One of the key areas of the CSR Strategy for 2016-2020, indirectly related to the natural environment, is
being a neighbour, guest and partner for local communities.
This means mainly a commitment, also for subcontractors, to reduce the adverse impact of activities on the residents of neighbouring areas. Environmental amenities most often concern the course of roads in the vicinity of households and passages for animals, according to their migration routes and the preservation of protected areas (ecotones) in forests. In order to protect nature, drainage systems are also being created. Transparent sound-absorbing screens are also put up.
Formally, the investor is responsible for preparing the project, including public consultation and environmental impact level. The Budimex Group’s companies, acting as the general contractor, have no direct impact on these issues. Only as a designer for a given contract, the company has an impact on project preparation with regard to its environmental and social aspects. The key to success is to carefully prepare and organise construction sites and facilities, in particular such routing of technological roads that they are as little burdensome as possible from the point of view of road participants and local residents.
Construction facilities, warehouses, yards and transportation bases are firstly located on already developed and transformed territories. If possible, the construction site is organised at a safe distance from inhabited areas. During the project implementation, materials and raw materials are transported mainly with use of existing road lanes. Trunks and roots of trees are protected from mechanical damage caused by heavy equipment. Animal and plant habitats are fenced off, while water reservoirs are protected against potential contamination with chemical substances.
When works are completed, the surrounding area is restored to be as similar as possible to the pre-construction condition. New trees are planted in place of the trees that had to be felled, while the top, humus layer of the soil that had to be removed is reused.
A popular operation is the transfer of plants from the construction site to a new site of the same requirements and qualities (so-called metaplantation). If it is necessary to backfill a small water reservoir, the amphibians, reptiles and birds that live in it are also transferred to a safe location. In 2020 a total of 1470 amphibians of the following species were relocated: green frog, moor frog, grass frog, common toad, green toad, common newt, great crested newt, fire-bellied toad, and 7 reptiles of the following species: viviparous lizard, sand lizard and grass snake. Two anthills were also moved.
The schedule of construction works is adjusted to the natural cycle, which means, for example, suspension of works in the period of migrations of forest animals, amphibians and fish or during the bird breeding season.
All works comply with current legal requirements, including those applicable to the Natura 2000 sites. There is also conducted an environmental control of the impact area and habitats on a given territory, while environmental observation is conducted after the project completion. In accordance with the applicable regulations, an environmental impact report is prepared before the commencement of a project with a potentially significant impact on the natural environment. Experts in various fields are involved in preparing the document: e.g. ornithologists, herpetologists, botanists, etc. The report shows potential risks and recommendations for mitigating the effects of the project.
Specialists support all pro-environmental activities conducted by the Group: they monitor the project implementation on an ongoing basis and issue conclusions and recommendations. Most construction sites are subject to environmental supervision according to environmental decisions and contracts with an entity ordering a given project. Sometimes supervision is carried out at the request of the contract management or preventively, even when the law does not require this. Thus, the Budimex Group applies the precautionary principle.
Care for the environment is made easier for employees and subcontractors by the boards placed on construction sites, informing on the location of the construction waste landfill site, place to wash concrete pumps, where special care should be taken due to the occurrence of protected species or tree protection areas. The presence of appropriate markings is verified during SOB audits.
One of the principles in force on construction sites of the Budimex Group is to have the so-called environmental first aid kit, which is a set for quick containment and neutralisation of spills of environmentally hazardous substances, such as oils, petroleum products.
The kits are stored in marked places and the workers are informed about those places. In accordance with the precautionary principle, any potential contamination is treated as environmentally hazardous until its type and source are determined. Another requirement is to manage the generated waste, keep its records and collect it.