As a global Group with strong regional business operations, we act according to the principle “think global – act local”. Our business operations also create added value for the communities at our locations across the world. Beyond our business activities, we are also committed to protecting the environment and promoting social progress.
Good cooperative relationships with the communities in the areas where we are active are indispensable for our business operations and one of the keys to our business success. In these areas, we establish business contacts, capitalise on local know-how, and maintain a dialogue with our neighbours. By making this voluntary commitment to society, we strengthen the exchange of ideas and achieve long-term socio-economical added value for local communities.
We have made an explicit commitment to social responsibility in the Leadership Principles adopted by our Managing Board. Taking social responsibility and maintaining good relationships with our stakeholders are therefore management tasks. Together with the site managers, all country managers are responsible for these tasks in their respective countries. This also includes analysing local requirements as well as selecting, implementing, and monitoring charitable projects. Given the decentralised nature of these responsibilities, it is not possible at present to make a statement as to the financial scope of this Group-wide social involvement.
We involve local communities in our business activities, for example through various dialogue formats, as well as through local community engagement plans and councils. This also includes long-term partnerships with local non-governmental organisations. Moreover, we keep the communities at our locations informed via newsletters or at open days. The Group Handbook for Community Relationship Management is a useful source of design and implementation strategies for dialogue formats, partnerships, and charitable commitments.
In addition, the Group-wide Corporate Citizenship Policy defines the general criteria and objectives related to our social responsibility. There are three areas of focus in which our core competences enable us to make a particularly strong contribution and achieve noticeable improvements:
- Building, architecture, and infrastructure: we provide practical help in construction projects by providing products, financial means, time, and expertise.
- Environment, climate, and biodiversity: we support initiatives that address the most significant environmental impacts associated with our business operations.
- Education, training, and culture: in this area, we are guided by the specific needs of our locations.
We have also defined evaluation criteria in order to ensure that our activities are both transparent and effective. We support projects, initiatives, and organisations that are active at our locations or to which we have a direct link. We attach great importance to ensuring that the guidelines and principles of these organisations align with our own corporate philosophy.
“Being a good neighbour” is also one of the goals we published in 2017 as part of our Sustainability Commitments 2030. That is why we aim to make our social responsibility more strategically oriented in the future. This will be based on transparency and efficiency when identifying relevant topics, selecting and carrying out suitable projects, and assessing the contribution made after the completion of a project.
As part of the Sustainability Commitments 2030, we set the following concrete goals that will allow us to measure the quality of our relationships with the communities at our locations:
- Creation of an annual community engagement plan for every location
- One hour of voluntary charitable work per full-time employee per year (60,000 hours)
We are currently developing a management and reporting system for this area so that in the future we will be able to record relevant measures, progress, and performance indicators more effectively.