Principles and objectives
Why is environmental protection important?
The ecological impact of a company like the OeNB whose employees are mainly office workers would appear to be limited. However, taken together, the activities of the OeNB's 900-plus employees generate a considerable environmental impact.
Therefore, the protection of the environment is a major concern for us, and we were keen to adopt a pioneering role and act as a role model for other similar organizations. Considering the strong presence and public awareness of the OeNB, our engagement for the environment sets an example and an incentive for suppliers and business partners alike.
The OeNB's participation in EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) sends a further signal of the great importance attached to environmental protection. Each environmental measure adopted entails a reduction in carbon emissions, thus serving to slow down or prevent climate change, protect people from environmental, health and other hazards and preserve the earth for future generations.
One of the most significant environmental aspects is energy use – the energy we require to run our operations and the energy that staff consumes as a result of business travel and commuting. The electrical power, heat and fuel we use produces emissions in the air, contributing to the greenhouse effect and summer smog.
Therefore, energy management has been rated as one of the two processes with the greatest environmental impact.
Procurement is the second major source of environmental impact. By choosing ecological products across the board, from office supplies to construction material, we can help minimize the associated environmental impact.
All the other activities have been rated on the basis of these processes. In addition, we identified the direct and indirect environmental aspects of the OeNB operations (resource use, energy consumption, waste generation, emissions, noise pollution) and assigned the potential for ecological improvement to each category.
The assessment was made against the following criteria:
- amount of and hazard involved in the materials used, energy consumed, waste and emissions produced;
- amount of and hazard involved in the waste and emissions produced at the earlier production stages and the later waste elimination stages, and
- ecological impact of materials and chemicals.
In addition to the impact of normal operations, we also assess the risk of unplanned events occurring during operation of a facility that could result in unknown liabilities (e.g. unforeseen events, technical failures). This assessment is updated every year. Any aspects that have a major environmental impact are governed by special procedures and reflected adequately in the OeNB’s environmental protection objectives.