28.06.2016 Climate award for Vienna International Centre – UN’s Vienna HQ designated climate neutral by Climate Secretariat

UNO-City Bild vergrößern

Tasked with maintaining the Vienna International Centre (VIC), the Austria Center Vienna has invested EUR 2.5m in new cooling systems over the past five years, helping to cut annual electricity costs for both parties by about EUR 200,000. Green electricity, district heating and on-site cooling help to deliver 56% reduction in CO2 emissions.

  • Austria Center Vienna has the second-largest cooling plant in Vienna after that of Vienna General Hospital
  • Cooling generation and distribution of heat and power for 325,000m² of space and 4,000 employees
  • 100% renewable electricity for cooling, lighting etc., district heating for warmth
  • Investments deliver savings of EUR 200,000 or 2 gigawatt hours (equivalent to annual electricity consumption of around 500 households) per year
  • Austria Center Vienna setting sustainable building management standards for years

Sustainable building management is an absolute priority for us,” confirmed Susanne Baumann-Söllner, who in her capacity as IAKW-AG managing director is responsible for maintaining the Vienna International Centre as well as operating the Austria Center Vienna. “In addition to the Austria Center Vienna, my team is responsible for a further 325,000m² of space at the eight buildings that make up the VIC. Our task is to use sustainable technologies to provide an optimal working environment for the approximately 4,000 employees of the Vienna-based UN organisations. We have the second-largest cooling plant in the city after Vienna General Hospital and we require a considerable, yet stable energy supply for both cooling and heating,” she continued.

These needs are met by the company’s own transformer station, which is supplied with 100% renewable electricity before redirecting it to the building complex in the required voltage or transforming it into space cooling. Over recent years around EUR 2.5 million has been invested in state-of-the-art water and air cooled systems which regulate the temperature of the offices and server rooms. “New highly-efficient turbo refrigeration units – some of which are fitted with free cooling systems that extract cold air from outside in winter to keep the amount of energy needed to circulate the cold water to a minimum – save us around two gigawatt hours of electricity each year, an amount which is roughly equal to the amount of power used by 500 detached houses,” Baumann-Söllner explained.

Wien Energie is responsible for heat supplies. The long-standing partnership, which saves around 9,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, was formalised in 2014 with a separate climate protection agreement between the two companies.

“We are very pleased that the UN Climate Secretariat officially awarded climate neutral status to the VIC, making it the first of the four UN headquarters to earn this title. This makes Vienna – and our company – an international pioneer in the field of sustainable building management,” Baumann-Söllner commented. The Austria Center Vienna’s work has played a major role in helping the Vienna-based organisations to become climate neutral.

Austria Center Vienna pioneering sustainable approaches for years

“Other energy-saving measures include changing over to LED lighting in the buildings and parking facilities,” Baumann-Söllner noted. With 20 percent of all energy accounted for by light generation, the changeover delivered significant savings. 

As the operators of a public sector company, Susanne Baumann-Söllner and her team are committed to a holistic approach to CSR, as shown by the importance they attach to environmental aspects alongside social and financial factors. “Sustainability begins at the procurement stage – from green IT to furnishings, to the use of non-potable water for the toilets and our give aways. As Austria’s first green conference centre we are used to looking beyond our own activities. We give our customers every chance to make their events as sustainable and green as possible, whether it’s our IT infrastructure, which opens the door to paperless congresses, or green catering. MOTTO Catering and M*EVENT Catering are both certified in accordance with the Österreichisches Umweltzeichen eco-label. E-filling stations for our guests are another good example of our approach,” Baumann-Söllner concluded.

Press release
Susanne Baumann-Söllner (c) IAKW-AG, Andreas Hofer
UN's Vienna HQ exterior view (c) IAKW-AG

Internationales Amtssitz- und Konferenzzentrum Wien, Aktiengesellschaft (IAKW-AG) is responsible for maintaining the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and operating the Austria Center Vienna. The Austria Center Vienna is Austria’s largest conference centre, with 24 halls, 180 offices and meeting rooms, and some 22,000 square metres of exhibition space, and is one of the top players on the international conference circuit. IAKW-AG and the Austria Center Vienna are headed by Chief Executive Officer Susanne Baumann-Söllner.

IAKW-AG – Austria Center Vienna
Elena Hajek
Press Officer
+43 (0)1-26069-386