Member of the Climate Alliance Austria
Facing climate change together
Climate change is getting serious, and so are we. European municipalities, companies and local communities are uniting as part of the Climate Alliance, in order to fight climate change. As a member of this global initiative, we are committed to defining our procedures and our goals.
We need to build communities, and act in concert across countries, continents and stakeholders. Since 2014, we have been a member of the Climate Alliance Austria where entrepreneurship and climate protection go hand in hand. Sustainability is of the utmost importance, even if this means spending money.
The Climate Alliance objective
The Climate Alliance envisions a world where climate protection is a natural course of action, where resources are equally divided, and people are social-minded and responsible towards the environment and the economy. The Climate Alliance’s consultants accompany organizations on their way. Its not just about sanctions. It is creating an awareness about this problem, and motivating people to taking action. More than 1,100 companies are now part of the Climate Alliance Austria.
We share the objectives of the Climate Alliance because we want to become the most sustainable company in our industry. Our high performance concrete FILCOTEN® HPC is one example. Other measures include cooperating with the ecological printing company gugler, taking part in an appeal to the Austrian government, meeting environmental management requirements in line with ISO 14001 and switching to 100 % green energy.
Taking a close look at the company
n the course of cooperating with the Climate Alliance Austria, the organization’s consultants visit the company grounds and discuss ways to analyze the production, the fleet, the energy supply, the motivation of employees and more with the management. After which, the company’s carbon and energy footprints are determined. This is allocated per capita, which means it also considers growth. The possibility of funding is also discussed.
Subsequently, the consultant draws up a report to show the hidden potentials for climate protection. Is it possible to switch the fleet to hybrid or electric vehicles? How can we improve the insulation of our buildings? Where can we save energy when heating? The consultant presents answers to these and other questions during a second meeting. These ideas are included in a set of measures, and divided into three practically applicable stages.
The three stages
- Which measures are free or very low-cost? Those should be worked on first. A lot can be achieved by a change an approach.
Georg Spiekermann (Klimabündnis Österreich):It starts with creating an awareness for the problem, followed by structures and responsibilities that introduce a change in behavior.
As an example, this includes simple things like: posting instructions on intensive airing, disconnecting power hogs, closing air trap doors, etc.
- Can small investments lead to more efficient energy use? Lighting is one of the most common factors in this stage, and can significantly reduce energy consumption.
- Which large investments should be made to become more sustainable? This stage includes replacing production plants, switching to different energy suppliers or building photovoltaic plants.
What has been implemented at BG-Graspointner?
By switching to FILCOTEN®, we were able to significantly reduce our CO2 output. Partly because the production of concrete produced considerably more carbon dioxide, but also because FILCOTEN® weighs significantly less, producing less CO2 during transport.
When we first became part of the Climate Alliance, cooling our server room made up three-quarters of our office building’s energy consumption. We were able to reduce the consumption to 0.7 kWh by a simple measure: dividing the server room in two with a wall. The back of the IT equipment on the one side is placed directly on the wall, emitting hot air into the other part of the room through openings. In this way, the devices stay cooler and need significantly less energy to keep their temperature down.
While the growth of our company has caused an increase in energy consumption, the CO2 equivalent of our total consumption was reduced. Additional measures included; checking and maintaining the insulation of our buildings, as well as switching to refillable printing cartridges to avoid waste.
Climate protection depends on the mindset
Climate protection cannot simply be ordered from above. Despite increasing weather extremes, the full impact is still unknown. This is nothing new to Georg Spiekermann (consultant of the Climate Alliance Austria) and Norbert Rainer (regional manager of the Climate Alliance Austria). Their organization actively contributes to reinforcing awareness for the topic in the minds of all employees.
Motivating the workforce can be in something as simple as a festive company event, with presentations announcing the agreed objectives.