The academy was initiated by the Environment Unit of the Student Convent, the Council of Europe (Environment Division) and the university administration. Already at the end of the 80s there was a very active environmantal working group (AK Umwelt) at the university. 1990 the Environment Unit of the Student Convent was founded. 1992 the first Environmental Lectures (with 15 speaker) with the question: Is it too late to save Earth ? started parallel to the Rio Earth Summit. 1994, the Altmühltal-Agenda 21 Project of the Environment Unit was selected as national contribution of the Federal Republic of Germany to the European Nature Conservation Year. The patronage of the project was the Federal President of Germany. To manage this innovative project a new strurcture was necessary.
The foundation of the academy was preceded by an intensive discussion (Febuary 1995) with all Catholic Organizations accredited to the Council of Europe, the Council of Europe (Deacon Jean Pierre Ribaut), the Catholic University of Eichstätt (Environmental Officer Ralf Klemens Stappen) and the representative of the Holy See (Archbishop Celestino Migliore). Originally it was planned to establish a worldwide Catholic or Ecumenical Environmental Movement as special contribution to the European Nature Conservation Year 1995. Because many Catholic organizations already work in the field of the environment and the care of creation, the idea of founding an academy with a strong focus on the fields of science and education that should support the existing initiatives and the churches, emerged.
The academy was founded in May 1995 from the Environmental Working Group and members of the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt,the Council of the Diocese of Eichstätt (Environment Comittee) with support of the Council of Europe (Deacon J.P. Ribaut, Direction of Environment) and 25 academic founding members.
The academy was strong supported (with offical mandate of the General Secretary of the Council of Europe) form the Council of Euorpe, Division of Environment and President Jean Pierre Ribaut.
The academy is founding member of the European Christian Environmental Network founded 1998.