model used by BOKU.

{access view=guest}Access to the full article is free, but requires you to register. Registration is simple and quick - all we need is your name and a valid e-mail address. We appreciate your interest in bridges.{/access} {access view=!guest} Furthermore, the GRI guidelines have been included in an appendix, following the actual report, and are supposed to provide an overview of the chapters of the sustainability report. The BOKU has adhered to the EMAS system ever since 2006, which has yielded a separate declaration on the environment. Parts of this declaration have been published as chapters of the intellectual capital report and have been validated by Lloyd's Register Quality Assurance as environmental specific information.

BOKU is reporting about the university's knowledge goals, its human-, structural- and relational capital, the key processes (education and continued education, research and development, but also societal and economic development), and the outputs and outcomes. Performance indicators, describing the university's development with respect to the parts of its IC report model, are discussed and compared to the indicators which were published the year before.

The internal and external communication in the IC Report was further expanded. In the sense of BOKU, a university consists not only of researchers, but also of technical and administrative employees and its students. Interviews with scientific and non-scientific employees bring in a "personal touch" of the different tasks of the university. Testimonials refer to research policies or strategic goals of the "responsible university" like social and ecological responsibility, gender aspects, networking in research and education, or technology transfer, or highlight new perspectives (see below). Testimonials were written e.g., Prof. Ilan Chet, Weizmann-Institute; Dr. Helmut Schüller, Archdiocese Vienna; Dr. Erhard Busek, Institute for the Danube Region and Central Europe; and others.

In its actual IC report, BOKU invites communication with BOKU for the first time. BOKU wants to communicate with its employees and its external cooperation partners, financiers, and the interested public about its development - in particular to seize the chance, based on submitted questions, wishes, or critical reviews, to further develop its reporting systems (IC Reporting, sustainability reporting).

Link to BOKU's IC Report 2005:
Translation in English coming up soon: January 2007.