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Overview Sustainability Day 2023 @SML

On 28 March 2023, the fourth Sustainability Day took place at the ZHAW School of Management and Law (SML) under the banner “Think globally – Act locally”. The event was organized by a diverse and international team of seven students from the SML. The focus was on the big picture; sustainability is more than climate change.

The student organizing team

  • Nicolai Casadei (BSc in International Management)
  • Vanessa Costa (BSc in Betriebsökonomie mit Vertiefung General Management)
  • Larissa Hintermann (BSc in Betriebsökonomie mit Vertiefung General Management)
  • Anna-Maria Panuta (BSc in International Management)
  • Sandra Sucic (BSc in International Management)
  • Lazar Tomasevic (BSc in Betriebsökonomie mit Vertiefung General Management)
  • Melis Turgul (MSc in International Business)

“Co-organizing the sustainability day was an inspiring experience and broadened my knowledge of the activities ZHAW is undertaking in the field of sustainability. It was very exciting to put together our own program and to see how it was received by the visitors.”
Larissa Hintermann, Co-Leader, Sustainability Day 2023@SML

“The organization of Sustainability Day challenged me on a personal and professional level. It was nice to be part of something special. Thanks to Sustainability Day, we were able to make many exciting new contacts and increase our knowledge in the field of sustainability. I am grateful for this experience.”
Vanessa Costa, Co-Leader, Sustainability Day 2023@SML

Encouraging the Sustainable Development Goals Dialog

Vanessa Costa and Larissa Hintermann started their journey as project managers of Sustainability Day 2023 back in September 2022. They successfully recruited and led five SML students from different study programs, who had volunteered their time to organize the event. The 2023 event was again dedicated to raising awareness about the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – specifically SDG 3  Good Health and Well-Being; SDG 7 Affordable and Clean Energy; and SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities.

The organizers, all passionate about promoting sustainability and the SDGs at ZHAW, designed the entire program, selected the speakers, and developed a successful communication strategy. They were supported in this by Alexandra Grammenou, PRME coordinator at the SML. Around 100 visitors took advantage of the opportunity to learn about the topics and exchange ideas with like-minded people through an information fair, two film screenings, yoga sessions, a sustainable research lunch, workshops, guest talks, and an expert podium discussion.

Info Fair and Clothes Swap

Over free coffee in the morning, visitors could learn more about ZHAW initiatives such as Connecto ZHAW and Climate Change@ZHAW. Ortoloco Hofkooperativ and companies such as Pay Green and UP Zurich were represented. There was also an opportunity to learn about the new interdisciplinary SML Master in Circular Economy Management. With the support of Kleidertusch Winterthur, a clothes swap was organized in the auditorium.

Yoga – Film Screenings – Sustainable Research Lunch

During the lunch break, plenty of activities kept everyone busy. Tina Weber taught yoga session participants how to practice resilience and mindfulness.

At the same time, Dr. Florian Roth, a Center for Corporate Responsibility researcher, gave a talk based on the EU Horizon 2020 project RRI Leaders. Dr. Roth explained that dealing with the so-called “Grand Challenges” meant transformation processes were necessary, while fairer political institutions and contributions from technological innovations can accelerate this process. The presentation was organized in cooperation with ZHAW Sustainable.

There was also the opportunity to view two documentary films: “Closing the Loop”, the world’s first documentary focused on the circular economy, and “Wir kamen um zu helfen”, dedicated to global injustice.

Afternoon Workshops – Book Swap

Afternoon workshops focused on further integrating sustainability into the School of Management and Law curricula, with an active discussion between professors, sustainability representatives, and students. A special workshop was held about mindfulness, where students taught their colleagues and ZHAW staff about “fitness for the mind”. This method has been shown scientifically to improve concentration, memory, and learning ability, strengthen emotional intelligence (EQ), improve stress handling (resilience), and make us more balanced internally. The ZHAW Sustainability Commission of Students (NaKt) offered its support by organizing a book swap.

Unconscious Bias and Renewable Energy in Switzerland

Highlights of the evening included a guest talk from Daniela Frau, Diversity Delegate at the SML, on “Unconscious Bias and Social Sustainability”, followed by a presentation from Grit Zwingenberger about Deloitte’s sustainability strategy and multiple initiatives to attract and inspire young talent. Then followed a triple helix-panel discussion about energy transition in Switzerland. Raphael Tobler, a political representative (Cantonal Parliament Member, Zurich), Fabian Schildknecht from the business sector (ewz), and Prof. Regina Betz from ZHAW answered questions from students and the public about the future of energy in Switzerland and the transition towards renewable alternatives. The event closed with a networking drinks reception offered by Hängry Foods, a start-up by ZHAW students from the Life Sciences & Facility Management Department. The evening was sponsored by Wasser für Wasser and Le Picot.


Thanks to a highly engaged and lively team of SML student organizers, Sustainability Day@SML has successfully brought together multiple stakeholders from academia, business, civil society, and politics. For the fourth time, guests have been able to discuss the achievement of SDGs and increase their awareness of numerous sustainability issues.


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