Vienna – on the go with the «green Swiss pocket knife»

Sustainability and climate protection are key elements of Swiss foreign policy. The Swiss embassy in Austria is no exception, championing the sustainable use of natural resources under the banner of a 'green Swiss pocket knife'. In collaboration with Austrian partners, the embassy is bringing innovative ideas to the forefront and seeking to promote debate on the subject. For example, in September 2023, a discussion on food waste was held at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.

The Swiss embassy building in Vienna.
The Swiss embassy in Vienna is working with partners to promote sustainability. © Swiss embassy in Austria/Regina Hügli

The green Swiss pocket knife

The Swiss embassy in Austria aims to heighten awareness of sustainability through both internal and external events. A contest to create an umbrella label was held to raise the visibility of its various projects. The winner was 'green Swiss pocket knife', symbolising sustainability, innovation, and Swissness.

The 'Green Swiss pocket knife' logo now features in all of the embassy's communication channels. As well as being instantly recognisable, the logo reflects the embassy's commitment to a more sustainable future: in partnership with the myclimate foundation, the Swiss embassy, the Swiss Business Hub Austria, the Swiss-Austrian-Liechtenstein Chamber of Commerce, and the Swiss mission to the UN and OSCE have gathered data to calculate their own carbon footprint. This data forms the basis for implementing concrete measures to reduce the representations' carbon footprint and make their daily operations more sustainable. 

The green Swiss pocket knife logo takes its inspiration from the classic Swiss army knife.
The Green Swiss pocket knife logo is used to promote sustainability activities across the network of Swiss representations in Austria. © Swiss embassy in Austria/Regina Hügli

Teamwork for sustainability

Effective project implementation requires the embassy to work closely with Austrian partners, especially in the area of sustainability, where integrated solutions and diverse perspectives are essential. Austria, like Switzerland, has ambitious climate goals. To achieve these goals, the two neighbouring countries place a strong emphasis on mutual exchange and cooperation. The Swiss embassy aims to create and support specific networking platforms through its events, fostering synergies that can be harnessed for future projects. 

Image of an embassy event with a poster featuring the Green Swiss pocket knife logo.
Event focusing on sustainability. © Swiss embassy in Austria/Regina Hügli

Tackling food waste at the source

A good example of successful collaboration is a panel discussion on 'Reducing Food Waste', organised by the Swiss embassy in September 2023 with the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The event brought together Swiss and Austrian representatives from start-ups, academia and the retail sector who presented innovative ideas to combat food waste. 

Panel members and audience at the 'Reducing Food Waste' event.
A lively panel discussion on the topic of 'Reducing Food Waste' in September 2023. © Swiss embassy in Austria/Regina Hügli

For example, the APPETITE project run by the Austrian Fraunhofer Foundation, seeks to improve the efficiency of food distribution in the retail sector to reduce existing wastage within the supply chain. The Swiss start-up Kitro provides a solution for restaurants and other food-service establishments to quantitatively analyse discarded food using artificial intelligence, thereby optimising future purchases. The wholesaler Migros introduced its food certification system M-Check, and hosted a panel discussion to share insights on successful and less successful measures to encourage customers to be more aware of their food consumption. Following a vibrant discussion among the five panellists, attendees continued their conversations during a drinks reception. Moreover, thanks to the TafelBox, a biodegradable food container, no food from the buffet went to waste.

No food from the buffet goes to waste: a sandwich in a biodegradable TafelBox container.
The TafelBox initiative not only reduces food waste but also contributes to Austria's food banks and the fight against poverty. © Swiss embassy in Austria/Regina Hügli

Last update 20.11.2023

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