HALLEIN, Austria, June 25, 2020 (Press Release) -After a one-year process and a strict audit, AustroCel Hallein GmbH is awarded the B Corporation certificate by the non-profit organisation B Lab. The seal of approval certifies in particular commitment to sustainability, responsible use of resources, socially responsible management and innovative strength. As a manufacturer of pulp and bioenergy, AustroCel Hallein is thus joining its owner TowerBrook in the network of around 3,300 companies worldwide that meet the highest standards of ecological action and transparency.
"We are very proud of the B Corp certificate, as it is a testament of our commitment to sustainability, environmental protection and innovation. We will continue on this promising path of 'Green AustroCel' and bring together sustainability and economic success", explains Jörg Harbring, CEO of AustroCel Hallein.
The internationally respected B Corp certificate measures the overall social and environmental performance of a company. AustroCel Hallein achieved high scores particularly in the areas of environmental protection and sustainability. On the one hand as a producer of cleaner bioenergy in the Hallein and Salzburg region, and on the other hand as a pulp producer with a focus on the responsible use of resources, waste avoidance and energy efficiency. The implementation of the new bioethanol plant and the secure, quality jobs were also included in the evaluation.
"The thorough, holistic analysis and evaluation goes far beyond the scope of many other seals of approval, which is what makes the B Corp certificate so special. As an international supplier of high- quality textile pulp, proven sustainability is very important to us. Our customers in the textile industry will benefit from this, as will consumers, who increasingly want to know whether their clothing has been produced responsibly", says Christian Spark, Head of Purchasing and Logistics in AustroCel Hallein and project manager for certification.
After the successful certification as a B Corporation, AustroCel Hallein will continue to promote sustainable business: The "zero-waste operation" objective is being intensively pursued and the bioethanol plant currently under construction will come into use at the end of 2020. The plant will produce up to 30 million litres of bioethanol annually. This biofuel is considered particularly environmentally friendly because it is not produced from feed or food, but from pulp production residues. The end product is added to petrol and replaces about one percent of the annual petrol consumption in Austria. Such replacement of fossil fuel makes a saving of around 50,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.
About B Corp
Entrepreneurship brings responsibility. B Corporations are companies that recognise this and are committed to social added value and ecological sustainability in their articles of association. These companies allow their corporate management, employee rights and impact on the environment, society and customers measured to undergo rigorous tests and audits. Since its foundation in 2006, there are now over 3,300 certified B Corporations in more than 65 countries, including Patagonia, The Guardian and Einhorn. This international movement connects companies on their way to a responsible future for the economy. B Corporations do not make it their habit to rest on their laurels. They strive for continuous improvement and for their business activities to have an increasingly positive impact on all stakeholders. This "Movement of Improvement" is promoted through the B-Corp certification system: Recertification is due every three years and the B Impact Assessment becomes more demanding every year.
About AustroCel Hallein GmbH
AustroCel Hallein GmbH currently has more than 270 employees and is one of the market leaders in China for textile pulp from softwood with a total turnover of about 150 million Euro. During the previous year, more than 155,000 tons of viscose pulp were sold and 104 GWh of district heating and 87 GWh of green electricity were produced. The Hallein-based high-tech company thus not only supplies its own production with clean energy, but also 25,000 households with green electricity and 13,000 households with district heating. Work on the new bioethanol plant is progressing as planned, ensuring that the plant will come into use at the end of 2020 and produce up to 30 million litres of bioethanol annually.