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The wienerberger Sustainability Program 2026

The wienerberger Sustainability Program 2023-2026 is an essential step on the path towards achieving climate neutrality in 2050 and aligning with the sustainability targets of the European Green Deal. We have been at the forefront of adopting reporting standards, providing high levels of transparency on our impact on the planet and people and our improvement in this matter.

sustainable city, rendering, AI

“Sustainability has always been an integral part of wienerberger’s corporate strategy. With our sustainable solutions for housing construction, energy-efficient renovation, and water management we are not only continuously improving people’s quality of life but are also proactively part of the solution ourselves when it comes to tackling climate change and its effects. By meeting our ambitious short-, medium-, and long-term sustainability targets, we will give future generations the same opportunities we have today. Our measures aimed at decarbonization, the preservation of biodiversity, a circular economy, as well as water and waste management are our contribution to a sustainable future. We are convinced that, following on our 2023 ESG targets, there is much more we can achieve with additional know-how and further investments, precisely with intensified efforts such as those outlined in the 2026 Sustainability Program.“

Heimo Scheuch,
Chairman of the Managing Board of Wienerberger AG, CEO 

The new three-year wienerberger Sustainability Program is an extension of the current Sustainability Program 2023 and covers the calendar years 2024, 2025 and 2026. The new program extends the environmental and social topics, leveraging our sustainability targets to organic growth, both within our internal processes as well as assisting society with building products supporting energy efficiency and climate resilience. It provides the right strategic and operational focus for the sustainable development of our business, complemented by the areas of:

  • Revenue from building products contributing to net zero buildings
  • Water management
  • Waste management
  • Diversity and Inclusion

2026 Environmental Targets

wienberger’s long-term goal is to implement the European Green Deal: By 2050 at the latest, we want to be climate neutral. To this end, we are pursuing a clear strategy set out in our Sustainability Program. We are committed to enhancing energy efficiency in production and transport. In the interest of our customers, we have developed an innovative and sustainable portfolio and are employing new, future-oriented technologies.

25% reduction CO2 emissions scope 1 & 2 (2020 - 2026)

The reduction target of 25% in scope 1 (direct CO2 emissions from primary energy sources and from raw materials) & 2 (indirect CO2 emissions from wienerberger's electricity consumption; emissions from electricity generation) emissions by 2026 compared to the base year 2020 is a solid basis for achieving our vision to be climate neutral in 2050.

We will lower our own CO2 footprint by more energy efficient processes, increased share of green energy and the use of secondary raw materials in our production. Investments in innovative electrical kilns, better suited for green energy, and efficient digital printing are examples of the measures we will undertake. Furthermore, we will develop and introduce innovative products such as brick-slips, catering for lower impact at our end, in transport, for the construction site and for the end user, as they need less space and allow more room for insulation.

10% reduction CO2 emissions scope 3 (2022 - 2026)

The scope 3 (emissions that are not produced by the company itself and are not the result of activities from assets owned or controlled by them, but by those that it's indirectly responsible for) reporting focuses on the three highly material categories for wienerberger, namely the emissions from purchased goods and services, energy related emissions and the transport from our production to the customers. The reduction is to be realized by focusing on suppliers with lower emissions on raw materials. wienerberger’s transport efficiency per ton delivered shall improve by using vehicles with lower emissions. Our energy related emissions are to be decreased by improved efficiency in the plants and producing our own renewable electricity.

15% of renewable energy used in own production (2023 - 2026)

The long-term development is strongly correlated with the usage of renewable energy resources. In the short-term, maximizing the sourcing of green electricity and using biogas in regions where this is available shall increase the usage of renewable energy in our own production. The centrally organized energy procurement and engineering organization supports and ensures the efficient transition.

Since the early days in the history of wienerberger, it has always been our ambition to improve people’s quality of life and set new standards for the construction industry. To this end, we develop climate-neutral and circularity-oriented solutions for the future and contribute to the preservation of the planet for all people.

>80% of sales from highly durable products (>100 years)

The main goal in a circular economy is to minimize the extraction of raw materials and the generation of waste by promoting the reuse, repair, and recycling of products and materials. Durability plays a pivotal role in shifting from the traditional linear economy, where products are disposed of after a short lifespan, to a more sustainable circular economy that prioritizes resource efficiency, waste reduction, and environmental protection. Furthermore, durability is a leading circular principle as it directly addresses the issue of resource consumption and waste generation. wienerberger has highly durable products, lasting for over 100 years. 

>90% of products sold are recyclable and/or reusable (2023 - 2026)

In our previous Sustainability Program 2020-2023 we focused on introducing products which are reusable and recyclable. Building on this achievement we are now able to report on the total sales of reusable and recyclable products within the new program. It is vital that we focus on developing innovative reusable products like roof tiles and click-bricks to ensure our sustainable growth.

Over the past 40 years, the world has seen an unprecedented loss of biodiversity. As a leading international provider of building material and infrastructure solution, we feel duty-bound not only to supply sustainable products, but also to do our utmost to protect the environment and generate sustainable growth.

10% improvement of fauna, resulting from the implemented biodiversity plans, for all production plants (2023 - 2026)

wienerberger shall have at the end of 2023 an implemented biodiversity action plan for all its production plants. They are documented within a geographic information system with digitally flagged potential biodiversity measures. By implementing these measures, we strive for an increase in the flora and fauna. Our biodiversity team will collect and analyze the data and will also support the biodiversity community to learn and to improve the results.

400 biodiversity ambassadors trained (2020 - 2026)

We have targeted 400 ambassadors who shall be trained until 2026. Biodiversity ambassadors can measure fauna species such as birds, bees, and butterflies, which are indicators of a good biodiversity, urban habitat and can have a positive effect on the production site and its surroundings.

100,000 trees planted, equaling to one tree per employee each year (2022 - 2026)

wienerberger is a supporter of the Global Biodiversity Framework and promotes the global goal for Nature to be net nature positive by 2030. Therefore, wienerberger is on a journey towards becoming nature positive. Planting trees supports a powerful nature positive strategy because of the benefits for ecosystems services that trees provide. Trees provide habitats for biodiversity, they sequester carbon, restore degraded soil, conserve water resources, and enhance the well-being of communities.

Driven by the consequences of the climate crisis the key to the energy transition is sustainable energy management. In addition to circular economy, this also requires more energy efficiency in production and transport as well as an innovative and sustainable portfolio, particularly in the renovation sector, hence the main lever for energy management is the building sector.

75% of total revenue coming from building products contributing to net zero buildings

Existing buildings are responsible for approximately 39% of global energy and process-related CO2 emissions. This includes emissions from the operation and maintenance of buildings, which covers some 28%, as well as the energy for materials and construction which covers the remaining 11%. Hence, due to the big impact of the building sector on global emissions, the European commission is focusing on regulations to move from nearly zero energy buildings to net zero-emission buildings by 2030. wienerberger’s innovative systems and technologies for the building sector have an essential role in designing, constructing, and operating net zero buildings. Driving development, growth and availability of these products will be essential for the buildings sector and Europe’s ambition to become CO2 neutral by 2050. The target captures those product categories which support energy efficient buildings, such as: systems for roofs, outer walls including façades, heating, cooling and solar power generation.

Targeting 75% of total revenue coming from building products contributing to net zero buildings in renovation and new build will provide the biggest impact wienerberger can have on the worldwide reduction of CO2 emissions.

In times of climate change, weather extremes like dry periods, floods and heat waves are increasing around the world. At the same time, resources like water and energy are tightening and more and more natural land is being sealed with impermeable surfaces, which on the one hand prevents the natural infiltration of rainwater and thus has a negative impact on water supply and on the other hand leads to flooding, is increasing. All these developments call for urgent action to effectively counter the effects of climate change, such as drought and flooding, and to sustainably use valuable resources and protect the environment.

35 million m3 of water harvested, retained, and saved through our products in infrastructure and agriculture cumulatively reported in this three-year period (2023 - 2026)

In water management the European policies urge companies to preserve and restore water. Due to climate change, longer periods of draught cause heat stress in cities and lower the output of our agricultural sectors.  Wienerberger will increasingly  provide solutions for harvesting, reusing, and saving water in vast and increasing numbers.

The innovative solutions provided in water management ensure harvesting of water for ground water retention or it can be reused for various applications. By new smart technologies and innovative products, the water consumption in water intense applications like agriculture can be lowered. Increased sales in this application and innovations leads to increase in the performance and m3 saved and will result in impressive 35 million m3 of water harvested, retained, and saved through our products.

15% reduction of water consumption in own production (2023 - 2026)

Our second ambitious target under water management is to reduce 15% of our water consumption in own production. The implementation of the target allows wienerberger to showcase a broad range of water management solutions we are developing such as the Linz Austria pilot plant. In this location rainwater is filtered and used for green façades.

At wienerberger, we do everything we can to make efficient use of valuable energy and limited raw materials, for example by reducing the volume of waste through the integration of recycled materials and designing a circular building solution for the future. Because less waste is good for the environment, protects people and saves resources.

15% reduction of waste on production sites (2023 - 2026)

wienerberger is reporting already three categories of waste. The typical production waste in ceramic and plastic materials is already re-used. Therefore, we have set a new reduction target which focuses also on generic categories of waste. Our best practice plants will serve as an example for target realization.

2026 Social Targets

At wienerberger we put people first: We remain humble & embrace differences, we lead by example and act as advocates for diversity & inclusion and we offer our employees a safe, attractive working environment with development opportunities. But our commitment extends far beyond our colleagues at work. Because our solutions are developed by people, for people, we act in the interests of our customers, our partners, our staff and society as a whole.

Development and implementation of inclusion and diversity action plan in all countries (2023 - 2026). Every action plan will include an equal pay and equal opportunity policy

The objective of realizing an inclusion and diversity action for all countries where wienerberger is active, is a large extension on 2023 target on gender diversity. Gender diversity remains an important element of reporting. We aim to achieve this target using a three-year implementation plan. The inclusion and diversity plans are a structure which will be implemented per country recognizing differences in culture and beliefs. By doing so the transition to increase diversity, equality and inclusion will be better embedded. 

20,000 visible leadership hours

As a new social goal within the Sustainability Program 2026, wienerberger continues its focus on personal health and safety, further striving towards the principle of zero harm. This emphasis will be supported by a stronger involvement of management in meetings on safety issues, aiming at 20,000 visible leadership hours.

18 hours of training per employee and year

Since wienerberger understands the value of employees’ professional advancement for the companies’ continued success, all employees will receive 18 hours of training per person and year. In addition, an accumulated 30,000 hours of training for installers will be provided as the lack of skilled persons on building sites is a major bottleneck for the current building industry. To support young talents especially, 500 apprentices will be trained until 2026.

200 housing units for people in need built per year

wienerberger has established a long-lasting and trustful cooperation with Habitat for Humanity International. With this cooperation, we achieve a significant amount of housing units built for people in need per year in Europe and North America, supporting our target of building 200 housing units with our products for people in need in our local markets every year.

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