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Protecting climate and resources - for the preservation of our basis of life

We are committed to protecting the environment and engage in research and development. Our climate strategy aims to contribute to stemming the negative consequences of climate change. Current environmental concerns are taken into consideration when making any decision. Whether it’s an increasing scarcity of resources or threats to biodiversity: We develop solutions, implement countermeasures and embrace responsibility.

Impactful & lasting
Our climate strategy
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The PORR Water Policy For a sustainable and efficient approach to water
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Energy efficiency – reducing energy consumption and cutting emissions

The European Union should achieve climate neutrality by 2050 – that’s the goal of the “European Green Deal”. In line with the UN climate conference in Paris and the Sustainable Development Goals, this action plan aims to provide further impetus for efficient energy use. Future-proof construction standards, alternative energy, and sustainable equipment and fleet management are all in demand in the construction industry. Furthermore, at PORR we rely on advanced certification systems, implementing the energy efficiency guidelines and conducting regular energy audits. Since 2020, the energy management system in Austria has been certified according to ISO 50001. In 2022 the certification framework was rolled out to Germany and Switzerland, in 2023 Romania was also successfully certified. The aim is to implement sustainable energy management for all of PORR’s home markets by 2025.

Harnessing the power of water, wind and sun.

We are determined to consistently increase the share of electricity from renewable energy sources. The clear goal is to purchase 100% renewable green electricity. For this reason, PORR already purchases around 64% green electricity from hydropower, wind power, solar energy, biomass and similar energy sources across the Group. We have also been very successful with the use of PV modules. These are used at PORR sites, but also on construction sites.

Equipment and fleet management

By bundling all equipment and vehicles, the Group-wide standardization reduces the variety of makes and types and subsequently lead to a reduction in airborne emissions. Measures to reduce the energy consumption of on- and off-road equipment include:

  • Regularly updating the vehicle matrix (on-road equipment) including shortening the period in use.
  • When acquiring new off-road equipment, only buying that which conforms to the best available emissions standards on the market.
  • Automatic-stop function for construction equipment is assumed as standard and purchase of additional electric cars and construction equipment with electric drives, as well as hybrid construction vehicles.
  • Reducing business trips and focusing on train travel.

Digital solutions for construction site logistics

One important aspect in enhancing efficiency is construction site logistics. Digital solutions allow us to manage the construction process with greater precision. In the field of road construction, these tools have already been rolled out successfully in Austria and Germany. They are under development for tunnelling, building construction, earthworks and structural engineering.

Local procurement

Regional procurement to reduce CO2 emissions is a priority, but it depends on the local availability of raw materials and supplies and can vary depending on the project or location. Local procurement must not fall outside the area of the main business location and a maximum distance of +/- 150 km in any direction. PORR has already achieved a great deal in this area: Looking at Group-wide purchasing, the proportion of local suppliers is around 80%.

From planning to certification

For environmental and climate protection, not only a sustainable and thus future-proof construction method is of great importance, the completed building must also have the lowest possible CO2 footprint in the various life cycles. Possible environmental impacts after completion must therefore also be taken into account during planning. Not only internally, but also from our suppliers, we demand sustainable action and promote sustainable building standards. The focus here is on the following aspects:

  • Carbon management & life cycle assessments
  • Circularity of buildings
  • Use of renewable energy
  • Realising concepts that are in line with demographic shifts
  • Use of digital building data models 
  • Green building certification
  • EU taxonomy audits

PORR is the right partner for every phase of a building’s life. After all, with Design & Engineering, we are by your side every step of the way – from design and planning to implementation. More Info you can find at Design & Engineering at PORR.

Circular Economy instead of scarce resources – reuse, repair, recycle

Make it, use it, bin it – that is a concept consigned to the past. The future belongs to the circular economy. As part of the solution, PORR uses (raw) materials several times over, thereby conserving valuable resources.

From construction site waste to recycled product

PORR has specialised in processing Austria’s largest waste stream, accounting for around 75% of all mass: Construction and demolition waste and excavated soil. In our own recycling and treatment facilities and through targeted research work, this is processed along with industrial waste so that it can be put to new use. Furthermore, processes for waste and contaminations of various kinds are developed in the Environmental Laboratory, whereby recyclable resources can be kept in the economic cycle, the impact of pollutants can be reduced, and unusable waste can be disposed of properly.

Our objective is to keep increasing the share of recycled construction materials and to keep developing methods that conserve resources. In Austria we currently operate around 20 sites with construction materials recycling. The Group-wide recycling volume in 2023 was 2.8m t, of which 1.6m t was used to substitute primary raw materials at our own construction sites and plants.

The RCH Recycling Center Himberg is one of several recycling plants that processes construction waste:

PORR is building Austria’s first gypsum-to-gypsum recycling plant. This will have an annual capacity of around 60,000t, making it able to cover the entirety of demand in eastern Austria. To date, around 100% of demolition material has ended up in landfill sites. The gypsum it contains can now be recycled. Up to 40% recycled gypsum can be used for new plasterboard.

Styrofoam is currently disposed of as hazardous waste using a specific incineration process. However, PORR also sees potential here to close the loop. The idea? To make polystyrene 100% recyclable. Together with eleven partners and Fraunhofer Austria, PORR has been able to gain initial insights into how theory can become practice in the EPSolutely research project. Various dismantling methods have been tested using the example of dismantling an external thermal insulation composition system (ETICS). The analysis has shown that shredding and material disintegration are generally possible without any problems, enabling separation into light materials (= EPS) and heavy materials (= bricks, mortar, etc.).

The recycling of concrete is a key lever for conserving resources. However, the upcycling of demolished concrete in the form of recycled concrete, which is comparable to primary concrete in terms of its properties, currently faces technical and regulatory obstacles. The UP!crete research project addresses this problem: The project is generating scientifically sound findings on improved properties of recycled aggregates in order to achieve greater substitution of natural stone. The consortium is made up of partners from industry and research. The first test results are expected in 2024.

Habitats - Preserving nature

Biodiversity is essential for the health and wellbeing of the population and the generations to come. That said, the direct impact a construction company can have is somewhat limited. After all, sustainable building starts even before the project development stage – with the urban planning and zoning. The PORR sites are located in commercial areas rather than in zones with high biodiversity. As a sustainable construction company, our mission is to maximise the use and value of the space.

PORR helps to promote biodiversity by greening flat roofs, building causeways and recultivating landfills. This happens on the one hand when substrate is produced from secondary raw materials like excavated soil and recycled construction materials. On the other hand, the buildings themselves are fitted with these improvements. What’s more, we take care to ensure planting that is appropriate to the respective site and compatible with the native flora. This not only encourages biodiversity (insects, birds and wild animals), but also makes the habitats more attractive for every user.

Initiative bee@PORR – for sustainable habitats.

If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live” – a famous quote often attributed to Albert Einstein. Bee populations are drastically declining in ever more parts of the world. With the initiative “bee@PORR”, we are taking key steps to prevent bees dying out. Under the motto “Bee aware and care”, we support beekeepers by providing space for their colonies, purchasing beehives and bee colonies.

A priority for us is the holistic aspect of the initiative. That is why we prefer beehives made of untreated wood rather than of Styrofoam. Some of the hives for Austria have been ordered from an organization called “Green Circle”, which rehabilitates and integrates recovering addicts.

To pass on knowledge about bees and their importance to children and adults, the PORR bee educational trail was set up in Monte Laa Park next to the headquarters in Vienna. This can also be downloaded here. The PORR worker bee "Sabiene" explains the most important facts and guides you through the information boards. In this way, we are supporting the sustainable survival of bees and drawing attention to their important role for the entire ecosystem.

Careful approach to water

We promote the efficient use of water both in construction and in the end use of construction projects. Water-saving practices and inputs are realised through the continuous optimisation of technologies and processes. In order to reduce or avoid the use of fresh water, service water is used as a substitute in many construction projects. Water recirculation systems offer opportunities for water-saving management at construction sites and operating sites. Regular inspection and maintenance of plumbing systems can lead to additional water savings. We have also installed rainwater basins at some of our sites.

The Water Policy forms an important basis for our work. Together with the contact persons on the construction sites and operating locations as well as the specialist colleagues in the PORR markets, the Water Officer regularly evaluates the progress made in meeting the targets. Based on this, solutions to reduce water usage and identify measures for recycling water are developed. This includes, for example, measures to increase water efficiency during construction, water recycling systems, and units for soil and gravel washing. The set of measures and the Water Policy are revised and supplemented if necessary.