Statement from the CEO
With the acquisitions of SMIT and Dockwise we have further reinforced and expanded our activities in the offshore energy sector. Both here and in our other activities, demand for sustainable solutions is moving up the agenda all the time. As an expert in dredging and maritime services we draw on all the talent in our organization for the sustainable design and realization of our solutions around the world.
We give an extra impulse to sustainable development by pooling resources in the chain with our clients and suppliers. Our Meet the Buyer sessions generated some promising initiatives once again in 2013. We will be organizing a new round of these sessions in 2014. Our recycling processes are also held in high regard by organizations that include the NGO Shipbreaking Platform. We want long-term, stable relationships with our suppliers. We conduct annual reviews to ensure our suppliers comply with the Supplier Code of Conduct that was drawn up in consultation with our strategic suppliers. We conducted an implementation scan again in 2013; it covered a selection of strategic suppliers in various European countries, revealing that three out of the four suppliers whose scores were too low in the 2012 implementation scan have made good progress. Our approach, which encourages sustainable development from both parties, is well received, but we will take leave of suppliers who fail to improve their sustainability scores.
Our social performance
The capital- and knowledge-intensive nature of our industry means that we need well-qualified and experienced professionals; they are essential to us and help us to maintain our leading market position. It is vital for our company to recruit, develop and retain talent, and for our people to feel they are being challenged to make a professional contribution. We welcome individual initiative in line with the framework set out in the Statement of General Business Principles. In constructive consultation with the Works Council, the integration with MNO Vervat was almost completed in 2013 and an energetic start was made on the integration of Dockwise. The growth of our company also offers abundant career prospects for our staff and, in 2013, we adapted our range of courses and training accordingly, adding specific modules.
Our activities have a relatively high risk profile. Our NINA safety program - No Injuries, No Accidents - is recognized as being progressive both within our industry and beyond. At Boskalis itself, safety awareness has improved considerably over the past few years. NINA is important to everyone, at every level of our company. Thanks to the open culture that has been created we have found that NINA is more than just a safety program; NINA connects because it is a dialogue about shared values, a shared culture. The statistics confirm the progress we have made. In 2013, the Lost Time Injury Frequency fell again: from 0.26 (2012) to 0.11 per 200,000 hours worked in 2013. This success was achieved despite our company’s recent growth. We can be proud of our safety record. Our target remains No Injuries, No Accidents. As well as creating good HR conditions and a safe working environment we also provide help when this is needed, for example for 70 members of our staff in the Philippines who were affected by typhoon Haiyan in 2013. The homes of most of them were destroyed or damaged. We provided financial support so they could rebuild their lives.
Our environmental performance
‘Environmental excellence’ is becoming increasingly important in the sustainable management and development of vulnerable river, delta and coastal areas of the world. This is precisely where a substantial part of our work is located. In addition, mining firms, and oil and gas companies, are extending their explorations also into vulnerable areas. This makes sustainable initiatives essential, not only in our dredging operations but also in our offshore services.
Boskalis aims to be an innovative and leading player in eco-engineering, offering an optimal balance between the ecological, social and economic aspects of projects. The Eco-Engineering Task Force formulated its objectives in 2013 and made suggestions about how we can achieve them. In this report you can read more about some illustrative real-life cases.
The Energy Management Task Force focuses on the environmental benefits we can achieve with our fleet and equipment. We are taking the opportunities available in our Dutch market as well, and this resulted in our renewed certification for the highest rung on the CO2 performance ladder in 2013. When project specifications include not just price but also sustainability values, we are challenged to keep coming up with new solutions for complex infrastructure issues. In other regions we anticipate changes in legislation and invest in R&D for cleaner fuels, sustainable techniques and environmentally friendly equipment. For example, we worked with a number of suppliers to test cleaner fuels on our equipment in 2013.
Our societal performance
Our primary activities have a positive effect on the safety and economy of the regions where we operate. We devote ample attention to environment management on our projects and, where possible, we source goods and services from local suppliers. On long-term projects or in regions where we have a virtually permanent presence we make targeted investments in schooling for local workers. We provide generous support to employee initiatives supporting local communities and social causes, as in Nigeria, where we had a community beach house built for the residents of the village of Ogulagha, and the Tour for Life event to raise money for Médecins Sans Frontières. You can read more about these initiatives elsewhere in this report.
Since we published our first CSR report in 2009 our CSR reporting has been further extended and embedded. This year’s report once again meets the requirements of GRI application 3.1 level B and we are preparing for the recently-introduced GRI 4 guideline.
As a result of the acquisitions of SMIT, MNO Vervat and Dockwise we have also had to integrate information accordingly in the area of CSR. We consider fully integrated CSR reporting to be a condition for external verification. In mid-2013 we set ourselves the objective to have the entire CSR report verified by an independent external party within the next few years. This report takes an important first step in that direction with the verification for the 2013 safety performance.
We hope that this report gives you a clear picture of our CSR performance. As always, we would appreciate any suggestions you may have for improving our CSR policy and reporting.
On behalf of the Board of Management
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