Social engagement and compliance

Implenia is guided in all its activities by a binding Code of Conduct. This sets out principles for dealing with colleagues and business partners and with the environment and society at large. The company reports transparently on its activities, cultivates dialogue with all stakeholders, and engages with social issues.

5.1Code of Conduct: a solid foundation

Implenia has had its own “Code of Conduct” since 2010. The code sets out the company’s fundamental principles, outlines its responsibility to society and the environment, and defines the company’s approach to health and safety. A revision of the code was begun during the period under review.

All employees have to sign a statement confirming they have read and understood the Code of Conduct. The code plays a major role in employee training too. An e-learning tool on the Code of Conduct is a fixed element in the induction programme for new employees, who have to pass the test at the end of the e-learning course. The code is also highlighted and explained at the welcome day for new employees.

Compliance officers support practical implementation of the Code of Conduct. Employees can turn to them if they suspect or witness misdemeanours. The compliance officers guarantee that whistle-blowers are protected and that the accused are treated fairly.

5.2Pro-competition, anti-corruption

Competition within the construction industry is fierce. As a leading construction services company in Switzerland, Implenia is committed to competing by fair means. Restrictions on competition distort the market and hamper overall economic and social and progress, which ultimately harms the company itself.

Implenia also supports all the relevant anti-corruption rules and regulations and forbids employees from granting or accepting unjustified benefits of any kind. People whose functions expose them to a greater risk of corruption are expressly instructed about the consequences of misconduct – both for the company and for the employee.

Implenia also has an internal controlling system to counter corruption. The most important component of this system is the “two-pairs-of-eyes” principle. Auditors also regularly check the books for any signs of corruption as part of the regular auditing process. All of these measures help to sustain Implenia’s solid image and maintain the trust of its stakeholders. Importantly, these efforts also help the company avoid financial damage.

Despite these efforts and despite the significance that the Group Executive Board (GEBO) attaches to the issue, during the period under review two Implenia units fell under suspicion of having infringed competition law. At the end of 2012 the Competition Commission (CoCom) opened an investigation against the Zernez office in Canton Grisons owing to illegal anticompetitive agreements. And in April 2013 CoCom started investigating suspected anti-competitive agreements in Canton St. Gallen. This investigation concerns the markets for road construction, civil works and surfacing. Both cases are still pending. Implenia is cooperating fully with the competition authorities to clarify the facts.

5.3Taking joint liability seriously

The Federal Council brought the revised Posted Workers Act into force in mid-2013. The accompanying political process and public debate centred mainly on what is known as “joint and several liability”. In the construction and associated industries this concept implies that the primary contractor can be made liable if its subcontractors fail to comply with wage and employment conditions.


Implenia has taken numerous measures to ensure that every company that works on an Implenia building site obeys the rules:

  • Implenia demands that every subcontractor makes a watertight declaration regardless of industry, collective agreement or type of company.
  • Subcontractors can only pass on work to sub-subcontractors if Implenia expressly approves this.
  • All of a subcontractor’s foreign employees on short-term stays must be properly registered. If they are staying for the long term they must show their residency permit.
  • Implenia carries out internal and external on-site spot tests to monitor compliance.

Implenia is the “National Partner” for the 2014 European Athletics Championships in Zurich.

 

 

5.4Sponsorship

Implenia has sponsored events and sports for many years. Sponsorship augments traditional advertising by associating the company’s name with high-profile events. These include elite sporting events such as the Weltklasse athletics in Zurich and Athletissima in Lausanne, but also mass-participation events like the marathons and fun-runs in Zurich, Geneva, Winterthur, and Lugano. Elite athletes Simone Brändli and Ruedi Wild act as Implenia brand ambassadors when competing in triathlons. Project work and initial preparations began in 2013 for the 2014 European Athletics Championships, which Implenia is sponsoring as “National Partner”. This is the biggest sponsorship commitment in Implenia’s history.

As well as sponsoring sports events, Implenia also promotes innovation as a longstanding partner of the Swiss Venture Club. This organisation recognises innovative companies whose outstanding performance has led to significant and sustainable economic success.

Implenia reviewed its sponsorship strategy during the period under review and added some major new activities. It has taken on its first sponsorship commitment in the cultural sector, where it is supporting a select group of talented young musicians.

As Switzerland’s largest construction service company, Implenia also feels a responsibility to let the country’s people share in its business success. Consequently it regularly contributes to charitable initiatives and has now anchored this commitment in the new sponsorship strategy. Its charitable work includes financial donations and grants as well as benefits in kind. For example, Implenia has been collaborating with selected sheltered workshops for the disabled since 2013. It commissions work from these institutions, buys their products, makes donations and fosters personal contacts (see Report).

Facelift for Impact
Impact is the central information platform for all employees within the Implenia Group in Switzerland and abroad. The magazine is mailed out to their homes several times a year. Published in three languages it sets out the company’s vision and strategy using specific examples. At the same time Impact encourages dialogue between different business units and strengthens employees’ identification with Implenia.

 

 

5.5Listening to stakeholders

Implenia believes in the value of open and direct communication. The company reports regularly and transparently on its activities and includes all stakeholders in the dialogue. The following list shows Implenia’s main target groups for regular contact.

5.5.1Employees

All of Implenia’s managers are required to foster dialogue with their staff. One major vehicle for this communication is the target-setting meeting, which has been intensified as part of the management-by-objectives strategy and which is supported by a web-based employee management tool. In addition to this direct dialog, the company uses various internal communications tools and channels, including the employee magazine “Impact”, which was updated during the period under review, the intranet, regular staff events and an electronic newsletter. The CEO also writes directly to employees about the latest issues several times a year in his CEO letter.

Business partner days
Implenia focused intensively on cooperation with various stakeholders during the period under review. Different departments within the company organised regular events for their business partners. These events provide a platform to communicate important information about the company and nurture dialogue. The invitees – business partners including banks, suppliers and insurance companies – have been very keen to attend.

5.5.2Customers

As well as all the contact with customers that occurs within individual projects, during 2013 more than 100 non-project-specific discussions were held with customers, which is 20% more than in the prior year.

In 2013 Implenia created a management-level forum specifically to optimise the strategic support given to customers. The aim of this monthly meeting is to agree within the group who should lead manage cross-departmental projects, and to coordinate customer contacts.

5.5.3Shareholders and investors

Implenia communicates its strategy and results to shareholders openly and quickly. Contact is not just limited to the General Meeting and the annual letter to shareholders. The CFO also presents Implenia’s result twice a year at roadshows staged for major shareholders and potential investors. During the period under review the company also created a new office for investor relations, which looks after shareholder concerns.

Prize winning reporting
For some years now, Econ Verlag and Handelsblatt Group have run an annual award for the best corporate communications publications in German-speaking countries. In 2013 Implenia was one of the winners in a high-calibre field. The Swiss construction firm was one of only two companies, the other being Commerzbank, to come away with two of the coveted trophies. Implenia won bronze in the Sustainability / CSR Report category for its 2011 Sustainability Report, as well as the Special Award in the Annual Report category for its 2012 Annual Report.

 

 

5.5.4Suppliers

When selecting suppliers, Implenia looks for companies that share and put into practice its own core values. It is doing this with the help of its new supplier management system and the planned expansion of its Code of Conduct, thus putting collaboration with business partners on a new footing. The new system makes business relationships more transparent and ensures that all parties are communicating with each other as equals. Supplier days are held to encourage dialogue and deepen partnerships.

5.5.5Authorities

Implenia is a willing partner of governmental institutions. In particular it runs public sector construction projects in close cooperation with the authorities and prefers to hold architecture competitions to ensure that important works meet the highest possible standards.

5.5.6Swiss Builders Association and the trades unions

The Group Executive Board maintains active contact with the company’s social partners, mainly to exchange information regularly and clarify requirements. Implenia representatives also work within the regional builders’ associations.

5.5.7Media

Implenia informs the media about important developments and regularly invites journalists to information events where the company reports on its business activities and projects.

5.5.8Society

Providing the media with information is only one part of the company’s communications strategy. Direct contact with ordinary people is even more important if a project is to win broad approval, so Implenia organises regular public information events and site visits. When working on its own developments, Implenia always seeks to involve local people in the planning from an early stage. (see chapter 2.3)

Since November 2013 it has run a series of eight to ten discussion evenings per year in various towns across all regions of Switzerland. These events bring together around a dozen opinion leaders from the worlds of politics, business and the local community to talk with Implenia representatives about relevant political and social issues. The series kicked off with the theme of justice and the question of whether we are seeing society, politics and business drifting apart from each other. This annual series is part of Implenia’s sustainability work, and is an effort to contribute to social and political discourse while cultivating its relationship with key stakeholders.

5.6Achievement of goals 2012 /2013

By accepting responsibility for its own actions and for its social environment, Implenia gains its partners’ trust.

Strategy

Goals for 2012/2013

Achievement of goals

Status

Embed Code of Conduct as part of the corporate culture

  • Carry out systematic training via e-learning platform and revise Code of Conduct
  • The Code of Conduct e-learning tool is a fixed element in the induction programme for new employees (chapter 5.1).

Include all stakeholders in the dialogue

  • Expand dialogue with wider society and thus make Implenia more tangible to the general public
  • Dialogue with various stakeholders has been intensified. Various events have been organised with business partners and a series of eight to ten discussion evenings per year in various Swiss towns has been introduced (chapter 5.5.8).

Create trans­parency about Implenia’s sustainability activities

  • Start work on second Sustainability Report
  • The second Sustainability Report is once again based on GRI 3. We are publishing quantitative environmental figures for the first time, defining measurable goals for 2014 /2015, and reviewing goals from the first report.

Goal fully achievedGoal partially achievedGoal not achieved

5.7Goals and activities 2014 /2015

Implenia wants its core business to contribute to sustainable development.

Strategy

Goals for 2014/2015

Activities 2014/2015

Embed Code of Conduct as part of the corporate culture

  • Adhere to the Code of Conduct in every situation
  • Train new and existing employees at least once a year via e-learning platform
  • Introduce revised Code of Conduct with additions for suppliers

Include all stakeholders in the dialogue

  • Make Implenia tangible
    and accessible to the general public
  • Broaden dialog with society, thus making Implenia tangible to the general public

Create transparency about Implenia’s sustainability activities

  • Report openly about our sustainability agenda and achievement of goals
  • Work on third Sustainability Report following GRI G4 guidelines
  • Carry out reporting under Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) for the first time

Work for sustainable development away from business activitiesn

  • Involvement beyond the company
  • Get involved with three social projects beyond the company
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