Sustainability reporting process and methods

This chapter provides specific information on the reporting process and reporting methods BAM used to arrive at the sustainability figures and topics included in this report.

Target audience
BAM reports its sustainability policy and the associated results to 
all stakeholders. BAM’s stakeholders include clients, the company’s employees, suppliers and subcontractors, shareholders, other organisations in the construction industry, NGOs and public authorities.

Reporting criteria – GRI Standards – Comprehensive
This report has been prepared ‘in accordance’ with the GRI Standards: Comprehensive option. Chapter 8.2 includes an overview of the GRI Standards economic, environmental and social performance indicators covered by this report. In this section, more information is disclosed on the nature and coverage of reporting per GRI disclosure (e.g. quantitatively or qualitatively).

Reporting period and reporting frequency
This report presents both quantitative and qualitative data for the calendar year 2017. An exception is made for all CO2 and waste data reported by BAM International which applies a reporting period of 1 December 2016 to 30 November 2017. BAM allows for this different reporting period as BAM International has a complex operating and reporting structure and more time is required to ensure that the reported data are reliable and adequate. BAM believes that the effects of a different reporting period by BAM International is not material to the Group’s integrated report. All other data are reported annually. There have been no significant changes from previous reporting periods in the scope and boundaries.

Reporting boundaries
This report contains data of all operating companies and thus BAM’s own activities. Sustainability performance and data are accounted for according to BAM’s share of equity. As an exception to this rule, BAM International reports all sustainability data for joint arrangement projects in which it is the leading party. In general BAM views disclosure regarding acquisitions and divestments on a case-by-case basis.

Reporting process
The integrated report, including all material aspects, is approved by the Supervisory Board and the Executive Board. Data collection takes into account BAM’s organisational structure. Both qualitative and quantitative information is reported by operating companies to the Group. The data is consolidated and validated first at company level and then consolidated and further validated at Group level. Every reporting entity has a CSR manager, CSR controller and director responsible for CSR who are together responsible for accurate and reliable reporting. In 2009 BAM established a reporting system for non-financial information (including safety, CO2, waste and HR), this system was launched as an extension of the financial reporting system.

The applied reporting processes and definitions are formalised in BAM’s CSR reporting manual. The CSR reporting manual provides guidance on how to measure, calculate and estimate data.

Reporting indicators
For BAM’s main sustainability indicators this chapter provides further insight below. For other quantitative indicators disclosures on the reporting scope and methods used are given in the annual report itself. Where relevant, figures are presented in a relative way (using percentages and ratios). This allows readers to monitor and measure progress year-on-year, unless the reporting criteria require absolute figures to be disclosed.

BAM defined its incident frequency (IF) as the number of BAM employees involved in industrial incidents per million manhours worked on construction sites. Reportable incidents are based on actual occurrences and are never extrapolated or estimated. Despite all measures and an open safety culture there is an inherent risk of incomplete accident reporting. BAM is partially dependent on information provided by the person involved in an accident. Reported hours are measured, calculated or estimated. Outsourced BAM site employees to external companies are not included in IF BAM calculation.

For all companies, except for BAM International, BAM includes only BAM employee related accidents and hours. BAM International takes into account all persons working under their direct supervision although they may not have a labour contract with BAM directly.

As a result, the accidents and hours worked by all persons working under the supervision of BAM International and irrespective of their labour contract are included in the reported incident frequency. This is inherent to BAM International’s business model.

Human Resources (HR)
HR data are obtained twice a year using a standardised reporting platform. HR data are derived from the HR accounts held by BAM’s operating companies. Due to different definitions used, breakdowns in chapter Employee recruitment, development and retention are based on figures that do not match the total number of FTE in Key figures. This does not cause different insights.

Energy consumption and CO2 emissions
Our energy consumption and greenhouse gas inventory is based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, Revised Edition (2013: Corporate Standard) as issued by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the World Resources Institute. For greenhouse gas emissions BAM has chosen to report only on CO2. Other greenhouse gases, such as CH4 (methane), N2O (nitrous oxide) are excluded from BAM’s emissions inventory as they are considered not material. BAM uses country specific emission factors for the calculation of the greenhouse gas emissions, or more accurate factors if available. BAM uses standardised conversion factors to calculate energy consumption. The Group’s reporting scope includes its direct CO2 emissions (scope 1 emissions, from BAM’s own sources), indirect CO2 emissions from the generation of purchased electricity consumed by BAM (scope 2 emissions) and three indirect categories of CO2 emissions that are a consequence of BAM’s business activities from sources not owned and controlled by BAM: employee air travel, employee car travel with privately owned cars and business travel (scope 3 emissions).

The GHG Corporate value chain (scope 3) accounting and reporting standard for full scope 3 reporting has not been implemented. Contrary to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol BAM reports fuel consumption by leased vehicles under scope 1 emissions. Energy consumption from district heating and use of public transport are considered negligible and therefore not included in BAM’s overall energy consumption and related CO2 emissions.

The basis for consolidated energy consumption and CO2 emissions is activity data which in turn is based mostly on meter readings, invoices and data provided by suppliers. Where reliable data are not available, BAM uses calculations or estimations using reliable methods and input data. BAM is satisfied that the estimates are reliable in all material respects.

Where clients provide BAM with electricity and BAM is able to receive reliable information on its client supplied electricity consumption, the company includes this consumption in its carbon footprint. Also, as BAM only receives information on CO2 emissions associated with air travel, which BAM includes in its scope 3 emissions.

BAM calculates the energy consumption (in TJs) and CO2 emissions associated with BAM’s energy consumption, using conversion factors from reputable and authoritative sources. The factors follow the Kyoto protocol and UNFCCC charter as closely as possible. BAM applies country specific conversion factors for electricity and natural gas, these are based on GHG emissions reported in national inventory reports (NIR). All conversion factors are updated annually.

It occurs on projects that BAM supplies fuel and electricity to subcontractors. BAM’s CSR reporting manual states that fuel and electricity supplied to subcontractors should be measured and excluded from reported figures, unless fuel and electricity is supplied under the supervision of BAM. In practice, however, it is not always possible to determine how much fuel is supplied to subcontractors. In that case BAM accounts for all CO2 emissions. BAM continues to encourage measuring fuel and electricity supplied to third parties. This will result in more accurate figures of its own CO2 emissions and further insight in reduction potential to all involved.


BAM’s reporting scope includes all waste leaving its sites and offices, mainly based on waste tickets and data provided by suppliers. Reported waste is either measured, calculated or estimated using reliable methods and input data which can be based on BAM’s experience in comparable works e.g. the relation of asphalt and aggregates. Excavation waste and demolition waste are especially difficult to measure and is more often calculated.

The percentage on waste separation relates to BAM’s Dutch companies and is based on information from BAM’s waste management suppliers.

In 2011 BAM started reporting on the amount of materials used and the recycled content of various materials used by Dutch operating companies. BAM has selected the raw materials which are consumed in large quantities and which have a significant impact on natural resources. The Group reports on concrete, timber, asphalt and steel.

The raw material consumption in the Netherlands was determined using supplier reports. An extrapolation of data is applied to cover all suppliers. BAM aspires to keep the calculated data smaller than 20 per cent. The results are verified against BAM’s procurement database, internal and external experts. The recycled content is determined based on information provided by suppliers.

True Price of asphalt
The True Price calculations of LE2Ap and STAB in section materials are made by a third party and contain inherent estimates and specialised supplier data. The methodology has been checked for logic and consistency, yet it is known that different visions on the cost of CO2 are available and that the cost of CO2 is subjective.

A comparison by True Price has been performed to evaluate the bandwidth of CO2 cost, in which a conservative estimate is used by True Price. LE2AP is a product with new data and is compared to STAB, of which the most accurate data are five years old.

Potable water consumption volume is based on final settlements paid in 2017.

Local sourcing
For the Dutch companies BAM has investigated the extent to which its purchases are sourced locally. BAM has defined local sourcing as a purchase done with a supplier who is located in the same country as the construction site. Based on the country of residence of its suppliers, BAM determined the percentage of local sourcing.

BAM reported the NOX emissions from asphalt plants, using actual NOX emission factor from fuel combustion. An independent auditor determined the NOX emissions per consumed unit of fuel at each asphalt plant. For joint arrangement asphalt plants BAM reports the NOX emissions based on its share of equity in these asphalt plants.

Business conduct
Business conduct includes information regarding the Group’s Business Principles and Code of Conduct, on which BAM reports qualitatively. In addition, this report contains quantitative information on a mandatory e-learning course to increase awareness and understanding of the Code of Conduct and expected ethical behaviour. The performance indicator concerned is the percentage of these employees that successfully completed the course between introduction in 2014 and 31 December 2017.

Verification of this report
In order to provide BAM’s stakeholders comfort over BAM’s sustainability information, the Executive Board has appointed Ernst & Young Accountants LLP (EY) to provide independent assurance of the Report. As in previous years, BAM obtained reasonable assurance for the KPI’s: IF BAM, number of serious accidents, Safety Behaviour Audit as included in the ‘Safety’ section in chapter 3.2. Additionally EY provided reasonable assurance over the ‘Material themes’ section in chapter 2.3 and the ‘Business conduct and transparency’ section in chapter 3.2. For all other information reported in chapters 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 3.2, 3.3 and 8.1, 8.3 and 8.4 BAM obtained limited assurance.

As BAM applies the ‘best standard’ principle with regard to external assurance, the Group asked EY to apply NV COS 3810N, a standard explicitly developed to verify sustainability reports.

This standard includes strict requirements for the quality of accounts, the indicators used and the wording of the Report. Readers can therefore be confident that the report provides a fair and true representation of sustainability within BAM. The Group aims to achieve the highest level of assurance (reasonable assurance) through a staged approach, focusing on the most material themes. Increasing the maturity of internal processes in the coming years will help in also increasing the level of assurance of the report.

Other sources of information
Royal BAM Group welcomes your comments on sustainability. If you have any questions or remarks, please contact BAM’s sustainability department via e-mail (