Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
A global problem like climate change is influencing societies in a complex manner, affecting all sorts of institutions, market segments and political fields. Usually there is a lack of commonly developed strategies to tackle such complex problems. Climate protection as well as other recent complex political problems like health care or migration, make it necessary to go beyond known policy instruments of direct steering, i.e. regulation, taxes and subsidies. Governments are therefore challenged with a new role of leadership, management and facilitation of the socio-ecological change. In particular this requires different co-operation formats between government, private sector, NGOs and citizens. klima:aktiv intends to create such an innovative governance structure with various and comprehensive offers for consulting and motivation, training and education, information and communication, partnerships and awards and partially financially subsidies to all relevant stakeholders and citizens. Furthermore klima:aktiv serves as an integrated communicative campaign and platform for co-operations and strategic orientation towards the sustainable change of energy systems. Climate change is a common problem that affects all people. Everyone can take actions and it is indeed necessary that as many people as possible contribute to fighting climate change. klima:aktiv uses different channels to motivate energy efficiency manners and rethinking, especially through addressing enterprises, local communities and households/consumers. The target group of the initiative are all Austrians over all ages and social groups.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
klima:aktiv is the Austrian initiative for climate protection launched by the “Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management” (BMLFUW). The program fosters a competitive low-carbon economy based on efficient and sustainable use of resources, the protection of the environment, and, the establishment of innovative green technologies and production practises in high quality. klima:aktiv follows the idea of a market transformation towards green markets, with the aim to raise the share of renewables and of energy efficient products and services. Essential for the market transformation approach is an active and comprehensive inclusion of all relevant market players and stakeholders. The 5 core activities of klima:aktiv are: 1. Training of klima:aktiv professionals: klima:aktiv coordinates trainings and educations in the various fields and safeguards the high qualifications of professionals needed. The main focus is on advanced vocational training. Pilot trainings and seminars are designed and introduced in the training market in cooperation with universities, technical colleges, educational service of the chamber of commerce etc. klima:aktiv is contributing as an innovation manager for advanced vocational trainings in the fields of renewables and energy efficiency. The klima:aktiv competence partners - plumbers, owners of biomass plants, planners, chimney sweepers, architects, master builders, planners, energy advisers, ecodrive trainers and mobility managers - profit from high quality trainings and the knowledge about quality standards. 2. Setting standards and safeguarding quality: Young and booming innovative markets often cannot provide for quality. It is important to build up trust for the supply and the demand to stabilise innovative markets. Therefore, klima:aktiv focuses on safeguarding quality by • introducing quality standards for products and services, i.e. klima:aktiv building standard • introducing quality management systems, i.e. for biomass district heating systems • empowering consumers to check the quality of services, e.g. with the help of checklists and by • providing handbooks and quality tools for professionals • providing support and advise for planners, e.g. planning audits for complex solar thermal systems 3. Providing information and raising awareness: klima:aktiv gives independent information to relevant subjects and demonstrates the direct advantages of climate protection actions and products for the consumers. Generally the information material avoids moralizing and “teaching” and aims to provide practically relevant information. In 2012, already 46% of the Austrians recognized the brand and positive reliable qualities are associated to the brand: economic, positive, modern, dynamic and ecological. klima:aktiv provides on-line information platforms to empower consumers, companies and professionals to take actions in their context. klima:aktiv is present on about 1500 event days every year, which is possible due to the broad network all over Austria. 4. Providing advice and support: In klima:aktiv the main target groups for advisory activities are companies, municipalities and public administrations as well as schools, youth, the leisure and tourism sector. klima:aktiv offers expert consulting and technical support to increase efficiency of production processes, to retrofit building stocks, to introduce mobility management or to change procurement to energy efficient appliances and IT-systems. klima:aktiv encourages the empowerment of the existing consultant structures in Austria by providing new support tools, by setting up bench marking systems for energy efficiency and by training consultants in specific topics. 5. Activating stakeholder and networking with partners: Successful climate protection needs the power and the commitment of the divers existing initiatives and networks as well as of the provinces and of the economy. klima:aktiv provides a cooperation platform for these partners. The cooperation with the market partners generates one of the main impacts of klima:aktiv: with the market knowledge and consumer relation, market partners, on the one hand, multiply the impact of klima:aktiv activities. On the other hand, the partners profit from growing markets, from the innovative knowhow provided and from the image of klima:aktiv.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
Global climate change affects societies in a complex manner. There is a lack of integrated strategies to tackle the problem. klima:aktiv takes an systemic and comprehensive approach to tackle the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by a broad variety system interventions in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, which makes klima:aktiv an unique project within the European Union. klima:aktiv… • is a well-integrated, national climate protection initiative with noticeable effects on the market structures • has a very well established umbrella brand with noticeable effects on the market structures • achieves a good multiplier effect due to active cooperation with all stakeholders • is exemplary for its motivational function • guarantees quality through excellent management structures as well as the strict monitoring and reporting system • offers a target oriented strategy and support framework to promote and accelerate the transition to environmental friendly technology • is building on partnerships with cities and regional governments, companies, private sector • capacity building and certification helps to keep results • complementary awareness raising targeting the broad public and the individual citizen The initiative is internationally admitted as an instrument for climate policy: After carrying out a general evaluation of the initiative in 2012, regarding fulfilment of overall goals as well as possible improvements, the Wuppertal Institute of Germany has addressed the exemplary comprehensive approach and unique design in Europe.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
In February 1999, the Austrian Energy Agency visited the Austrian transport minister with an idea in our head and pocket, the “Mobilmanager”: change the market by introducing services like eco-driving or mobility management together with main market players; do this in a systematic and comprehensive way for some years; provide for quality management with standards and trainings; and secure confidence in the services by public support. Thus you get climate protection together with economic success, higher quality of life and less cost for the consumer. In essence, this is what klima:aktiv stands for now. In Austria, time was not ripe yet for this idea. Structures and money could not be found then. But similar ideas were worked out in other areas like biomass heating or retrofitting of service buildings. The OECD as well supported the idea of governmental impulses to market transformation, and the Austrian R&D programme “Nachhaltig Wirtschaften” provided ideas to introduce new technologies into the market. The idea of the Swiss educational workman programmes (RAVEL, PACER) and the IEA´s recommendations for market transformation programmes were external inputs for the process. All these streams gathered in the energy department of the ministry of environment. A process was started to design a market transformation program, to make it operational for action and promote it within the ministry. In 2001 the Austrian Energy Agency was asked to propose such a national climate protection initiative. In March 2002 an open space workshop with about 60 leading Austrian energy and climate protection experts took place – it took quite a while and a lot of preparatory work until the framework conditions could be finalised. The window of opportunity was opened in 2003, when it became clear, that the government will allocate more money in climate protection. Finally in 2004 the “umbrella program” klima:aktiv was ready to start. It is financed and strategically managed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management, shortly called “Lebensministerium”, and managed (operational management) by the Austrian Energy Agency. In order to foster the development of an effective network, to support the definition of a clear strategy and an effective implementation process, an external consultant supported the launch of the initiative. Furthermore the consultant was responsible to install a monitoring system to observe the success of the network-activities. The development of the strategic and operational management team and its positioning in the complex field between politics and economy was another key activity at the beginning. In 2005, the mobility management programs of the ministry of environment joined the platform of klima:aktiv, completing the thematic portfolio by mobility subjects. The name klima:aktiv had been originally created for a specific training course for master builders in energy efficient building and then taken over for the whole initiative. The logo was created in a competition within a graphic school in Vienna. It symbolises the temperature scale and an active, positive approach to climate protection.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
The organisation and communication structure of the initiative was designed to fit to task of building and sustaining co-operations in an inter-organisational network. Therefore it was essential, that participative elements were implemented from the beginning on. In an open space workshop, the relevant stakeholders were invited to bring in their ideas. During the analysis study a number of the future business partners of klima:aktiv were interviewed. Eventually the concrete business plans for the specific programs were developed together with the main stakeholders. One good example of the cooperative attitude of the initiative was the specific program to foster retrofitting of multifamily dwellings. In a participatory process with builders, property managers and owners, planners, subsidy managers a program was developed along the needs of the stakeholders. The initiative also profits from the general experience of the Austrian Energy Agency with participative processes. In the nineties the communal energy concept of the city of Graz (KEK) and the climate protection program of the city of Vienna (KliP) had been designed and implemented in perennial processes with the broad inclusion of stakeholders.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
The Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management has been financing klima:aktiv since 2004. The initiative will be running until 2020. Yearly expenses 2004 about EUR 2 mio 2005 about EUR 4 mio 2006 about EUR 5,5 mio 2007 about EUR 8,5 mio 2008 about EUR 9 mio 2009 about EUR 7,5 mio 2010 about EUR 7 mio 2011 about EUR 7 mio 2012 about EUR 6,5 mio 2013 about EUR 6,5 mio This includes approximately100 people, which are about 50 fulltime equivalents, who are directly involved inimplementing klima:aktiv activities. Another 50 person in regional and local administrations are cooperating with klima:aktiv on a regular basis, but are not paid by klima:aktiv. On top of the financial means of the Federal Ministry klima:aktiv is based on cooperation and e.g. the 150 business partners serve as important multipliers and bring in their own resources for dissemination.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
1. The development of an interdisciplinary and inter-institutional network across the whole of Austria for climate protection: all 9 provinces cooperate, 300 business partners, 2.500 competence partners (professionals with klima:aktiv knowhow), 8.000 projects were implemented. Every citizen easily finds a partner for advice and for the implementation of his/her climate protection measures. 2. Easy access to consumer information on the most energy efficient products in the market: The website topprodukte.at lists the best devices and thus makes the purchase decision for consumers easier. 3. Empowerment of citizens: standards (e.g. klima:aktiv building standard, eco-driving trainers) and checklists for quality empower citizens to demand high quality when CO2 reduction measures such as implementing renewable energy heating systems or refurbishments are implemented. Thus the citizen can ask his plumber for quality checks when installing for example a solar thermal collector. 4. The umbrella brand and information management for comprehensive activities gives the citizens orientation in all questions of climate protection. By 2012 almost half of the Austrians knew the brand “klima:aktiv”.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The management and monitoring structure was designed to support a healthy balance between the system logic of a project and the logic of a network of co-operation. It has to meet the need of flexibility as well as the need for impact orientation and controlling. Therefore we designed perennial contracts (mostly for four years) with rolling planning. Every year a new working program has to be negotiated. As market development can be very quick, the programs have to be able adapt to the developments after consulting the strategic and operational management. A second important instrument is the continuous orientation towards the negotiated outcomes of the activities. Each program had to draw a “logic model”. It shows, how you think you can get from your activities to the eventual goals. It shows the outputs, the short-, medium- and long-term outcomes. From this you can derivate a set of indicators, which show you, whether your theoretical model works or you have to adapt the program. We check these outcomes in yearly monitoring meetings with the program managers. Thus, a quick learning process has been installed, which keeps the programs and the network focused on the outcome. On the overall level a set of key indicators has been established to monitor the development of the main impacts. The initiative was externally evaluated 2007 as well as 2012 by Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. The learnings of the evaluations have been implemented in the program.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
1. In the beginning the co-operation with the Austrian provinces was challenging, since some of them had already implemented climate protection measures and feared competitiveness from the federal level. Thus it was essential to communicate the added value of the cooperation. With the high quality and concrete common projects confidence in good cooperation has been be built over the years. 2. One success factor of a market transformation program is to build confidence of the public and the stakeholders in the brand. With a small communication budget, this was a challenging task. Therefore our strategy has been to involve business partner and stakeholders to support the brand and we had to balance the conflict between high quality image and broad acceptance. In 2012, almost half of the Austrians know the brand and the image is very positive. 3. Monitoring of such a comprehensive initiative is a challenging task. The impacts of the activities are often indirect, systemic and happen with a time lag. Political communication asks for clear and one dimensional numbers which are not sufficient to evaluate the performance of this initiative. Therefore we established a multi-dimensional indicator system as well as a qualitative monitoring system. But we also kept a rough estimation on the contribution of the program to the reduction of CO2 emissions, were it is possible and meaningful.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
The overall objective of klima:aktiv is to decrease energy consumption and to reduce GHG emissions and climate change. The initiative aims at enhancing the quality of climate-friendly technologies and services, at affecting climate-friendly behaviour and at accelerating the market introduction. klima:aktiv therefore provides catalytic impulses so that climate-friendly technologies and services shall become self-evident alternatives for companies, municipalities and for private end-users as soon as possible. By introducing quality standards, klima:aktiv increases the efficiency of the environmental support schemes of the Federal Government. klima:aktiv fostered a change in public awareness concerning climate protection and motivates stakeholders due to e.g. best practise examples in their decision making processes towards climate friendly investments. Thus the initiative contributes to the Austrian national climate and energy strategy as well as the overall national strategies on clean air, health and sustainable use of resources, moreover it stimulates green economy and activates green jobs. The main impact dimension of the benefits of klima:aktiv are listed below: A. Develop standards and ensure quality • Due to quality management in heating plants, the efficiency of new wood heating plants could be increased by 10%. Meanwhile the monitoring data base counts 1.250 projects. • Prefab house manufacturers and building property developers offer k:a houses. • klima:aktiv buildings: The klima:aktiv building standard is integrated into the subsidising programmes of the provinces. • Monitoring of heating pumps shows efficiency in real operation • 23 driving school awarded as klima:aktiv mobil driving school B. klima:aktiv professionals education and further training • 2013: trainings and further education counting 1.000 participants • Altogether more than 9.500 participants within all klima:aktiv trainings • More than 980 trainers for eco driving (passenger cars, trucks and buses) were educated • 20 klima:aktiv partner organisations implement the klima:aktiv curricula • E-Learning service for 9 different trainings areas counting 950 participants C. Consulting and support • More than 1,600 municipalities across Austria receive regular information about activities and new services related to climate protection. • 138 e5-municipalities integrate climate protection into their community policy; • More than 200 schools have launched mobility projects. • More than 4.000 companies, cities, regions and municipalities as well as institutions have started mobility management projects • Numerous projects were supported by klima:aktiv mobil with € 56 Mio. Thus inducing investments of about 412 Mio. € and creating/saving about 4.600 Green Jobs. • Energy Saving: 500 public and private companies have been given advice to choose energy efficient appliances and how to use them • 250 buildings are certified with theklima:aktiv building standard • 1.720 assessments were performed to identify potential energy savings in service and residential buildings, which initiated refurbishments D. Activate and cross-link partners • 150 commercial partners from different industries support the initiative as multipliers • Banks and Insurance companies offer klima:aktiv financial consulting and focus on klima:aktiv buildings • Electricity companies support energy saving by promoting topprodukte.at • Master builders and plumbers start together with klima:aktiv the educational offensive for energy efficiency • The federal states carry out numerous activities in the field of climate protection and are important partners for klima:aktiv. E. Information and motivation to rethink • Since 2008 the Austrian climate protection award has been very successful and awards every year the 16 best practice examples for climate protection (21 million viewers, good print media presence) • 2013 more than 1 million hits on the www.klimaaktiv.at • Since 2005 over 2.900.000 users have skimmed topprodukte.at to search for energy saving appliances • In 2013 about 2.100 Austrians participated at seminars and workshops for refurbishment and heating exchange. • Presentation at several fairs (‚Energiesparmesse’, ‚Bauen & Energie Wien’, smaller fairs) • Information campaign called “Austria saves Energy”: 2,8 million Austrians were addressed through broadcast “Ö3”; more than 30 business partners cooperated and thus guaranteed a large coverage.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
The topic of climate change is nowadays more important than ever. There is a general public interest and need for information about what can be done in every concrete context. klima:aktiv follows the idea of market transformation to achieve a long lasting effect. To be successful and have a sustainable stimulus for market transformation there is a need to build robust networks. To ensure the success of this network, management standards will safeguard that the network will keep the right direction by absorbing negative impacts of potential interventions as well as an implemented thorough monitoring system. The applied monitoring system allows receiving feedback about the quality of implemented processes and standards as well as of the status quo of the programs in a periodic way. Two examples of successful market transformation that are very likely to have long-lasting and far-ranging consequences and results: 1. klima:aktiv established a nationwide quality standard on energy-efficient buildings, which serves as an orientation for all stakeholders to assess their projects and provides a basis for training. Architects, planners and builders receive education and further training on these standards, so they will be able to apply them in future projects. Ideally they will internalize those standards in the near future. 2. Thanks to the ecodriving initiative (one target-oriented consulting programme of klima:aktiv) eco-driving is part of the Austrian driver license test. Since 2008 it is a fixed element of the “feedback drive”, Austrian driver learners have to successfully complete within an obligatory multiphase education. Each year about 90.000 driver learners receive training in eco driving which result in 17.000 tons of CO2 saved each year. Being anchored in the driver licence test, the foundation stone is laid for a long life eco driving style that considerably contributes to climate protection and pollution reduction. This participative and cooperative approach has been replicated in some of the Austrian provinces and is well transferable to other countries with similar market conditions.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
Facilitating change is the main mission of klima:aktiv, an innovative governance instrument in the light of a very complex and intensive change process in the society. The role of a facilitator often is in conflict with the traditional role of regulating administration and with the “man of action” role of politicians. But if you want to stimulate change for complex problems without waiting for the big crisis, this instrument can be very helpful. It is a means to get the support, the know-how, the resources, the dedication of a large variety of actors and institutions, which actively will be part of the change. If we could plan klima:aktiv again from scratch, this would – form our experience - be the factors, that would probably make the adventure of change even more successful: A. Umbrella brand All activities are gathered under klima:aktiv. This is an enormous added value in comparison to a many stand-alone programs. It is also a prerequisite for the attraction of business partners. B. Integration with the other instruments The impact of the program can be increased enormously, when it is well embedded into the existing energy- and climate policy strategy e.g. funding strategy. If so, the different instruments can easily support each other and the program gets the clear goal and vision from the climate and energy strategy. C. Management structure The management and monitoring structure should support a healthy balance between the system logic of a project and the logic of a network of co-operations. It has to meet the need of flexibility as well as the need for outcome orientation. The monitoring process has to support the learning process of the program. Thus you need to have an idea of the inner logic of the program and derive short-term outcomes which you can monitor. So, you can see also in short term, whether the programs are operating as planned and you get the focus from the activities and outputs more towards the outcomes. D. Communication Architecture • Start with a well-designed communication process • Trust in self organization and participation • Be prepared to change on-going communication processes • Define a clear set of standards for co-operation, quality and corporate design • Strategic Partner Management Business partner are a core asset of such a program. Besides the communication and the standards for partnership, the strategy is important from the beginning. If you have a strategy and the tools and standards are in place, it is possible to acquire business partner on a high level, i.e. by the minister himself. Thus, whole branches can be interested and you can combine this instrument with voluntary agreements. E. The vision it is favourable to put the new chances and benefits in the centre of the communication. To demonstrate what is feasible already today, it is important to give concrete examples in form of best practise condense these examples into a vision for a more sustainable society.

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Austrian Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management
Institution Type:   Government Department  
Contact Person:   Katharina Kowalski
Title:   administrator  
Telephone/ Fax:   +43 (0)1-51522-1330
Institution's / Project's Website:  
E-mail:   katharina.kowalski@lebensministerium.at  
Address:   Stubenbastei 5
Postal Code:   1010
City:   Vienna
State/Province:   Vienna

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