What Really Counts: Sustainability vs. Convenience

What'll it be? A little data privacy? A portion of sustainability? Or does convenience prevail in the end after all? A study provides the answer.

Melanie Wiener; Credit: Christoph Landershammer
Melanie Wiener; Credit: Christoph Landershammer

Melanie Wiener (Institute for Integrated Quality Design) headed a study titled "Quality 2030" on behalf of Quality Austria. The result: Sustainability is becoming increasingly important. As an example, Melanie Wiener talks about irreplaceable built-in mobile phone batteries: "The consumer will not appreciate the unsustainable aspect." The study was conducted over a year and a half. In addition to six Open Foresight Workshops with well-known companies such as AVL LIST, BWT, Erdal, Infineon, the Geriatric Health Centers in Graz, Grüne Erde, KEBA, Kreisel Systems, Lenzing, TGW and in cooperation with the Institute for Strategic Management at the JKU, Ms. Wiener conducted 21 interviews with experts and futurologists and analyzed numerous trend reports. She also conducted a total of 63 interviews with participants at three different times (at the start of the study - during the study - after the study) at participating companies in order to critically reflect the current findings and assessments for future developments and trends..

And how does Ms. Wiener herself feel about the polarity between comfort and sustainability?

"Sustainability is very important to me but I also want to be honest and critical of myself. I have started on this path and am in the relatively early stages. I am doing many things such as planting my own vegetables (we even have chickens at home), focusing on regional, environmentally-friendly products and, if possible, I ride my bike instead driving,... these are initial steps in the right direction however there’s more to it than that and above all: it means don’t stop and keep moving forward." said the JKU researcher.