Sustainability Report 2020

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About this report

This Greiner Sustainability Report contains the sustainability reporting for Greiner’s four operating divisions.

This report has been prepared in accordance with the GRI Standards: Core option and covers the calendar years 2019 and 2020. The report was reviewed externally by Quality Austria and has been validated. The base year 2018 is unchanged and is used for all of our key figures and targets unless stated otherwise in the report. The Greiner Sustainability Report is still expected to be prepared and published every two years.

It was not always possible to list all the key performance indicators required by the GRI directly in the respective chapter. In this case, the performance overview at the end of the report provides a complete overview of all key performance indicators required under the GRI. Omissions in the GRI key performance indicators can be found in the GRI Index.

Differences in non-financial data in 2020 compared to 2018 and 2019, which are in some cases significant, are often a result of the acquisition of Eurofoam – previously a joint venture of Greiner Foam International – in March 2020. The consolidated business area now operates under the name NEVEON.

Any discrepancies in the totals stated are a result of rounding differences. In some tables, the sum of the four divisions does not add up to the total amount stated. This is because the Greiner AG headquarters is not assigned to a division and is not shown separately. We also provide two totals for staff headcount (11,494 and 11,238). This depends on whether or not the amount includes employees at joint ventures and distribution sites.

Greiner’s previous, first Sustainability Report, related to fiscal 2018 and was published in June 2019. In line with this cycle, the next, third report is planned for 2023. This report is published in German and English and is also available online at

The consolidated financial statements comprise the Greiner headquarters and the four Greiner divisions including all production sites and sales offices. A corresponding list can be found in the Greiner annual report. The financial figures are consolidated data covering all joint ventures on a proportionate basis. The turnover used to calculate the specific energy efficiency and the specific CO2 emissions differs from the turnover given in the annual report and is lower. This is because, in line with the system boundaries of this report, the turnover of joint ventures from 2018 to 2020 were not included.

The Sustainability Report covers Greiner’s largest management sites and all of its production sites. Sales offices and joint ventures with an interest of less than 50 percent were not included. The system boundaries and thus the number of the 57 sites taken into account were unchanged in 2019 in comparison to the first reporting year 2018. In 2020, key performance indicators for a total of 64 sites were collected and evaluated. Following the complete takeover and integration of the joint venture Eurofoam (NEVEON) and the acquisition of the Celaya site (NEVEON), an additional eight production sites were included in data collection in 2020. The production site in Plauen (NEVEON) was closed and is no longer included in 2020.

As part of revising the materiality analysis, the material topics for Greiner were reassessed. The process for gradually revising this, including incorporating all relevant stakeholders, is described in the introduction to this report. The topics identified as material for Greiner are at the core of our Blue Plan sustainability strategy and form the basic contents of this report.

There were no major changes to the material topics or their definitions compared to the 2018 Greiner Sustainability Report. Changes were made to the names of these topics and the expansion of GRI disclosures. The introduction to this report lists all material topics and also assigns them to the pillars of Blue Plan, the GRI, the SDGs and the UNGC.

Greiner began carbon accounting in 2018, calculating and disclosing its CO2 emissions under Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (indirect). We work with external experts at all times to calculate our CO2 emissions.

The quality of non-financial data collected at our locations has improved significantly in the last two years. Internal checks of data entries and an external review of our emissions calculations found that some of the data entries in 2018 were misinterpreted.

An external review also revealed that an incorrect emissions factor had been used to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions caused by natural gas. Previously, the emissions factor was also calculated for emissions generated by purchased electricity. The average of the emissions factors was calculated based on the respective energy mix. This approach was improved this year. The electricity product emissions factor/the supplier emissions factor was collected from the electricity supplier and used for the market-based Scope 2 calculation. Where the product emissions factor or supplier emission factor was not available, the respective residual mix was used. This method of calculation is in line with the guidelines of the GHG Protocol for market-based Scope 2 calculations. Unfortunately, the requirements for disclosing renewable energy were not correctly interpreted in 2018 and 2019. They are based on the assumption that the share of renewable energy in the energy mix stated is sufficient to disclose the energy from renewable sources. We reflected on this finding and all data required to disclose the share of renewable energy were collected.

For the reasons stated above, the Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions categories were recalculated for 2018 and 2019. Given this, the newly calculated emissions in this report are different to figures in the 2018 Sustainability Report. Emissions from 2020 were calculated using the same methodology as for the new 2018 and 2019 calculations.

In line with the system boundaries outlined above, all sites were included in the calculation of our greenhouse gas emissions. All emissions in our corporate carbon footprint are reported as CO2 equivalents in tonnes. The calculation of CO2 equivalents incorporates CO2 as well as six additional greenhouse gases regulated in the Kyoto Protocol: Methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and nitrogen triflouride (NF3). The only exception is the emissions provided by energy bills for the determination of the market-based Scope 2 calculation. Electricity suppliers mostly report these only with CO2 emissions.

Scope 1 CO2 emissions (direct emissions from heat generation, vehicle fleet and refrigerant leaks) and Scope 2 CO2 emissions (indirect emissions from purchased energy such as electricity, district heating and district cooling) were calculated in 2018 and 2019. As per the recommendations of the GHG Protocol, emissions from energy consumption are subject to dual reporting (marked-based and location-based). When calculating the 2020 carbon footprint, the system boundaries were voluntarily expanded and selected Scope 3 categories (indirect emissions from purchased goods and services, from fuel- and energy-related activities not included in Scope 1 or Scope 2, from upstream transportation, and from waste generated in operations) were included in the calculation.

All data required to calculate CO2 are taken from our sustainability software that we use to collect our non-financial key performance indicators. Scope 1 data for refrigerant leaks and the vehicle fleet had to be extrapolated in 2018 and 2019 due to gaps in data. Whereas the vehicle fleet had to be partially extrapolated again in 2020, coolant losses were reported in full in 2020. Scope 3 data from 2020 to calculate upstream transportation was collected outside of our data collection software. Some of this also had to be extrapolated and estimated.

The emissions factors used to measure the climate impact are based on established environmental databases. Taking into account time, space and technology, preference is given to conversion factors from Ecoinvent for the calculation. The GEMIS 4.95 database is the main tool used to measure our energy consumption. Electricity-relevant emissions were calculated on the basis of data from the VDA Thinkstep database. IPCC values were used to determine emissions caused by coolant losses. Where no suitable factors were available, emissions factors from scientific studies or derived emissions factors were used instead. Specific product or supplier factors were included in the calculation only for electricity and some district heating emissions.

The chemical notation for carbon dioxide, a key component of the global carbon cycle. It is a gas that is naturally present in the Earth’s atmosphere and absorbs and reflects some of the heat emitted from the planet. Human activity massively increases the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere, magnifying this greenhouse effect and resulting in global warming.
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Emissions factor
The Emissions factor indicates the average greenhouse gas emissions caused by an activity. As emissions can often not be directly measured, the amount of greenhouse gases is calculated by multiplying this factor and the activity rate.
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GHG Protocol

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol is a global tool for reporting greenhouse gas emissions. Companies use these standards to calculate their carbon footprint. The emissions are divided into the following three categories (Scopes).

  • Scope 1
    These are direct emissions from the company’s own facilities
  • Scope 2
    Purchased electricity, steam, heat and cooling that result in indirect emissions outside a company are reported under this category
  • Scope 3
    This covers all other indirect emissions generated as a result of activities outside the company such as manufacturing and transporting purchased goods and distributing, using and disposing of own goods
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The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides standards and guidelines for sustainability reporting. The GRI standards are intended to support sustainable development around the world, while also creating a common language and guidance to help companies, governments, investors, workers and an interested general public make decisions. Creating certain key figures and indicators on economic, environmental and social aspects improves the comparability of reports.
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Greenhouse gas emissions
Anthropogenic greenhouse gases are produced as a result of the manufacturing and burning of fossil fuels, agricultural activities, deforestation and industrial processes and the municipal disposal of waste and wastewater. The carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases emitted as a result of these activities change the composition of the atmosphere and are a major driver of climate change.
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Materiality analysis
This analysis identifies important sustainability issues for companies and their stakeholders. The results of partial analyses (external, internal, stakeholders) are combined in a materiality matrix.
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Quality Austria
The Austrian training, certification and evaluation institute provides a central, national network hub for system and production certification and for assessing, evaluating and validating these.
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