Social commitment and compliance

Implenia takes responsibility and wants to do what it can to help solve societal challenges. The company has set out its values in a Code of Conduct and a Competition Directive, and makes sure that its employees comply with them.

Achievements in 2016 and 2017

Social commitments strengthened, including our work with the “Smiling Gecko” project in Cambodia.

Internal collection of sustainability indicators and external evaluations of Implenia’s sustainability have been improved.

Collaboration with external stakeholders expanded

  • Sponsorship of an ETHZ professorship in innovative and industrial construction.
  • Extended membership of the Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Bauen (Sustainable Construction Network).
  • 201 trainees trained and various master’s theses supported.
  • “One Planet Living” method developed for sustainable neighbourhoods.

Goals for 2020

  • Create transparency about our sustainability activities, report on these continuously and improve our external sustainability ratings
  • Increase our commitment to sustainable development beyond our business activities
  • Continue to engage in dialogue with representatives of politics, business and civic society, and establish such dialogue in our new home markets
  • Avoid compliance incidents thanks to training courses and a zero-tolerance policy with respect to integrity and competition law infringements

Binding Code of Conduct

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Implenia has set out its principles as a responsible corporation in its Code of Conduct respect, integrity, honesty, openness, fairness and sustainability. The Code governs the way employees behave towards each other and towards business partners, authorities and the environment.

The Code of Conduct forms an integral component of Implenia’s employment contracts and is binding on all staff. All new employees have to complete an e-learning program that goes through the contents of the Code as well as the associated policies. Regular internal training sessions are also held on the content.

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Each business unit has a designated compliance officer, who acts as the first point of call for queries about compliance issues. Employees can also go to the compliance officer if they suspect or witness malpractice. They can, of course, also report malpractice directly and anonymously to the centralized Compliance Department. The company guarantees that whistle-blowers are protected and that the accused are treated fairly. Implenia continuously reviews its compliance organisation and adapts it where necessary to new circumstances.

Promoting proper, effective competition; fighting corruption

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There is intense competition in the construction sector. Implenia engages in this competition by fair means and has a zero-tolerance policy towards anti-competitive behaviour. The company adheres strictly to all applicable national and international antitrust and competition law, and it condemns any form of bribery and corruption.

Implenia checks each project to ensure that internal and external requirements for fair competition are met. The company has introduced a mechanism to counter corruption based on the “two-pairs-of-eyes” principle. Auditors also regularly check the books for anything suspicious as part of the regular audit process.

Implenia has signed off Group-wide competition regulations to help make employees more familiar with competition law and protect them from infringements. The instructions are unequivocal. For example, the internal regulations make it clear that oral and non-binding arrangements can still violate competition law, and they tell employees how to conduct themselves correctly.

Group integrity guidelines flesh out the principles of the Code of Conduct as they apply to corruption and bribery. They contain binding obligations for the prevention and active fight against corrupt practices and attempts at bribery. Implenia expects its employees to comply strictly with the law and guidelines. The integrity guidelines include concrete rules on accepting and offering personal gifts, for example. They set out country-specific financial thresholds, above which personal gifts either have to be approved or are forbidden.

Implenia doesn’t just discuss compliance issues with its employees when they first join the company. Workers are invited to compliance training sessions regularly throughout their career at the company. Participation in this training, which helps keep the main principles fresh in employees’ minds, is monitored. In this way, Implenia ensures that its people have a deeper awareness and understanding of the topic.

In order to sensitise its workforce to important compliance issues, Implenia brings these up regularly and links them to ongoing processes. “Impact”, the staff magazine also regularly features fictional but realistic everyday situations to highlight where permissible business practices end and illegal behaviour, such as bribery or corruption, begins. Finally, pocket cards on specific topics – rules for meetings for example – are distributed to staff.

Infringement of competition law

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Implenia communicates transparently about any infringements of anti-cartel law:

In April 2013, the Swiss Competition Commission opened an investigation against eight road-building and civil engineering companies in the districts of See-Gaster (SG) and Höfe (SZ). Implenia, or more precisely the former Batigroup AG, was one of these companies. The case, which centred on agreements made when public and private road-building and civil engineering contracts were awarded in the years between 2002 to 2009, was completed in October 2016. Implenia cooperated fully with the Competition Commission and helped with investigations into other agreements on price and geographical areas. Thanks to its positive approach, the company ultimately avoided a fine.

The Competition Commission has been following up leads in Canton Grisons. The investigation is looking into possible illegal anti-trust agreements in the market for road construction, building construction and civil engineering prior to 2010. In December 2017, the Competition Commission closed six individual investigations into bid-rigging in the Engadin. Implenia was involved in the case of two calls for tender by private clients. However, the Competition Commission’s decision was challenged and so is not yet pending.

In 2016, the Austrian Federal Competition Authority fined several companies for price fixing in the drywall building market. Tüchler Ausbau GmbH, a subsidiary of Implenia, was one of the companies involved. Implenia acted immediately and parted company with the responsible manager.

In April 2017, Vienna’s public prosecutor for economic and corruption offences opened an investigation against Implenia Baugesellschaft GmbH into suspicions of bid-rigging. The investigation is still in progress. The matters under investigation go back to the years between 2008 and 2012, i.e. prior to Implenia’s takeover of the former Bilfinger company in 2014.

Working with universities

In order to strengthen knowledge transfer between academia and business, and further the development of skilled professionals, Implenia has for some years now been working more closely with universities. In Switzerland, for example, Implenia supports the ETH Zurich’s Excellence Scholarship & Opportunity Programme with an annual contribution. From the start of 2016 and up to 2022, Implenia, as an “industrial partner”, is also supporting the establishment of an assistant professorship for innovative and industrialized building.  The aim of this partnership is to develop new expertise in civil engineering and construction.

Implenia also has close links with selected universities in Germany. At the University of Wuppertal, it has committed personnel and money to a master’s degree program in real estate and construction project management. In Munich, Implenia regularly awards scholarships to talented students at the city’s universities.

Social commitment

As the largest construction company in Switzerland and a major player in Europe, Implenia wants to play its part in promoting social cohesion. It regularly supports social initiatives through cooperation arrangements, financial contributions or benefits in kind. The company made a particular effort in its anniversary year of 2016: employees brought great creativity and commitment to a daisy-growing competition, raising 120,000 francs for social organisations.

Implenia groupFund-raising to mark Implenia’s 10th birthday

By submitting a flood of creative daisy photos, employees in the five home markets raised around 120,000 francs for social projects.

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Implenia takes a long-term approach to social sponsorship based on partnerships. The company has been working with workshops staffed by people with disabilities in every Swiss region since 2013. We place orders with these organisations, buy their products and give financial support. At the end of each year we always send our customers and business partners Christmas cards designed by disabled people.

Personal contacts are a very important part of these partnerships: Implenia employees visit the workshops and join in with activities for a day. The disabled organisations arrange for their clients to come and spend some time at Implenia to experience working life at a big company. It’s a good way to encourage mutual understanding.

The company adheres to high ethical standards when engaged in sponsorship or making donations. Its competition rules state that political organisations or individual politicians can only be supported if this is done transparently and within the bounds of statutory regulations. Payments to other organisations have to be open and cannot be intended to influence decisions.

Implenia also helps to integrate disadvantaged people into the world of work. In Sweden, for example, the company entered into a partnership with the city of Stockholm in March 2017 to find jobs for difficult-to-place people. These tend to be students, refugees or unemployed people who have previously found it hard to access the labour market. Implenia is also working with the cantonal integration office in Geneva to give refugees meaningful work on its construction site for a new UN office building building in the city. In Cambodia, meanwhile, the company is supporting the establishment of a school.

Project «Smiling Gecko»Commitment without borders to build a school

Implenia is sending its own experts to help build a unique school project in Cambodia.

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Implenia SwedenImplenia lends a hand

In Sweden, Implenia is giving students, refugees and unemployed people opportunities to join the labour market – and is recruiting talented staff in the ...

Read the story

Working for a green economy

“Green economy” is shorthand for an economy that uses energy and raw materials prudently. There are many different green economy initiatives in many different countries, as well as at international level.

The construction industry is still far from being green, but to help move it in the right direction SINTEF in Norway has founded the “Green Construction Sector” network. SINTEF is one of the largest independent research organisations in Europe. Implenia joined the network in August 2017 and will now take part in its regular meetings. The network promotes close collaboration between members and backs innovations that contribute to sustainable development.

In Switzerland, Implenia arranged to meet members of parliament and climate researchers in early 2018 to talk about the new CO2 law. Implenia and three other major companies gave their views to the politicians. CEO Anton Affentranger explained that a large proportion of Switzerland’s building stock is sub-standard in terms of energy efficiency, but that only a tiny fraction (just under 1% per year) is being upgraded. Action is required here. The company also championed an effective CO2 levy as a means of achieving the climate targets agreed in Paris. Affentranger also took the opportunity to lobby for public procurement processes to take greater account of sustainability criteria.

Sponsoring sport and culture

Implenia uses sponsorship activities to facilitate important community activities and simultaneously strengthen its profile among customers and the general public. The company mainly supports sports events, but also does some general event and cultural sponsorship. Implenia sponsors key running events in all of Switzerland’s language regions every year, and sponsors individual athletes as “Implenia ambassadors”. A total of CHF 580,000 was spent on sponsorship in 2017.

In recent years, Implenia has also increasingly been involved in promoting youth development, for example by supporting the National Triathlon Training Centre in Wallisellen. Implenia Deutschland’s sponsorship of the Eames exhibition at the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein is a good example of the company’s cultural commitment.

Social commitment and

Implenia groupFund-raising to mark Implenia’s 10th birthday

By submitting a flood of creative daisy photos, employees in the five home markets raised around 120,000 francs for social projects.

“Heartfelt commitment”. This was the motto for a birthday year in which Implenia wanted to make an additional contribution to society, and especially to those less fortunate than ourselves. After evaluating a large number of proposed social projects, thirty locations each chose one to support.

All employees were invited to grow their own daisies and then take a picture of themselves with the blooms they produced. For every photo submitted, Implenia donated an additional 20 francs to the amount raised, plus an extra sum for team achievement.

Photos of daisies in any form were allowed, and not just of the home-grown flowers. Crocheted daisies, living art installations of daisies, daisies with crazy glasses, photoshopped daisy collages: the creativity of our people knew no bounds, and suddenly the yellow and white flowers were everywhere. A total of over 4,000 daisy photos were submitted.

As a result of the anniversary activities, the thirty locations were able to hand over a total of 120,000 francs to their chosen social projects.

Social commitment and

Project «Smiling Gecko»Commitment without borders to build a school

Implenia is sending its own experts to help build a unique school project in Cambodia.

In a prime example of good timing, the «Smiling Gecko» organisation contacted Implenia just when the company was thinking about how to inject new momentum into its sustainability efforts. One of the ideas developed at a recent management conference was that we should do more charitable work nationally and internationally under the slogan “Implenia without borders”.

The request for help with the construction of a sustainable school site in Cambodia could not have come at a better time. Implenia quickly agreed to the proposal and provided Smiling Gecko with support in the form of skills and expertise. The “Village School Project” is also backed by other organisations, including the architecture department of the ETH Zurich and the Zurich University of Teacher Education.

Smiling Gecko has provided direct aid, financial and non-financial, to communities in Cambodia for many years. The charity has launched an anti-poverty project north of the capital Phnom Penh that aims to give decent work opportunities to several thousand Cambodians. The project includes a model school for around a thousand children, offering dual vocational training based on the Swiss system.

The project is unique in the world: planning and construction is influenced not only by the latest sustainable building techniques, but also by state-of-the-art educational principles. Construction began in spring 2017. As well as the school buildings, the project includes sanitary facilities, first-aid rooms, a canteen, a library, sports facilities and teacher accommodation.

In June 2017 two Implenia employees travelled to the site for the first time to review the planning and progress of the project. It became apparent that the plans needed amending and that additional expertise was required. Consequently, since August 2017 Implenia has continuously sent construction personnel out for stints of three months to help the local team. Interested employees can apply via the intranet and with a bit of luck take part in this unique project.

Social commitment and

Implenia SwedenImplenia lends a hand

In Sweden, Implenia is giving students, refugees and unemployed people opportunities to join the labour market – and is recruiting talented staff in the process.

Implenia is the first company in the Swedish construction industry to enter into a recruitment partnership with the City of Stockholm. Under the agreement, signed in March 2017, the city will help Implenia recruit staff for at least three years.

The plan is to find six new employees a year. As most of these will be students, refugees and unemployed people who have previously found it difficult to access the labour market, Implenia is helping to integrate disadvantaged sections of society – true to the city’s aim of being a “Stockholm for all”.

So far, the partnership has resulted in four appointments. One of the latest recruits is 21-year-old Ilyaas Sheikh, who couldn’t find a job until Implenia took him on. He now works as a tunneller on the Johannelund project, gaining valuable professional experience in his first job.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity,” says Ilyaas. His shift partner Erik Ståhl had already been working at Implenia for several years when Ilyaas started. “It’s gone really well with Ilyaas; he soon became one of the team,” says Ståhl.

“This partnership with Stockholm is very valuable to us,” says Fredrik Björckebaum, CEO of Implenia Sverige, “because the city has huge resources for finding and training talent. Everyone involved benefits from the scheme: the company gains promising new employees while providing jobs for people who have not previously had a chance to enter the labour market.

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