Sustainability Week at the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol: Together Strong
From June 19 to 22, 2023, actions, lectures, exhibitions, and workshops were on the program for Sustainability Week at the University of Applied Sciences (FH) Kufstein Tirol, which is as diverse as the topic itself. From discussion rounds with experts to open-space expositions, topic-related film evenings, and bicycle tours, students, staff, and interested individuals could engage with various aspects and become active themselves. Each day, activities shared a different focus. Topics included mobility, energy transition, nutrition, and circular economy. This year, the project organizers recorded around 1,600 participants.
Interdisciplinary practical project
This year, Sustainability Week was organized as a practical project by students from the Bachelor's programs Energy & Sustainability Management and Sports, Culture & Event Management. "The Sustainability Week event at the university provides a unique platform for exchange and discussions between all interested parties," says Dr. Miriam Lettner, a university lecturer responsible for sustainability management for the event. "The diverse program appeals to a wide audience, and over the past years, we have noticed that both awareness and commitment to this current topic continue to grow." The students organized the event and cooperated with local businesses – including Beecar E-Carsharing, the local bank Sparkasse Kufstein, and insulation manufacturer Steinbacher Insulation – as well as various schools. Thus, they connected different social and age groups.
Varied program with experts from business and science
Participants could learn about current topics from science and business in the lectures offered throughout the week. On Monday, the topic of hydrogen, with a special focus on infrastructure and applications, was on the agenda. The speakers were Nikolaus Fleischhacker (Green Energy Center), Marc Meder (Deep Blue Aviation), and Julian Bialas (FH Kufstein Tirol). Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs (TU Munich) held an informative workshop on energy transition on Tuesday and discussed the energy of the future in a lecture with Dr. Nora Els (Energy Tirol 2050), Iwan Planatscher (Leitwind), and Dr. Leo Satzinger (State of Tyrol). On Thursday, insights into decarbonization paths in the real estate sector were given, and Prof. Dr. Sven Bienert (University of Regensburg) introduced the Carbon Risk Real Estate Monitor. Sustainability Week concluded with informative lectures and discussions on the topic of the EU Taxonomy Regulation, sustainable investments, and circular economy with Nicole Schreyer (Climate Strategy GmbH), Jürgen Singer (Sparkasse Kufstein), and Maximilian Bernard (Steinbacher Insulation).
However, creative activities such as an upcycling sewing workshop, tips and tricks for cooking without electricity in emergencies, or a workshop on avoiding food waste through preservation were also popular among visitors. Entertainment was not neglected: Games and sports in the city park, the ÖH summer festival, and an open-air bicycle cinema attracted additional participants. Of course, all events were certified by Green Event Tirol.
Future-oriented studies with practical relevance
University Managing Director Prof. (FH) Dr. Thomas Madritsch praised the recurring success of the event series: "The numerous interested parties on our Kufstein campus show us every year how important it is to find innovative solutions for a sustainable future. We are proud to be pioneers in this area - not only with our unique Bachelor's and Master's programs in Energy & Sustainability Management but also with the initiation of events like Sustainability Week. With practical projects of this kind, we properly prepare our students for the requirements of the new job market."