CSR and Eiffage International Activities: Smulders
Smulders is an international organisation which helps to complete unique and challenging projects in three different market segments: Offshore Wind, Offshore Oil & Gas, and Civil & Industry. Smulders has become a member of Eiffage Group since 2013. The company has 870 people working at its four branches: Iemants, Willems, Smulders Projects and Spomasz.
Here is a selection of several fundamental Smulders Corporate Social Responsibility principles and policies.
Asserted and well-known Values
Decisiveness, Respect, Customer Orientation and Teamwork are the four core values native to Smulders collaborators and stakeholders.
Besides quality and reliability in terms of delivery, other important operating aspects include health, safety at the workplace and respect to the environment, Smulders requires that both employees and their subcontractors meet the highest standards. That’s quite a challenge taking into account the increasing number of Smulders employees and subcontractors.
Smulders sets its target to zero accidents. For this reason, Smulders’ operations are based on carefully documented working methods: risk analysis is performed on an ongoing basis and keeps track of all the production phases of projects.
The ambition is, starting with a “reactive” way of thinking about safety and its rules, led by natural instincts, to achieve a proactive and interdependent way of seeing safety through teamwork in order to feel a certain pride of conforming to the rules.
The “zero accident philosophy” is thus possible through a strong management structure with:
- clear and established rules;
- an operational involvement on worksites;
- strict and effective measures in case of violation, without any regard concerning the hierarchical level;
- underlining positive actions and sharing best practices;
- the organisation of a dialog after each incident and the adaptation of the working conditions;
- a direct communication throughout the ‘responsibility chain’.
Managers are clearly identified as ambassadors to promote and control the implementation of safety rules. For instance, 12 working sites per year might be visited by managers in order to achieve “security walk-about rounds”. After their visit, the managers will report on the respect of the code of conduct on the working site.
Another fundamental element for Smulders is that everyone is responsible for the others behaviour. As such, a good or bad behaviour has consequences on everyone’s “bonuses” or “penalties”.
Of course, all of this is supported by investments in adequate and safe equipment and appropriate training programmes.
A leading CO₂ emissions policy
Concerning carbon emissions, Smulders uses a particular tool called ‘the CO₂ Performance ladder’ which helps companies to improve in the areas of energy savings, efficient use of materials and sustainable energy.
With a lifetime exceeding 20 years, a windfarm will produce about 150 to 175 times less CO₂ than a standard gas power station, or 100 times less CO₂ during the entire lifecycle. Belgium has at this moment positioned in 3rd place (after Great Britain and Denmark) in the European ranking in terms of offshore wind production.
Because of its specific field of activities, Smulders participates in the development of knowhow and has good expertise which it wants to share with its partners. Smulders takes part in multiple sector organisations and wants to be a leader in setting the new standard for future offshore wind energy projects.
In 2015, one of the business development lines was searching for local partners in the UK. Depending on the success and on the nature of the activities of new partners/suppliers found (e.g. local production and supply of secondary materials, local maintenance during lifetime), Smulders will try to reduce the CO2 emissions of its supply chain.
Energy management tools and commitment
Smulders’ annual energy management plan for 2015 was based on three main actions:
Green energy supplier
The main goal of 2015 was to switch to an electricity supplier with a bigger share of green energy in its supply mix. The previous provider had a share of 18% green energy (electricity for business), the goal was thus to find a competitive supplier with at least 40% green energy.
2015 priority: compressed air
Based on earlier energy audits, a wide range of possibilities was identified to reduce the cost and emissions related to compressed air. These opportunities have been further investigated and implemented during 2015.
o Reducing pressure from 9 to 7 bar where possible;
o Periodical leak detection and repairing leaks ;
o Preventive maintenance of the air nozzles;
o Putting a timer on the compressors (night, weekend);
o Research: switching from pneumatic to electric gear and switching from blowing to vacuum-cleaning.
Selecting investments to reduce electricity consumption and heating needs
During 2015, energy audits took place in all sites of Smulders (Iemants, Willems, Smulders Projects Belgium and Spomasz). Based on the findings of these energy audits, investments were selected based on both the CO2-emissions and cost-effectiveness within an acceptable time period.
In 2016, Smulders main points of attention are the application of LED lights and facilitation of ecodesigns together with the client. Ecodesign is engineering that improves the detailed design in such a way that less steel and less paint need to be used than initially determined by the client. This approach has been implemented of the example of the viaduct for the Haags Startstation Erasmuslijn and at JBF.