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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
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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. 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.

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:

  • Maximum climate neutrality
  • life cycle
  • 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
  • Carbon management and life cycle assessments

 

One proven method of achieving sustainability targets is building certification. 

  • 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.
  • DGNB Platinum Certificate for Frankfurter Allee in Berlin 
    This new residential and office district with six buildings received the DGNB Platinum Certificate in February 2022.
  • DGNB Gold Certificate for PORR subsidiary Vorarlberg
    The PORR subsidiary Vorarlberg is characterised by a clear, flexibly designable office structure. The flat roof is designed as an extensive green roof with photovoltaic panels. The building form and equipment were optimized during planning from a building physics and daylight point of view in order to offer employees a high level of comfort and cosiness.

   

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. The Group-wide recycling volume in 2021 was 2.2m t, of which 1.7m 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:

    

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:

The ReGips project has been developed at RWTH Aachen University in cooperation with PORR’s innovation management and the PORR environmental engineering department. Here, an automated process for the deconstruction of gypsum plasterboard walls was developed and has already been successfully tested using prototypes. This solution facilitates efficient and controlled demolition. It also leads to greater work safety and allows for the optimised removal of the deinstalled boards, thereby increasing the potential for reuse.

In this project, together with an interdisciplinary group of university, private-sector and industrial research institutions, the foundations were laid for the construction of large-scale heat storage facilities. These storage facilities will play a significant part in promoting the use of alternative energy sources in the future. PORR was able to register a patent for a thermally insulated storage construction for this purpose. A follow-up project to implement a prototype storage facility has been initiated together with partners from research, design & planning, and the energy industry.

In this project, new industrial processes for the production of ceilings, balconies and other building components are being developed, including 3D printing and robotassisted formwork production. In structural design, the aim is to minimise material resources and construction time.

    

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.

 

Damit das Wissen rund um Bienen und ihre Bedeutung an Kinder und Erwachsene weitergegeben wird, wurde der PORR Bienenlehrpfad im Monte Laa Park neben dem Hauptquartier in Wien errichtet. Dieser kann auch hier als Download nachgelesen werden. Die PORR Arbeiterbiene „Sabiene“ erklärt die wichtigsten Fakten und begleitet durch die Schautafeln. Damit unterstützen wir das nachhaltige Fortbestehen der Bienen und machen auf ihre wichtige Rolle für das gesamte Ökosystem aufmerksam.

   

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
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