Vienna, Austria, Mar 7 2011
ANDRITZ are committed to sustainable development. For ANDRITZ, sustainable
development encompasses a full set of environmental measures but at the same
time goes beyond them."
ANDRITZ GROUP is committed to promoting environmental protection and
conservation of natural resources."
On March 8th the
Austrian company Andritz will present its financial balance for 2010. The
company's CEOs will talk a lot about gains in business and record profits. What
will not be presented is the price that had to be and will have to be paid by
the ecosystems and affected people in the project regions.
ECA Watch Austria took a
look at Andritz' socio-ecological balance of 2010. „Andritz' balance in terms
of numbers and money may be good for the company, but the real balance for
people and nature is disastrous. Andritz has become one of the most ruthless
companies in its area of business. They participate even in projects that are abandoned by competitors," said
Ulrich Eichelmann from ECA Watch Austria.
socio-ecological balance based only on the company's three biggest projects
Ilisu dam (Turkey), Belo
Monte and dams along the Rio Madeira (both Brazil):
of 85.000 to 100.000 people1
of 100 to 150 species2
of 210.000 hectares of unique landscape3
of the antique city of Hasankeyf and other areas
of significant cultural heritage along the Tigris
numbers represent low estimates, a) because of the overall limited knowledge
about species populations in affected areas, b) because they only include the
directly affected people, not those who are effected downstream of the dam by
the reduced water flow, the deterioration of water quality etc. and c) because
not all of Andritz' projects could be included in this evaluation due to lack
of project information.
In terms of
the most disastrous projects one would have to add the "Bell Bay
pulp mill" project in Tasmania/Australia, which is is on halt at the moment due
to ongoing protest by environmental groups in the region. According to project
plans, the installation and operation of this pulp mill would swallow 200.000
hectares of native forest and would produce 64.000 cubic meters of wastewater per
day which would be led into the ocean, endangering nearby marine species.
company's reputation 2010 was a special year. The list of opponents has
significantly grown: human rights, environmental and church organizations
protested against Andritz. Demonstrations took place in Austria, France,
The NGOs BankTrack and Les Amis de la Terre (Friends of the Earth France) put
Andritz on a black list of companies which should be excluded from ethical
more ruthless than other companies
even participates in projects when other companies pull out on ethical grounds.
In the case of the Ilisu project in Turkey for example, where European
governments and banks withdrew from the projects and even Andritz' partners in
the building consortium pulled out, Andritz remained in the project. After a
two year examination the governments of Germany,
Austria and Switzerland had
suggested the halt of the project. The European banks and construction
companies followed the instruction, except Andritz. Instead, they proudly announced in mid-2010
their "biggest contract in history." (Andritz Hydro News No 18).
September 2010 Andritz received bad news. The Bell
Bay pulp mill project in Tasmania was stopped and
a several-hundred-million-Euro deal for the Austrian firm was put on halt.
beginning of 2011 Andritz signed the contracts for the Belo Monte project in Brazil. Their
shares increased in value, but this was no good news for the people and the
nature in Amazonia. "Andritz' statements on
the company's website concerning its sustainability policies appear quite
cynical facing the reality on the ground. Andritz should create and follow
social and ecological standards for their work in order to limit their negative
impact on people and environment and to stay reliable," concluded Ulrich
1 Displacement and loss of livelihood: Ilisu: 65.000-78.000 people, Belo Monte:
20.000 people, Rio Madeira:?
2 Extinction of species from the planet: Belo Monte: 100 fish species + unknown
number of other species groupes, Ilisu: > 2 species, Rio Madeira: ?
3 Directly affected space through construction and
opperation: Ilisu: 31.300 hectares, 400km of rivers, Belo Monte: 150.000
hectares (51.600 ha reservoir + dryed out stretches), Rio Madeira: 50.000