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Egis
Published on June 07, 2021

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Social values at the heart of our rail projects : our economic, social and environmental outcomes

Egis has always set community at the heart of its rail projects. Beyond transportation, our objective is to  create positive social value that contributes to the long-term well‑being and resilience of individuals, communities and society. Our approach to social value is underpinned by our Corporate Social Responsibility Policies (website) and involves creating value for the local communities we work for, focusing on a positive and sustainable economy.

Birmingham tram

- Crédits : © Paul Georges - Egis

In support of the purpose ‘to be a force for industry change, for the people and communities we serve’ and to deliver tangible benefits to local communities, we deliver social value in two ways:

  • directly, through our activities to improve rail transportation
  • by providing professional resource trained in social value development, who collaborate with our clients and its supply chains to maximise social value benefits.

Our approach to delivering social value is based on robust analysis and clear understanding of stakeholder and local needs with a focus on delivering meaningful positive outcomes (i.e. real change) for individuals and communities. 

To plan the delivery of our social impact activities in the rail sector in the UK, we use the Common Social Impact Framework for Rail (CSIF), measuring and reporting on the benefits that these activities have generated towards their social performance objectives. Developed in 2018 and led by the Railway Safety and Standards Board, the CSIF is tailored to the needs of the rail sector, providing a standard, common approach. The CISF is currently being revised for re-issue in Sept 2021 and will include a new Rail Social Value Tool that will also include priorities from the Central Government Social Value Model.

Examples of specific social value outcomes associated with economic, social and environmental indicators

ECONOMIC

We support local people to maximise their knowledge and skills and access employment opportunities.

Let’s see examples for Midland Metro Alliance (MMA):

In 2019, with MMA's new apprenticeship - 12 people in the West Midlands were the first to achieve a qualification in Light Rail after the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education (IfATE) approved a new apprenticeship in Tramway Construction. We also develop a Partnership with The National College for Advanced Transport and Infrastructure , which Saw several graduates recruited into our ranks. In 2019/20 we created 36 work experience opportunities and 18 student placements; increased our intake of apprentices from 7 in 2017 to 29 currently; and our 100 STEM ambassadors (including five in Manchester) spent more than 500 hours working with schools in 2019. Finally, we promoted the use of local SMEs to reach the target of 80% reliance on local businesses within the supply chain.

In France,we  are a partner of the “Our Neighbourhoods have Talent” (NQT) organisation. Committed to equal opportunities, NQT has set up an initiative aimed at promoting the professional integration of young graduates aged under 30, from priority neighbourhoods or disadvantaged social backgrounds, through a system of mentoring by company executives with experience in business. Since 2014, we’ve mentored more than 350 people.

SOCIAL

We consider equality and diversity in the provision and operation of services, including a workforce that is representative of the communities we serve, where relevant and proportionate.

To reach this diversity and equality, we developed further relationships with external benchmarking bodies to assess our EDI progress, for example, Business in the Community, the Prince's Responsible Business Network, Stonewall, Business Disability Forum and the Equality and Human Rights Commission. We instituted a diversity think-tank for women’s success and gender equality. Presently on our Board of Directors, 5 out of 11 are women. In terms of pay by professional category, we are not far from our goal of parity, the difference being 3.5%. In 2018 47% of our hires were women. We created a special disability unit made up of a project manager and disability officers in every Group company for professional integration of people with disabilities
 

ENVIRONMENTAL

ECO-design as a priority for our rail projects.

In 2019, we launched an action plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, prioritising actions where its footprint is most important: on employees’ travel, on its buildings’ energy consumption and waste.

More specific to our business, Egis is deploying a eco-design approach in urban and rail transport projects, in order to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals on various issues: energy, water management, circular economy, carbon emissions, biodiversity, public acceptance, resilience to climate change. Hundreds of hours have been set aside to carry out various R&D actions on specific applications of these themes for all modes of transportation. The approach is already applied to many of our current projects, with technical solutions proposed for each step of the project life cycle: design, construction, operation, maintenance and deconstruction. The very first objective to be achieved by 2021 is to have environmental impact assessments and dedicated Sustainable Development action plans with proposals for impact compensation for 50% of the new projects.

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