Skip to content
Header Forstliches Bildungszentrum 1840x320

Environmental

Together for the environment - targeted research and development.

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
Download here

   

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. Following the successful rollout in Austria of the ISO 50001 energy management system, full implementation with complete coverage is planned.

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.
  • Continuation of the “automatic-stop function for construction equipment” project 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.

More than sustainable buildings and structures.

We do not only demand sustainable behaviour and promote future-focused construction standards internally, we also demand them from our suppliers. The focus here is on the following aspects:

  • Maximum climate neutrality
  • Closed-cycle approach to resources (Ankerlink nach unten)
  • Use of renewable energy
  • Realising concepts that are in line with demographic shifts
  • Use of digital building data models 
     

In addition, at PORR we rely on advanced certification systems, implementing the energy efficiency guidelines and conducting regular energy audits. Following the successful rollout in Austria of the ISO 50001 energy management system, full implementation with complete coverage is planned.

One proven method of achieving sustainability targets is building certification. In 2020 alone more than 20 PORR projects received sustainability certificates.

  • DGNB Platin & LEED Platin for Quartier Belvedere Central in Vienna: For the construction of this urban and central business hub, PORR has received the highest awards from both, the DGNB (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Nachhaltiges Bauen) and in line with the design certificate "Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design" (LEED).
  • Photovoltaics and intensive greening as focal points when revitalising PORR sites: The PORR headquarters for Carinthia and East Tyrol in Klagenfurt meet the highest energy efficiency standards as a "plus energy building". Sustainability experts were involved right from the concept phase.
CERTIFICATE
DGNB Gold for the Zalando Headquarters in Berlin
Go to project

   

Closed-cycle approach to address scarce resources – reuse, repair, recycle.

In the construction industry, the use of building materials often has a sharp impact on the environment. That’s why PORR is committed to a closed-cycle approach – a concept that extends the lifecycle of a product or construction material. For example, construction rubble can subsequently be fed back into the economic cycle as a high-quality recycled product.

Focus on construction materials recycling.

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. In 2020, 1.7 mn tonnes of recycled construction materials were produced from mineral-based rubble – especially from asphalt, concrete, debris and natural stone. In addition, around 216,000 tonnes of construction waste and excavated material was prepared for use as recycled construction material.

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

    

Back to nature – humification system at Langes Feld landfill.

Together with its subsidiaries, PORR Umwelttechnik operates multiple landfill sites. One example is the Langes Feld landfill in Vienna’s 21st district. Its special feature? A significant part of the surface construction consists of humification material developed for the site to a specific recipe. Humification takes place in an open process with biogenic waste such as timber, agricultural cuttings or municipal sewage sludge. Other components include fine mineral fractions and wood ash. The humification materials are subjected to stringent quality controls in order to ensure consistent results.

Science and technology

PORR also prioritizes the environment in its research and development activities. The focus is on developing alternative construction materials and methods, optimising the use of resources, environmental clean-up of contaminated soil, and recycling. One example here relates to tunnelling. Compounds containing excavated material from the tunnel are used as material in the construction. The benefit? Millions of tonnes of stone do not require disposal and the same amount does not need to be mined from quarries. This also reduces transport to and energy consumption at the construction site. Other innovative projects include:

3D-Stat has facilitated a significant reduction in the use of cement, concrete and armouring, whereby the load-bearing properties and strength remain above the minimum values specified by EU norms. The 3D-Stat project has already been awarded with several prizes (TÜV Science Award 2019, Mercur Innovation Award 2019) and now also the Energy Globe Austria Award 2020.

2019 also saw an organic soft gel developed in a PORR research project receive approval for use in Germany. The main application of the organic soft gel is for producing horizontal and vertical seals for concrete troughs. The completely organic soft gel – which replaces construction materials such as cement or chemical components – marks the world’s first material for sealing that is purely organic. One major advantage of the organic soft gel is that it can be injected or pumped directly into the ground: It does not have any negative impact on groundwater such as increasing pH levels, salt seepage or similar.

Another research and innovation project from PORR relates to environmentally friendly heating systems. The project giga-TES (Thermal Energy Storage) addresses the seasonal energy storage that should be realised in urban structures for their district heating systems. The consortium consists of more than 15 partners from different spheres such as universities, private companies and energy providers. The PORR departments for specialist civil engineering as well as technology management & innovation are involved in developing large heat storage tanks to allow up to 2 million cubic metres of hot water to be stored at 95°C. Great attention is being paid to the heat-retaining properties of the construction as the providers strive to minimise any thermal losses. Field testing is a key part of the research project in order to gather experience with innovative construction methods and materials.

    

Biodiversity & soil – this is how we are increasing biodiversity.

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.

Across the Group, we now have around 435 apiaries with some 22 million bees. There’s also a place bees call home on the roof of our office in Warsaw:

Water – what we’re doing to conserve water resources.

The construction industry uses significantly less water than water-intensive sectors like textiles or food and drinks. Nonetheless, we are aware of the responsibility we have towards society to preserve this valuable resource. That’s why water as a resource is integrated into our internal resource management system.

The Water Policy forms an important basis for our work. The Water Officer evaluates the water consumption of the PORR Group together with the centre of excellence for resources. The areas with the highest specific water consumption are then addressed with the CR department, the Environmental Network and the R&D department to find solutions to reduce water usage and identify measures for recycling water. This includes, for example, measures to increase water efficiency during construction, water recycling systems, and units for soil and gravel washing.

WORKING BASIS
The PORR Water Policy For a sustainable and efficient approach to water
Download here