A Sustainable University

Sustainability is not just a buzzword at WU, but a way of life. Our environmental management system helps us be environmentally conscious and sustainable in everything we do. To contribute towards a sustainable future for everyone, we also include sustainability-related issues in our research and teaching.

A Green Campus

When planning our campus, it was important to us to make sure that it could be run in an environmentally friendly manner. Our campus is built based on “Green Building” principles, and most of the buildings’ heating and cooling is obtained from geothermal energy from groundwater. All buildings are equipped with occupancy-sensitive and daylight-sensitive lighting systems, and our green IT data center utilizes heat recovery systems to generate energy.

To help us identify and rectify environmentally relevant problems in our daily operations, we have introduced an environmental management system. This system allows us to constantly monitor our resource usage and shows us potential areas for conserving more water, energy, and material resources. The environmental management system also includes guidelines for more environmentally friendly and sustainable purchasing.

We are proud that our environmental management system was granted Eco-Management and Audit Scheme and ISO 14001:2015 certifications in early 2016.

“An environmental management system is an effective tool for measuring and subsequently improving the entire environmental impact of a university. The WU community is invited to actively contribute to the development of our environmental management policies, and has done so with great success.”
Harald Badinger, Vice-Rector for Financial Affairs

Awards for WU Initiatives

Six of WU’s initiatives and projects were granted the Sustainability Award of the Federal Ministry for Science, Research and Economy and the Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management in 2016 – an impressive recognition of WU’s sustainability efforts.

WU’s Competence Center for Sustainability received the Sustainability Award for its excellent events. Since its establishment in 2013, the Center’s sustainability-related events have been attended by over 6000 people, contributing to WU’s reputation as a center for well-founded and sometimes controversial debates on sustainability-related issues.

The Regional Centre of Expertise on Education for Development – RCE Vienna at WU sees itself as a platform for the exchange of sustainability-related ideas, knowledge, and activities between research institutions, public agencies, enterprises, and organizations in the Vienna region.

The RCE Vienna encourages the exchange of knowledge and creates a platform where research institutions, education providers, public institutions, members of the business and cultural communities, and many other stakeholders can work together. The RCE Vienna received the award in the category “Regional Cooperation.”

The RCE Vienna also coordinates the Sustainability Challenge, an interuniversity course focusing on sustainability issues. The motto of the 2016 Sustainability Challenge was “Smart Cities – Global Challenges, Local Answers.” The award in the category “Teaching and Curriculum” went to the Sustainability Challenge.

The video is currently only available in German


A further award went to the student initiative Sus2Go (Sustainability to go), a project of the Austrian Students’ Union (ÖH) and WU. Including students from WU, the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna, Montanuniversität Leoben, TU Wien, and MODUL University, the aim of the project is to make sustainability approachable and understandable for everyone and to create awareness for sustainable behavior.

WU’s environmental management system was the recipient of a further Sustainability Award. This system helps us find ways to conserve resources in our daily operations.

In the “Research” category, the award went to WU’s Social Responsibility project conducted in cooperation with the Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria.

For more on WU’s sustainability-related activities, please see WU’s Principles of Responsible Management report.


Download “Principles for Responsible Management Education – Report 2016”

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