voestalpine adopted a Corporate Responsibility Strategy (CRS) in 2018 in order to consciously and consistently underscore the significance of sustainability to all its decisions and actions. Its Corporate Development unit has further refined the CRS in cooperation with the divisions’ strategy units as well as the relevant specialist departments. In 2021, the revised version of the CRS was adopted as the Group’s Sustainability Strategy in close coordination with both the Management Board and the Supervisory Board of voestalpine AG. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provided the basic framework for the development of the Strategy.
As an integrative component of the Group’s corporate strategy, sustainability as a concept is operationalized via individual strategies at the level of divisions, business segments, and functions. This takes the topic’s growing significance to both internal and external stakeholders into account. The Sustainability Strategy is conceived as a wholly integrated roadmap based on a best-in-class approach.
By laying out its Sustainability Strategy, voestalpine also signaled that sustainability as an issue is becoming increasingly important to financial and capital markets alike. The ongoing development of the legal framework was considered as much as changing market and competitive factors. Strategic principles and objectives were fleshed out at the Group level for every sphere of action.
The Strategy is designed to be comprehensive and thus encompasses three pillars: the Economy, the Environment, and Society. It is designed to be put into practice in voestalpine’s processes and business activities as well as organizationally. Stakeholder management serves to ensure that the Sustainability Strategy and its progress are communicated both internally and externally.
The following figure presents the Strategy’s core elements and its integration into the Group’s corporate strategy.
Profitability and shareholder value are key to the long-term performance of a listed entity such as voestalpine. But the Sustainability Strategy makes clear that two of the pillars—environment and society—must also be given very high priority in terms of risk management, resilience, and future viability and managed accordingly.
As far as the processes are concerned, the focus is on the contributions that both the internal processes and the supply chain make to the achievement of the SDGs and the company’s sustainability targets. Sustainable business activity focuses on developing innovative products for and with customers and on pursuing circularity. The safety and health of our employees, their training and continuing professional development as well as a respectful corporate culture are material elements of sustainable organizations.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened our awareness of the fact that global crises require determined action. This also applies to the climate crisis and other environmental, social, or economic force fields. voestalpine’s new Sustainability Strategy prescribes which spheres of action are decisive to the company’s sustainable performance.