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Corporate Social Responsibility

Responsibility and sustainable development


As one of the largest companies in the country, Austrian Post is aware of its responsibility towards its stakeholders and the social environment. For this reason, the company has committed itself to appropriately taking into consideration the interests of all target groups when formulating its business strategies and carrying out its business operations. In doing so, Austrian Post orients its activities to the principles of the UN Global Compact, to which the company has belonged since 2007. Ten fundamental principles contained in the Global Compact define minimum ecological and social standards. These tenets comprise the primary demands of the international community represented in the United Nations relating to sustainable business management in the interests of all stakeholders.

Austrian Post as a partner to its stake holders

for customers: Good inter-personal relationships are the underlying reason for the success of Austrian Post’s customers Therefore Austrian Post provides nationwide postal services at a fair price-performance ratio.

for shareholders: Austrian Post has paid high dividends in recent years to its shareholders, including to its majority shareholder ÖIAG (and thus the Republic of Austria).

for employees: The Austrian Post Group has responsibility for about 23,000 employees in Austria and another 4,000 employees internationally. The company attaches great importance to maintaining its position as a popular employee, whose focus is on actively promoting the professional development of its staff.

for business partners: Austrian Post has always served as a fair, reliable and predictable business partner for its suppliers and business partners.

for the environment: Austrian Post demonstrates its commitment to environmental protection on the basis of the ongoing modernisation of its infrastructure, numerous waste prevention initiatives and programmes to reduce the consumption of natural resources.

for communities: Nationwide outreach and an open dialogue are the hallmarks of the relationship between Austrian Post and Austrian communities. Nationwide postal services are also ensured in rural areas through postal partner offices and rural delivery staff.

in the regulatory environment: Most of Austrian Post’s operations are carried out within the framework of a regulated business environment with clearly-defined quality and service standards. The prerequisite for a successful liberalisation are fair conditions applying to all postal service providers.

for society: Austrian Post is one of the country’s largest employers, and its nationwide branch network provides access to top quality postal servi ces for all Austrians.

CSR priorities


In the light of Austrian Post’s far-reaching responsibility to its stakeholders, the company has defined four pillars of its sustainability policies:

Economy: Only a company that grows and expands can seriously assume its responsibilities on a longterm basis and make an appropriate contribution to fulfi lling social needs. Accordingly, the top priority for Austrian Post’s management is to ensure profi tability on a sustainable basis. In this spirit, ongoing optimisation measures are designed to maintain the competitiveness of Austrian Post. Similarly, an international expansion strategy is being implemented in order to ensure the achievement of the targeted long-term corporate success.

Society: As Austria’s universal postal services provider, Austrian Post is committed to fulfilling its corporate social responsibility. The company makes an important contribution towards maintaining and safeguarding the communications infrastructure of the country based on its provision of reliable, top quality nationwide postal services on behalf of the Austrian population. The company responds to the challenges posed by increasing competition through ongoing change and profitability improvement.

Employees: Austrian Post is a major employer, with a work-force of about 27,000 employees. Motivated and highly productive employees are the cornerstone of the tried and tested logistics concept, which ensures daily postal deliveries to customers. An indispensable prerequisite is ensuring a healthy, safe and secure working environment. The number of employees must be continually adjusted to current requirements within the context of optimisation measures and process improvements. These personnel cuts are carried out by paying strict attention to social aspects and by taking advantage of the process of natural attrition.

Environment: The efficient and prudent use of natural resources is also an important priority for Austrian Post, as demonstrated by its efforts to reduce resource consumption, or its active participation in projects such as the Greenhouse Gas Reduc tion Programme of PostEurop, focusing on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Society


Commitment to nationwide services
Throughout Austria, a total of 1,500 company-operated and third-party operated branches along with another 400 postal service points ensure the provision of postal services on behalf of the Austrian population. Austrian Post remains committed to maintaining nationwide postal services, evenmore in light of the upcoming liberalisation of the postal market. In particular, the concept of the postal partner offices, in which local tobacconists, retail sales people and also municipal offices cooperate with Austrian Post, has proven its value. Through their expanded offering, postal partner offices strengthen the local availability of essential services, due to the fact that various services are bundled which could otherwise not be supplied any longer on a continuing basis if separately offered by different providers. The cooperation with Austrian Post also represents an additional source of income for the contractual partners. Moreover, customers who can shop and drop off parcels in one store benefit from one-stop shopping. An additional advantage is the longer opening hours in most cases.

Austrian Post in its role as a universal services provider attaches particular importance to maintaining an ongoing dialogue with political decision makers, in particular cities and municipalities. Communities serve as important partners to Austrian Post in all issues related to securing the long-term provision of postal services for the Austrian population. Against the backdrop of changes in the market environment related to postal market liberalisation, Austrian Post is striving to establish an active dialogue with Austrian municipalities to develop effective solutions guaranteeing that postal services will continue to be provided on a nation-wide basis, as stipulated by the Universal Service Ordinance.

In 2008, Austrian Post once again actively participated in the “National City Day” and “Community Day” events organised by the Association of Austrian Cities and Towns and the Austrian Association of Municipalities, taking advantage of the opportunity to exchange ideas personally with the respective mayors. The cooperation with communal representatives in Austria remains an important cornerstone of the active dialogue Austrian Post pursues with its stakeholders.

Barrier-free access
In order to promote the equal treatment of people with special needs, Austrian Post upgraded 18 additional post offices in its branch network in 2008 to ensure barrier-free access to disadvantaged people. Separate parking spaces and ramps in the entrance area facilitate entry. These branches have been equipped with lower writing desks to enable barrier-free accessibility.

Sponsorship and cultural responsibility


Society
In 2008, Austrian Post once again supported the “Ö3-Wundertüte” (Ö3 radio station showbags) campaign for the fourth time by assuming responsibility for the logistical organisation. This drive is designed to collect old mobile phones and convert them into cash (through re-sale or recycling) in order to help families in need. Austrian Post also provided support to the “Helping Hands” campaign launched by the daily newspaper “Kronen Zeitung”. The donations are used for the benefit of the Wohngemeinschaft Pronegg, a cooperative living arrangement for children with special needs, and the SOS Children’s Village in Vienna-Floridsdorf.

Sports
In the field of sports, Austrian Post in its role as a national supporter can look back at its very successful European Football Championship, where the event proceeded quite smoothly, not to mention the matches themselves.

Football will continue to be extremely important in Austria, even after the end of UEFA EURO 2008TM. The “Postliga Mädchenfußball” (Austrian Post league for girl’s football) was set up at the beginning of the 2008/09 school year. The project is the result of a cooperative venture between Austrian Post as the main sponsor, the Ministry of Education and the Austrian Football Association (ÖFB).

Culture
In terms of promoting cultural activities, Austrian Post was the sponsor of the well-known Viennale film festival in 2008 for the third time. The company also continued its tried and tested cooperation with the Salzburg Jazz Autumn and the Haydn Festival Eisenstadt. Thanks to the support of Austrian Post, the picture gallery located in the theatre lounge of the Vienna Burgtheater was enlarged once again. During the year under review, Austrian Post also entered into a cooperative agreement with the Albertina Museum in Vienna.

Employees


Women/family
At an early stage, Austrian Post realised the importance of the issue of equality. In this spirit, Austrian Post has established its own internal programme for the professional advancement of women, supporting the compatibility of family and career and ensuring equal opportunities for women in hiring and in their professional careers. The active management of parental leave is designed to facilitate the employee’s re-entry to the job market after a career interruption.

The slogan dominating the year 2008 was “Austrian Post is female”. Awareness-building measures included the sensitising of employees and top executives to the issues surrounding gender mainstreaming by external experts within the framework of the “Austrian Post Talk Series”, as well as an employee survey on the issue of equal opportunity. The conclusion of the opinion poll was that a much higher awareness for equal opportunity exists at Austrian Post than in the Austrian business community as a whole. It is also possible for women to break the barriers of male-dominated jobs, as demonstrated by the first female lorry driver who was hired in Se tember 2008 to transport freight for Austrian Post. As a targeted measure designed to inspire girls to enter technical or technically-related fields, Austrian Post participated in the Vienna Daughter’s Day event for the first time in 2008, offering an insight into the work of employees in the letter mail and parcel centres as well as in the field of freight transport.

Health and safety
Within the context of its occupational health care services, Austrian Post’s entitled “The right exercise brings something for everybody” focused on ergonomics, in particular on specific activities typical for Austrian Post employees. Together with external experts, 500 top executives were trained at kick-off events held throughout the country. More than 6,800 employees at 200 delivery bases took part in information lectures held by occupational health physicians. The programme was supported by specially-designed brochures and posters.

The regional health-care campaigns “Post Vital Wals” and “Post Vital Styria” were awarded the “Austrian Quality Seal for Workplace Health Promotion 2008– 2010”, a certification bestowed by the Austrian Network for Workplace Health Promotion honouring the successful implementation of occupational healthcare measures in regular business operations.

In addition to the nationwide vaccination drive providing free flu vaccinations to employees, Austrian Post also once again offered low-cost TBE, tetanus, diphtheria, polio and hepatitis vaccinations.

In order to counteract the massive increase in the number of assaults targeting Austrian Post‘s delivery staff in the first half of 2008, Austrian Post doubled security expenditure for delivery staff in addition to ongoing training held in cooperation with security companies. At a security summit meeting in August, it was agreed that retirement benefits paid to people in Vienna would be delivered by special messengers, effective immediately. The affected benefi ciaries were notified of the change ahead of time in a personal letter.

Change
During the period under review, it was once again necessary for Austrian Post to carry out adjustments in the number of employees due to increasing competition and preparations for the complete opening of the letter mail market in 2011. In August 2008, a labour-management agreement establishing a social plan (employee redundancy programme) to cushion the effects of restructuring measures on the affected employees was concluded until the end of 2009.

Participation in external regional employment foundations

Employees wishing to re-position themselves professionally have the opportunity to be admitted into an employment foundation offering training and continuing education measures lasting for up to three years and upon completion of these courses, supporting employees in their efforts to find suitable new jobs.

Bridging allowance
In the case of unemployment, Austrian Post employees born 1950 or earlier with civil servant employment contracts, who have worked for a total of 40 years and paid their social security contributions, and have thus fulfilled the criteria qualifying them for non-discounted pension benefits, are entitled to bridge the time remaining until their retirement with paid leave.

Social plan
Austrian Post offers all its civil servants and salaried employees financial assistance within the context of its social plan, if a particular position has been eliminated and all efforts to find a suitable alternative for the employee within the company have been in vain.

Career and Development Centre
In addition, the Career and Development Centre, the “new placement” unit of Austrian Post, supports employees trying to reposition themselves and find new jobs as a result of restructuring measures. Dur ing the 2008 financial year, more than 200 employees took advantage of systematic professional training as a basis for finding employment within and outside the company. In this manner, numerous employees were hired to work in new business areas, for example mailroom management or the digitalisation of a customer’s incoming mail.

Training and continuing education


Start of the one-year management curriculum
Austrian Post offered a Group-wide management curriculum for the targeted training of junior executives for the first time in the year 2008. The participants selected concluded a one-year long training programme encompassing all topics of relevance to their management responsibilities. The courses of study ranged from personnel management, process management, strategy and the development of the postal market to business management practices relating to Austrian Post operations involving a company simulation.

Training and professional development – long-term investments in human resources
Targeted training courses for top executives comprise an important pillar of the Austrian Post Group’s comprehensive offering of training and continuing education courses. In this respect, executive training was carried out in all three divisions, focusing on the specific developmental goals of each respective division. In order to increase the practical value of the company’s professional development efforts, executives also took advantage of individual coaching opportunities. In addition to investments in internal courses of study on IT topics such as identity management, CERT/CIRT and CISA/CISM, employees in direct contact to customers were given extensive training.

Motivation


In order to optimally prepare the employees of Austrian Post to deal with the challenges which will arise in the upcoming years, the company continued its discussion events entitled “Austrian Post Talk Series” during the period under review. These events served as a platform for top executives to inform Austrian Post employees in the tried and tested form of a dialogue about important topics of relevance to their respective divisions and to the Group as a whole. The majority of employees took advantage of this opportunity to personally attend these events and inform themselves about relevant issues. For example, approximately 11,000 employees in the Mail Division took part in the discussions. Top executives personally answered questions posed by employees in the “Future Talks” series. Many uncertainties and misgivings on the part of employees arising as a result of changes in the postal sector could be dispelled by personal contacts and conversations as well as the opportunity to pose and get answers to specific questions.

Motivation through profit sharing
A majority of employees are also shareholders of the company, which is due to the stock market listing of Austrian Post. An additional motivation for all employees of Austrian Post is the voluntary profit-sharing bonus scheme. Within the context of this programme, which is unique among Austria’s large-sized companies, 10% of the EBIT generated by Austrian Post in 2008 will be directly distributed to employees of Austrian Post for the seventh straight year. In 2008, a total of EUR 590 for the 2007 financial year was distributed to each employee of Austrian Post in connection with the profit-sharing scheme.

Social services, post.sozial
The joint welfare association “post.sozial” founded by the Manage ment Board and the Central Works Council of Aus trian Post in the year 2005 further expanded the support services offered to employees in 2008. These services range from well-established “classics” such as food coupons, discounted tickets for selected events and vacation accommodations at particularly favourable rates to financial subsidies for dental treatment and the non-bureaucratic emergency aid provided in the case of natural disasters.

Environment


Austrian Post seriously and actively assumes responsibility for the environment. In this respect, it is striving to keep the environmental impact of its business operations to a minimum by applying environmentally- friendly technologies and by promoting the efficient use of natural resources.

Higher ecological efficiency in transport
Transport operations, a very important component of Austrian Post’s business activities, are carried out in the most environmentally-compatible manner. On the one hand, this is achieved on the basis of optimal route planning (avoidance of empty runs, consistent optimisation of capacity utilisation of the vehicles, reduction in the total transport). On the other hand, a modern vehicle fleet, regular maintenance and ongoing training of drivers guarantee the ecological efficiency of the company’s transport activities. In one pilot project, Austrian Post’s own “eco-trainers” provided training to about 150 drivers in fuel-efficient driving techniques.

Natural gas and electric driven delivery vehicles
An innovative approach to environmental protection is carried out by Austrian Post in its mail delivery operations. A pilot project was started using natural gas-driven delivery vehicles in cooperation with the Utility Vehicles Division of Volkswagen, and supported by the “klima:aktiv mobil” (climate compatible mobility) campaign coordinated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Waste Management. As of the end of 2008, a total of 77 natural gas-powered delivery vehicles were being used by Austrian Post throughout the country. In addition, following the successful testing of electric powered mopeds, Austrian Post decided to order six such vehicles. Ten additional electric mopeds are still being tested.

Participation in the international climate protection programme
Austrian Post has also committed itself on an international basis to complying with the principles of sustainable corporate management. For example, Austrian Post is one of 16 European postal companies taking part in the “Greenhouse Gas Reduction Programme”, the European- wide initiative coordinated by PostEurop, the European association of public postal operators. Based on jointly-developed measurement tools and approaches to collecting data, this programme will systematically gather information on the CO2 emissions of postal companies in their transport and vehicle fleet operations for the first time and compare the data. In addition, the participants have also defined the ambitious goal of achieving a 10% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions between the start of the initiative in 2007 and the year 2012.

Austrian Post has also become a member of the “Environmental Measurement and Monitoring Sys tem (EMMS)” developed on the basis of the “Green house Gas Protocol”, a project coordinated by the International Postal Cooperation, an association of 24 postal companies in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand. This system and its conclusions are designed to lay the groundwork for the preparation and presentation of the very first global sustainability report of the postal sector at the end of December 2009, simultaneously to the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Copenhagen in 2009.

Economy


Value added analysis
Total revenues of EUR 2,522.4m achieved by Austrian Post in the 2008 financial year (including other operating income) contrasts with prepayments of EUR 1,234.9m, which include expenses for raw materials, consumables and services used totalling EUR 778.2m, and other operating expenses of EUR 304.5m. For the most part, the resulting value added of Austrian Post amounting to EUR 1,287.5m was directly distributed to employees in the form of salaries and wages, as well as indirectly in the form of social contributions. It will be proposed that a dividend of EUR 168.9m be paid to shareholders for the 2008 financial year. The Republic of Austria held a 51% stake, and will thus be given a dividend of EUR 85.7m. Income taxes totalled EUR 39.3m.

Value added analysis for all stakeholders

EUR m 2007 2008
Value added formation    
Revenue and other operating income    2,388.3  2,522.4
Less advance outlays    -1,106.1  -1,234.9
    thereof raw materials and consumables used   -108.3 -778.2
    thereof other operating expenses   -583.9 -304.5
Value added    1,282.2  1,287.5
Distribution    
    to employees (wages, salaries, social contributions) 1,126.90 1,126.80
    to shareholders (dividends)  168 168.9
    to the Republic of Austria (taxes)  42.2 39.9
    to creditors (interest)   8.3 9.6
    to minority interests 0.1 0
 Remaining amount   -63.3 -57.1
 Value added   1,282.20 1,287.50

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