Social performance

Ambition: to offer added value to clients, employees, business partners and the community

Management summary

BAM aims to prevent all accidents. However, the target for incident frequency (IF) of BAM employees at risk on projects was not achieved in 2020. BAM regrets one fatality in 2020 on its projects. The Company is working hard to foster a genuine and strong safety leadership culture within senior management. ‘Your Safety is My Safety’, BAM’s ongoing safety campaign, aims at zero accidents. This can only be achieved through a joint approach and responsibility at all sites, at home, while travelling to work and in the offices. Despite a strong reduction in the number of hours worked in 2020, smaller (lost time) accidents have not decreased proportionally, resulting in a higher incident frequency.

One of the areas of attention is to learn from accidents and near-miss situations that have occurred and to take corrective actions to prevent repetition. Learning from best practices and positive developments also helps people to react to similar situations in future. Accident investigations are a crucial learning tool. Workplaces with positive pro-safety attitudes carry out similar investigations into near-miss cases as they do for actual accidents. Furthermore, BAM aims to increase the focus on mental health-related matters in future.

BAM also targets social performance in other parts of the business, highlighted by its leadership programmes, the updated Code of Conduct and improved reporting on activities aimed at enhancing lives. BAM can improve its monitoring of human rights (via social audits) and other social aspects in its supply chain.

Social value for BAM

BAM’s activities have an impact on local communities, occupants and other users of buildings and infrastructure and society as a whole. BAM aims to create sustainable environments that enhance people’s lives. This chapter describes how all social subjects are interrelated and how BAM actively collaborates with all stakeholders to create long-term (social) value. Health and safety is the most important element of the Company’s social performance: every employee should be able to return home safe every day. This requires excellent performance from all employees and supply chain partners on the construction sites every day. The construction supply chain is increasingly complex and fragmented and needs active collaboration to manage responsible supply chain management, human rights and ethical business conduct.

The Group increases intellectual capital and human capital by investing in its employees and in the development of the supply chain. BAM recognises the importance of Group-wide development and implementation of its talent strategy, based on BAM’s organisational development and strategic objectives. The positive legacy to society is also reflected in the programme for enhancing lives.

Health and safety

Creating the right environment for knowledge-sharing and scalable learning throughout BAM’s supply chain is most important to reach the Group’s safety targets 

This is done by: Developing leadership and behaviour by carrying out safety behaviour audits (SBAs) Due to Covid-19, no SBAs took place in 2020.

An SBA consists of the following steps:

  • Assessment (audit);
  • Interview, assessment of records and compliance analysis on site;
  • Close-out and final score;
  • Report;
  • Improvement plan with actions and areas that require special attention;
  • Benchmarking and sharing outcome.

Rewarding excellence
Safety behaviour audits (SBAs) will make excellence count and reward (safety) innovations. By disclosing the results through the safety portal, safety excellence becomes visible to other operating companies with an emphasis on continuous improvement within organisations and throughout the Group.

SBA scores focus on three areas: safe environment, management system and site conditions. Excellent performance in leading and lagging indicators (IF) in operating companies will result in less control by Royal BAM Group’s SBAs, but should increase commitment to share excellence performance by organising a safety exchange.

Recognition of performance by carrying out safety exchanges (SEs)
In 2020, one SE took place as scheduled. The other SEs were cancelled due to Covid-19. SEs or safety reviews are peer reviews and focus on creating a debate aimed at challenging and learning (themes from the maturity model). This dialogue between two operating companies who have to develop best practices together will result in a customised knowledge exchange.

Strengthening BAM’s (safety) culture supported by uniform safety communication processes, methods and channels
In 2018, BAM launched the safety campaign ‘Your Safety is My Safety’. This campaign was continued in 2019, when the Company made safety more personal by conducting safety conversations. In 2019, BAM launched the new Code of Conduct, ‘Doing things right’. These worldwide BAM campaigns are about the way BAM acts and behaves. It is important to have a dialogue about this together. On 1 September 2020, BAM launched the ‘Speak Up’ campaign, including the ‘Speak Up’ video, in which colleagues play a leading role. ‘Speak Up’ is the basis for many other themes in the field of safety, the Code of Conduct, and mental health and wellbeing. In this next step in the ‘Your Safety is My Safety’ campaign the Company focuses on psychological safety. BAM employees talk about their experiences in relation to safety, the Code of Conduct, and mental health and wellbeing. By this approach BAM wants to invite more employees to do the same and speak up. Not only speaking up is important. An important basis for a speak up-culture is listening up.

Summer campaign
In the summer of 2020, a Company-wide campaign was held to remind everyone why it’s important to drink enough water, protect yourself with sun cream, to not work in direct sunlight for too long, take enough rest during the day and wear the right protective clothing. In addition, employees were asked to encourage each other to do the same and to talk to each other about the consequences of working in summer conditions. To illustrate just how important being safe in the sun is, a story was shared of a colleague at BAM Infra Nederland who has been working at BAM since 1979. He was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2017. In a personal and touching way, he explained how he experienced what working in the direct sun can do to someone.

Worldwide BAM Safety Day
On 6 October 2020, Worldwide BAM Safety Day was organised for the eleventh time. The aim of this yearly event is to reflect together on the importance of a safe working environment to improve employees’ awareness. This year’s Safety Day focused on speaking up and listening up. It was the first time mental health and psychological safety were addressed. BAM is committed to supporting, promoting and maintaining the overall wellbeing of its employees through awareness-raising, training, webinars, and workplace practices, and encouraging individuals to take ownership of their own mental health and wellbeing, particularly with the challenges of Covid-19 in 2020. For Worldwide BAM Safety Day 2020, a new content platform was launched to raise awareness on speaking up. During the day all BAM employees were invited to organise a safety conversation about ‘Speak Up’ by using the new set of 20 safety conversation starters. Conversations could be held in-office, remotely or virtually via Microsoft Teams. In addition, an online webinar with senior management was organised to discuss the importance of speaking up and listening up and how senior management plays an important role in leading by example.

Incident frequency in 2020
BAM’s incident frequency (IF) is determined by the total number of industrial accidents leading to absence from work per million hours worked on construction sites (all BAM site employees on own work and joint ventures on risk). In 2020, IF increased to 5.3 (2019: 4.8), which was above the 2020 target of 3.5.

In challenging times in the economy, people tend to increase their risk appetite, due to job uncertainty or loyalty towards team members and supervisors. Other contributing factors may include less adequate work preparation and misjudgement of risks during the Covid-19 period with less adequate supervision on project sites. However, this is hard to measure.

Good practices - sharing and learning across the Group

BAM Plant UK has created a skincare stand following a request from the team at the BAM Ritchies, Lower Thames Crossing site for a suncream dispensing stand. The site already makes full use of BAM Plants fire and first aid stands and now has an SPF skincare stand to add to the collection.

BAM Infra Verkeerstechniek wants to prevent accidents proactively and has therefore invested in the Flister application. By inputting a warning message in the navigation systems or navigation applications of approaching road users, the company increases the safety of its road workers.

Mid-January 2020, BAM Belgium organised its BAM Belgium Safety Weeks. In those two weeks, all operational colleagues participated in six workshops. Fourteen different topics were covered during the Safety Weeks. All topics fell under the following three pillars: organisational safety, technical safety and cultural safety.

The Group-wide safety portal was updated to facilitate knowledge-sharing between the operating companies with regard to Covid-19. The operating companies have been sharing good practices such as briefings, risk assessments, business continuity management plans and national guidelines.

Serious accidents
BAM is highly committed to prevent all incidents and feels responsible for all people who are involved in or are influenced by the activities of the Group. This includes employees, clients, partners, suppliers, subcontractors and members of the public. BAM regrettably had to report one fatal occupational accident on a BAM site in 2020. This was extensively evaluated with the Executive Committee and the Supervisory Board. Furthermore, the number of serious accidents (BAM employees, hired, subcontractors’ employees, or other) in 2020 was 112 (2019: 143). The fatal accident is included in the number of serious accidents. An accident is classified as serious when an employee is admitted to hospital for more than 24 hours or when it results in electrocution (with enter and exit mark on the body), amputation or a fracture with and without lost time.

Setting minimum health management requirements
More insidious than the fatal and serious occupational accidents is the number of employees with a health damage or a long-term illness that were caused or worsened by work. Many of these diseases manifest themselves only years after exposure and some are ultimately deadly. BAM believes that all injuries, deaths and illnesses should be prevented. BAM is in the process of setting minimum health management requirements. Within ENCORD (Europe’s forum for industry-led research, development and innovation in the construction industry) the Group has put research and development in the field of quartz dust and asbestos inhalation, diabetes and skin cancer on the agenda.

15 Incident frequency (IF BAM) by country
(x 1 million worked hours)

Although the number of serious accidents dropped by 22 per cent, smaller (lost time) accidents have not decreased proportionally. 2020’s IF has been adversely affected by the Covid-19-related fluctuation in reported hours and BAM anticipates strong improvement in 2021 as the Company continues to embed operational safety standards in each geography. It remains BAM’s overall aspiration to progressively achieve and improve on an IF of 3.5 in the short to medium term.

Organisational development and employee engagement

From a human resources perspective, ‘Building the present, creating the future’ required harmonised and modern ways of working, standardised and automated processes across all operating companies, leveraging self-service and a platform that provides (predictive) people analytics and reporting and also supports employees in development programmes. BAM wants to create a safe and engaging working environment and a talented workforce and aims to become the employer of choice in its key markets so that BAM can enhance the life of employees and everyone around BAM.

Covid-19 provided challenges for BAM in connection with human resources, mainly due to lockdown measures that led to the temporary closure of construction sites. As a result of these measures, BAM Nuttal and BAM Construct UK sent workers on temporary leave or ‘furloughed’ status, BAM Contractors Ltd (Ireland) has made use of the possibility of temporarily suspending the employment contract and BAM in Belgium made use of temporary unemployment based on governmental support. Furthermore, office-based employees have been working from home as much as possible across the Group.

The new senior leadership team took shape in 2020 with the appointments of a new Group CEO and COO for the business line Civil engineering. In addition, numerous changes have been made in the leadership teams of operating companies such as BAM Nuttall, BAM Deutschland, BAM Infra Nederland and BAM Interbuild.

BAM People
BAM People is the human resources self-service portal, which is now live in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Ireland and Belgium. In 2020, despite Covid-19 and often in remote sessions, the programme of implementing BAM People was continued and delivered according to the adjusted timelines. BAM People contributes to the achievement of BAM’s strategy through uniform processes, digital collaboration and unambiguous reports.

Via BAM Learning, employees have access to all trainings available. They can select a training based on personal needs, and after approval from their manager attend the training. Implementation of BAM Learning continued for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium and Germany during 2020. An e-learning programme for the Code of Conduct is mandatory for selected employees. Since the launch in November 2019 more than 13,000 employees completed the Code of Conduct e-learning, which is around 91 per cent of the selected employees. The target for 2021 is to reach a minimum of 95 per cent completeness.

Employee engagement
BAM attaches great value to the engagement of its employees. Via a digital and rotating panel approach a standardised set of questions is sent out periodically. Outcomes are available in real time in an online dashboard. With smart analytics and algorithms, BAM aims to predict the future development of its employees and use these insights to improve the most important people-related KPIs. During Covid-19, BAM pro-actively added additional questions to monitor the safety and wellbeing of employees.

Labour relations - European Works Council
The European Works Council (EWC) has shown itself to be a constructive partner on several topics in 2020. Several meetings took place, for example on the cost reduction programme. The EWC’s input on a wide range of topics such as global mobility and the development of performance management within BAM has been very valuable.

BAM strives to diversify its workforce and find potential talent with different capabilities, various degrees of experience and different genders, ages, nationalities and cultural backgrounds. Together, they will help BAM mirror its client base and execute its strategic agenda. By adopting a data-driven approach and the use of smart recruitment technology BAM will be able to understand its key strategic target groups, maintain its position as an employer of choice and improve its recruitment practices.

Diversity and inclusion
BAM recognises and values the benefits that diversity brings in terms of ensuring BAM has a sustainable business and can reflect the communities in which the Company works. An inclusive culture ensures that BAM can make better decisions to deliver the best innovation and insights to our customers, by attracting the best talent with diverse perspectives.

BAM’s inclusive approach means that all stakeholders are treated with fairness, dignity and respect. The Company aims to avoid being adversely influenced or prejudiced in any way by an individual’s age, gender identity, marital or civil partnership status, ethnic origin, sexual orientation, disability (physical or mental), religion or belief, working patterns, caring responsibilities, pregnancy or trade union membership.

BAM mainly focuses on gender diversification, as this is the most challenging aspect of diversity in the construction sector. In 2020, BAM increased its efforts to attract women into its business and enable them to progress into senior roles, with KPIs in place to measure and review the progress and approach.

Mental health
BAM is committed to supporting, promoting and maintaining the overall wellbeing of its employees through awareness raising, training, guidance, and workplace practices, encouraging individuals to take ownership of their own mental health and wellbeing and that of others, particularly in the face of the challenges of Covid-19. Mental health support for employees is provided at varying levels across operating companies and includes: company doctors, employee assistance programmes, telephone numbers, one-to-one and on-line counselling, mental health first aiders and wellbeing champions, line managers and Human Resources. 2020’s Worldwide BAM Safety Day addressed wellbeing and psychological safety specifically. Levels of engagement and success are measured through surveys and absence rates. Some operating companies additionally offer flexible working to support the work/life balance, wellbeing days and a volunteering day and promote wellbeing within their supply chain.

Leadership programmes
In 2020 BAM continued with several leadership programmes that were developed in the last three years: Olympus Leadership Programme (for senior project managers), Enterprise Leaders Programme (for directors and managers) and Future Leaders Programme (for young professionals identified as talent with management potential). So far, a total of 161 senior project managers have attended the Olympus programme. In all leadership programmes, blended personal coaching is an integrated part of the journey and beyond.

Due to Covid-19 BAM decided in March 2020 to postpone all leadership programmes (face-to-face delivery). This action has been taken in line with general measures to control the spread of the virus, and to safeguard the health of BAM employees. From September 2020, the leadership development journeys of programmes that were already started in the beginning of the year were completed virtually. All leadership programmes will be available with a virtual delivery option in future.

For senior management within BAM, the Accelerated Leadership programme will kick off in the first half of 2021. One of the foundation elements of the programme is the Leadership Compass, a set of attitudes and behaviours to establish common leadership and culture, aligned with BAM values. The programme is developed to accelerate purpose-driven and collective leadership and enable our most senior leaders to lead the business aligned to BAM’s strategy as well as to develop a mindset that stimulates personal growth and continuous improvement.

16 Female/male employees by region
(in % of total employees)  

  2020 2019
Netherlands 13/87 13/87
United Kingdom 26/74 26/74
Belgium 16/84 12/88
Germany 24/76 23/77
Ireland 23/77 22/78
Rest of the world 7/93 6/94

17 Employees per gender by employment type
(in %)

  2020 2019 2020 2019
Full-time 93 93 57 57
Part-time 7 7 43 43

18 Employees per employment contract by gender in 2020 
(in %)

  Permanent contract  Temporary contract
94 6
96 4

19 Employees per employee category by gender in 2020 
(in %)

  Seniormanagement Middlemanagement
17 14
83 86

20 Employees per employee category by gender in 2020 
(in %)

Age group 2020 2019
 15 14
30-39 22 23
40-49 25 25
50-59 27 27
60-64 9 9
65> 2 2

21 Average hours of training per employee
(in hours)

Annual total compensation by country
In 2020, the annual total compensation ratios decreased in most countries of operation. This indicates that the gap between the highest paid individual and the average annual total compensation for all employees increased. The relatively high ratio for BAM’s international business can be explained due to the fact that the salary ratio of BAM International is subject to locations / areas BAM International works (high vs low salary countries) and the total of employees working in those countries. The exchange rate also influences the salary ratio. And due to the wind down of BAM International, many employees have left the company. Overall, the contracts of employees with relatively low salaries were terminated / not extended, which also affects the salary ratio.

22 Annual total compensation by country

    2020 2019
  Ratio of percentage Increase

Netherlands 1%  13 13
United Kingdom -1% 7 7
Belgium 15% 3 3
Germany -14% 5 5
Ireland -4% 6 7
Rest of the world -22% 13 16

Business conduct and transparency

BAM is committed to being an ethical company and to live up to the highest standards of honesty and integrity in the way it does business with clients, suppliers and within BAM. BAM’s Code of Conduct and underlying policies further define how to do the right thing and remain true to the BAM core values. Living the Code of Conduct contributes to a safe, ethical and sustainable culture and protects the future of BAM. New employees must sign a statement in which they acknowledge to comply with this code as part of their employment contract with BAM.

BAM believes that communication and training are fundamental to make and keep the objective and content of the Code of Conduct alive in the organisation. Therefore, an e-learning tool is used to train selected employees on the code. The training, available in English, German, French and Dutch, is mandatory for (new) white-collar BAM employees. Progress is closely monitored and reported to management. The aim to achieve 95% completeness of the e-learning by the selected employees has not been reached yet in 2020 (see page 29 - Learning), but remains the focus in 2021. BAM’s blue-collar employees are trained through so-called toolbox meetings. BAM strongly believes in a targeted approach for the different working groups to achieve optimum understanding and adaptation.

Furthermore, BAM has a robust speak-up process, including an independent speak-up line to report suspicions of misconduct. Employees are encouraged to discuss dilemmas. Together with safety and wellbeing functions, an updated ‘Speak Up’ campaign was launched in 2020, which reached out to almost 15,000 colleagues. This campaign is kept active with a speak-up platform, communication of stories and possibility to discuss dilemmas based on conversation starter cards.

In 2020, several cases were reported within the various operating companies. This was in line with previous years. The reported suspicions of misconduct have been assessed and where needed sanctions have been taken, up to and including dismissal. Reported cases dealt with issues such as inappropriate use of company assets, equal treatment and privacy breaches (of which a limited number needed to be reported to the external local privacy authorities).

BAM’s Ethics and Compliance Committee supports the Executive Committee and the operating companies with the compliance programme, actual compliance matters and remedial actions, and to ensure consistency across the Group. Reported suspicions of misconduct are discussed on a quarterly base with the Executive Committee and every six months with the Audit Committee of the Supervisory Board. Furthermore, on a yearly basis the effectiveness of the management approach is assessed and improvement activities are captured in the operating plan of the governance, risk and compliance (GRC) function.

Corruption Perception Index
The Corruption Perception Index (CPI) is calculated by Transparency International, which focuses on the strict application of the UN Convention against Corruption. The CPI classifies countries according to their perceived level of corruption on a scale from 0 to 100. BAM mainly operates in Europe, which explains the overall score. BAM obtains its main turnover in countries with a low or very low risk of corruption.

23 Revenue according to Corruption Perception Index
(in %)

Human rights

BAM’s policy to protect human rights is integrated in the Code of Conduct. In addition, the Company underwrites the importance of the standards of the International Finance Corporation, in particularly with regard to labour and working conditions and the promotion of sound worker-management relations. BAM believes that fair treatment of workers (which includes providing them with an extensive safety programme on site, avoiding discrimination in employment, not using child labour, paying fair wages, offering education and training opportunities and creating healthy, decent working conditions) will result in tangible benefits for all, such as enhancement of efficiency and productivity of our business.

A possible risk of violation of BAM’s human rights principles lies in the chain of subcontractors and suppliers. To limit that risk, suppliers and subcontractors are bound by BAM’s general purchasing conditions. More details on human right risks are are included in the description of the material theme ‘human rights’ in chapter 9.7 (see page 216).

For practical reasons related to Covid-19 and partly due to the decision-making in connection with the decision to wind down BAM International, it has not been possible to carry out a social audit in 2020. Moreover, in 2020 there was no substantive response from BWI (Building and Wood Worker’s International) to the text proposed by BAM for a new framework agreement. Of course the 2006 framework agreement with BWI remains fully applicable. BAM still has the ambition to reach a new framework agreement with BWI.

Combatting slavery
BAM is committed to prevent slavery and human trafficking throughout its operations and those associated with its business. Modern slavery is also an issue for BAM and its supply chains. BAM is a partner member of the Supply Chain Sustainability School (www., where help and advice are freely available to assist suppliers within the construction industry. Combating slavery is not a standalone issue, but one that is part of BAM’s approach to ensure that people are treated with dignity and respect, that goods and services are purchased responsibly, that transparency is promoted and that business is done with the highest professional and ethical standards. With its speak-up procedure, BAM has an adequate whistleblower process in place, which encourages employees to report on any suspicions of misconduct.

Supply chain management

The Company is involved in many stages of the construction value chain, from development, engineering and construction to maintenance and operation. Suppliers are essential to BAM. Their knowledge, people and other resources provide more than 70 per cent of the turnover BAM brings as value to its clients. Large supply categories include concrete works, steel construction, mechanical and electrical engineering and façades. Most of these are typically sourced from preferred suppliers close to the sites.

BAM aims to increase social and environmental awareness and continiously looks for opportunities to jointly improve sustainability performance of both BAM and its suppliers. Suppliers and subcontractors are subject to BAM’s general purchasing terms and conditions, which covers commitments on safety, human rights and the environment.

The Group’s Procurement department continues to further develop its spend-and-contract tool, called ‘Bravo’. The number of yearly supplier and subcontractor performance reviews continues to increase: In 2020, 2475 performance reviews were carried out (2019: 1391). The system also provides digital construction assessments of the supply chain, which again contributed to successful third party (re-)certification. Additional functionalities to improve the quality of vendor information have been considered, tested and prepared.

In 2020, a procurement data warehouse was implemented, bringing together multiple data sources from which better dashboards and reports can be obtained with detailed information regarding the supply chain to the various stakeholders. Procurement involvement of operating companies during the tender phase is still increasing. A new uniform reporting structure to determine and communicate strategies, risks and opportunities was implemented together with Procurement taking part in the multi-disciplinary reviews of major tenders.

An example of supply chain engagement is the ongoing engagement with car leasing companies across the Group. BAM’s vehicle fleet accounts for circa 30 per cent of BAM’s direct CO2 emissions. In line with BAM’s science-based target, the company has the ambition to further increase the share of electric vehicles in the vehicle fleet. As a result of this engagement, the amount of electric vehicles within BAM increased from 143 (december 2019) to 269 (december 2020).

Enhancing lives

Playing a part in addressing social issues in its home countries is part of BAM’s sustainability strategy. The ‘Enhancing lives’ programme was launched in 2016 with the aim to structure efforts on community engagement. The programme aims to monitor the value added to the lives of people with whom the Company comes into contact through its activities and connections with local communities. BAM’s enhancing lives activities are mainly focused on employment opportunities, training, education, community involvement and charity. BAM has set a target of enhancing one million lives by 2020.

Progress to date
Over the past five years, BAM has developed an approach to monitor and report the number of lives enhanced. This approach included defining and categorising activities that contribute to life enhancement, for the sake of consistent reporting. But even with defined categories and reporting guidelines in place, safeguarding the consistency and quality of reported enhancing lives figures remains challenging. The reported number of lives enhanced (see table 25) is therefore not included in the scope of the external assurance engagement.

In total, BAM has reported 510,000 enhanced lives in the past three years. During this period, BAM recognised what enhancing lives means and that quality is more important than quantity. For example, activities that were considered to have too little impact to be qualified as life-enhancing activities (such as social media), were discarded. The decision to focus on quality over quantity and a delay in setting up the enhancing lives reporting processes have been the main reasons why BAM was not able to meet the target of one million enhanced lives.

Although BAM was not able to successfully complete the programme in terms of validation of the reported figures and reaching the one million lives, developing and trying to improve the programme has been an educational experience. It has helped BAM to better understand how it can enhance the lives of people in a meaningful way and has provided useful insights how BAM can measure social value going forward.

Community engagement progress
In 2020, local community engagement programmes regarding the impact of building projects on the local environment were implemented in 28 per cent of BAM’s projects. These were initiatives as part of existing programmes, such as the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS) in the United Kingdom and its Dutch equivalent Bewuste Bouwers, as well as unique initiatives of engagement managers on projects and site-specific sponsoring or charity work.

In the United Kingdom, 11 CCS projects were registered in 2020 and nine awards were won: one gold, six silver and two bronze. Based on the success of the United Kingdom’s Considerate Constructors Scheme, BAM was one of the companies that introduced the scheme Bewuste Bouwers in the Netherlands in 2009. In 2020, 58 sites were registered under the scheme in the Netherlands (2019: 60). The average audit score in 2020 was 8.1, well above the industry benchmark of 7.4.

24 Reported number of enhanced lives

Lives 2018 2019 2020
Total 139,174 213,199 158,110



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