University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Graduate Receives WK Tirol Research Award
This year’s winners of the Research Award were honored in a festive ceremony on December 7 in the ceremonial hall of the Chamber of Commerce (WK Tirol) in Innsbruck. A jury consisting of representatives of companies and university faculty awarded prizes to students of the University of Applied Sciences Kufstein Tirol (FH Kufstein Tirol), the Management Center Innsbruck (MCI), and the University of Innsbruck.
The laureate of FH Kufstein Tirol was Anna Thaler, MA, graduate of the English-language master’s program in International Business Studies. She is one of the first female recipients of this prestigious research award of EUR 2,000, and won in the Economics and Social Sciences category with her thesis on “Sustainability Standards in Business: An Integrated Perspective for Companies in the DACH Region”.
About the Master’s Thesis
The thesis investigated the application of eight different sustainability standards by for-profit companies in Austria, Germany, and Switzerland (DACH region) and addressed the following questions:
- How is sustainability defined or measured in these corporate contexts?
- Which are the most popular sustainability certificates used by companies, both presently as well as over the past 10 years?
- Do certificates differ according to company size or location within the DACH region?
Based on a purpose-built web tool, both the geographic distribution and temporal evolution of standards certifications in the defined region are analyzed and discussed in relation to the relevant literature.
The investigation is of high relevance for the State of Tirol in particular, as the region functions as a bridgehead between the three nations. If Tirolean companies want to effectively communicate their own sustainability programs in the wider area of the study, it is essential that they know and are able to assess the prevailing standards. Anna Thaler’s master’s thesis thus makes an important contribution to scientific research on the issue of sustainability, and serves to strengthen the competitiveness of companies in the region of Tirol.
About the WK Tirol Research Award
For over 24 years, the Tirol Chamber of Commerce (WK Tirol) has been awarding prizes for outstanding dissertations, diploma theses, and master’s theses written by students at universities of applied sciences and universities in the region. The innovation for 2022: For the first time, the prizes awarded were designated as Research Awards rather than Science Awards. This is to emphasize the essential interconnection between scientific research and economic innovation in Tirol, i.e. the links between science and business.