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Overview Sustainability Day 2021 @SML

The second Sustainability Day took place on 23 March 2021 at the ZHAW School of Management and Law. The theme was "Die verschiedenen Ebenen der Nachhaltigkeit – Vom Problem zur Lösung” (The Different Levels of Sustainability - From Problem to Solution), and the event was organized by nine students of the ZHAW School of Management and Law.

The program of the Sustainability Day 2021 @SML was diverse and included three workshops, a talk, and a movie screening.

Student Volunteers

Students at the SML had been preparing since October 2020 for this day as part of a volunteer program headed by Jonathan Schuler. Their responsibilities included everything, from the program design and choice of speakers to marketing and communication measures. They were supported by Marie-Christin Weber, the SML’s PRME Coordinator. More than 150 participants took the opportunity to learn more by attending the events and exchanging ideas with like-minded people. Due to the Corona crisis, all events had to be held virtually. In addition to Sustainability Day 2021 @SML, two events organized jointly with the Zurich Sustainability Week were also offered: a workshop on unconscious bias (“Unconscious Bias – unbewusste Vorurteile und ihre Überwindung”) and a movie screening (“A Life on Our Planet”).

Tips for Sustainable Consumption

The event kicked off with a workshop on sustainability in the everyday life of students, which shed light on the topic of sustainability at the micro level. The workshop had been organized and was facilitated by Mireille Brown and Blanca Oggier. In the first part of the workshop, the two students gave practical tips on how each and every individual can make their everyday life more sustainable without great effort. The focus was on presenting sustainable alternatives for conventional everyday products. "A store receipt also acts as a ballot," the two students explained. "With every purchase decision, we help determine whether, for example, resources are protected and fair working conditions are promoted." In the second part of the workshop, Adriana Puente, co-founder of the packaging-free store "bare Ware" in Winterthur, spoke about the topic of zero waste and gave tips on how to avoid waste. "Changes happen one step at a time," said Puente. The important thing is not to rush things and to gradually introduce changes into everyday life until they become a habit.

"Sustainability is a matter of personal concern to me and I have resolved to do more to promote it. I keep noticing that many students have understood the relevance, but hardly anyone does anything. I co-organized Sustainability Day 2021 @SML to motivate more students to take action."

Anaïs Scheiwiller, MSc BA (Marketing), co-organizer, Sustainability Day 2021 @SML

Business Ideas Creating an Impact

In the evening, participants had the opportunity to get to know inspiring start-up founders in the clean and Greentech sectors with creative solutions for a better future. Simon Michel (Prognolite), Patrick Deuss (LEDCity), and Pascal Brunner (Vatorex), all of whom have successfully co-founded a start-up, gave exciting insights into the turbulent first years after setting up their companies. The focus was on challenges and failures, but also on the highlights. Afterwards, participants had the opportunity to work on solutions to current challenges experienced by the start-ups. At the end of the workshop, not only the participants but also the start-up founders left with new impressions and inspiration. The workshop had been organized by Elena Dimitrova, Philip Hersperger, Lisa Isenring, and Anaïs Scheiwiller. The students received support from the Entrepreneur Club Winterthur as well as Marilou Jobin, Ramona Lieser, and Devon Wemyss from the Institut für Innovation und Entrepreneurship.

Achieving Eco-Balance

The day was rounded off by Dirk Gratzel's presentation on his life’s work, the "Green Zero" project. In 2016, the entrepreneur made a unique decision. From now on, he would reduce his ecological footprint to a minimum and offset the 1,147 tons of CO2 he had generated in the first 50 years of his life. With scientific support, Gratzel turned his life upside down. In his talk, he described the daily challenges and successes in reducing climate-damaging emissions. This event was organized by Jonathan Schuler. "It was very inspiring to learn how Dirk Gratzel has turned his entire life around in order to leave no climate debt for future generations," Schuler said.

Unconscious Bias – Prejudice and How to Overcome It

What are "unconscious biases"? Why do we all have stereotypes and prejudices? How can we learn to be more aware of them in order to make better decisions? Participants explored these and many other questions in a workshop led by Daniela Frau, the SML’s Diversity Management Officer. In particular, they were shown techniques to minimize unconscious stereotypes and biases and their effects on the world around us. The workshop was organized by Hannah-Linda Walser.

I sometimes meet people who simply don’t understand why I’m interested in sustainability. It’s one of the reasons why I became involved in Sustainability Day 2021 @SML. At the same time, I wanted to meet like-minded fellow students and work with them on a useful project.”

Hannah-Linda Walser, co-organizer, Sustainability Day 2021 @SML


Once again, the SML students managed to put together a great event full of passion. Their efforts resulted in inspiring content, exciting discussions, useful outcomes, and great new ideas. For Sustainability Day 2022 @SML, we are again looking for a group of motivated students to organize another spectacular event.


ZHAW School of Management & Law
Theaterstrasse 17/ Gebäude ST
8400 Winterthur