Verbund

InfluenceMap Score
B+
Performance Band
83%
Organisation Score
76%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Utilities
Head​quarters:
Vienna, Austria
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Verbund is strategically engaged on various climate change policy streams with predominantly positive lobbying positions, for example strongly engaging with the EU’s Climate Law, 2030 GHG emission reduction target, and advocating for a minimum CO2 price within the EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). Verbund is broadly supportive of transitioning the energy mix, but has taken some positions supporting fossil gas.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The company's top-line messaging on climate policy is very positive. Verbund stated support for the EU Green Deal, and climate neutrality targets in the EU and Austria in its Climate Report, published in September 2020. In the same report, the organization also stated support for the Paris Agreement. In a July 2021 Vienna Online article, company CEO Michael Strugl stated support for the EU’s Fit for 55 legislative climate package, whilst calling for more synergies between the package’s policies. In its 2020 Climate Report, Verbund appeared to advocate for ambitious climate action through effective instruments, including calls for a strong carbon price across all sectors.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Verbund has strongly supported the EU ETS, and has on several occasions advocated for reforms to increase its effectiveness. In its February 2021 Consultation Response on the EU ETS, the company appeared to support reforms to increase the ambition of the scheme’s emission reductions, while calling for free allocations for industry to be replaced with auctioned allocations. In its 2020 Climate Report, published September 2020, the organization also seemed to suggest the inclusion of a minimum rising CO2 price in the EU ETS, as well carbon pricing schemes for all sectors of the economy, including transport and buildings. Verbund also appeared to support the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism, and advocated for it to replace the current carbon leakage framework including free allocations under the EU ETS, in a 2021 consultation response.

Verbund CEO Michael Strugl advocated for improved permitting for wind energy projects in an October 2022 Twitter post. The company also stated support for the revision of the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive, and indicated that the 2030 target should be increased to “at least 40%” in a 2021 consultation response. In an October 2021 joint statement, Verbund stated support for energy efficiency measures and policies within the EU’s Fit for 55 legislative climate package. In the same statement, the company supported the EU’s 2030 GHG emission reduction target of at least 55%. Verbund stated support for Austria’s 2030 100% renewable energy target in its 2020 Climate Report, published in September 2020.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Verbund is broadly supportive of the decarbonization of the economy, but has also taken positions supporting the role of fossil gas. In the company’s 2021 Annual Report, published in March 2022, it supported the role of green hydrogen in decarbonizing heavy industry and transport. Verbund also advocated for the decarbonization of the transport sector in a position paper on its website, accessed in December 2022, which supported the role of electric vehicles and technologies.

The company’s position on fossil gas in the energy mix appears to be mixed. In a June 2021 consultation response, Verbund supported the conversion of fossil gas infrastructure for renewable hydrogen and the use of hydrogen in hard-to-abate sectors. However, in the same submission, the company did not support measures to disincentivize use of unabated fossil gas. Additionally, in a March 2022 Twitter post, CEO Michael Strugl supported the diversification of the European energy mix by advocating for new fossil gas infrastructure.

Industry Association Governance: Verbund publicly discloses a limited list of industry association memberships, however it does not comment on how the company is attempting to influence these groups, nor has it published a full audit disclosure of its industry links. The company has links to trade associations positively engaged on climate policy, including SolarPower Europe.

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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
86%
 
86%
 
69%
 
69%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.