Impact on local communities
Budimex attaches great importance to cooperation with local communities, supporting them, and limiting the negative impact on the inhabitants of areas where the company operates..
The management of the Budimex Group’s social area is defined in the ‘Principles of the Company’s Responsibility Policy’. This document includes, but is not limited to, provisions directly or indirectly related to social impact, imposing ethical and responsible conduct on all activities, transparency and application of best corporate governance practices, as well as contributing to socio-economic development.
The second document functioning in this area is the ‘Policy of Cooperation with Local Communities’. It indicates specific activities to be taken both before the commencement of construction works (conducting a dialogue with the local community on a given project in order to respond to concerns related to the performance of the investment) and during the term of the contract (building relations with the social environment of the project).
In the long term, the construction of road and rail infrastructure is one of the conditions for the country’s socio-economic development. It also has an impact on improving the quality of life of the surrounding communities. However, it should be borne in mind that at the stage of construction works, these investments are associated with specific difficulties, especially for the residents of the areas directly adjacent to the project (e.g. increased traffic and noise resulting from the transport of construction materials and operation of the machinery). Each potential aspect of the environmental impact of the works is analysed as early as at the stage of issuing administrative decisions, and inhabitants’ representatives take part in public consultation. The Budimex Group also conducts non-obligatory, additional public consultation in the course of delineation of, for example, bypass routes and road closures. To this end, the company’s representatives participate in sessions of municipal and city councils in order to answer doubts and respond to comments on an ongoing basis. These are also often meetings in the offices of mayors or municipality heads concerning the changes that are going to take place in the scope of the investment to be carried out, in order to be able to jointly work out and adjust the communication to the needs of the inhabitants. Moreover, Budimex provides residents with feedback channels through a contact form available on www.budimex.pl and corporate social media profiles. In this way, it reduces the risk of phenomena that may negatively affect neighbours of the implemented undertakings or lead to delays and downtimes in works resulting from protests of residents, blocking the works by them or extension of administrative procedures.
One of the more sensitive investments implemented by Budimex in 2022 was a barrier on the Polish-Belarusian border. In connection with the identification of the risks associated with the contract, Budimex mapped all potential stakeholders of this project, which is strategic for Poland’s security. Budimex creates stakeholder breakdowns on the key and also most media-oriented contracts, which improves the overall flow of information and facilitates cooperation with the local community.
Budimex is aware that it has a significant impact on the living comfort of local communities during the period of project implementation. Although the long-term goal of the organisation is to improve their quality of life, Budimex is not indifferent to the needs of the community here and now. Therefore, the company is open to dialogue, Budimex employees meet with community representatives, listen to their needs and respond where possible to ensure the best possible good neighbourly relations. Budimex actively supports local initiatives, facilitates communication around an ongoing project and stimulates charitable activities to build valuable relationships on a long-term basis. The organisation also makes every effort to provide education on what it is like to work in the construction industry. To this end, contacts are made and meetings are organised with universities and technicians, where students are offered a programme to prepare them for the profession. By sharing its experience, Budimex wants to give the young generations a better start in the future.
Taking care of future generations, for many years it has been successfully implementing its own ‘Hello ICE. Budimex for Children’ programme, implemented continuously since 2019. Through one-to-one meetings in educational facilities, the company passes on knowledge and shares experience with children and young people on the issue of taking care of safety in public traffic, as well as educating on first aid. At Budimex, we want to enrich our offer by broadening the subject matter of our activities to include the area of micro-mobility (safety on rollerblades/scooters/ skateboards).
One of Budimex’s original social projects is ‘Parent Zone’ – a programme that has been running continuously since 2012. Its main objective is to create comfortable conditions for parents of sick children to be with their children in hospitals, thus improving the well-being of children and facilitating their faster recovery. Thanks to the places such as the Parent Zones, small patients can get away from thoughts about the illness for a while and spend their time in a nice way. The programme also supports parents so they can constantly accompany their children through this difficult period. As part of the project, special areas are set aside for parents in the children’s wards. The programme is also a space for the strong commitment of Budimex employees, who renovate hospital rooms as part of their volunteer work. In 2022, further Parent Zones were opened in hospitals in Pisz and Bydgoszcz. Fourteen volunteers (300 hours) worked on these projects, and by the end of 2022, a total of around 1,000 beneficiaries had benefited from both Zones.
Budimex has also implemented the ‘House from the Heart 2’ programme in 2022. This is a project designed for families with many children in a difficult financial situation. Budimex volunteers, using their expertise in the construction industry, supported for the second time a multi-child family in a difficult material situation. This time, the organisation helped an 8-person family from Brusy in the Pomorskie Voivodeship, which only lacked a finished house for a peaceful, safe and happy life. Budimex, together with the partners of the action, put into use a beautiful, functional and energy-efficient house, in which the family can fulfil their dreams.
Every year, the company launches an employee volunteering programme, under which Budimex Group members can submit ideas and implement selected projects. ‘Grant for Volunteering’ has existed at Budimex since 2015. Volunteering is based both on employees’ professional competences and skills, as well as on the work and physical effort put into the project. A good example of such an action carried out by Budimex volunteers is the renovation of a common room in an orphanage, a single mother’s home and the upgrade of a playground for _177 Budimex Group Integrated Report 2022 children from a social care centre. In 2022, Budimex Group volunteers also supported the renovation of a local charity’s roof and improved the social conditions at a school for children with autism.
As part of a special edition of the ‘Help for Ukraine’ Grant, Budimex employees renovated a bathroom for refugees, supported 300 families living in the Bucza area by providing them with the most necessary food products, and equipped the Reception Point for Refugees in Ustrzyki Dolne. In addition, they actively participated in the unloading of aid delivered to one of the warehouses. A total of 58 volunteers worked for over 700 hours in 2022, completing 7 grants totalling PLN 136,000.
In addition to the campaigns in support of victims of the war in Ukraine organised as part of the programme, Budimex Group employees brought aid and support to Ukraine throughout the year. Food, clothing and school supplies collected among the employees were donated primarily to children who had lost their parents due to the conflict. In addition, Budimex, together with other Ferrovial Group companies, organised a campaign called ‘Together We Help Ukraine’, aimed at donating funds collected by its employees for humanitarian aid for people displaced by warfare. In addition, Ferrovial donated the equivalent of the amount collected by Group employees from Poland, the US, Spain and the UK to NGOs dedicated to helping Ukrainians. A total of €470,000 was donated for this purpose. In addition, Budimex donated PLN 500,000 to finance the purchase of the most necessary medicines according to a list prepared by doctors from Lviv. The obtained medicines were delivered to the neonatal children’s hospital and the St Pantaleon’s adult hospital in Lviv.
[GRI 411-1] [GRI 413-2]
In 2022, Budimex S.A’s operations did not experience any conflicts with the local community of a long-term nature. Several incidents were reported over the period covered by the report. In each case, corrective actions were taken to eliminate the identified inconveniences:
- Border barrier – extensive consultations were held with communities and residents of villages along the 105-km construction site before and during the 6-month construction works. These included the construction of access roads, storage yards, vehicle speeds, road signs and surface repairs.
- Strachocina gas pipeline – Polish border – Budimex was involved in minimising social conflicts in the Komańcza municipality due to the destruction of local roads by construction vehicles and the drop in groundwater levels. The company supported the municipality with repairs and a system of new drinking water wells.
- Tramway to Wilanów – the felling of trees necessary for the construction work and changes in the organisation of vehicle traffic in Mokotów and Wilanów required extensive public consultation and information activities aimed at local communities. The felling of some trees was accompanied by protests from environmentalists, which required additional negotiations and discussions.
- Czechowice – Dziedzice station upgrade contract – carrying out work on railway viaducts and culverts raised concerns among residents about the risk of rising groundwater. After a number of consultations, additional flood defences were introduced.
- Baltic Hub contract – prior to the start of construction work on the new container terminal No. 3, residents of the nearby Stogi residential area lodged protests about noise during the works and the risk of Stogi beach being cut off from the bathing area. In the course of direct consultations, briefing meetings were held with the Baltic Hub investor on this issue.
At Mostostal Kraków, one incident related to the impact on the local community was reported and analysed, and 53 community engagement events were carried out throughout 2022.