STEAG GmbH, Essen/Germany, has now published its first sustainability report. There, the energy company documents the wide variety of ways in which it is taking on social responsibility. “We are fully aware that only sustainable, responsible action can secure the success of a business in the long term,” says Joachim Rumstadt, Chairman of the STEAG Board of Management.
The issue of sustainability has many different aspects within the company. They range from environmental concerns to the protection of human rights and the health and safety of own employees. “For many years now, we have firmly anchored ecological and social evaluation and decision-making criteria in key processes within the Group,” says Jörg Nierhaus, Chief Compliance Officer at STEAG.
STEAG’s corporate activities in the area of sustainability are aligned with the ten principles of the United Nations Global Compact. The Global Compact is a voluntary commitment by companies under the auspices of the UN. It was launched at the beginning of the 21st century with the aim of making the process of globalization more socially and ecologically compatible. STEAG joined the Compact in 2011 and is actively involved in the German UN Global Compact Network. “The ten Global Compact principles cover the areas of “Human Rights”, “Labor”, “Environment” and “Anti-Corruption”,” Nierhaus explains. STEAG traditionally pays particular attention to the protection of human and employee rights, especially with foreign suppliers.
In addition, STEAG is committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set down by the UN. They describe the UN guidelines for sustainable development of global society in the period up to 2030. All the member states of the UN committed themselves to following these goals in 2015. The goals range from eliminating poverty, protecting health and establishing gender equality, to climate and environmental protection and upholding the rule of law. “The Sustainable Development Goals are a kind of ethical compass for entrepreneurial action,” says Nierhaus. This can be seen, e. g., in the STEAG Group’s constant efforts to focus more and more on power generation from renewables, distributed solutions and the conservation of energy resources.
Thus, e. g., STEAG is constantly making sure that its district heating system is both more economical and less resource-intensive by tapping into waste heat sources. And a large proportion of the ash and dust produced in its power plants is treated and processed into CO2-neutral materials for the construction industry.
At the same time, energy generation from renewable sources is becoming increasingly important at STEAG. It is above all photovoltaics (PV) that has recently shown considerable growth figures at STEAG (Figure 1). “Our youngest subsidiary, STEAG Solar Energy Solutions GmbH – SENS for short – will be building solar plants with an installed capacity of over 750 MW in Italy and Spain over the next 18 months,” says Rumstadt.
“Further large-scale plants are being planned and we have also successfully established ourselves on the domestic market: Thanks to our PV technology, the waterworks in Essen’s Überruhr district will in future produce 170,000 KWh/a of green electricity, and at our Saarland site in Völklingen-Fenne we are helping to shape the hydrogen-based and thus largely emission-free and climate-friendly energy future with the HydroHub Fenne project. (STEAG/Si.)