The guidelines and goals specified and described in the following were defined for the strategic spheres of action.
Climate action and environmental protection
We continue to improve our CO2 footprint by committing to low carbon production.
We are meeting the challenge of decarbonizing the economic system in the long term especially through comprehensive research and development of new technologies, frequently via cross-sector cooperation agreements and projects. We also engage in an open and constructive dialogue with stakeholders such as political decision makers, the scientific community, technical colleges and universities as well as environmental organizations.
Process-related emissions cannot be entirely avoided because existent production processes have certain chemical and physical properties. We operate our production facilities pursuant to the principle that the best available technologies must be applied as appropriate and in economically viable fashion. We also develop new approaches that aim to both minimize environmentally relevant effects on the air, soil, and water as best as possible and optimize the use of resources. We also maintain our leading position in environmentally friendly steel production and are tapping into the additional potentials of the circular economy.
We have defined a target corridor of between 4 MWh per ton of product and 4.5 MWh per ton of product for the specific total energy consumption; the target corridor for the recycling rate is between 27% and 30%. By 2025, all relevant production facilities should have implemented a standardized environmental management system (EMS) and obtained certifications pursuant to ISO 14001 or EMAS.
We are committed to the global climate goals, we use greentec steel to pursue a clear path toward the decarbonization of steelmaking, and we possess a patent for carbon (CO2) neutral pre-material used in the production of green steel. Specifically, the patent concerns the manufacture of sponge iron (DRI or HBI) in the direct reduction process using green hydrogen and biogas. We will outlicense the patent for the carbon-neutral pre-material used in steel production and plan a know-how transfer with the licensees.
By 2050, voestalpine will be climate neutral.
By 2030, the Scope 1 CO2 emissions for steel production in Linz and Donawitz (both Austria) will be lowered by 30% in ways contingent on production to a total of 8.5 million tons.
The High Performance Metals Division has already put in place a steel production process that is based on the electric arc furnace (EAF) route. By 2030, it will have lowered its CO2 emissions (Scope 1 & Scope 2) by 50%.
By 2035, the production activities of the Metal Forming Division—the Group’s center of competence for highly refined sections, tubes, and precision strip steel products as well as for ready-to-install system components made of pressed, stamped, and roll-formed parts—will be climate neutral.
Sustainability in the supply chain
We pay attention to transparency in the supply chain and work toward ensuring responsible procurement.
When selecting our suppliers, we ensure that they comply with both environmental and social principles. We have integrated sustainable supplier management into the company’s procurement processes to maintain long-term partnerships.
voestalpine ensures that those of its employees who work in purchasing receive ongoing training through informational events such as the Purchasing Power Day as well as the three-stage Purchasing Power Academy, which the company itself developed.
The procurement process is continually optimized in order to ensure compliance. The Code of Conduct forms the basis of our actions and decisions in this respect.
Raw Materials Procurement
Applying life cycle approaches (closed loop) together with our customers guarantees us the highest efficiency in the process of recycling our raw and reusable materials.
We face the challenge of permanently optimizing our supply chains jointly with our suppliers. Regular visits to the sources of raw materials and pre-materials, especially mines and deposits, are a fixed element of this process. Together, we develop methods for designing an efficient supply chain. New suppliers are assessed in terms of corporate responsibility, quality, and performance and, depending on the outcome of the evaluation, are included in our portfolio of suppliers.
The Sustainable Supply Chain Management (SSCM) project was used to screen our raw material supply chains from the bottom up, examining key factors pertaining to Corporate Responsibility. voestalpine ensures that absolutely all of its raw materials are subjected to this process, thus minimizing risk over the long term.
The primary responsibility of raw materials procurement management is to secure the long-term, competitive supply of both raw materials and energy. A high degree of integration into upstream and downstream processes, scenario planning, and adaptive supply concepts serves to minimize potential risks.
Fully 70% of the Group’s total purchasing volume (in particular, 100% of all deliveries of critical raw materials) will be verified by 2025 as to compliance with the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria of voestalpine’s “Compliance and Corporate Responsibility Checklist” and evaluated based on a defined rule book.
Research and development
We develop innovative solutions for our customers and ensure that sustainability plays a key role in the development of both products and processes.
We continuously conduct research on innovative products and processes, and develop novel technologies, to ensure that we remain the benchmark for both resource efficiency and environmental standards.
We pursue active know-how management, both internally and externally, and consider this the key to our success in research and development. We take on the responsibility of educating and continuing to train our researchers in-house, sharing our knowledge within the Group and exploiting the synergy effects that arise from pooling our expertise.
We place great value in long-term, trusted relationships with our customers and suppliers in the field of research, too, and work closely with both universities and scientific institutions.
Major R&D projects consider sustainability criteria in the innovation process and in connection with investment decisions. We aim to ensure that absolutely all R&D projects related to the development of products and processes make a positive contribution to sustainability.
Sustainable products and services
We offer sustainable products and services to our customers. Certified life cycle assessments (LCAs) of our products help to reduce our customers’ carbon footprint.
We support holistic, comprehensive, and integrated analyses and assessments of materials (LCAs) as well as of all process and value chains within the parameters of the circular economy, also known as “circularity.”
Life cycle assessments will be carried out for all key product groups by 2025, taking all phases of the value chain into account, in order to compile a catalog of their environmental impact.
High levels of commitment and above-average employee loyalty are key pillars of our success. We bank on a corporate culture that is defined by diversity and respect and on providing solid employee training and continuing professional development to all groups of employees.
Corporate culture: We create a respectful corporate culture in which we expect and encourage trust, diversity, self-determination, and personal responsibility. voestalpine’s culture, as a symbol of our Group-wide identity, is continually being refined in this sense.
Diversity: We value the individuality of all our employees and their capabilities—irrespective of gender, age, origin, religion, sexual orientation, or potential impairment—and create the conditions for both equal opportunity and work that maintains people’s health and is appropriate to life’s different phases.
Training and continuing professional development: Targeted measures help voestalpine employees gain qualifications and thus broaden their career opportunities. We believe, furthermore, that both training young people and encouraging lifelong learning are long-term determinants of the company’s success.
Employee loyalty: To ensure long-term employee retention, we regularly evaluate the level of their commitment to the company through a worldwide employee survey. The level of commitment describes the degree of our employees’ loyalty to voestalpine. To raise this value over the long term, we develop suitable measures after analyzing the survey findings and continuously track both measure implementation and target achievement.
We create the general framework for equal opportunity and aim to raise the percentage of women in technical fields and/or among technical apprentices. We help to enhance the attractiveness of mathematics, informatics, natural sciences, and technology (MINT); in the English-speaking world, this is known as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
We provide a diverse range of offerings in connection with employee training and continuing professional development, continually increase the number of apprentices and trainees, and offer internal executive management training.
We carry out employee surveys at regular intervals. The goal is to continue strengthening employees’ commitment and deepening their loyalty to the company.
health & safety
We promote our employees’ health and continually enhance the safety of our workplaces.
Employee safety and health are key concerns at voestalpine and thus have highest priority.
We work to further reduce the frequency of accidents and to improve the health of all employees of the voestalpine Group—wherever they work, whatever their position.
We believe that Group-wide minimum safety standards are the basis of a successful corporate health & safety culture.
Zero Accidents: Fatalities and workplace accidents involving serious injuries must be prevented.
We continue to work on lowering the lost time injury frequency rate (LTIFR) and plan to achieve a 30% reduction of this rate by 2025 compared with 2020.
Compliance and corporate governance
We have implemented an efficient Compliance management system that comprises the elements of “risk analysis/prevention” and “identification/reaction,” and we satisfy all rules and regulations of the Austrian Corporate Governance Code.
Compliance: We commit to complying with all laws in all of the countries in which voestalpine operates. We believe that Compliance is the expression of a culture rooted in ethical and moral principles.
Ethical Corporate Management: In order to ensure that managing and controlling the Group responsibly serves to create sustainable shareholder value in the long term, the Group’s Management Board and Supervisory Board undertook as early as in 2003 to comply with the Austrian Corporate Governance Code.
Human Rights: We commit to upholding human rights in accordance with both the UN Charter and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and we support the UN Global Compact (UNGC).
Compliance violations must be prevented. It is our goal, therefore, to sensitize all employees and ensure that they know the Group’s policies.
We are in contact with all relevant stakeholders and engage in a responsible, solution-oriented, and transparent dialogue with them. Our stakeholder management is based on established sustainability criteria and standards.
We regularly engage with a very wide range of stakeholder groups through our Management Board as well as our executive and non-executive personnel. Numerous formats such as shop talks and expert roundtables, conferences and trade shows as well as analyst and investor meetings are used to this end. In addition, voestalpine is not only represented on a wide variety of bodies serving advocacy groups, trade associations, and lobbying campaigns, it also presents the company’s concerns to these bodies. We also support international and local platforms and initiatives that promote sustainable development.
We take our role as a responsible company seriously and support select charitable projects.
As a global Group with just under 49,000 employees, voestalpine consciously plays an active role in society at its facilities. The company’s relationships with key local stakeholders that have evolved through the years provide insight into social, cultural, and environmental issues facing the given communities. We review concrete opportunities for action in order to strengthen the social compact and enhance the wellbeing of humans and nature that are affected by our activities. This results in short to medium-term projects in sports, culture, and natural conservation. Continuity, trust, and cooperation are key to our approach.