Regional responsibility and social commitment

Energie AG is pursuing the goal of further increasing the regional value creation by implementing infrastructure projects on the local level, involving regional providers into the procurement chain, and cooperating more closely with local specialist companies (market partners). The Group is firmly committed to advancing projects that enable customers to consume and exchange decentrally produced renewable energy.

The positive economic development of the regions in Upper Austria and the increasing quality of life of customers is further supported by the continuing expansion of the fibre-optic network and the development of innovative digital services.

To the largest extent, Energie AG Group delivers on its regional responsibility through operating hydropower plants across all of Upper Austria. The continuous training of specialist personnel, the creation and preservation of jobs and ongoing infrastructure investments are important contributions to increasing value generation in the regions.

Market partnerships with relevant specialist companies across Upper Austria is Energie AG's way of assuring the availability of expert advice and help with energy-related questions for customers in their respective home towns and villages, as well as motivating them to save energy through attractive funding options and joint initiatives with these local businesses.

The Energie AG tour bus on its regional roadshow through towns and villages in Upper Austria in summer 2021 distributed thousands of energy-saving LED lamps to customers.

The high-performance fibre-optic internet connections provided by Energie AG offer the residents of structurally disadvantaged regions the opportunity to pursue an occupational activity (working from home).

The cooperation with Genussland Oberösterreich signed by Energie AG in autumn 2020 awarded shopping vouchers redeemable at participating businesses to new customers who selected product bundles with green electricity or biogas from local production.

Institutions and projects of significance for the economy, charitable activities, and projects in the areas of science, art and education are initiated and supported on a local level.

A good example for the support of non-profit organisations in the regional and interregional area is the online platform, which shows fire brigade crews the quickest way to a hydrant.

With the Energy Saving Package campaign, Energie AG takes initiative for socially disadvantaged groups. For further information, see Environment, Sales.

To express its solidarity with customers facing disadvantages from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Group offered them special arrangements for financial relief.

In its supply chains, Energie AG aims at procuring from companies with a regional connection. Orders worth a total of EUR 208.2 million were placed with 2,303 suppliers in the 2020/2021 fiscal year (previous year: EUR 204,0 million with 2,213 suppliers). 93.2% of suppliers were headquartered in Austria (previous year: 92.3%), while 6.7% were based in other European countries (previous year: 7.6%).

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Activities in the fields of culture, sport and social affairs

Energie AG supports cultural and sport activities on a regional level, including by sponsoring local events, sport promotion programmes (“Energie AG sports family”) and online fitness services.

In the 2020/2021 fiscal year, 14 athletes of the Energie AG sports family (previous year: 16) received financial assistance as well as other benefits of relevance to their sport and were provided with an environment that promotes and facilitates physical and human development. The main focus is on the sustainable promotion of up-and-coming talents.

In spring 2021, the “Energie AG sport family team” competed in the Wings for Life World Run for the first time. This initiative enabled the team of top athletes and employees to collect donations to the tune of EUR 6,100 for research on spinal cord injuries.

On the cultural scene, the Company has been partner of the Höhenrausch/Sinnesrausch project in Linz for a number of years, and exhibitions are regularly held in Linz’s Power Tower.

The Klemens-Brosch Award in cooperation with the State Gallery in Linz, the “Talent Promotion Award” in cooperation with the University of Arts in Linz, and the “Dream Scholarship” in cooperation with OK Friends are additional ways in which the Energie AG Group supports young and talented artists.

In addition, Energie AG has been a long-standing partner of many cultural initiatives throughout Upper Austria, including the Upper Austrian Regional Exhibition, Salzkammergut Festwochen summer festival, St. Florianer Sängerknaben boys’ choir and Brucknertage festival.

In the summer of 2021, after a request from Energie AG, OÖ Landes-Kultur GmbH held an open competition for the artistic interior design of a partial area in the extension to the Group's headquarters, which is currently under construction.

As a partner of the Red Cross and volunteer fire brigade, the Energie AG Group makes an effort to support rescue organisations with a high level of voluntary commitment. 20,000 twin packs of energy-saving LED lamps were donated to the Red Cross at the beginning of 2021, and 17,000 bottles of mineral water were provided to the fire brigades in summer 2021.

The construction project at the Group's headquarters in Linz generated additional social capital in the 2020/2021 fiscal year. The demolition of the existing building took the form of a social urban mining project. Multiple project partners were involved, among them two social institutions from Upper Austria who looked after the clearing out and recycling or disposal of the old building materials.

Timelkam Energy Experience Centre

In the town of Timelkam, Energie AG runs an information centre about electrical energy called the Erlebniswelt Energie Timelkam (“Timelkam Energy Experience”), which in the 2020/2021 fiscal year was visited by almost 400 interested children and parents (previous year: 1,000). Annual visitor numbers were around the 5,000 mark in earlier years (without COVID-19 pandemic restrictions). The pandemic forced the cancellation of the Start of School Festival and workshops for schools held at the centre in Timelkam in the past two fiscal years.

Enhancing awareness

Raising awareness of sustainability, energy and the environment among young people has been a cause that the Energie AG Group has embraced in a major way. In this spirit, the Group has consistently supported initiatives by youth organisations. A careful relationship with nature and the environment is one of the worldwide scout movement’s eight educational focal points. For many years, Upper Austria’s scouts, the Pfadfinder, have been implementing environmental projects with the support of the Energie AG Group and the Province of Upper Austria. The yearly project contest “UmWeltdenker”, for example, elicits creative ideas in this area and implements the best of them.

The “Energie AG at School” education programme (Energie AG macht Schule) offers kindergartens and schools classroom handouts on the topics of energy, sustainability and digitalisation. In 2019, as one of only eight companies in Austria, the Austrian Federal Ministry for Women, Families and Youth awarded Energie AG the Familie Digital Kompetent (“Family Digital Skills”) seal of approval for this educational programme and its expansion in particular.

Energie AG takes initiative in strengthening the media competency of children and adolescents in the area of digitalisation and has added relevant materials to the website and materials used in schools. The objective is to familiarise the younger generations with a sensible and responsible use of new technologies and digital media. The platform is complemented by interactive quizzes, videos and instructions for practical exercises and experiments that aim at familiarising young persons with digitalisation in a playful way.

In addition, the Group has a selection of short books for the youngest programme participants, which cover topics relating to energy and sustainability. Eight books have been published so far; they can be ordered by private persons, schools and kindergartens free of charge. More than 380,000 copies of these short books are already in circulation (previous year: 330,000). This was supplemented with a workshop for kindergartens in the 2020/2021 fiscal year, which introduced children from the age of four to sustainability issues in a playful way.

Energie AG accompanies an educational programme for Czech primary and junior secondary school pupils, which aims to protect our natural environment and water resources and began in 2014. The Group promotes awareness of how to properly dispose of rubbish by providing customised classroom materials for primary schools and creative projects for older pupils. The project was continued in fiscal year 2020/2021, but with some restrictions stemming from the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Respect for the environment and a commitment to a green and efficient business model are guiding principles that underpin Energie AG’s ethos. The Energie AG Group has supported the Energy Globe environmental award for some 22 years. Since 1999, close to 30,000 projects for environmental protection and climate change mitigation were submitted in the areas of earth, water, fire, air, and youth. Every year, Austria ranks among the top performers, underlining the country’s role as a “world champion” in the area of sustainability.

Energy Institute of Johannes Kepler University Linz

Science and research have traditionally been accorded high value at Energie AG. One area in which this is evident is the long-standing partnership with the Energy Institute (Energieinstitut) at Johannes Kepler University in Linz. As a founding member, the Company actively participates in shaping and further improving the institute and draws on its high level of expertise in energy-related areas and its interdisciplinary team. Energie AG commissions studies from the institute on a consistent basis and works together closely with it on research projects. Examples include investigations on the effects of the Renewable Energy Expansion Act on electricity grids (“Project 567”) and a project for the development of suitable architectures for local energy communities (“ECOSINT”).

Federation, association and organisation memberships

Energie AG is a member of various associations and representative groups related to its operational activities, both in Austria and abroad. The Company's employees also play a role in various bodies, committees and working groups within these organisations. All Energie AG’s employees can benefit from these memberships, which allow them to receive newsletters, participate in events and webinars, as well as access online portals, publications, studies, models, analytical findings and more. The memberships listed below are particularly noteworthy.

Alongside its long-standing memberships in the Austrian Energy Industry Association, the representative group for Austrian energy utility companies, the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV) and the Austrian Economic Chambers (WK), Energie AG is also a member of the Upper Austria Business Hub Initiative (IWS), which promotes Upper Austria as a business location by providing basic research, studies, investigations and media work.

In addition, Energie AG is a member of Austrian Energy Agency GmbH (AEA) – the country’s national centre of excellence for energy, as well as the German Association of the Energy and Water Industries (BDEW). Both associations work on topics of interest to utilities, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy, sector coupling, etc.

The OÖ Energiesparverband (“Upper Austrian Energy-Saving Association”) is a body instituted by the Province of Upper Austria that has been the central point of contact for product-independent energy information since 1991. Energie AG has been a member of the association since its founding and collaborates closely with it in areas including energy consultancy and promotional funding.

Energie AG's membership of the Verein für Ökologie und Umweltforschung (Association for Ecology and Environmental Research; VÖU) offers it a platform for an exchange of information on matters of common interest between the energy industry and applied ecological and economic research experts. The association works on complex energy and environmental issues, such as renewable energy sources, resource efficiency and approval issues for energy infrastructure projects, while promoting interdisciplinary solutions.

Energie AG has been a member of the Energy Centre České Budějovice, an energy information centre in České Budějovice supported by the Province of Upper Austria and the Region of South Bohemia, since 1998. The centre's priority areas are offering support for the implementation of energy efficiency measures and the use of renewable energies. Since 2002, Energie AG has also been a member of the Fachgruppe Energie (Energy Working Group), which aims for cross-border cooperation in the energy sector between Upper Austria and South Bohemia. The working group supports cross-border projects and provides a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience.

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