Sustainability Report 2016


Sustainable corporate management includes sensible corporate structures with clear responsibilities and monitoring functions. The structural organisation of 50Hertz is aligned with current Corporate Governance requirements and follows our Companyinternal specifications, which are defined in our Company Charter and in internal guidelines for important fields of activity and positions (more on this topic in the Annual Report in the chapter “Our corporate governance” on p. 36–39).

Our activities are always guided by current law. Our business activities are subject to numerous national and European regulations. For the sustainability report, we reference in particular:

  • the Renewable Energy Sources Act or Gesetz für den Ausbau erneuerbarer Energien (EEG)
  • the Heat and Power Cogeneration Act or Kraft-Wärme-Kopplungsgesetz (KWKG)
  • the Federal Immission Control Act or Bundes-Immissionsschutzgesetz (BImSchG)
  • the Federal Nature Conservation Act or Bundesnaturschutzgesetz (BNatSchG)
  • the Act on the Digitalisation of the Energy Transition or Gesetz zur Digitalisierung der Energiewende
  • the European Energy Efficiency Directive or Energieeffizienz-Richtlinie der Europäischen Union
  • the European Fauna-Flora-Habitats Directive and Birds Directive or Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Richtlinie und Vogelschutz-Richtlinie der Europäischen Union
(More on this topic in the Annual Report [Management report of 50Hertz Transmission GmbH] in the chapter “Regulatory framework for the energy industry” on p. 43–45.)

More on this topic in the Annual Report [Management report of 50Hertz Transmission GmbH] in the chapter “Regulatory framework for the energy industry” on p. 43–45. Since the actions of legislation and policy makers greatly impact our business activity, we introduce our positions transparently and publicly into the political process. Our Communications/Public Affairs department is responsible for this task. We conduct political communication responsibly and do not make donations to parties or sponsor them.

In addition to the Company-wide Politics Guideline, we provide guidance on acting in the political environment that is approved by management. With these guides and with specific training programmes, we ensure that our employees who are socially and politically active in the energy field communicate and act in accordance with clearly defined principles. Beyond that, 50Hertz is listed in the EU Transparency Register and is committed to this Code of Conduct.

Overview of Legislation Governing the Energy Supply System

The EU has agreed on a bundle of guidelines and targets containing target values for climate protection and energy consumption until 2020. The Federal Republic of Germany has also decided on the requirements for an environmentally conscious, reliable and affordable energy supply. An overview card published by the Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy shows the applicable directives and guidelines at the European and national level and provides brief and concise information about the most important content and correlations. You can download the overview here.


Our Company Charter and our Guideline on Corruption Prevention define in detail what we consider correct ethical business conduct, and clarify that we comply with law and order and do not tolerate corruption. These principles culminate in organisational measures that are valid and binding across the Company. In addition, we regularly train all employees involved in purchasing processes on the topics of procurement fundamentals, anti-corruption and compliance. In 2016, we conducted ten training seminars with a total of 115 employees; four seminars with another 48 employees are scheduled for 2017.

Since 2010, a guideline has been in effect in our organisation that regulates our whistle-blower system and stipulates the establishment of an internal Compliance Committee and an external ombudsman. The Compliance Committee consists of one member from the Legal department and one from the Human Resources department, as well as the compliance coordinator. Once per year, the ombudsman submits a written report to the Compliance Committee about any contacts and the number of leads received (more on this topic in the Annual Report in the chapter “Our corporate governance” on p. 38). In 2016, our ombudsman received one lead. The complaint, however, was not based on any circumstance concerning indications of corrupt conduct, violations of competition law or general unlawful conduct.

When the ombudsman relates a justified complaint to 50Hertz, the Compliance Committee is called in immediately to deal with the case and initiate further steps if necessary. The committee reports to the management of 50Hertz once per year and as warranted by specific occurrences. In 2016, the committee did not receive any pertinent complaints, so no investigations were conducted.

Our compliance record is also reflected in the fact that during the 2016 reporting period no significant fines connected to line construction projects or operation were legally imposed on 50Hertz.


We always consider the opportunities and risks for us and our social environment in all of our business activities. Our systematic risk management regularly records and evaluates the following risk categories: 

  • Protection of life and limb
  • Profit and loss
  • Liquidity 
  • Reputation
  • Security of supply
Our goal is to avoid risks to our existing operations, to reduce risk factors as much as reasonably possible and to optimise the opportunities-risks profile. A Risk Guideline defines how risks are systematically determined, recorded, evaluated and monitored on a quarterly basis (more on this topic in the Annual Report in the chapter “Our corporate governance” on p. 38).

Once a year, we hold a risk conference, where each Head of Department in their capacity of risk owners, the risk manager and our Executive Board discuss the most significant risks and risk-related issues. In the context of CSR, those are for instance occupational health and safety and new requirements imposed by environmental legislation.

In the interest of a fully integrated risk management, we also comprise our supply chain. Our Purchasing and Procurement Guidelines outline mandatory requirements of our suppliers regarding occupational health and safety and environmental protection. In the future, we intend to con-duct a detailed analysis of our impact on creating sustainable supply chains, add further sustainability aspects to our supplier documentation and increase our business partners’ awareness of the topic.


Sicherheit wird bei uns groß geschrieben. Als Betreiber sogenannter kritischer Infrastruktur sind wir durch das IT-Sicherheitsgesetz verpflichtet, die Informationssicherheit zu gewährleisten. Dabei sind die Verarbeitung, Speicherung und Kommunikation von Informationen so zu gestalten, dass die Verfügbarkeit, Vertraulichkeit und Integrität der Informationen und der Systeme in ausreichendem Maß sichergestellt werden.

Die operativen Aufgaben unserer IT-Sicherheit bezogen sich 2016 auf Detektion, Analyse und Behebung von Virusinfektionen und Spam, auf Monitoring der Internetpräsenzen der 50Hertz sowie auf die Härtung der kritischen Systeme und Anwendungen. Es wurden im Berichtszeitraum keine Cyber-Angriffe bei 50Hertz registriert.

Gemäß dem IT-Sicherheitsgesetz und dem darauf basierenden IT-Sicherheitskatalog der Bundesnetzagentur haben wir ein Informationssicherheits-Managementsystem nach DIN ISO 27001 eingeführt und lassen dieses System bis Januar 2018 zertifizieren.