Rhomberg Holding is a group of almost 90 companies which employs 2800 people and has an annual turnover of 750 mln EUR. The group specializes in construction, resources and railway technology. Railway and construction are the 2 main pillars of the business. Some of the companies in the group operate internationally in various countries including Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, UK, Canada and Scandinavia. The rail business is the most internationalized and now based on this experience we built CREE
– an innovative building system. Your companies' vision and actions are strongly focused on sustainability. Why and when did sustainability start to play a major role for your company?
When I took over the company from my father in 2001 I had to come up with the new strategy for the business. This was an interesting moment, because I realised that before I do the strategy for my company, I needed to do the strategy for my life. At that time I was exploring the topic of sustainability and I coincidently came across of group of scientists including professor Friedrich Schmidt-Bleek
who developed the concept of the ''ecological backpack'' and taught me a great amount about natural resources. The Ecological backpack is a total quantity (in kg) of materials moved from nature to create a product or service, minus the actual weight of the product. So, an ecological backpack measures the amount of materials not directly used in the product but displaced because of the product. For example
, Steel: 21 (One kilogram of steel carries an ecological backpack of 21 kilograms.), Aluminium: 85, Copper: 400! Understanding the backpack of all the material you look at the building in the totally different way. That's what happened to me.