The first sustainability day at the Viennese university of applied sciences focused on the responsible use of natural resources and related socio-political fields of action.
Vienna, September 30, 2021 — “Be smart. Act responsibly” was the motto of FHWien der WKW’s SDG Day on September 23, 2021. The online event attracted around 100 participants. With its first sustainability day, the university of applied sciences, which specializes in management and communication, pursued the goal of informing students, employees, lecturers and corporate partners about its projects and activities with a sustainability focus, presenting examples of good practice, and enabling an exchange with like-minded people in the sense of “networking for sustainability”.
Necessity of a system change towards a circular economy
The focus of the SDG Day 2021 was the twelfth Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 12) of the United Nations, which is dedicated to sustainable consumption and production. The online event was opened by Harald Friedl. The circular activist and change agent delivered the keynote address on “We have no more time to wait – system change and leadership in the year of COP26?”. Friedl drew attention to the need for greater establishment of the principles of the circular economy. The clock is now “five past twelve” and the time for waiting is over. It is therefore all the more important that responsibility is assumed at all levels for achieving SDG 12.
Promoting sustainability – as a university and personally
Universities also need to become more aware of the contribution they can make to achieving SDG 12 and address future scenarios – a mission that FHWien der WKW has been pursuing since 2012. In addition to a teaching award for integrating the SDGs into teaching and a sustainability award for the best Bachelor’s and Master’s thesis, internal activities at FHWien der WKW such as sustainable giveaways, environmentally friendly business trips, and student projects on the topic of sustainability were also presented on SDG Day 2021.
On a personal level, changes in consumer behavior are also more urgent than ever. Every individual can contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals – especially SDG 12. Thus, SDG Day participants were able to reflect on their personal carbon footprint in interactive workshops as well as discuss communication strategies for communicating sustainability issues.
Halve food waste by 2030
Currently, around one-third of the food produced globally ends up in the trash or is not even harvested and processed. A sub-target of SDG 12 is therefore to halve global food waste at retail and consumer level by 2030. During the panel discussion on the question “What needs to happen to achieve this goal?”, the responsibility of companies to achieve this goal was underlined. Alexander Hell (REWE Group), Lisa Tamina-Panhuber (Greenpeace), Renée Nicole Wagner (Accor Hotels) and Florian Schleicher (until recently Head of Marketing at TooGoodToGo) discussed awareness raising, structural problems in the food system, legal framework conditions as well as measures along the value chain to get a better grip on food waste under the chairmanship of Stefan Lenglinger, FHWien graduate and ORF ZIB moderator.
The quite controversial discussion showed that it will only be possible to establish sustainable production and consumption patterns in our society permanently by working together.
SDG Day to be held annually
FHWien der WKW will continue to focus intensively on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and integrate them even more strongly into everyday study, particularly in the curricula of all Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs as well as in research. The SDG Day is to take place every year in the future.
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The panel discussion at the first SDG Day of FHWien der WKW shed light on global food waste. Halving this by 2030 is a sub-goal of the United Nations’ twelfth Sustainable Development Goal.
Copyright: FHWien der WKW
More about the sustainability activities of FHWien der WKW
Information on research related to sustainability at FHWien der WKW can be found on the website of the Institute for Business Ethics and Sustainable Strategy (IBES):
To the IBES website
FHWien der WKW
University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication
FHWien der WKW has been Austria’s leading university of applied sciences for management & communication for over 25 years. Working in close contact with Austrian corporations, FHWien der WKW offers comprehensive and practice-oriented academic programs to over 2,800 Bachelor’s and Master’s students. Two thirds of our teaching staff have a background in business. Our programs are tailored to the needs of companies, optimally preparing our graduates – around 12,700 to date – for their future careers.
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