At a joint event between the Communication Management and Marketing & Sales Management study programs and Marketing Club Austria, company representatives from a wide range of industries discussed the multifaceted topic of sustainability at a perfect location, the City IKEA near Vienna’s Westbahnhof train station.
On June 13, the cooperation event between the Communication Management and Marketing & Sales Management study programs and Marketing Club Austria took place at a unique location: the City IKEA at Vienna’s Westbahnhof station. After a guided store tour, Maimuna Mosser, Country Commercial Manager at IKEA and alumna from the Communication Management study programs, kicked off the event with a presentation of the City IKEA concept. This is an international pioneer for a completely car-free full-range store in the middle of the city. Then short interviews and a panel discussion with company representatives from the Mondi Group, Luftburg – Kolarik im Prater, Greenpeace, IKEA and FHWien der WKW followed.
Living sustainability and rethinking
Susan Brunner, Senior Sustainability Manager from Mondi Group, gave an insight into the practice as a sustainability manager and explained that the effort of proper sustainability work, which Mondi has been doing since 2007, is definitely worthwhile. At Paul Kolarik, managing director of Luftburg – Kolarik im Prater, the development into the world’s largest organic restaurant proceeded in partial steps. “We replaced ingredients and our entire food and beverage offering with organic products and made the leap to 100 percent organic cuisine in 2019,” he explains. Florian Thalheimer, Country Sustainability Manager at IKEA Austria, is aware that inexpensive furniture can have a shorter expiration date and reported on global sustainability initiatives around “Recycle, Repair and Repurpose”, among other topics.
Jungle of quality seals confuses consumers
Ursula Bittner, economic expert at Greenpeace, warned against greenwashing. At the center of the criticism: the huge number of various sustainability certificates and seals of approval. This is where Thomas Schmidt, Head of Marketing & Sales Management Study Programs at FHWien der WKW, came in: “We need clear and honest communication with consumers with a set of rules that everyone understands. The question is how we can honestly communicate this jungle of sustainability promises, we don’t have an hour to do that.”
Birgit Schaller from the Competence Center for Marketing led the evening which ended with drinks, snacks and networking on the roof terrace with a view over Vienna.