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EACEA National Policies Platform


9. Youth and the World

9.5 Green volunteering, production and consumption

Last update: 31 January 2024

Green volunteering

In general, young people in Austria can volunteer for the environment with a number of NGOs such as the Alpine Club Austria (Österreichischer Alpenverein), Friends of Nature Austria (Naturfreunde Österreich Jugend), Greenpeace Austria (Greenpeace Österreich), WWF Austria (WWF Österreich), Ark Noah (Arche Noah), the Jane Goodall Institute Austria (Jane Goodall Institute Austria für Naturschutz, Umweltbildung und Erforschung wildlebender Tiere) etc.

With the Voluntary Environmental Protection Year (Freiwilliges Umweltschutzjahr, FUJ), young people have the opportunity to do voluntary service in the field of nature conservation, environmental protection and sustainability in Austria. In addition to the voluntary experience and environmental commitment, participants can also receive training in career orientation and environmental protection management. In general, all young people aged 18 and over can complete a voluntary service of 6 - 12 months in one of Austria's placement sites (Einsatzstellenkarte). The year is recognised as a substitute for civilian service (Zivilersatzdienst FUJ). For more information on the FUJ, see also chapter 2.4.

In addition to information on the FUJ, the Youth Environment Platform (JUMP) offers opportunities for voluntary participation, competence building and personal orientation in the field of environment and sustainability for young adults. In this context, long-, medium- and short-term activities as well as training and support for projects (JUMP Projekte) are available. ‘Green Days’ (Green Days Volunteer), for instance, is a three-day environmental networking event for young people between 16 and 18 years of age, which takes place in Austria every year with a new thematic focus. It offers young volunteers over 18 the opportunity to gain experience in organising workshops, discussions, excursions, etc. and to make contacts and get involved in the world of environmental protection and sustainability.

Green production and consumption

At the national level, the Federal Ministry for Climate Protection, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology (Bundesministerium für Klimaschutz, Ulwelt, Energie, Mobilität, Innovation und Technologie) offers a wide range of information as well as tips for daily life on environmentally friendly consumption and production. In this context, numerous initiatives help to promote sustainable consumption and production among the Austrian population, such as saving energy and electricity (“”), detailed and transparent information on sustainable consumption (“Bewusst kaufen”) and tips on how to save energy more efficiently (“Mission 11”).

Climate-Friendly Transport System

For a more climate-friendly and resource-saving transport system in Austria, the federal government introduced the KlimaTicket Austria (KlimaTicket Österreich) in October 2021. The ticket is available at a reduced price for young people under 26 years of age. It allows the use of all regular transport services regionally, supra-regionally and throughout Austria.

Just Transition Action Plan for Education and Training

With the new Action Plan 2023 ‘Just Transition Action Plan for Education and Training’ („Just Transition Aktionsplan für Aus- und Weiterbildung”), the federal government, together with social partners and the AMS, has taken an important step towards Austria’s energy independence and more green jobs. This plan is intended to provide schools and young people in particular (Handlungsfeld: Schulen und Jugendliche) with comprehensive information about so-called ‘Just Transition Jobs’. Actions are thus to be taken both in schools (e.g. vocational orientation or internships) and outside (e.g. youth holiday programmes or education trade fairs) to inspire, especially young girls, to take up jobs and engage in the field of green consumption and production.

Initiative and Teaching Materials for Sustainable Food Use

As part of the initiative ‘Food is precious’ (“Lebensmittel sind kostbar”), the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management (Bundesministerium für Land- und Forstwirtschaft, Regionen und Wasserwirtschaft), together with the Forum for Environmental Education (Forum Umweltbildung), has developed comprehensive teaching materials for schools and extracurricular groups of secondary school age. These serve to sensitise young people to the sustainable use of food and are available for download on the website.

Sustainable Consumption Initiatives for Young People in Austria

Moreover, Austria has a wide range of public organisations that provide information, workshops, and educational materials focusing on sustainable consumption and production (SDG 12)) specifically tailored for young people.


  • With 2023, waste separation and thus the recycling of materials in Austria has been changed, expanded and standardised. In order to increasingly inform, in particular younger people, about the correct disposal of packaging and its various components, Waste Material Recycling Austria (ARA) has developed a new Digi-Cycle app. This is intended to provide information about recycling, simplify it and thus promote awareness of the circular economy in Austria.
  • The platform ‘Education2030’ ("Bildung2030") provides educational offers on SDG 12 for the school as well as extracurricular sector.
  • At the federal state level, the Energy and Environment Agency of Lower Austria (eNU), for instance, provides knowledge and methods for pupils in the field of sustainable consumption and production. Various teaching materials for lower and upper grades are available on the website for this purpose.
  • The 'Let'sFIXit' learning material (Lernunterlage), which was jointly developed by the Environmental Advisory Service (Umweltberatung), RepaNet and the Austrian Institute of Ecology (Österreichischen Ökologieinstitut), aims to educate young people in school lessons about how maintenance and repair reduce resource consumption. The learning material is suitable for the age group 10 - 14 years and contains concrete teaching modules as well as practical tasks that make the use and consumption behaviour of young people more sustainable.
  • On its website, the ‘Environmental education forum’ (“Forum Umweltbildung”) offers teaching materials (Praxismaterialien) for various age groups on the topics of consumption and lifestyle, ecological procurement and resources.