Energie AG utilises open stakeholder dialogue as a valuable strategic instrument and has defined it as an essential pillar for initiatives in the field of sustainability.
Energy AG Group is maintaining extensive relations to different groups of stakeholders:
Among the Group's many stakeholders, Energie AG affords special attention to its customers and employees. The intense exchange with internal and external stakeholders is mainly used to satisfy the needs of customers in the best possible way.
The customer forum is a place where current sales projects are subjected to a critical and constructive dialogue, see Social affairs, customer focus.
Under the remit of the Group's socio-political responsibility, Energie AG is seeking to engage in direct contact with its stakeholders on regional and interregional events and at the occasion of the regional sales roadshow. These contacts serve the purpose of informing customers about practical solutions for a responsible consumption of natural energy sources.
Transparent information and communication is important to the Energie AG Group, in particular in the case of infrastructure projects that interfere with sensitive habitats and biospheres. In order to arrive at the greatest possible consensus and understanding for the measures, the affected stakeholders are already provided with information about the projects during the early planning phase and are directly involved in selected procedural steps.
A prime example of sustainable cooperation is the citizen participation model that was implemented for the waste incineration plant in Wels. The project has been running since 1991, making it the longest and most successful active model of a public participation, mediation and project environment management process.
The central element of this model is an Environmental Commission, which acts as a link between Energie AG as the operator of the waste incineration plant and the neighbouring communities. Thanks to open and honest communication that went hand in hand with assuring a proper process (compliance with emission limits, minimising noise and smell), this approach has created and sustainably fostered an atmosphere of mutual understanding and trust.
The model was extended by Energie AG's principles on democratic politics, which articulate the Group's voluntary commitment to considering the interests of stakeholders affected by construction projects and approval proceedings in particular beyond the scope prescribed by law.
The Guidelines for planning processes for new high-voltage routes developed in March 2017 serve the purpose of preventing conflicts in grid construction/extension projects, and especially with regard to the planned routes for 110-kV high voltage lines. Emulating the proven route planning process in civil engineering, these guidelines assure that the objectively best possible route is identified from a broad interdisciplinary perspective on the basis of established fundamental principles.
These guidelines were applied for the first time at the occasion of the Mühlviertel Electricity Supply project (110-kV project Rohrbach – Bad Leonfelden – Rainbach, a joint project between Netz OÖ and LINZ NETZ GmbH). The advantages and disadvantages of potential routes were discussed with all interested stakeholders. This process delivers a planning corridor in which the project operators can prepare the detail planning in close consultation and direct dialogue with the landowners.
To optimise internal processes and procedures, Energie AG Group is holding internal competitions for the best ideas that will allow the Group to harness the wealth of practical experience and creative potential of its employees (projects “Neuland”, “Loominati”). The winning projects are determined in a multi-stage selection process and implemented without any further delay. This opportunity to become directly involved in shaping the Company's fortunes affords special appreciation to the project team members, while the optimised processes benefit the Group as well as the employees and customers affected by them. Also see Economy, innovation.
Energie AG acknowledges that the Company's success depends on the commitment of its employees and therefore seeks to solidify its reputation as an attractive employer and to offer a work environment that not only offers interesting development opportunities, but also accommodates the individual needs of its employees.
Further information and initiatives pursued by Energie AG Group with the aim of satisfying the needs and giving consideration to the interests of this important group of stakeholders can be found in section Employees – responsible employer.
The foundation for the implementation of the Group's stakeholder management is the Code of Conduct of the Energie AG Group titled “This is how we think, this is how we act”. The Code defines the principles that underpin fair, transparent and sustainable business practices. Every single employee endorses and commits to these principles: responsibility, reliability, quality awareness, sustainability, transparency and integrity.
The non-financial information of Energie AG is supplemented by reports in relevant media in Upper Austria and across Austria on topics that touch on the affairs of the Group. The media landscape in the reporting period was dominated by reports on the commitment of Energie AG in connection with measures and cooperation projects related to the energy transition. The media coverage included the project “Underground Sun Storage 2030”, which examines the underground storage of renewable energies in the form of hydrogen and is supported by the Group as a partner. The media also reported on a new partnership with an energy service provider that will conduct joint projects aimed at making Wels the most climate-friendly town in Upper Austria. The town of Wels is an important waste management hub for Energy AG, with the media presenting the investment project that will bundle the relevant activities at this location. Also covered were the launch of the preliminary project for the pumped-storage power plant Ebensee, which will be used to expand the electricity storage capacities needed for the energy transition. Media and television reports also covered social initiatives, the cooperation between Energie AG and “Genussland Oberösterreich” aimed at promoting the regional circular economy, as well as the digitalisation campaign (progress in the expansion of fibre-optic services, extension of the electric charging infrastructure, and presentation of the innovative E-Fairteiler app).