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26.05.2011

Bank Austria is the first commercial bank in Austria to receive the international ISO 14001 environmental management certificate

  • On 25 May 2011, Quality Austria awarded Bank Austria the ISO 14001 environmental management certificate.
  • Bank Austria is setting new standards: in addition to head office buildings, all branches are integrated in the environmental management system.
  • Environmental protection is a top management responsibility: ISO 14001 certification underlines Bank Austria’s clear commitment to environmental protection.

Environmental protection has been a key issue at Bank Austria for many years. UniCredit Group is committed to addressing the challenge of climate change and aims to reduce its CO2 emissions by 15 per cent by 2012 and by 30 per cent by 2020. In Austria, Bank Austria wants to make a significant contribution to achieving these targets in the long term. Bank Austria took a decisive step in 2010 with the implementation of an environmental management system according to ISO 14001. After a successful external audit conducted by Quality Austria, Bank Austria’s CEO Willibald Cernko received the ISO 14001 certificate from Konrad Scheiber, CEO of Quality Austria, on 25 May 2011.

Bank Austria is the first Austrian commercial bank with ISO 14001 certification
UniCredit Bank Austria AG has thereby become the first commercial bank in Austria to be certified according to the international ISO 14001 standard. The bank’s environmental management system covers the head office buildings and all branches. Certification will remain valid until 3 May 2014. “Sustainable business management is a dictate of reason and our responsibility for the future. Environmental management also has tangible benefits such as cost savings resulting from lower consumption of resources. In Austria, we have even gone one step further than other banks by including all locations of branch offices. We have thus made it clear from the very start that environmental management concerns all locations and ultimately all employees,” says Bank Austria’s CEO Willibald Cernko. The international ISO 14001 standard is the most important global standard defining what environmental management in companies should include and accomplish. On the basis of this standard, environmental protection is systematically embedded in the way a company is managed. By reference to ISO 14001, a company can prove that it operates in conformity with environmentally sound principles. Over 220,000 organisations around the world, including over 900 in Austria, have already been certified according to ISO 14001.

Quality Austria, an external auditor
The certification audit was conducted by Quality Austria Trainings-, Zertifizierungs- und Begutachtungs GmbH – the Austrian market leader and contact for integrated management systems and industry standards concerning quality, the environment and security. Quality Austria has been accredited by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs, Family and Youth Affairs. Quality Austria has so far issued over 18,500 certificates worldwide. Konrad Scheiber, CEO of Quality Austria: “Environmental protection is a management responsibility. This applies also at Bank Austria, where there is a clear commitment. This is very important – to set an example to employees and to business partners and customers. Environmental management is active legal management: our qualityaustria auditor is full of praise for this system, which has been set up in a comprehensive and exemplary manner.”

Active environmental management at Bank Austria
The bank made comprehensive organisational arrangements for successful certification. Anton Kolarik, Head of Identity & Communications at Bank Austria, who has been entrusted with this task by top management, and Terry Hlawna, who acts as Environmental Manager, have fast and direct access to the Management Board in order to continue to successfully pursue environmental management issues. An environmental management network of contacts has additionally been set up to ensure coordination and implementation of environmental topics in all areas of the bank’s operations. The establishment of a steering committee, whose members include Bank Austria’s Chief Executive Officer Willibald Cernko, underlines the importance Bank Austria attaches to this topic.

UniCredit Bank Austria Campus, an environmental project
The bank’s approach is also reflected in the criteria defined for the recently started urban development competition for the “UniCredit Bank Austria Campus” at Vienna’s Northern Railway Station. Sustainability with regard to energy efficiency and ecological aspects will be among the key considerations in the implementation of this construction project.

Bank Austria’s environmental programme
The package of measures which Bank Austria has decided to implement as part of the environmental management system according to ISO 14001 in the form of an environmental programme, and which will be implemented over the next two years, includes the following: further expansion of energy-saving features of IT equipment (wake on LAN, sleep on LAN), renewal of refrigerating equipment in head office buildings, energy monitoring system for branches, installation of photovoltaic systems at selected locations, financial assistance programmes focusing on sustainable energy production, financing initiative for ecologically sound residential and office buildings, and development of specific sustainable types of investment.

Bank Austria is reducing its ecological footprint on an ongoing basis
All electricity used by Bank Austria now comes from renewable sources of energy. The maximum CO2 level for cars in the Bank Austria fleet, which currently comprises about 130 vehicles, has been set to 100g. The CO2 emission level of the current standard model, at 89g CO2/km, is significantly lower. Moreover, the basic rule is that the train is the preferred means of transport for business trips. Bank Austria also promotes videoconferencing with a view to reducing business travel to a minimum. In the development of new products, possible ecological impacts are analysed and taken into account in the final decision on implementation.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
Martin Kammerer, tel. +43 (0) 50505 52803
e-mail: martin.kammerer@unicreditgroup.at

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