Seventy students from the University of New Orleans (UNO) International Summer School and the University of Innsbruck had the opportunity to deal intensively with the topics of sustainability management and communication. They were also given exclusive insights into the sustainability strategy at Swarovski.
Irene Häntschel-Erhart, Vice Rector of the University of Innsbruck, was also a guest in Wattens. "I am very pleased that we have been able to give students an insight into an internationally successful company from Tyrol for many years now. The focus on the topic of sustainability is particularly important to me as Vice Rector for Digitalization and Sustainability."
The Swarovski Foundation kicked off the week focused on sustainability. The University of Innsbruck introduced the topic with a lecture on the Swarovski Foundation's philanthropy and its mission to promote sustainable livelihoods through education to reduce inequalities; initiatives in the focus areas of equity, water and creativity; as well as through the "Swarovski Waterschool" and "Swarovski Creatives for Our Future" programs.
The lecture was followed by the annual student visit to the Swarovski manufactory, otherwise reserved for customers from the fashion and luxury goods industry as well as exclusive partners such as designers. During the visit, the students were able to enter into a direct exchange with the head of production in Wattens, Herbert Schuler, and with Philipp Skal, Head of the Sustainable Operations & Products. Together they discussed questions regarding sustainability, strategy implementation, progress and challenges of the circular economy models as well as resource and material efficiency.
"We are on a journey, creating products that reflect our savoir-faire and promise of luxurious quality. Embedding sustainability into our operations not only supports the resilience of our supply chain, the use of alternative energy sources and improved cost savings. It also leads us to think about material efficiency like recovering valuable resources and fulfilling our commitment of striving for longevity," said Herbert Schuler.
University of Innsbruck Vice Rector Irene Häntschel-Erhart also participated in this teaching exchange as a guest at Swarovski in Wattens and commented, "I am very pleased that we have been able to give students an insight into an internationally successful company from Tyrol for many years. As Vice Rector for Digitization and Sustainability, the focus on sustainability is particularly important to me."
"This opportunity to learn directly from Swarovski leaders who strive for sustainability in all areas is a great example of why we want our students to participate in exchange programs. I am very grateful to the team at Swarovski and the faculty from the University of New Orleans and the University of Innsbruck for once again demonstrating the exciting possibilities of partnership between our universities," said Interim Assistant Provost for International Education Scott Pentzer of the University of New Orleans.
After the students' visit to the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens and a final workshop by the Swarovski Foundation at the University of Innsbruck, the instructor of the UNO courses on International Management and Marketing, Alexander Plaikner, was also very satisfied with the intensive and instructive days: "During this four-day practical transfer, our students had the valuable opportunity to experience the theoretical principles learned in six weeks in practice and to discuss them with top management."