Corporate Social Responsibility

Discover more about our commitments to corporate responsibility as we grow our business

BESIX Group wants to contribute to a safer and greener planet and build a better place to live in. The goal is to go beyond the legal requirements in the social (People), environmental (Planet) and economic (Growth) areas, and that on a voluntary basis. As a global player the Group takes into account the specificities and the environmental requirements of each country while developing its CSR approach.

Our objective is to ensure the evolution of the BESIX Group in terms of social responsibility. We aim for the same level of excellence that characterizes our activities.

Active member of the UN Global Compact

As an active member of the United Nations Global Compact since 2016, BESIX Group supports the 10 United Nations principles relating to the respect of Human Rights, international labour standards, the environment and the fight against corruption.

UN Global Compact

BESIX Group is also an active member of The Shift. The Shift helps BESIX Group to make use of the global framework of the UN Sustainable Development Goals to map its societal ambitions.

Signature of the Belgian SDG Charter for Development

In 2016, BESIX Group took part, together with other renowned Belgian companies, in the working group led by Alexander De Croo, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Development Cooperation, Digital Agenda, Telecommunications and Postal Services.

Objective: to promote the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), to implement them in the framework of development cooperation and to raise awareness of the international development agenda in the Belgian private sector.

The Belgian SDG Charter for Development is based on the 5 Ps of the SDGs: People, Planet, Profit, Peace and Partnerships. The Shift, the Belgian sustainable development network, guides the whole process.

BESIX is one of the signatories of the Charter

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

SDG

BESIX Group supports the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) adopted in 2015 by the UN. The Group wants to actively participate in the action plan for peace, humanity, the planet and prosperity of Agenda 2030.

SDG-17

Among the 17 SDGs, the Group has identified its priorities through the following SDGs: 4, 5, 6, 8, 9 and 11.

In addition, the COP21 and COP25 on climate change and the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have made climate change a priority.

Consequently, BESIX Group decided to focus mainly on SDG 13 (Measures to combat climate change) and SDG 12 (Responsible consumption and production). These two SDGs are directly linked to the Group's activities.

Our CSR priorities

Our CSR priorities focus on four pillars:

People

BESIX Group is committed to guaranteeing the well-being and safety of its employees. At the same time, we want to offer enough career development opportunities and social involvement possibilities.
SDG 4, 5

Engineering

Our engineers strive to create sustainable building solutions.
SDG 9, 11

Environment

BESIX Group aims to minimize its impact by reducing CO2 and waste, while attempting to attain certifications (LEED, BREEAM, … ) for our projects.
SDG 6, 12, 13

Business Behaviour

BESIX Group has a commitment to purchase sustainably and to follow the codes of conduct.
SDG 8, 9, 17

In striving for these priorities, BESIX Group has to take into account five main challenges of its industry:

  • 1. climate change
  • 2. society’s ageing
  • 3. the growing need for green buildings
  • 4. the growing need for green buildings
  • 5. and the lack of talent management

The combination of these CSR pillars with the industry challenges results in the following commitments for the Group:

  • 1. Enabling a low carbon & waste society
  • 2. Encouraging green solutions
  • 3. Taking care of respectful & sustainable operations
  • 4. Being a preferred employer
  • 5. Increasing employees’ safety and comfort
  • 6. Integrating codes of conduct
  • 7. Promoting social, local and economic development

BESIX Group CSR Report and Objectives

BESIX Group published its first CSR report 2010-2011 in 2012. A 4th report is available for 2017-2018. The report is a good opportunity to describe what we have achieved.

We follow the guidelines of ISO 26000 and the Global Reporting Initiative framework (GRI) as we have done since our first CSR report 2010-2011. The report 2017-2018 is written based on, but not fully in accordance to the GRI Standards 2016: Core option. The GRI enables our customers and stakeholders to be aware of our goals and of the actions we take to implement them.

The fourth report aims to comply with the Code Buysse III , outlining advice for approaching CSR, meant for Belgian non-listed companies.

Download our CSR Reports

Raising awareness

With our Codes of Conduct, increasingly adhered to by our colleagues, subcontractors and their suppliers, we are keen to drive awareness and change that goes beyond our own structures. That is why we participate in think tanks to better position companies with regards to their CSR responsibilities: the Belgian SDG Charter for Development, the Corporate Responsibility work group of the European International Contractors (EIC), Dubai Chamber of Commerce ‘Sustainability Network’, …

Partners and subcontractors

Our Group's involvement in large-scale, complex projects naturally requires the use of third parties, consortium partners and subcontractors.

Our Code of Conduct for Responsible and Sustainable Procurement guides us in monitoring and cooperating with external partners. It also invites us to listen to NGOs when they provide us with information and feedback on practices which are not in line with our commitments.

In 2016, we corresponded transparently and constructively with one of them, which examined the working conditions on a building site in Qatar, where we were a consortium partner and for which subcontractors had been brought in.

We took advantage of these exchanges to further improve the control of our subcontractors with the aim of making working conditions as professional and ethical as possible in each country where we operate.

Work and life conditions for migrant workers in the Middle East

BESIX started its activities in the Middle East through as early as 1965, first in the Emirates, followed by Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and Oman. Our license to operate in this region includes a solid engagement to high quality work and life conditions for our workers, which we continue to improve further.

Our projects in building, marine and civil works require a massive amount of manpower, which is not available locally. Today we have over 8.000 employees in the Middle East, many of which are migrant workers, mainly from South–east Asia and the Indian subcontinent in particular.

BESIX aims to go further than applying local rules. We have procurement and recruitment processes in place to avoid any abuse of migrant workers and we request our subcontractors to equally respect our standards. In the Middle East and Qatar specifically we have initiated higher lodging standards, including recreational facilities and language and IT training.

In 2017, BESIX Group has signed an international framework agreement on fair labour standards with the Building & Wood Workers’ International (BWI). This agreement’s purpose is to promote and protect the well-being of all employees and workers employed by BESIX Group. It firmly illustrates the Group’s commitment for fair labour standards of its employees and workers regardless of age, disability, gender, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion, political opinion or beliefs.

BESIX Foundation

BESIX Foundation is a private foundation that was set up by the BESIX Group in 2009, in celebration of its 100th anniversary. It supports charities by giving them financial support so they can achieve their goals.

The foundation also encourages volunteer work among BESIX Group’s employees. Education, Construction and/or Environment are the overarching themes of the supported projects.

Through the years, BESIX Foundation has also ventured to set up two initiatives of its own:

Right 2 Learn

Our Middle Eastern workers are often far from home, which causes them to spend a non-negligible part of their salary on telephone calls. To cope with this situation, The BESIX Foundation has decided to create a basic computer course to allow them to make economies on their telephone calls and at the same time discover the vast world of Internet.

Four training centers and cyber cafés have been established either on site or in workers’ housing and colleagues volunteered to coach and teach those who had never used a computer before.

We are very happy to strengthen our business in Africa in general and in Cameroon in particular. In the past, we already completed several reference projects in the country, such as building the Yaoundé hospital, various ministry buildings, the Pont de l'Enfance, a spillway on the Sanaga River, and various docks in the port of Douala. With our participation in the Nachtigal hydro-electric project, we are proud to contribute to the development of renewable energy in the country.

Mohamed Riadh Aroua
Administration Manager, Warner Bros

KiddyBuild

For one day we welcome underprivileged children from 5th and 6th grade primary schools in Belgium. By bringing them to our sites and warehouses, they discover the variety of jobs in the construction industry. Enthusiastic BESIX Group collaborators guide them by showing them why they are passionate about their profession. Even if the children don’t want to pursue a position in the construction sector, KiddyBuild motivates them to find something that they love and urges them to work hard for it.
The project is enthusiastically supported by the Construction Confederation and the Fondation pour l’Enseignement.

In the United Arab Emirates, our Ajman concession hosts up to 300 students a year, explaining to them the water cycle and how wastewater is treated, as well as raising awareness on how to preserve the environment.

Contact

Visit the BESIX Foundation website or our Facebook page for more information.

You can also contact Frédéric de Schrevel, Group CSR Officer, or Muriel Sacré at the following address.