swarco fit for 55

Swarco: Fit for 55 - and beyond!

Monday, 26 February 2024

This is not only a target within the European Green Deal, but also a SWARCO anniversary credo for 2024. 

In roughly six weeks from now, Intertraffic Amsterdam will open its gates again. SWARCO’s preparations are in full swing for its 518-square metre presence in hall 2 of the RAI fairgrounds. 


What can visitors look forward to?

The GoGreen initiative of the Austrian traffic technology group kicked off in May 2023 at the ITS European Congress in Lisbon will be in the focus again in Amsterdam. Following dozens of presentations for European Green Deal cities and other industry stakeholders over the past months, SWARCO’s virtual reality experience explaining how city paint points can be addressed with modern traffic management solutions to get closer to climate neutrality will be highlighted again. “Fit for 55” is part of the European Green Deal, asking cities to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to 55% of the level of 1990. Here, the mobility sector is a major lever when the potentials of ITS technologies are widely used to avoid congestion, make traffic more fluid, foster public transport, reduce emissions, improve air quality, look after the vulnerable road users, and the quality of life in cities in general.  

SWARCO fit for 55

Path of growth continues

Tyrolean entrepreneur late Manfred Swarovski founded what we call SWARCO today in 1969 with a glass bead factory in Austria. He would be proud to see that his life’s work is evolving in his spirit under the lead of Executive Board members CEO Michael Schuch, CFO Manuela Fürst and CAO Günther Köfler. “We are not only fit to help reach the European Green Deal objectives, but also fit to celebrate the 55th anniversary of our corporation”, says Corporate Spokesman Richard Neumann. Despite the challenging geopolitical, economic, legislative, and health-related developments of the past years, the group has been able to continue its path of success and positive growth. Revenues have doubled since 2014 to a new all-time high of roughly 1.2 billion euros. Following major acquisitions in Europe and Australia in recent years, the SWARCO portfolio expanded hard- and software-wise, creating synergies and adding new impulses for the R&D roadmap and innovation power. 

Swarco Executive Board

People are the assets

A workforce of more than 5,500 colleagues looks after thousands of business partners on all continents, offering best-in-class products, systems and solutions in road safety and intelligent traffic management. “The foundations of our success are our dedicated and committed colleagues who work hard every day and are ready to go the extra mile time and again”, states Neumann. SWARCO introduced numerous measures to retain the staff and to find new, qualified personnel in times where demographic facts, changing work attitudes, and novel job profiles make it more and more difficult to fill job openings. An inhouse Academy is taking care of conveying specialised knowledge  and trainings and developing talents to prepare them for future leadership tasks. An international working environment, flexible working hours, a number of fringe benefits – among them e-vehicles from the corporate fleet also for private use over the weekend – and health management programmes are highly appreciated among the employees. On SWARCO’s website, videos can be watched in which SWARCO colleagues explain why they are proud of working for the company. “For the first time, we will use Intertraffic Amsterdam also to present SWARCO as an attractive employer”, reports Neumann. “Stakeholders are invited to have a chat with our HR experts in the Job Café on stand 02.222.”

New ideas through ITSUP

In the ITSUP area of Intertraffic Amsterdam exclusively sponsored by SWARCO, start-up companies will get a platform to pitch their novel solutions and to participate in a challenge to unlock the potential of ITS by fostering the collaboration among stakeholders on two topics: sustainability and road safety. Under either or both of the two topics, start-ups are invited to find the right partner and develop a proof of concept during Intertraffic, where key industry partners as well as cities from around the world come together. The winner of the challenge will receive a SWARCO Award and get the chance to implement the solution in real life in cooperation with a city. The ITSUP Theatre will be located in hall 6. 

Corporate Social Responsibility

Apropos sustainability: People’s mindsets nowadays are more and more changing towards green thinking, environmentally sound products and solutions, circular economy, reuse, and recycling. SWARCO is aware of its Corporate Social Responsibility and has set numerous initiatives that not only help make our planet greener but also serve social purposes.

In the road marking systems business, SWARCO launches eco-friendly product lines based on environmentally sound raw materials. Energy-intensive production processes are increasingly run with hydropower based electricity. In Lower Austria, the waste heat from our glass beads production serves to heat own facilities and also neighbouring industrial plants. Photovoltaic equipment with several hundred of kWpeak performance are now reality on factory and office roofs at Neufurth and the Wattens headquarters. In Germany, SWARCO has launched the initiative to give a second life to static roads signs which for instance need to change the content they are showing or do not comply with retroreflectivity requirements anymore. Instead of producing new signs of energy-intensive aluminium, the metal carrier plate of static signs are refurbished and reused to apply a new reflective sheeting on them. This saves 88% of the CO2 footprint compared to the production of new signs. Voluntary work for NGO’s or nature preservation organisations by interested SWARCO employees, e.g. to replant trees or clean the woods from trash or invasive types of exotic plants, has been enabled because a certain number of normal working time hours can be invested in this. Biodiversity is supported by gardening and recultivation projects at sites where a factory construction resulted in the use of land and nature.   

Readable roads, CCAM and AI

Swarco Digitrans

Another instance of SWARCO’s fitness for the future is own research and development in road markings to pave the way for automated driving. At the Digitrans test site in Lower Austria, SWARCO engineers test different road marking systems under various weather, lighting, and road conditions concerning their suitability to be read by cameras and LiDAR. The result: Well-maintained (high-performance) lane markings with superior retroreflectivity, high contrast, and sharp contours perform best when they need to be identified clearly and consistently by the “eyes” of modern vehicles. 

Intertraffic visitors will also learn more about SWARCO’s activities in the field of Cooperative, Connected, Automated Mobility (CCAM). Roadworks warning messages and the Traffic Light Assistant with speed recommendations to ride the Green Wave sent directly onto the vehicle dashboard are just two examples. Artificial Intelligence is gaining ground in traffic management because it enables a better processing of real-time traffic and sensor data and the identification of recurrent traffic patterns. SWARCO’s latest traffic controller programmes use AI to improve corridor management in cities and allocate the optimal distribution of green phases at intersections for all road users.

Intertraffic Amsterdam will again be an event not miss. The worldwide audience will gather in April to discuss the latest offerings and solutions in smart mobility, urban and interurban traffic management, parking, public transport, infrastructure, and road safety. 
SWARCO – in its 55th year in business – will be there and looks forward to welcoming the traffic industry professionals: with virtual reality applications, future-fit products and systems, and legendary hospitality.

Article by SWARCO provided within ITSUP exclusive sponsorship package 
Words: Richard Neumann, Senior Manager Communications & Events SWARCO Group

Web: www.swarco.com
Email: office.ag@swarco.com