From the VERBUND’s perspective, it is completely beyond comprehension that an organisation dedicated to environmental protection, such as the WWF, in view of the obvious world wide attempt to reduce CO2 emissions, would not rank electricity production from water power plants as sustainable. It is a fact that, without VERBUND’s water power production, Austria’s CO2 balance sheet would look worse by more than 20 million tonnes of CO2 per annum.
With its negative philosophy towards large water power, the WWF stands in clear contrast to the EU, which ranks power production from water power plants, no matter what the size, as renewable and thus sustainable energy. With its poor ranking of the VERBUND, however, the WWF also stands in contradiction to greatly renowned sustainability-ranking institutions, all of whom rank VERBUND as being one of the most environmentally friendly power suppliers. The most recent example of that is an internationally conducted survey by gekom research AG, which ranks VERBUND in second place of altogether 37 tested power suppliers. Furthermore, VERBUND also ranks top in a European comparison conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers of CO2 emissions in the power production of 2002, the only companies to rank higher than VERBUND itself in having slightly less CO2 emissions consisting of EdF and British Energy, both of whom are nuclear power suppliers.
“In any case, it won’t be a positive contribution to the reaching of the Kyoto goals if, as is the case with the WWF, you are both against nuclear energy and, at the same time, against the environmentally friendly and CO2-preventing large-scale water power,” is the opinion of VERBUND Managing Director/ CEO Hans Haider. “This type of fundamental refusal strategy of large water power - no matter how environmentally compatible it may be - is not going to be able to be successful in controlling the world wide CO2 problem.”