For the Vienna Stock Exchange, sustainable management means assuming responsibility for economic, social and ecological areas. We incorporate environmentally oriented and socio-cultural values into our corporate management and embed it in our processes. As infrastructure provider, the Vienna Stock Exchange makes an important contribution to the sustainable further development of the Austrian financial center, but also beyond that to our network in Eastern Europe. As a member of the "Sustainable Stock Exchanges Initiative", we are in a dialogue with international stock exchanges and stakeholders. The aim of the initiative is to create a global platform for ESG communication.
The organization of a secure and transparent marketplace is our central mission and our greatest contribution to society. Accurate trading, data protection and the high security standards are crucial. Not only trading participants, investors and listed companies rely on high standards, but also financial institutions depend on the quality of our data and our indices. With the VÖNIX, one of the first national sustainability indices, Vienna Stock Exchange and its partners were pioneers. Strengthening shareholders’ confidence in the Austrian stock market is the goal of the Corporate Governance Code. As a founding member of the working group, Vienna Stock Exchange plays a leading role in the creation of international standards for the responsible management of companies. The Vienna Stock Exchange Awards honor outstanding capital market communication of listed companies. A sustainability award is dedicated to companies that integrate high sustainability and social standards into their business strategy.
The employees are the foundation for achieving our corporate goals. We promote assuming responsibility and a business mindset. We view diversity as a success factor and treat all employees equally, regardless of color, gender, language, religion, origin, sexual orientation or other circumstances. Men and women are treated equally within the company. More than half of the departments are now headed by women. The Vienna Stock Exchange supports the compatibility of family and career. Health and safety at work are important to us as an employer. The company doctor is available to all employees at agreed times. Regular cultural and sports team activities as well as fringe benefits support a positive working atmosphere. Training and further education of employees are equally important.
Responsible use of resources is crucial for us. This ranges from the economical use of the printers to waste separation. At our company headquarters at Wallnerstrasse 8 in Vienna's first district, we obtain 100% of our electricity from hydropower. The central downtown location allows employees and customers to travel to their workplace by public transport, which helps to reduce CO2 emissions. Many employees of the Vienna Stock Exchange are enthusiastic cyclists who also like to use their bicycles on their way to work. The Vienna Stock Exchange sponsors a public bicycle for heavy loads, which not only the employees but also other interested people can borrow free of charge at any time.
Education is the best investor protection and it pays off. With more than 350 workshops every year, the Vienna Stock Exchange spreads knowledge about investment: from student lectures, to teacher workshops, to the Vienna Stock Exchange Academy for investors and all those who want to become investors. Every year, up to twenty young students are given the opportunity to do an internship at the Vienna Stock Exchange. In addition to our seminars, we provide a wide range of information on our website. Our multimedia offering on the website and the social media channels provide information free of charge on all aspects of investment and listed stocks.
Since 2011, the Vienna Stock Exchange has been supporting the START project, a scholarship program for committed students with a migration background. We take on sponsorships and support young people in obtaining a higher educational qualification. In addition, we donate the proceeds of the charity raffle at the annual "Wiener Börse Punsch" event to the non-profit organization.
There is an independent, binding code of conduct for public affairs agendas of the Vienna Stock Exchange. A compliance officer is responsible for monitoring and managing compliance issues within the company. The basis for this is our internal Compliance Code.