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Earth Mission

Our way to reach the sustainable development goals

Our path to reach the sustainable development goals Interview with Katrin Helmberger

Different projects, one goal

When it comes to environmental and climate protection, we have set ourselves some ambitious targets. 

For instance, we want to stop using fossil fuels at all Fronius sites in Austria and switch to 100% renewable energy sources.

We are also part of the Upper Austrian “Energy Transition Leaders” initiative. It is within this framework that we present the projects we have already implemented while also benefiting from close cooperation with other participating companies. After all, working together to find solutions to existing challenges is essential if the energy transition is to be a success. 

Katrin Helmberger shares this conviction. She is the head of Corporate Sustainability at Fronius and talks in this interview about achieving our environmental objectives.

Interview with Katrin Helmberger - Head of Corporate Sustainability

Katrin Helmberger -  Head of Corporate Sustainability at Fronius

Our contribution to the global environmental challenge


Without an intact environment, there can be no such thing as sustainable economic development. What can a company like Fronius do to help solve global environmental problems?

 

Katrin Helmberger: As an industrial company, we always have an influence on the environment. The first step is to raise awareness of this fact and enshrine it in all our processes. For instance, we consider the future impacts of our plans to make sure this starts with the development of our products and services.

We can use innovative technologies to make a sustainable contribution to environmental protection, be it through extremely efficient battery charging systems, targeted welding technology processes, green hydrogen solutions in the field of solar energy, or simply the long service life and ease of repair of our devices.

Fronius has more than 5,500 employees around the world. What exactly does the company bring to the table and what can individuals do to help achieve a more sustainable future?

 

Katrin Helmberger: To me, sustainable action means taking responsibility for my decisions. However, I can only do this if I am aware of the issues.

A person makes between 20,000 and 35,000 decisions per day, most of which are naturally made unconsciously or automatically. We move in certain patterns and follow a routine, but it just takes one moment for me to start and make a change. Whether it concerns travel or food, as soon as I make a conscious decision, I take responsibility and have a positive impact on the environment and society.

We as a company can contribute by setting the appropriate framework conditions and offer additional charging stations for electric cars, use recyclable materials, or provide breakfast for cyclists, for example. As we do this, it is important to pause occasionally and celebrate our successes – after all, the path to achieving any goal is made up of small steps taken one after the other.

Mountains in Pettenbach - Our Vision

Our vision for the future

 

More efficient management of energy and resources reduces the ecological impact of business activities. How is Fronius shaping its processes for a resource-efficient future?

 

Katrin Helmberger: For some time now, we have been promoting the consistent use of renewable energies in all our buildings as well as within the infrastructure as a whole. We are constantly reducing our direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions and with that also our dependency on fossil fuels such as oil and gas. We are also creating additional incentives for boosting train travel as well as climate-friendly commuting to or between our sites.

It is also important to us that resources such as raw and auxiliary materials are used efficiently. When it comes to recycling reusable and residual materials, we are already making considerable progress. Every single person can make suggestions for improvements and introduce changes.

What does resource efficiency mean for the supply chain?

 

Katrin Helmberger: We need a common approach that we share with our suppliers and partners, in conjunction with dialog and exchange. For instance, a plastics manufacturer cannot make its products recyclable overnight. There need to be specific requirements that we communicate properly and develop together with the manufacturer. This process is concluded with a supplier audit, where we check whether the discussed requirements are being met.

 

Site Pettenbach at night

What is the long-term vision for a more sustainable future at Fronius?

 

Katrin Helmberger: Sustainability is firmly anchored as a core value at Fronius. It is not just an conversation piece, but a lived reality and requires comprehensive consideration of ecological and economic values. By taking into account the different time frames – the past, present, and future – we can always make balanced decisions for each of them. This is what makes us unique as a family-owned company. And one thing is clear, now and in the future: the sustainable contribution made by Fronius is only as big as the contribution made by all of its employees and managers – it all comes down to the individual.

Fronius site in Pettenbach

Sustainability at Fronius

Discover what Fronius contributes to the preservation of our environment. Our Sustainability Report is a detailed booklet which shows the reader what kind of sustainable actions we take.
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Fronius Earth Mission - Sustainability Report 2020