Sustainability Report

Course on climate protection: Vöslauer publishes sustainability report 2020/2021

Bad Vöslau, Austria

The recently published sustainability report of Vöslauer Mineralwasser GmbH examines the years 2020 and 2021 - two exceptional years in several respects. “The corona pandemic was a major challenge for everyone, both economically and in terms of the conditions for holistic sustainability management. Nevertheless, this situation has also triggered a rethink in people - the topics of sustainability and well-being have become much more important. This has also encouraged us to consistently continue on our way for more environmental and climate protection, also and especially in times that were not so carefree", report the Vöslauer managing directors Birgit Aichinger and Herbert Schlossnikl. Because commitment to sustainability is not a “fair weather program”, but an important task and responsibility that you have to keep at it.

With a course on climate protection, the Sustainability Report 2021 focuses not only on the topic of CO2 reduction but also on diversity and stability as pillars of sustainable management. "As a brand with attitude and consistent values, we consider a holistic and comprehensive image to be essential."

Overarching goal: substantially reduce CO2

Vöslauer has been CO2-neutral since the beginning of 2020, which means that compared to 2005, 50% of the CO2 Emissions have been reduced under our own power and 50% offset. "In general, our most important sustainability goal is to reduce as many CO2 emissions as possible on our own, to compensate less and to maintain our CO2 neutrality," emphasizes Birgit Aichinger. A number of measures contribute to this goal, starting with material reduction and the circular economy, through transport and mobility, to improved energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies. "In the 2021 reporting year, the CO2 footprint per filled bottle was reduced to 66 grams compared to 2019, when it was 75 grams," reports Herbert Schlossnikl, adding: "By 2030, we want to reduce our CO2 emissions by 28% 2019, we have committed ourselves to the Science Based Targets, which are based on the Paris Climate Protection Agreement.”

Source responsibility

Natural mineral water is a valuable natural treasure for which one bears responsibility and therefore treats it with care. “We are in the fortunate position that our source is always bubbling up. This is because it is protected from all environmental influences due to its depth (660m)," explains Herbert Schlossnikl. The Vöslau mineral water has its "origin" in the Schneeberg area - it is therefore a large, powerful catchment area. "Through controlled water withdrawal, we can guarantee that our valuable mineral water will also be available for future generations. We save water wherever possible. We not only pay attention to consumption when withdrawing our water, but also to efficient use along the value chain and in all processes. In 2021, only around half of the permitted amount was withdrawn.

Concept of quitting & learning from the boys

"What will become even more important and what we can also learn from young people at the same time is that nothing will work without thinking about environmental and climate protection," Birgit Aichinger sums it up. "If we want future generations to find a world worth living in, we have to stop wasting resources now and not wait for regulations to be enacted." With regard to the EU's Single Use Plastic Directive, for example, Vöslauer already has traded much earlier and was a pioneer from the very beginning with the stay-on closure, as well as with its efforts to increase the reusable rate. By 2030, the reusable share is to be increased from the current 20% to 40%. Because: “We are deeply convinced that we as a company have to be part of the solution. To do this, it is essential to make the economy sustainable and crisis-proof in the future - socially, ecologically and economically," say Birgit Aichinger and Herbert Schlossnikl.

Transparency, cooperation & communication

You can't just learn from the youngsters, you always have to be open to input from inside and outside the organization. "By dealing with all the topics that we deal with in the sustainability report, we are increasingly convinced that transparency is a key to further development," explains Birgit Aichinger. Be it external audits by independent institutions, stakeholder surveys, customer and consumer feedback or even specialist work by students in the field of sustainability, which will be included in future decisions. "Only those who constantly reflect on their actions and disclose them transparently can receive constructive feedback and thus develop further instead of going round in circles more or less constantly," says Birgit Aichinger. That is why certifications and cooperations are important pillars, with the support of which the core business can be designed in a way that is compatible with generations. In addition, communication and awareness-raising activities go hand in hand, not least to provide transparent information about our own goals and measures for more environmental and climate protection - both internally and externally.

Speak plainly & show progress

The trailblazing and pioneering role that Vöslauer has held for many years is the result of the product innovations that taste particularly good and the sustainability efforts, such as 100% rePET, the Stay Dran closure or PET reusable. The aim is to generally reduce material in all containers, so we want to save around 250 tons of material per year through various developments in the future. Transparency, cooperation & communication "With all our measures, we are fulfilling our plan to make each product more sustainable than the previous one," Herbert Schlossnikl puts it in a nutshell.

In addition to the two existing photovoltaic systems, others are being planned, which should cover around 20% of the electricity requirement by the end of 2023.

“By publishing our sustainability report, we are not pursuing an end in itself. Of course, it is important to us to show what we have achieved - written so compactly and clearly it is indeed impressive and fills us with pride. It's the best opportunity to pause for a moment, to see where we stand and where we would like to get even better - because there is always more to do!" Birgit Aichinger and Herbert Schlossnikl are convinced.

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