Competence Center for Sustainability Transformation and Responsibility (STaR)
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Environmental Sustainability

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WU is committed to protecting and advancing environmental sustainability on its campus. As an institution, the university is certified by EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) as well as ISO 14001:2015. WU is actively engaged in offsetting its annual CO2 emissions as well as in raising awareness of our consumption of energy and resources (note, for example, the real-time WU Energy Screen in the entrance area of the TC Building). More details can be found on our Campus Management website (in German) and in the relevant reports.

Here are some fun facts about our campus (to learn more about social responsibility at WU, click here):*

200k

Avocados

200,000 – that is how many avocado fruits one could grow using our university’s annual water consumption of 62.5 million liters (2019 est.). WU discloses the amount of water used on our campus daily, through the WU Energy Screen in the Teaching Center. Our tip: it is up to each of us to use water sparingly and responsibly. We should also inform ourselves about and raise public awareness of the so-called “hidden” water usage (amount of water required in manufacturing in products or foods).  

3

Airbus A380

3 – that is how many Airbuses A380-800F it would take to load and fly out the 436 tons of annual waste generated on our campus (2019 est.). WU’s waste-reduction initiatives include waste separation and recycling options, as well as awareness-raising campaigns, such as BYOB (Bring Your Own Box) or Vienna-wide reusable coffee cup system. Our tip: support our Environmental Management team's efforts, respect the work of our cleaning staff, continue BYOBing for take-out lunch, and do not forget that small steps lead to big changes.

100%

Offsetting CO2 emissions

Our campus is carbon neutral! Of course, this does not mean that no CO2 is emitted at WU. In fact, our university’s emissions are proportionate to its size – with around 655 tons a year (2019 est., excl. faculty travel). However, WU fully offsets this number by supporting three sustainability projects, two in Austria and one in Rwanda. Our tip: while WU actively strives to reduce its carbon footprint an institution, it cannot account for our individual behaviors: if you can, join the 25% of our employees and students who already bike or walk to campus, and reduce your air travel.  

2400

Trips around the Earth

 2,400 – times one could circumnavigate the Earth in a Tesla Model S fueled by the electricity that is annually consumed on our campus (around 17,199,000 kWh). The current electricity usage in different buildings is displayed on the WU Energy Screen in the Teaching Center. Our tip: saving energy is “everybody’s business,” so do not forget to turn off unnecessary lights (in classrooms, offices, lounges), unplug unused electronics, (if you're a student) seek for study places with natural light, and, if you can, use stairs instead of elevators.

4000

Harry Potter Sagas

4,000 – number of times all 7 Harry Potter novels could be printed using 17,376,700 sheets of paper annually printed/copied at WU. Our tip: identify situations in your academic/work and personal life, where you could use less paper. For instance, many state institutions in Austria accept the electronic signature, allowing contracts to be signed online (similarly, during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, WU created an electronic system for its staff and faculty to submit bill payments). And, of course, think twice before printing out an article or a paper draft you will likely read only once.    

*The fun fact-comparisons on this page were prepared by Dorian Aigner (STaR Graduate Student Assistant, Summer 2020). All statistics are based on official WU sustainability reports.