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Sustainability report 19/20

Safe plants and work processes

2019 | 2020

  • Full operating capacity assured in spite of the global pandemic
  • Successful implementation of the internal pandemic plan

2021 | 2022

  • Focus on integrity management at facilities
  • Measures to protect critical infrastructure

Security of supply

We are convinced that the energy transformation can only succeed if security of supply is guaranteed. Highly developed gas infrastructure, including storage facilities, means that enough energy is always available.

Our energy storage facilities have outstanding capabilities which will be in particularly strong demand in a future energy landscape shaped by renewables. That’s why we work to ensure the safety and technical availability of those facilities.
Stefan Lehner | Head of Storage Operations

The high capacity of Austria’s storage facilities, at the heart of Europe’s gas networks, provides security. With a total storage capacity of more than 6.2 bn cu m, RAG makes a major contribution to security of supply in Central Europe. Scarcely any other EU member state has such substantial and reliable storage capacity to safeguard energy supplies to Central Europe.

We live up to our responsibility to ensure the uninterrupted, affordable and secure supply of gas for the generation of power and heat for the people of Austria, and for use in industry and transport in the country.

Covid-19 management

The global Covid-19 pandemic posed significant challenges for energy suppliers. But our focus on sustainability enabled us to overcome the crisis. Several years ago, we proactively implemented extensive automation measures at all of our facilities. Thanks to these steps, as well as our decentralised organisational structure and a comprehensive internal pandemic response plan, we were able to satisfy business partners‘ energy requirements in full from the very start of the crisis, with supplies from our storage facilities. We also swiftly implemented safety protocols and conduct rules. These included the physical separation of key personnel involved in managing the various facilities, remote working, virtual meetings and deployment of an internal coronavirus coordination team. Regular information from the Executive Board to the workforce reinforced employees’ commitment and discipline in observing the new rules.

Secure and resilient facilities

Safety and security are our number one priority. RAG Austria AG meets the highest safety standards in order to ensure a safe working and living environment for all of our staff as well as local residents and municipalities.

Safe facilities and work processes are paramount. We have implemented various management systems designed to ensure safe operations and secure energy supplies. These interlocking systems cover the following areas:

  • Health, safety and the environment (HSE)
  • Integrity of facilities, pipelines and casings (integrity management)
  • Security of information systems (ISMS)

HSE management system

Health, safety and the environment are the pillars of our management system, which plays a central role at our company.

The framework includes the HSE policy and objectives, clear responsibilities, safety structures, defined risk assessment methods, as well as processes for HSE management and corrective measures. The management system is regularly updated for approval by senior management.

Our approach to risk identification and appraisal is based on risk analysis, which takes place in the course of the HSE management review. Potential health and safety hazards are identified and evaluated at the planning stage of new projects. Projects are kept under observation throughout their life cycle, from start-up to completion and decommissioning.

Zero accident goal

We have set ourselves the goal of achieving zero accidents in all our activities. A dedicated module in the HSE management system enables us to continuously implement and improve processes.

Besides the health and safety measures designed to protect our own workforce, we also integrate RAG’s contractors closely into our safety activities. We aim to strengthen awareness of executives’, employees’ and contractors’ direct responsibility for health and safety. For example, prior to commencement of a project, we insist that all those involved perform a 5x5 matrix “last-minute risk analysis” (LMRA), so as to ensure that they are aware of the potential risks and take appropriate precautions for their own safety and that of others.

Integrity management

Our integrity management system focuses on three aspects: above-ground facilities (facility integrity); gas, oil and storage pipelines (pipeline integrity); and casings and well fittings (well integrity).

We use established risk assessment systems to evaluate facilities’ resilience in the face of disturbing influences and exceptional operating states. For example, steps can be taken to minimise the risk of an outage and to enhance system-recovery capability. These factors are highly significant for RAG in its role as part of Austria and Central Europe’s critical infrastructure, which is also assessed using blackout scenarios.

A high-level integrity manager, who is a member of the Internal Audit and Strategic Safety Management (IRS) Department, prepares a central report containing full information from the three focus areas in the integrity management system and implements corresponding technical projects.

Crisis and emergency management

Rapid, coordinated action is decisive in emergency and crisis situations. This is why we have had a firmly established emergency and crisis management system in place for many years – managers with emergency and crisis management responsibilities as well as staff receive training on this topic at regular intervals, and we also carry out drills with regional emergency services to prepare for real-life situations.

In order to ensure rapid mobilisation of employees in case of emergency, a new notification system has been introduced which raises the alarm at various RAG units at the press of a button.


As an operator of critical infrastructure, we have a clear responsibility to safeguard our IT systems. In 2020, RAG received the NIS notice  for selected locations and commissioned an authorised company to carry out a gap analysis in order to determine the locations where steps need to be taken. In line with the priorities set out in our information security management system, the various measures are recorded in an implementation plan and completed within the requisite three-year deadline.

They include adjustments in site security, as well as the introduction of a modern digital monitoring system, so as to ensure the protection of critical infrastructure and, in turn, safeguard supply security.

* NIS: Security of Network and Information Systems

Goals & Measures: Download PDF