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Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

Environmental Sustainability


Environmental sustainability is the responsibility to conserve natural resources and protect global ecosystems to sustain health and well-being, now and in the future. Because so many decisions that impact the environment are not immediately felt, a key element of environmental sustainability is its forward-looking nature. Environmental sustainability also conflicts with the economics of production that consumes natural resources. Therefore, it is important to devise strategies that put the two aspects in synergy and not in competition.

Environmental sustainability depends on resources like clean air, water, soil and biodiversity (diversity within species, between species and between ecosystems). These resources are the foundation for human life and at the same time they are strongly altered by land use, pollution and climate change since the onset of the Anthropocene. The environmental sustainability in the local context is linked to the tourism, traffic, energy, agriculture and forestry sectors. These sectors are on the one hand fundamental for the economy of the area, but on the other hand have an impact on environmental pollution and consumption of natural resources that must be carefully monitored and controlled. Moreover, they are particularly relevant for the climate.

Research in this macro-area aims to study the current situation in order to then be able to develop new models that on the one hand allow economic growth where necessary, but on the other hand try to reduce the consumption of environmental resources. An important aspect in this context is the collection of objective data and the development and use of measurable indicators that allow informed decisions to be made on the basis of evidence. To this end, technological solutions will be developed in fields such as sensor technology, robotics, electronics, hydrogen technology, precision agriculture and ecosystem restoration coupled with the development of advanced data analysis and artificial intelligence applications.