Check out Impact Hub Global’s full, multi-media impact report. Just interested in Climate Lab’s story? Read on …
Climate Lab is a catalyst for climate solutions in Austria. Founded by Impact Hub Vienna together with public and private partners in 2022, Climate Lab convenes actors from across sectors to discuss and initiate solutions for climate neutrality and the circular economy—together. Our focus is on the industries with the biggest potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and make the shift towards a circular economy: energy, mobility and construction. Our approach is three-fold:
Building an engaged, trust-based community of climate innovators,
Designing programs that catalyze cross-sector collaboration and initiate concrete solutions,
Providing a space where Vienna’s climate movement can work, meet and hold events.
In our first year, we worked with eight partners from the public and private sectors in multi-partner programs (MPP) ranging from the use of hydrogen as an alternative energy source to green procurement, from digital solutions for smart waste to sustainable mobility for businesses. Using a multi-step process, we worked with partners to define their challenges, analyze the market context, define initial pathways to solutions, involve relevant stakeholders and develop concrete proofs-of-concept for the partner to carry forward.
Our first successfully completed MPP focused on circularity in the mattress industry. In Austria, over 1 million mattresses are incinerated every year. Working together with the Austrian Ministry for Climate Action and stakeholders along the entire supply chain, we held a series of events to identify challenges and define potential interventions. This culminated in a comprehensive report of recommendations which the Austrian government will use to shape policy for increased circularity in the mattress industry.
We have also built a thriving community of over 100 members, mostly entrepreneurs and innovators, as well as over 25 organizations from science, journalism and civil society which are in the vanguard of the Austrian climate movement. By the end of 2023, we’ll have organized more than 50 community events focused primarily on learning, networking and building trust-based connections. We also help amplify community members’ impact by positioning them at external events such as Impact Hub Vienna’s annual Impact Days or the Vienna Business Agency’s Smart City SumMit, where they can connect with potential investors, corporate partners and local and national decision-makers.
Finally, our space serves as a unique Treffpunkt where climate innovators can co-work, meet and hold events. Our space showcases sustainable design, and we use an innovative subscription service for furniture allowing us to quickly adapt to the changing needs of our members without the waste. In the fall of 2023, we will be certified as a “green location” by the Austrian government, verifying that we’ve complied with a rigorous set of criteria that covers everything from energy use, waste management and office equipment, to social inclusion and mobility.
The first year of Climate Lab has produced many successes as well as a trove of lessons learned. But the one thing that has been confirmed time and time again, is that to overcome the climate crisis we need to collaborate like never before.