Bringing the sustainable development goals to life
Under this motto, FHWien der WKW, Austria’s leading University of Applied Sciences for Management and Communication, is working on living the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations (SDGs) at the university itself and integrating them into the curricula. The SDGs serve to ensure sustainable development on an economic, social and ecological level.
“As a university of applied sciences for management and communication, we see the importance of the SDGs for the training of future managers,“ explains Beate Huber, Chair of the Academic Board at FHWien der WKW.
FHWien der WKW has been a pioneer in Corporate Responsibility since 2012. As one of the first universities of applied sciences in the German-speaking world, it includes Business Ethics and Corporate Governance as compulsory subjects in the curricula of all business management Master’s programs. In order to guarantee that these programs and all academic initiatives on the topic meet international standards, FHWien der WKW signed the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) in 2015.
17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
In September 2015, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly of all 193 member states. It contains the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to “transform the world” in terms of social, economic and ecological aspects.
Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.
The food and agriculture sector offers key solutions for development, and is central for hunger and poverty eradication.
Good Health and Well-Being
Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development.
Obtaining a quality education is the foundation to improving people’s lives and sustainable development.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Clean Water and Sanitation
Clean, accessible water for all is an essential part of the world we want to live in.
Affordable and Clean Energy
Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Sustainable economic growth will require societies to create the conditions that allow people to have quality jobs.
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Investments in infrastructure are crucial to achieving sustainable development.
To reduce inequalities, policies should be universal in principle, paying attention to the needs of disadvantaged and marginalized populations.
Sustainable Cities and Communities
There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.
Responsible Consumption and Production
Sustainable consumption and production is about doing more and better with less. It is also about decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation, increasing resource efficiency and promoting sustainable lifestyles.
Climate change is a global challenge that affects everyone, everywhere.
Life Below Water
Careful management of this essential global resource is a key feature of a sustainable future.
Life on Land
Sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, halt biodiversity loss
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Access to justice for all, and building effective, accountable institutions at all levels.
Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
Activities at FHWien der WKW
The SDGs were implemented in the following areas at FHWien der WKW:
- Replacement of the capsule coffee machines with bean-to-cup coffee machines (fair trade coffee)
- Communication & Marketing: Gender & Diversity at FHWien der WKW, reduction of advertising material and focus on sustainability, environmentally friendly material in print (e.g: printing of the study program folders and studio! magazine on paper certified with the Austrian Eco Label), focus on online communication (lower paper consumption) etc.
- Employer Branding: Mission Statement & Code of Conduct, value-based management diploma, compatibility of work and family (certificate „hochschuleundfamilie“), further training, etc.
- Integration of SDGs into the curricula (project until 2023)
- Responsible Management Education: In order to promote the training of responsible managers, FHWien der WKW joined the “Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME)” initiative in 2015.
- Support of topic-relevant student projects and theses
- Bachelor theses no longer have to be submitted in printed form.
- Master theses only have to be submitted in printed form once.
- Relevant business talks, field trips and practical projects, e.g.: annual Gastronomy Founders Day, HRprogress Business Breakfast, excursion to the eco-hotel Boutiquehotel Stadthalle in Vienna, 2-day bike trip to Styria to get to know local food production, radio shows “Science Radio” and “Start Me Up” at Radio NJOY 91.3 with contributions on environment, sustainability, urban development and diversity as well as management and start-ups.
- Topic-relevant activities in teaching, e.g. the lecture series “Responsible Management Lectures: Ideas for Better Business“, in which national and international experts from science and practice lecture on business ethics, sustainability, corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate governance.
- The Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainable Strategy (IBES) of FHWien der WKW conducts research on pressing issues in ecologically, economically and socially sustainable corporate management against the background of relevant topics such as globalization, climate change and digitization.
- Research and publications on business ethics, corporate governance, corporate responsibility, sustainability, strategic management and digitalization at IBES and in the study programs, e.g: “Sustainability Management in Austrian SMEs“, “City of Vienna competence team“.
- Supervision of topic-related theses
- Participation in topic-related congresses, events and networking events
- Workshops & training for researchers, teachers and staff (“Train the Trainer” initiatives)
- Cooperation with other national and international universities and companies on PRME topics
- In September 2020 the Josef Ressel Center for Collective Action and Responsible Partnerships (JR-Center CARe) was founded. It researches the emergence, management, performance measurement and legitimacy of collective action initiatives.
Anyone who wants to manage a business successfully in the future will have to deal with the effects of their own economic activity on the environment and society. This is why we were one of the first universities of applied sciences to include business ethics and corporate governance as compulsory subjects in the curricula of all Master's programs. Our university trains managers to act in an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable manner.
In 2015 we signed the "Principles for Responsible Management Education". As part of this initiative, we have set ourselves the task of integrating social and ecological sustainability into our teaching and research activities. In this way, we actively contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
Responsible Management Education
Business Ethics & Corporate Governance in teaching
FHWien der WKW has been a pioneer in Corporate Responsibility since 2012. As one of the first universities of applied sciences in the German-speaking world, it includes Business Ethics and Corporate Governance as compulsory subjects in the curricula of all business management Master’s programs