The COPERNICUS Alliance is a higher education network for transformational learning and sustainable development. It was founded in 2009, but its origins can be dated back to 1993, when the COPERNICUS Charta was launched as a result of the 1992 Rio process. By 2005, the Charta had been signed by 326 universities. It is a self-commitment to follow the principles of sustainable development. In 2011, two years after it was founded, the COPERNICUS Alliance released the COPERNICUS Charta 2.0 as a redesigned version of the former Charta.
The COPERNICUS Alliance pursues the following objectives:
- Networking: Exchanging good practice and enhancing knowledge on sustainability and Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education.
- Policy and Representation: Informing higher education policy-making in Europe and globally. Engaging and participating in international gatherings, dialogues, committees and expert groups.
- Professional development: Developing tools and materials and providing professional development opportunities.
- Outreach: Working in partnership to promote sustainable development in European Higher Education.
For the COPERNICUS Alliance, promoting sustainable development requires joint reflection and action, and appropriate development in higher education management, education, research, and policy.
The University of Bern became a member of the COPERNICUS Alliance in 2016. Since November 2017 Prof. em. Dr. Doris Wastl-Walter has been a member of the scientific advisory board.
Dr. Anne Zimmermann of the Centre for Development and Environment (CDE) is serving as president of the COPERNICUS Alliance for the term of office 2019/20.