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Best Practice: Environment


Repair and Service Centre ยท Austria

The Repair Company that Made Sustainability a Priority

Since its foundation in 1998, the Repair and Service Centre R.U.S.Z. has been a future-oriented and sustainable enterprise. It combines labour market policy requirements with ecological necessities. R.U.S.Z repairs 12,000 electrical appliances annually, thus saving about 80 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Ecological and social at the same time
Sepp Eisenriegler, founder of R.U.S.Z., is convinced that ecological and social benefits can be derived from his project: “The increasing destruction of resources through the production of ever shorter-lived electrical appliances is ethically unacceptable as it reduces the availability of resources for future generations and heats up the climate.” More than 90% of the permanent employees were selected from among the long-term unemployed. After they were hired, they received adequate training to become high-level technicians, who ensure accurate servicing of electronic equipment, guaranteeing the extension of its useful life. The company is also committed to training refugees to provide them with new opportunities.

The repair and service centre R.U.S.Z. is a social enterprise that, in addition to its day-to-day business as a provider of repair services, serves as a centre for sustainability and consumer protection. R.U.S.Z. has reinvented the reputable repair service and, due to years of lobbying activities in EU institutions, is the best-known independent repair company in the EU. R.U.S.Z. also operates Austria’s largest re-use centre for household appliances.

Circular economy as the supreme discipline
In line with its guiding principle “Repair is the supreme discipline of the circular economy!”, the company has been a circular economy best practice for 24 years and has made significant contributions to the UN sustainable development goals (SDGs). Thanks to its commitment, R.U.S.Z. was chosen as a UN SDG Good Practice in 2021 and is the only Austrian company to have received this honour so far. What was striking was the company’s internationally replicable multi-stakeholder approach. After the start-up work, R.U.S.Z. plans to expand through a social franchising system in the coming years.

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