Environmental management

The OeNB is aware of its responsibility for the environment and our society. Since 1998, we have practiced certified environmental management in accordance with the EU EMAS Regulation.

This commitment is enshrined in our environmental policy.

Environmental policy of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB)

For many years, the OeNB has been one of the pioneers among Austrian companies in the field of environmental protection, and we seek to keep improving our environmental performance. Apart from meeting the environmental standards required by law, we comply with the principles of the EMAS Regulation.

  • Responsible resource consumption
    We endeavor to minimize negative impacts on the environment by preventing unnecessary energy and resource use while observing business management principles. It is our ambition to avoid unnecessary resource and energy consumption.
  • Green procurement
    We observe ecological criteria for purchases of products and services, especially in tenders. Moreover, the OeNB ensures that selected products are made of environmentally sustainable materials and that their life cycle is environmentally sustainable.
  • Promotion of staff eco-consciousness
    We promote environmental thinking and action throughout the OeNB by informing staff and raising environmental awareness.
  • Research and development
    We implement environmental protection schemes in cooperation with the civil society. In addition, we provide impulses beyond the scope of the OeNB and work towards a livable environment, e.g. by undertaking research projects in the field.
  • Information policy
    We pursue an open, responsible policy in providing the public with information.
  • Climate protection
    We acknowledge the risks involved in climate change as a key challenge of our times. Therefore we strive to make the OeNB’s activities fully carbon neutral and implement our own projects with the goal of climate neutrality in 2040. Minimizing the greenhouse gases caused by the OeNB takes precedence over compensation.

Why is environmental protection important?

The ecological impact of a company like the OeNB matters: Energy required for heating or lighting, office supplies, business travel – these are just some examples of how the OeNB’s 1,100-plus employees affect the environment. Taken together, they generate a considerable environmental impact. By participating in EMAS and constantly improving our environmental track record, we have been able to effectively contribute to environmental and climate protection and seek to continue doing so in the future. As our actions are very visible to the public, our dedication to the environment is setting an example that is motivating to business partners and customers alike.

The OeNB has practiced environmental management under the EU’s Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) for more than 25 years, thus demonstrating its continued commitment to protecting the environment. In this context, key priorities include using resources sustainably, protecting biodiversity and, above all, promoting climate protection. To address climate change, we need to reduce our carbon emissions (e.g. carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O)) as well as fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases). Protecting the earth’s biosphere, and thus human livelihoods, is essential: We want to play our part in preserving our planet for future generations.

Environmental impact assessment
At the OeNB, one of the most significant aspects of our environmental footprint is the energy we use to run our operations and the energy that staff consumes as a result of business travel and commuting. The energy we use, in the form of electrical power, heat and fuel, produces emissions which may contribute to the greenhouse effect and air pollution, such as high levels of fine dust pollution or summer smog. That is why we consider our energy management processes to have the greatest environmental impact.

Procurement can also potentially have major environmental impact. We can help minimize this impact by carefully choosing the products we use, for example office supplies, the small fleet of vehicles we built up over the years and construction materials we need for refurbishments and adaptations.

In addition, we regularly identify the direct and indirect environmental aspects of OeNB operations (e.g. resource use, energy consumption, waste generation, emissions) and determine the potential for ecological improvement for each category.

Assessment criteria
Assessments are 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 impact of risk scenarios (e.g. disruptions, blackouts). In refining the OeNB’s environmental protection goals and measures, we factor in significant environmental aspects.

Awards and certifications

The OeNB regularly received awards and certifications acknowledging its commitment to environmental protection. The most important awards and certifications include:

EMAS-certified environmental management since 1999

2022: Environmental management recertification under EMAS
2020: “EMAS Pioneer” certificate awarded by the Ministry for Climate Action
2002: first EMAS certification at the Vienna site
1999: EMAS certification for banknote printing (for today’s OeBS)

For further information on EMAS, visit the website of the Environment Agency Austria.

ISO-certified energy management since 2014

2023: the OeNB is re-awarded the certificates for energy management (ISO 50001) as well as environmental management (ISO 14001) and quality management (ISO 9001) for the Printing Office
2014: the OeNB is awarded the energy management certificate (ISO 50001) for the first time

Austrian Ecolabel for environmentally friendly printing products since 2010

2023: recertification under the EU Ecolabel and the Austrian Ecolabel for environmentally friendly printing products
2010: the OeNB is awarded the Austrian Ecolabel for environmentally friendly printing products for the first time

For further information on the Austrian Ecolabel for environmentally friendly printing products, see the website.

2014: the OeNB Printing Office is awarded the EU Ecolabel for the first time

2012: the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Regions and Water Management honors Martin Much and Hans Jachs as “EMAS environmental managers”

2003: the City of Vienna honors the OeNB with the ÖkoBusinessPlan award

2002: the City of Vienna honors the OeNB with the “waste manager” award for its efforts to recycle banknote waste for use as insulation