News & Events

Introducing CampSus

16.12.2021

Interview with Bea Maas, our Faculty's new Sustainability Coordinator

What are your responsibilities as sustainability officer sustainability coordinator of our faculty?

The University of Vienna is the newest member of the "Alliance of Sustainable Universities in Austria" and has officially defined a strategy for the whole organization, in which it sets concrete sustainability goals and a strategy on how to get there until 2030. To implement this strategy, there is a sustainability officer of the university as a whole and in addition, each faculty has a coordinator as well. So in principle, I am the interface between our faculty and the University of Vienna and take care that the sustainability goals are achieved.

 

What are these sustainability goals and how does the university intend to implement them?

There are the so-called global sustainability goals, also known as "SDGs" or "Sustainable Development Goals" of the United Nations. There are 17 goals in total and they generally define how we can manage our resources in a way that we can still live well within the planetary limits in the future. The aim is to achieve a better balance between ecology, economy and society, but also to put an end to societal problems such as poverty, hunger and inequality. An important aspect is, for example, that nature conservation and land use do not have to be contradictory so that we can feed a growing world population in an ecologically sustainable way. In order to contribute to reaching these goals, the University of Vienna plans to realize many projects in all areas such as research, teaching, studies and administration. There are also joint projects with other institutions and bodies at the regional, national and international level to promote sustainability and achieve the climate goals. Plus, the University has also set the goal of becoming completely climate neutral by 2030.  

 

What are the concrete plans and actions at our faculty?

Actually, we have quite a few things planned already! We are in a very fortunate position at the Faculty of Life Sciences because the topic of sustainability has of course always been very present in our field. There are already several initiatives at the different departments that contribute to sustainability development. In the future, these will be united under the name "Campus & Sustainability Network (CampSus)". There is the SySt Sustainability Working Group, that has already developed many ideas in a workshop which can now be implemented at the faculty. With the Green Labs Austria we have a showcase initiative that tries to minimize resource use and avoid plastic waste in laboratories. This initiative has already transcended the borders of our facility and we want to support and expand this concept further. In our buildings, we are making sure that waste separation works really well, that we buy more sustainable goods, that we question transport routes, and so on. These are not just some abstract goals, but we are already working on them in a very concrete way. It's about the small things as well as the big things. It really goes from the paper we order to a more sustainable organization of the entire working processes. 

 

K: How Who else is taking care of sustainability besides you?

Our vice dean, Eva Millesi, is responsible for leading the Sustainability Agenda in the dean`s team. She and her team help me in coordinating the Faculty’s Sustainability Working Group. Both of us are also active in the Sustainability Advisory Board of the University of Vienna. Our goal is to shape and implement the sustainable development of our faculty in cooperation with all departments. We have divided our tasks and goals into three major areas: Sustainable Work Processes, Resource Utilization, and Info and Infrastructure.  Currently, the project is still in the pilot phase, but a lot has already been done.

 

What have you already been able to realize and what are the plans for the near future?

We already have better waste separation, posters and info material for the Faculty’s locations are being designed and several events for students for the spring are being planned. The design of the UBB terrace will be the next big project but news about this will be revealed in the New Year.

Interview: KR

The Sustainable Development Goals, adopted on 25 September 2015 as a part of the 2030 Agenda.
The 17 United Nation's Sustainability Goals
Bea Maas