Every age has its responsibility. For us, today it is important to ensure a future worth living for future generations. At A1, we are aware of this responsibility and take it very seriously. With Raffaela Ortner, sustainability in the A1 Group has gained a new profile since October 2020. With a clear mission and a lot of motivation, she is responsible for the implementation of ESG goals. Read more about Raffaela as well as the reasons why A1 focuses on Environment, Society and corporate Governance in this A1 Story.

We are an innovative technology company and it is our ambition to be among the best, which is also true in the field of sustainability. The good thing is it is on us to drive necessary changes – from #EmpoweringDigitalLife to Empowering a Sustainable Future. We have been dealing with this topic in different companies at A1 Group for different lengths of time and in different ways. That’s why we are setting now company-wide targets for the period up to 2030 on a common basis, which will contribute to supporting global climate targets in a certified way. With the three tracks of ESG we cover our commitment to a sustainable, better, greener and more diverse future.

Since October 2020, Raffaela has been head of ESG at A1 Group. Together with her team, she is responsible for ensuring that our ambitious goals, such as carbon neutrality by 2030, are truely implemented. Or to teach 100,000 people in the safe use of the internet. Or to bring more diversity into our company. In the interview below, you will get to know Raffaela a little better and find out what it takes to be passionate for sustainability.

You have been Head of ESG at the A1 Group since the beginning of October. What are your motivation and goals?

I am definitely a »purpose-driven« person and want to contribute through my work, in my role as Head of ESG. My goal is that one day, ESG will be firmly anchored in the organization and will be considered in our daily business. For example, when we eat, we are aware of the amount of calories we consume. It would be great, if we will be aware of carbon emission in the same amount one day and take this into account in our decisions.

What do you bring along to promote ESG at A1 in a sustainable way?

I have already worked in various positions in this field – from lobbying to public service to other companies in the private sector. In addition, I have the appropriate education in environmental management and ecotoxicology, where I have, for example, investigated and experimented with the toxicity of substances in the laboratory. However, my experience as an Executive Assistant at A1 helps me at least just as much, which has allowed me to get to know the company very well and help me implement the ESG strategy successfully.

»ESG is much more than »just« avoiding carbon dioxide.«

What does the perfect A1 world look like today in 2030?

ESG is much more than »just« avoiding carbon dioxide. It’s also about our social development and, for example, living diversity in all its facets at A1. In a perfect world in 2030, for me there will be no need for our own initiatives to promote women, because equality is a matter of course. In 2030, it should be considered normal and nothing out of the ordinary that as many women as men work at A1, which also applies for management positions.

What did you want to become as a child?

I have always liked to eat sweet things and wanted to work at a famous chocolate manufacturer to be allowed to eat chocolate full-time ;)

Which superpower would you like to have?

I would like to be able to cure diseases. Being healthy is one of the most important things you appreciate when you don’t have it and then it’s often too late.

Why is sustainability personally important to you?

I am aware that I am lucky to have been born in Vienna and to have grown up in a good, stable environment. I love to travel, have lived in many other countries and have experienced how the majority of people feels. In this sense, I would like to give something back. With regard to the environment, I would like to ensure that future generations might still experience the beautiful sides of nature, as we know it today.

Where do you privately focus on a sustainable lifestyle?

I buy almost exclusively organic products, it’s now very easy to do so with food, but unfortunately it’s still a niche market for clothing. With items like my balcony furniture I try to upcycle, breathing new life into old objects is also a kind of hobby to me.

»I am a very positive person and try to look at the bright side of life.«

Why is sustainability not just »hip«?

People of my generation have definitely understood that infinite growth and consumption are simply not possible and it harms us if we waste finite resources and run short of them. Thus, it is the future – our future!

This is how our A1 Group CEO Thomas Arnoldner explains why sustainability and A1 go so well together.

Stay tuned – in the next A1 Story we take a view on our A1 Group countries and present you their sustainable activities.