Impact Hub Vienna: Journey towards a greener Austria
In the heart of Austria’s vibrant climate action landscape, there’s a dynamic force for change that’s turning heads and turning the tide on climate issues – Climate Lab. Founded in 2022 and powered by the collaborative efforts of Impact Hub Vienna, this innovative platform is boldly leading the charge in achieving climate neutrality and fostering a circular economy.
In the vibrant landscape of climate action, Climate Lab, co-founded by Impact Hub Vienna and established in 2022, stands out as a dynamic force for change in Austria. This innovative platform brings together diverse stakeholders from various sectors to brainstorm and initiate solutions aimed at achieving climate neutrality and fostering a circular economy. With a primary focus on industries crucial for reducing global greenhouse gas emissions, including energy, mobility, and construction, Climate Lab is on a mission to shape a more sustainable future.
Climate Lab’s threefold approach
Cultivating a vibrant climate community: At the core of Climate Lab’s approach is the cultivation of a vibrant and trust-based community of climate innovators. By bringing together individuals and organisations passionate about climate action, they create a supportive ecosystem for groundbreaking solutions.
Cutting-edge cross-sector collaboration: Climate Lab designs cutting-edge programs that foster cross-sector collaborations and set concrete solutions in motion. They recognise that addressing climate challenges requires breaking down silos and forging partnerships between diverse industries.
Hub for climate advocates: Beyond just ideas, Climate Lab offers a physical hub in Vienna where climate advocates can work, meet, and host events that drive change. This space embodies sustainability, featuring innovative design and a furniture subscription service that adapts to members’ changing needs without generating waste.
Impact in the first year
In their first year, Climate Lab worked with eight partners from both the public and private sectors for a series of multi-partner programmes. These programmes spanned an array of topics such as exploring hydrogen as an alternative energy source, green procurement, devising digital solutions for smart waste, and promoting sustainable mobility for businesses. They meticulously worked alongside their partners, defining challenges, analysing market dynamics, outlining pathways to solutions, and engaging relevant stakeholders to develop concrete proof of concept.
One notable success story emerged from Climate Lab’s collaboration with the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action: a focus on circularity within the mattress industry. In Austria alone, a staggering one million mattresses are sold and disposed of annually, resulting in around 200,000 tons of carbon emissions. Through a series of events and in-depth consultations with stakeholders along the entire mattress production and disposal chain, they crafted a comprehensive report brimming with recommendations. These recommendations now serve as a guide for the Austrian government in shaping policies to enhance circularity in the mattress industry.
Building a green community
Climate Lab has also nurtured a thriving community of over 160 members—mostly entrepreneurs and innovators—as well as over 25 organisations from science, journalism and civil society which are in the vanguard of the Austrian climate movement. By the end of 2023, they’ll have organised more than 50 community events focused primarily on learning, networking and building trust-based connections.
Additionally, their space serves as a unique hub where climate innovators can collaborate, convene, and host events. It showcases sustainable design and features an innovative furniture subscription service, ensuring adaptability to members’ changing needs without generating waste.
Pioneering a climate-resilient future
In the fall of 2023, Climate Lab is set to earn the prestigious certification of a “green location” by the Austrian government, acknowledging their adherence to a rigorous set of criteria encompassing energy efficiency, waste management, office practices, social inclusion, and mobility. Armed with this certification, they aspire to support event organisers in certifying their gatherings in the space as green events.
As Climate Lab completes its inaugural year, it not only celebrates numerous successes but also reflects on invaluable lessons learned. Above all, their journey underscores a fundamental truth: confronting the climate crisis requires collaboration on an unprecedented scale. By uniting diverse stakeholders, shaping innovative solutions, and fostering a sense of community, Climate Lab is at the forefront of Austria’s efforts to create a greener and more sustainable future.
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