Corporate Social Responsibility is a fundamental component of our all-round performance!

Eus de Haas, Development Director and General Counsel at VINCI Energies in the Netherlands, talks about the role of CSR in the all-round performance which VINCI Energies aims to deliver with its network brands Actemium, Axians, Omexom and local brands.

“In 2003, VINCI joined the Global Compact of the United Nations. We translated the essence of this treaty into the eight principles of our CSR Manifesto. These are enshrined in the DNA of our organisation. Together with our core values, they form part of the VINCI Energies Way of Life. CSR is not only about your integrity as a business and respect for the environment, but also about being an organisation that offers long-term careers, with a safe and healthy workplace, a sustainable social environment and transparent finances. That’s why corporate social responsibility and corporate sustainability are an intrinsic element of our governance. This is part of our management philosophy – Quartz management – and is therefore linked to everything we think and do.”

Why is VINCI Energies involved in CSR?

“Corporate Social Responsibility is a fundamental component of our all-round performance, which essentially integrates our business with the principles from our CSR Manifesto. All our network brands – Actemium, Axians and Omexom, as well as our local brands, are working on projects that directly or indirectly affect people in society. In other words: our operations take place in, by and on behalf of society, and involve projects that improve the quality of life. We not only do this in the Netherlands, but all over the world. We form part of that world and contribute to it as well as we can by delivering an all-round performance, in the conviction that we as a business thereby comply with the social standards and values and legislation and regulations that promote sustainability. ”

Aerial view of Rotterdam Station Square during a sunny summer day.

CSR is important to our employees

“Partly because of the principles from our Manifesto, everyone in our company is aware that their tasks and responsibilities involve CSR aspects, and our staff implement them to the best of their abilities. That might not seem all that easy at first. But when you consciously consider everything you do in your daily job, it turns out that these principles are already being implemented in many areas. And our clients and stakeholders also acknowledge the importance of CSR. That is evident from the increasing number of questions about this issue in tenders and proposal procedures. In addition, our staff experience that acting and doing business on the basis of our eight principles also creates more added value. This is not only important to us, but to the whole of society.”

“We live and work in a dynamic world. Our clients, partners and society as well as our organisation and staff are constantly changing. These changes constantly lead to new wishes, requirements, laws, rules and also new insights. So our interpretation of CSR is also constantly changing. That’s why we continue to focus on it. We do this, for example, by means of projects with very clear goals. By means of those projects, we not only initiate or reinforce the desired changes, but also continue to bring CSR awareness under the attention.”

“Take the electrification of our vehicle fleet. Many of our staff are on the road every day. And so our CO2 emissions are largely the result of the distances we cover. VINCI Energies wants to reduce its CO2 emissions by 40% by 2030. The Dutch government is also following the European regulations and wants to reduce emissions by 25% by 2025. Our business units mostly operate close to their clients and try to reduce their emissions in that way. Moreover, we will replace half of our vehicle fleet by electric cars and introduce alternative forms of mobility over the next two years. This therefore not only requires different cars but also a change in behaviour. We are investing in both. But we also have many other projects. Each of them is linked to the eight principles from our CSR Manifesto. Take, for example, the social projects of our VINCI Foundation, our efforts towards long-term careers by means of a lifetime employability approach and our Castor shares programme, in which staff share in our success. We are also continually working on an integrity programme on ethical business practices and focusing on avoiding a conflict of interests in health & safety, with attention not just for traditional physical risks, but also for creating a healthy workplace with an awareness of relatively new forms of absenteeism, such as work stress and burnout.”

VINCI Energies regularly monitors whether it is moving in the right direction in terms of CSR

“This is periodically assessed by EcoVadis, an organisation that measures the quality of management systems in the area of CSR. Last year we were awarded a gold label, so we did well in that assessment. This year we got a Platinum label. But what is even more important is the opinion of our current and future clients and partners. They too believe that it is important that you perform well in terms of CSR. And let’s not forget our current and future employees. They prefer to work in an organisation that delivers an all-round performance. Good, jointly delivered performance in CSR is obviously an integral part of this! In summary: our stakeholders want to work for and with a winning, sustainable organisation that has its house in order in all respects. In other words: a business that is transparent! We are fully committed to working on this, day after day!”