Stakeholder engagement and material themes

Stakeholder engagement

BAM recognises that real business benefits can only be achieved by involving all stakeholders. BAM therefore continuously engages with its stakeholders in all home countries and throughout all operating companies to understand their priorities and concerns through benchmarking, sector meetings, client surveys and direct contacts.

BAM’s stakeholders are interest groups which significantly influence or are influenced by the economic, environmental and social performance of the Company.

In 2020, Covid-19 restricted the Companies’ stakeholder engagement options, as large events in which stakeholders could be physically present were not possible. However, engagement activities did continue in smaller groups and through digital meetings.

BAM is in constant dialogue with its clients about project expectations and projections. In addition, BAM organises client meetings to share knowledge and best practices. This is done through account management and business development at each operating company. Maximum value for money is of utmost importance to the clients and this extends beyond simply delivering a project at the lowest price. BAM tries to exceed clients’ sustainability expectations or to suggest an enhanced approach where none exists or where no targets have been set. Typically, this is done in the complex and multidisciplinary projects BAM undertakes.

Providers of financial capital
Communication with investors, financial institutions and the financial community at large is actively pursued and usually takes place through meetings, project visits, road shows, seminars, presentations, investment meetings and press releases. The main recurring topics of discussion are financial performance, transparency and control. Due to Covid-19 restrictions in 2020, engagement mostly took place through individual digital meetings.

As part of the performance management process, personal learning and development plans of employees are evaluated annually between manager and employee. Progress to meet annual targets together with personal growth and career development are discussed. BAM has active works councils within its operating companies to discuss organisational changes and other employee-related matters. Employee engagement is facilitated through multiple platforms such as Young BAM events, open collaboration days, senior management meetings and online surveys through BAM Panel. BAM aims to share learnings from projects, inspire employees with new ideas and collect feedback on what can be improved (pages 29-31).

Suppliers and subcontractors
Supply chain partners are essential to BAM and therefore the Company engages with almost all of its suppliers. At projects, BAM is in constant dialogue with its suppliers about project expectations and the carbon footprint of supplied goods. In 2020, BAM engaged with suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of projects by implementing lifecycle assessments on product level. This is taking place throughout projects in both business lines.

By their nature, the construction and civil engineering works of BAM have an impact on local communities. BAM builds facilities which society needs, such as housing, hospitals, schools, leisure and industrial facilities, utilities and infrastructure. Discussion points differ per governmental body, but health and safety as well as human rights are common. Paragraph 3.2 of this report describes BAM’s performance and provides examples of its activities for social involvement in 2020. BAM’s programme on enhancing lives is an example of the Company’s ambition to increase its positive impact on local communities.

By delivering projects, BAM is in constant contact with (local) government authorities about issuing permits, compliance with regulations and monitoring of activities. BAM is involved in many governmental initiatives including several Green Deals throughout Europe. The Group aims to engage regulators in issues such as health and safety management, carbon-free buildings, carbon impact in the infrastructure lifecycle and other sustainabilityrelated issues within the built environment. An example is platform CB23, which BAM joined in 2019, whose goal it is to develop and implement circular building regulations for the entire Dutch construction industry by 2023. In 2020, BAM engaged in different dialogue sessions to further develop an evident circularity framework.

Cross-sectoral collaboration

For BAM, stakeholder engagement is about transparency, a deeper understanding of requirements and expectations and, ideally, future-proof partnerships in the supply chain. During 2020, BAM engaged in several stakeholder dialogues to address cross-industry trends and movements throughout the entire construction value chain, for example during yearly supplier days at different business units. In 2020, BAM engaged in discussions around the following themes: smart cities and mobility, circular economy, healthy urban living, lifecycle values, energy transition and digital construction. These themes are all societal challenges that no single party in the value chain can solve on its own. Tackling these challenges requires cross-sectoral collaboration, which can only be achieved if organisations and people from different sectors are willing and able to think, learn, communicate and collaborate across the boundaries that used to divide them.

Sustainable Development Goals

BAM values the alignment of its strategy with the UN-adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): seventeen goals that serve as a roadmap to address the world’s biggest sustainability challenges and achieve a better and more sustainable future for all by 2030. BAM recognises the importance of the SDGs as a global agenda and believes it has a moral obligation to support these goals. BAM’s business potentially impacts all SDGs, but given the nature of its business, some have a more direct influence within current markets.

To that end BAM has identified seven goals that fit its strategy and impact best:

3 – Good health and well-being
4 – Quality education
8 – Decent work and economic growth
9 – Industry, innovation and infrastructure
11 – Sustainable cities and communities
12 – Responsible production and consumption
13 – Climate action The link between BAM’s performance indicators, material themes, risks and the SDGs is explained in figure 4.

Currently, BAM does not explicitly monitor its impact on the SDGs. Monitoring performance in relation to the SDGs requires an accurate insight in both the positive and negative impact of BAMs operations. Gaining detailed insight throughout the business is something BAM is not currently working on.

Material themes

As part of the strategic agenda for 2016-2020, the Group carried out a materiality assessment in which 12 material themes were identified. Material themes significantly influence BAM’s ability to create value in the short, medium and long term. In order to be able to update the materiality matrix, BAM distributed an online survey to international stakeholders across all six stakeholder groups, selected with support from regional business development contacts to determine relevant stakeholders. A detailed description of the 12 material themes, their impact on BAM and the management approach can be found in paragraph 9.7.

Materiality assessment
As in 2019, BAM sent out an extended stakeholder survey in 2020. On top of the 12 themes that were specified in BAM’s strategic agenda 2016-2020, seven additional topics that were considered important in relation to market trends were selected and added to the survey. The only significant change made compared to 2019 is a broader definition of the theme ‘global events’ for complete cover. The materiality matrix (figure 4) displays the prioritisation of the themes based on their relative importance to BAM, to its stakeholders and to society.

The Executive Committee was involved in the engagement process and the discussion on the materiality of these themes. The discussed approach with the Executive Committee was to specifically report on both risk management and digitalisation, as these are important for BAM’s long-term value creation. Additionally it was discussed to emphasise the impact of global events in 2020, covering Covid-19 and local events such as Brexit and the nitrogen and PFAS issues in the Netherlands. A detailed description of BAM’s approach and 2020 strategic initiatives on risk management can be found in chapter 4. A reflection on digitalisation can be found in the paragraph strategy (pages 11).

An ambition of the 2020 stakeholder engagement (19 identified themes) was to use the output as an inspiration for the new strategic agenda process. In addition, the output was used for product-market combination discussions to define (future) market risks and opportunities for both BAMs business lines.

In this year’s report, BAM does not monitor its impact on the seven new themes with KPIs because these are not part of its current strategic agenda. The prevailing 12 remain material.

Material themes
Stakeholders identified and prioritised the potential impact of (material) themes on themselves and on society. The prioritisation of BAM’s material themes remained very similar compared to last year. Financial performance and project and product quality and control remained the most important themes for BAM.

Stakeholders identified financial performance, risk management, digitalisation, business conduct and tranparancy and sustainable procurement as most material themes. Of the new themes, risk management, digitalisation and global events (mainly due to Covid-19) appear important and have a high impact on BAM and its stakeholders. Climate adaptation and business disruption have a limited impact. Diversity and inclusion and biodiversity appear less important for BAM’s stakeholders.

The most relevant theme for the client group was project and product quality and control. The employee group specifically indicated employee recruitment, development and retention as the most important material theme. Providers of financial capital indicated that BAM’s financial performance is most relevant to their organisations, in addition to risk management. BAM’s subcontractors and suppliers as well as the group representing society in general (NGOs, government and knowledge institutes) specifically indicated sustainable procurement as material themes. Additionally, the stakeholders were requested to introduce and assess matters that they felt were missing in BAM’s original materiality assessment. Topics raised by stakeholders included energy transition, building information modelling (BIM) and industrialised construction.

Materiality matrix

Link between performance indicators, material themes in strategic agenda, risks and SDGs

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