Reducing risks while adding value to society

Our faster, more crowded and interconnected world needs innovative solutions that help people, businesses and governments to take the right decisions that help the world move forward – sustainably. Solving today’s biggest challenges involves physical solutions, smart brains and digital technology. This is the combination Royal HaskoningDHV is using to help build a better, more efficient and sustainable society. To do this, we need to run a financially healthy business and apply our collective intelligence and smart solutions together with our clients and partners, creating positive impact on people, our living environment and the economy.

Our strategy ensures our business remains relevant and able to assist our clients in this rapidly changing world. It continued to guide our activities during 2019 with its clear focus on global leading services and export services, new innovative services and digital engineering. We are successfully integrating digital and data capabilities with our traditional engineering expertise and our strategy and mission give direction to how we use innovations, technology and digitisation. Investments made in 2019 supported our strategy and strengthened our portfolio. We acquired simulation software experts, Lanner, flood resilience digital solutions provider, Ambiental, and took a minority share in Hydroinformatics Institute, H2i.

Innovation is integral to our strategy and we have further developed a structured and scalable process to boost our innovation pipeline and embed a culture of innovation across our organisation. Innovations pursued are those which fit strategically, are client-centric, scalable, financially sustainable and ideally offer a different business model.

Our ambition is to leverage our Products & Services (technology and innovations) and our own operations to contribute to inclusive sustainable development. We drive this with our clients and partners in areas we master and can actively influence to contribute to a relevant selection of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We use our 4 Questions for sustainable growth to connect and align with our clients (see section Progress update on our prioritised UN Sustainable Development Goals) and to ensure we maintain our focus on specific SDGs.

Since our client’s projects cannot always have only positive impact, our goal is to achieve a net positive impact by our involvement in these projects. The construction of a new road, for example, will positively impact mobility and economic growth, but will also emit greenhouse gas emissions both in construction and use phase. Our 4 questions guide our conversations with clients and partners on these considerations, and help to identify where we can add value for society while minimizing the potential negative impact of projects. The SDGs are specifically mentioned as part of our 4 Questions conversations to maintain clear focus on the areas where we are committed to make a difference. The questions are:

  1. Does the output meet the requirements of most stakeholders involved?

  2. Does the output serve added value for the client and society as a whole?

  3. Is the result lasting, thus is it future proof?

  4. Can we meet the client’s demand while minimising the use of natural resources and energy?

To facilitate reaching our ambitions in reducing our negative impact while adding value to society we have integrated Responsible & Sustainable Business (RSB) in the governance model of the company, including descriptions of the roles and responsibilities of our management, Business Line Managers Sustainability and The Workers Council. It is part of management targets starting at Board level and working downwards. RSB is a shared ambition of the Board, although it is a key responsibility of one Board member.

RSB is integrated in our way of working via our global Management System and covers our QHSE Management System, our Integrity Management System and our Information Security Management System. In some of our projects, a more extensive consideration is needed, when we keep in mind all our responsibility and sustainability goals. When there is a conflict of interest, this is carefully considered. Examples of these considerations that we have made are concerns about working in controversial countries and involvement in publicly disputed projects (for example the placement of windmills, working on military projects), about potential controversies, perceived conflicts of interest and third-party due diligence. In these situations, we are guided by the principles and standards of the UN Global Compact, UN Guiding Principles on business and human rights, OECD, ISO26000 (Guidance on Social Responsibility) and ILO.

It is our collective intention to continuously develop and improve how we embed our mission Enhancing Society Together in our strategy, ambitions and actions. In the first half of 2020, we will review and redesign our current measurement framework to allow a more integrated approach to driving social, economic and environmental impact within our operations and through services we deliver.