Wienerberger on the home stretch of its Sustainability Roadmap 2020
- Innovative products and system solutions accounted for over 30% of total revenues in 2019
- Target for use of secondary raw material in plastic pipe production achieved earlier than planned
- Uniform, group-wide “Supplier Code of Conduct” and other sustainable sourcing instruments implemented in 2019
- Decarbonization, circular economy and biodiversity at the focus of the new Sustainability Strategy 2020+
The Wienerberger Group continued to consistently implement its sustainability strategy throughout 2019 and is on the home stretch of its Sustainability Roadmap 2020. 2019 was marked by significant progress achieved in terms of innovation, protection of the environment, and supplier management.
Ambitious targets along our Roadmap were reached and even surpassed in certain areas. We have identified further potential for improvement, which we intend to leverage in the course of our new sustainability program 2020+.
Progress in 2019
In 2019, as in previous years, innovation was the decisive success factor for the company’s further development. Innovative products and system solutions accounted for more than one third of Wienerberger’s total revenues.
Our focus on innovation has enabled us, again and again, not only to overcome crises, but to emerge even stronger from them. This is also true of the current Covid-19 pandemic, which we are coping with thanks to our investments in digitalization.
In the environmental domain, the Wienerberger Building Solutions Business Unit succeeded in further reducing its specific energy consumption and its CO2 emissions. In the field of plastic pipe production, the Wienerberger Piping Solutions Business Unit focused increasingly on the use of secondary raw materials. The target originally set for 2020, i.e. to increase the amount of secondary raw material to 85 kg per ton of products produced, was already achieved in 2019. Wienerberger therefore stepped up its target for 2020 to 90 kg per ton.
Wienerberger also expects its suppliers to be aware of their responsibility for people and the environment. The implementation of a uniform, group-wide “Supplier Code of Conduct” therefore represents a major step forward along our Sustainability Roadmap 2020. In order to ensure compliance with minimum standards of supplier management, Wienerberger has its suppliers rated by a specialized sustainability rating agency. Moreover, suppliers are checked monthly against international sanctions lists. This year, Wienerberger will start conducting its own supplier audits.
As regards occupational health and safety, Wienerberger was able to reduce its accident frequency rate by almost 80% over the past ten years through extensive investments, even though a slight increase in accident frequency was recorded in 2019.
We are consistently pursuing our zero-accident target.
Sustainability targets 2020+
In its new sustainability program 2020+, which will enter into force at the beginning of 2021, Wienerberger will focus on three environmental core topics: decarbonization, circular economy, and biodiversity. With its products and system solutions, Wienerberger is determined to make a positive contribution to decarbonization of buildings and infrastructure throughout their entire life cycle. This goal is to be achieved through new production technologies, on the one hand, and through innovations, such as energy-efficient bricks which save more greenhouse gases during their useful life than are emitted during production, on the other hand. Moreover, Wienerberger will promote circularity across the Group, the objective being that all products and systems produced by Wienerberger are fully recyclable or even re-usable. As regards biodiversity, Wienerberger will go one step further and take even more proactive measures to preserve biodiversity and to protect and restore ecosystems.
In our sustainability program 2020+, we firmly commit ourselves to contributing to the European Green Deal. We fully support the European Green Deal, as it demands and promotes what we have been working on for years in our core business: innovative, resource-efficient and intelligent products and system solutions for the construction sector.
Wienerberger’s 2019 Sustainability Update, published today under the title „WOW“, offers a comprehensive description of the sustainability strategy, the progress achieved, and the potential for improvement identified. It can be ordered here.