Research Field Sustainability and Packaging Research

The primary functions of packaging are storage and protection of the contents (products such as food, pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, etc.). These features make it possible to distribute the products as well as maintain their quality characteristics. This allows them to be brought to the market safely and easily independent of the season as modern consumers have come to expect. However, packaging does significantly more. It fulfills additional (secondary) functions such as carrying information, consumer friendliness, presentation, brand communication, promotion, economic and environmental factors as well as legal regulations.

A balanced packaging solution is thus able to address the challenges of today and the future and needs to address such issues as product and supply security, climate change, environmental impact and resource scarcity, globalization and demographic change. Against this backdrop, the packaging industry is currently experiencing increased pressure to be innovative and develop appropriate packaging as well as methods to holistically evaluate the same. This is reflected in various reports, initiatives, political decisions, funding programs, legislation, and increased consumer awareness.

Research Focus

The Department of Packaging and Resource Management at FH Campus Wien focuses its interdisciplinary research and development on the sustainable and future-oriented development and optimization of packaging as well as on methods for the holistic evaluation of packaging.

The topic of sustainability in all its dimensions, in particular ecological sustainability, is currently receiving a great amount attention worldwide. As a result, the necessity of packaging is sometimes discussed vigorously, and in the face of increasing environmental pollution, it is repeatedly coming under fire, despite the meaningfulness of its function. The idea of environmental protection emphasizes recyclability and the general minimization of packaging, while the sensible use of packaging for product and consumer protection should be the goal. Without question, a reduction in the use of packaging is an important element of the sustainability strategy. However, an optimum must be found. Simply doing away with or reducing packaging without properly considering the impact first would also mean doing away with product protection which could have the logical consequence of an unwanted increase in product loss and waste. This is particularly important in the context of food, where currently approximately one third of the goods produced in the world are either lost or thrown away along the supply chain. The aim is therefore a balanced, meaningful and future-oriented use of packaging and thus a reduction of the environmental impact.

Recurring crises and scandals as well as the general desire for security put the protection of the contents as well as the consumers against adverse influences or counterfeits in the foreground of the packaging development. Not only general requirements such as the safety of the products or their shelf life are important, but increasingly very specific topics such as the unwanted or unintentional migration of substances in the packaging into the product, the monitoring of production, storage and transport conditions and protection against counterfeiting or manipulation are also being examined.

In order to maintain and enhance the competitiveness of the industry, to create jobs and to support economic growth, new and groundbreaking technologies are indispensable. The focus is on the use of completely new technological possibilities and innovations.

Recent decades have brought substantial achievements and changes. Industrialization, globalization, liberalization of trade and optimized logistic processes have made it possible to now obtain products in a very short time worldwide in an unprecedented quality and quantity. At first glance, these developments seem to be very positive for our society. However, these developments also bring challenges such as rapid population growth and demographic change. Packaging, as a mirror of society, is therefore subject to a continuous development and improvement process.


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Degree programs

Sustainable Management of Resources

Bachelor, part-time

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Packaging Technology and Sustainability

Master, part-time

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Packaging Technology

Bachelor, part-time

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