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Social and community impact

The majority of our work takes place offshore, however, our operations can impact local communities at the coast or inland. Engaging with and managing our impact on local communities is an important part of our work. In many cases we create socio-economic value through the infrastructure we deliver, as well as via local job creation, procurement and community investment. Where we can, we seek to enhance these positive impacts. At the same time, we aim to avoid or minimize any negative social impact of our activities by applying and continuously improving our management of social risks.

The approach we take to managing potential social impact aligns with the principles of the International Labour Organization and the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. Each project is subject to a two-stage assessment process as follows:

The Environmental & Social (E&S) Impact Scan enables us to apply a consistent approach to E&S management and thereby identify the projects that need our attention. The E&S Impact Scan is part of our quality management system, Way of Working. The scan supports the early recognition of environmental and social risks and opportunities associated with our intended designs and activities. By conducting the scan at the beginning of the tender phase or at an early stage in a project’s development, we can more effectively incorporate the findings into the project process as well as improve allocation of specific resources and expertise.

The Environmental & Social Review process standardizes the way we review environmental and social risks and opportunities in projects, once they have been highlighted by the E&S Impact Scan. The process structures requirements, risks and opportunities based on the IFC Performance Standards framework. This way Boskalis is better able to systematically review environmental and social requirements and prioritize and address potential environmental and social risks and opportunities.

In some cases our work is a small part of a larger project scope that has wider-reaching social impacts. As a contractor this can present a dilemma as we may have limited influence over our client or the local social or political context. In these situations we aim to work in line with the principles set out by the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, exerting leverage to encourage social impact management practices in the chain. There are five areas to our social impact approach:

Social risk & opportunity assessment
We aim for early identification of social risks and opportunities as part of our standard risk and opportunities approach, to create awareness and to support an effective social management strategy at a project level.

Stakeholder engagement
Depending on the local stakeholder landscape, we develop a stakeholder management plan that may include on-site community liaison officers to engage with local communities and support stakeholder consultation processes.

Grievance management
Boskalis’ Grievance Policy provides guidance for external stakeholders, who can bring forward any complaints to the appropriate entity for response. In addition, depending on the social-risk profile of the project, a specific project community and/ or worker grievance mechanism is put in place.

Community contribution and local development
We recognize our ability to stimulate positive community impacts through local job creation, local procurement, skills development and training. Where possible, we seek to benefit communities by maximizing these elements in our projects and seeking opportunities for community contribution.

Worker welfare and health and safety
Our human rights and labor principles are a fundamental part of the way we do business. Through our safety behavior program, NINA, we take care of the safety, security and health of everyone involved in our activities. We apply fair employment practices and offer good and competitive terms of employment worldwide. We commit that our employees receive a living wage that covers their and their family’s basic needs in their home country.