Holzindustrie Schweighofer is part of the Schweighofer Group and has its origins in an Austrian family business with over 400 years of experience in the wood processing industry. Currently, the Group is a leader in the wood processing industry in Europe, also having operations in the production of viscose, bioenergy, forestry and real estate. Holzindustrie Schweighofer opened the first sawmill in Romania, in Sebes, in 2003. The company currently operates locally another two saw mills – in Radauti and Reci, a massive wood panels factory in Siret and a block board plant in Comanesti, generating nearly 3,000 direct jobs in these locations and over 10,000 indirect jobs in related industries.
A proverb says: If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people. Therefore, Holzindustrie Schweighofer believes that most important strategic directions for the company are the environment and education.
Being actively involved in supporting programs for the involvement in the community’s social life, in the last five years alone the company has supported with over 5 million EUR large scale projects in health, social sector and education.
Holzindustrie Schweighofer’s CSR efforts are concentrated on three poles:
- How we do business – with respect for our partners and in a sustainable manner;
- How we treat our employees – they are our main value, we invest in their training, education and future;
- How we get involved in the local communities and make them more prosperous, supporting the education, the social sector and the health system.
Holzindustrie Schweighofer actively participates in solutions aimed at preserving Romanian forests and in limiting the illegal phenomena in the timber industry. Over the years, Holzindustrie Schweighofer has implemented numerous programs and adopted a code of conduct for wood procurement. All these regulations were implemented to prevent the entry of illegal timber into Holzindustrie Schweighofer factories. Improving these systems is an ongoing concern for our company, along with special projects, such as creating a monitoring system for timber shipments through GPS or RFID chip-based records of trees.
We also believe that education can make Romania progress: education gives access to a better health system, to a better life, to a decent housing etc. Current generations of students are the future professionals in forestry and wood engineering, and one of the commitments of Holzindustrie Schweighofer is to acknowledge and encourage performance. We are delighted to find valuable partners in educational institutions and we provide support to give young people professional training opportunities at the highest level.
Even though the strategic directions of Holzindustrie Schweighofer are education and environment, we wanted to be involved in the needs of the local communities, even though they were in different strategic directions. Thus, we helped in many other social projects such as renovation of hospitals, schools but also other initiatives:
- Brasov and Suceava: we provided technical equipment for research projects within the forestry biometric laboratories at the Faculty of Silviculture and Forest Exploitation of Transylvania University in Brasov and Faculty of Forestry from Suceava.
Brasov and Suceava: Holzindustrie Schweighofer, partner of academic studies institutions, offers 21 monthly scholarships, in the 2016 – 2017 academic year, to students with excellent results in the study of forestry and wood engineering, from the universities of these cities.
- Comanesti: a nursery, a kindergarten, two schools and the children`s club have been renovated with our support; a modern swimming pool and a sport hall have been also built with our participation.
- Comanesti: we are a partner with Habitat for Humanity, one of the world largest non-profit organizations dedicated to quality of the habitat and we have participated in Big Build 2015 and 2016 project.
- Radauti: we brought support for building a new building to relocate the Maria Ward Centre, a daily center for children.
- Covasna and Bacau Counties: we financed renovations for the main hospitals.
- Sebes: Holzindustrie Schweighofer provides for the school year 2016-2017 sports goods and equipment for the smooth running of the physical education and sport classes.
An example of a successful project: 280,000 euros invested in the Technical High-school „Grigore Cobalcescu” from Moinesti
Moinesti city has the most modern professional school from Moldova region with the support of Holzindustrie Schweighofer. The company invested 280,000 euro in a pilot project implemented by the Technical High-School „Grigore Cobalcescu” that started this autumn with a class of 28 students. These students will learn the secrets of two jobs: mechanic (14 of the students) and electrician (another 14 of those), specialized in the wood industry.
The 28 students receive from Holzindustrie Schweighofer scholarships supplementing the state-sponsored grants with up to RON 700 a month, depending on their academic achievement.
Also, a completely renovated dorm has opened its doors for them, with high quality materials, accessories and furniture. In the bright, comfortable rooms, the scholarship recipients will be able to study and rest, without the need for daily commute. Also from this fall, the students have a new lab equipped with modern instruments for their professional training, and they have the opportunity to spend time for practical training in the company’s production units.
In the 14 years in Romania, Holzindustrie Schweighofer meant almost 800 million Euros investment, and over 100 million Euros paid in taxes. Over 4.000 people have been trained in our factories and have access to better jobs and better incomes due to our constant care and education we provided. The technology and the know-how that we brought to Romania, raised the standard of the whole wood processing industry. Here in Romania we manufacture high added value products that compete with the best markets in the world, and our products are valued and appreciated in over 70 countries where we export.