Solving ecological, social and economic challenges is at the core of corporate activity. Corporate action promotes innovation and sustainable development.
We live sustainability: our code of conduct for sustainable business
As a leading company for the energy transition, we mainly work on shaping a sustainable energy future. In doing so, we want to adopt a pioneering role by ensuring that sustainability goes hand in hand with behaving responsibly towards society, the environment and the economy.
The code of conduct for sustainable business describes our social, ecological and economic responsibility, which we also expect of our business partners and suppliers. It is a guide and aid to meeting our statutory, contractual, ethical and voluntary requirements to the highest degree possible. The code of conduct applies to all company activities and supports our management staff and employees in their decisions and actions in everyday business life.
The code covers five areas: corporate governance with integrity, protecting the climate and environment, working method, economic responsibility, and social engagement. It is up to us to put in maximum effort every day to the best of our ability. Together, we’re leading VERBUND to a sustainable future.
VERBUND has been practising the concept of sustainability for many years already. As a leading company of the energy transition, we want to adopt a pioneering role by ensuring that behaving responsibly towards society, the environment and the economy go hand in hand.
For more information on the topic of responsibility, see: https://www.verbund.com/en-at/about-verbund/responsibility
Our contribution to the SDGs
Since 2019, VERBUND has supported the UN Global Compact – the world's largest sustainability initiative of the United Nations for companies. VERBUND is committed to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the ten universal principles in the areas of work, human rights, environment and anti-corruption.
Through the three strategic directions of our Mission V, we focus our commitment on all those SDGs that can be significantly influenced by our corporate activity and with which we can make an important contribution for society.
Our commitment to climate and environment
- Climate-friendly generation of electricity from hydropower, wind power and solar power that is free of direct CO2 emissions.
- Guaranteeing the security of supply by providing flexibility products and by expanding and maintaining the grid infrastructure (APG, GCA).
- Investments in the grid infrastructure and in the construction, expansion and maintenance of power plants.
- Cooperating on innovative technologies and sustainable business models with research institutions, companies and start-ups.
- E-mobility projects for promoting the electrification of the transport sector.
- Establishment as a European green hydrogen player.
- Exit from the use of lignite (2006), oil (2015) and coal (2020) as fuels.
- Elimination of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and dust emissions by exiting from coal-fired power plants.
- VERBUND-specific direct greenhouse gas emissions in 2022 (Scope 1) 17 g CO2e per kWh of the entire electricity generation (well below the European mix according to the IEA of 243 g CO2e/kWh).
- Reduction target for Scope 1 emissions of 16% by 2030.
- Reduction target for Scope 3 emissions from sales to end customers of 5% by 2030.
- Contributions to the conservation and promotion of biodiversity.
- Investment volume of around €400 million until 2027 for the implementation of ecological measures (e.g. fish passes and land restoration).
- Sustainable route management for the Austrian transmission network.
- ISO 14001 certification at existing locations and addition of new locations.
Commitment to social issues
- The VERBUND Electricity Relief Fund in collaboration with Caritas supports low-income households to reduce the energy costs.
- The VERBUND Diakonie Empowerment Fund supports people with disabilities in living a self-determined life.
- Promoting the health of all employees through a comprehensive Occupational Health Management system and a good work-life balance.
- Strengthening employees' general awareness of health through fitness offerings and webinars.
- Attractive and secure jobs – labour turnover rate < 5%.
- Reduction in the frequency of occupational accidents with lost time – LTIF (Lost Time Injury Frequency) ≤ 5% by 2025.
- Intensive personnel development – 38.5 training hours per employee per year.
- Excellent apprentice programme – around 35 new apprentices per year.
- Potential strengths programme for employees supports their individual development.
- A balanced relationship between the genders and the promotion of equal opportunities – e.g. through the project "VERBUND Gender Balance".
- Inclusion of people with disabilities through numerous measures – e.g. information campaign, presentation series, participation in the myAbility talent programme.
- Promoting women in the company – with the increase in the proportion of women across the group to ≥ 20% in 2022, the originally specified target (2025) was achieved three years ahead of schedule.
- VERBUND scholarship for women – promotes highly qualified women at TU Wien.
Fair operating and business practices
- Preserving human rights and human dignity – open rejection of child labour and forced labour.
- Sustainable securing of the core business and use of new business opportunities – retention/creation of qualified and high-quality jobs.
- Investments amounting to € 4.6bn for the period 2023 to 2025 – e.g. for the expansion of the Austrian high-voltage grid, for premises maintenance, efficiency increases and new builds in the hydropower segment as well as for projects in the field of New Renewables (wind and photovoltaics).
- Continuous reduction of sustainability risks in the supply chain (labour conditions, environment, corruption, human rights).
- We require our suppliers to conduct themselves responsibly and ethically by means of our Supplier Code of Conduct and in supplier talks.
- Provision of innovative and sustainable energy solutions for our B2B and B2C customers – e.g. PV facilities, battery storage solutions, electromobility.
- Our Code of Conduct for Sustainable Corporate Management describes our social, environmental and economic responsibility, which we also expect of our business partners and suppliers.
- As a listed company, we are committed to the Austrian Corporate Governance Code (ÖCGK).
- Zero tolerance policy towards unfair business practices and strict rejection of all forms of corruption and bribery.
- We put measures in place to prevent money laundering and want to stop any appearance of unlawful or unethical conduct.
- Multi-stakeholder partnership for mobilisation, for exchange and for achieving the targets for sustainable development.
- Strategic engagement in innovative technologies and business models for decarbonisation by cooperating with research institutes, companies and start-ups.
- In carrying out all activities, VERBUND complies with national, European and international laws and the provisions of good governance.
Our Sustainability Ratings
We evaluate our sustainability measures on a regular basis and publish the results, which are reviewed by experts, annually. We are especially proud of the following ratings:
|Sustainalytics||19.0 / 100 points / “Low Risk”|
|ISS-ESG||„B+“ Rating / Top 3|
|MSCI ESG Ratings||“AAA” rating|
|CDP Score – Climate Change||“B“ rating|
|Ecovadis Sustainability Rating||Gold / 75 out of 100 points / among Top 2 %|
VERBUND is a member of the following sustainability indices:
- VÖNIX (VBV Austrian Sustainability Index)
- Ethibel Sustainability Index (ESI) Excellence Europe
- FTSE4Good Index Series
- S&P Global 1200 ESG Index