Our ambition is to continue to position sustainability at the heart of what we do and in the solutions we provide to our customers.
Our Blueprint seeks to further embed sustainability throughout Balfour Beatty’s operations by providing a robust framework. It captures the actions we need to take to ensure we remain viable in the long-term and is consistent with our value proposition. It builds on the lessons we have learnt as our Blueprint strategy has evolved.
Our framework is based on three pillars, which follow the classical three-dimensional sustainability model: economic, social and environmental. In our interpretation of this model they are named Profitable Markets, Healthy Communities and Environmental Limits.
Investing in communities
We work at the heart of local communities around the world and have a responsibility to ensure that our work improves the quality of people’s lives.
We support local communities through our role as a major employer, by taking part in and supporting organisations and activities that aim to improve social cohesion and inclusion and through contributing to charitable causes.
Our Building Better Futures charitable trust
Balfour Beatty’s Charitable Trust, part of its Building Better Futures community engagement programme, has donated £2 million to help over 20,000 young people suffering from disadvantage across the UK, since its inception in 2009.
Building Better Futures is focussed on three themes:
- Young people’s employability and employment
- Helping the most disadvantaged young people in society
- Health, sport and wellbeing.
A major part of Building Better Futures’ funding is generated by the energy and creativity of our employees, who undertake many and varied fundraising activities in support of the trust. For every £1 they raise, Balfour Beatty matches it with another.
The Prince's Trust
Through Building Better Futures we have funded the Prince’s Trust in a number of ways
- Over 750 Prince’s Trust Development Awards
- Community Cash Awards, enabling over 1,000 disadvantaged young people to enhance their confidence levels providing training courses to help people gain employment in the construction sector.
Building Better Futures has also supported the adoption of over 300 hard-to-place children and funded creative therapy for more than 50 young people with challenging learning problems through the UK’s first children’s charity, Coram.
In 2013, we extended our partner network to include Barnardo’s. We are providing funds to support four of their Training, Skills and Employment Centres which help young people on the margin of the education system to find a way forward in their lives.
Other charitable initiatives include Our Parklife which provides training and work experience to disadvantaged young people in the five London Olympic Boroughs, in association with our long-term contract to manage the Olympic Park.
We have also worked with Action for Children since 2007 using the money raised to fund accessible play equipment in 14 disability projects, enabling disabled children to enjoy the opportunity for recreation and learning through play. We have also funded days out for over 5,000 young carers and bought over 500 items to help young people leaving care to furnish their homes.
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award
In 2014, Balfour Beatty launched a new partnership with the UK’s leading youth charity, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), to enable many more young people to take part in the DofE Award and boost their life and work prospects.
This new charity partnership offers employees aged 23 or under at Balfour Beatty’s UK construction business the opportunity to do their Gold DofE Award as part of an 18 month programme. For Balfour Beatty, this is a chance to develop the next generation of future leaders, and provide the right stepping stone from education into the world of work.
Companies that run DofE Business have found it speeds up young people’s development, makes them better at their jobs, and fosters the skills, attitudes and attributes that employers are crying out for.
To achieve their Gold Award, employees will complete all the DofE sections, including Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and Residential, with a focus on developing valuable skills for business such as team-working, commitment, determination, communication and a positive approach to work.
Investing in local communities
In addition, each of Balfour Beatty’s young employees will contribute to their local communities by volunteering at least 48 hours of their own time on causes or projects close to their heart. Last year the combined volunteering hours of young people doing their DofE, and adults volunteering for the charity, were worth in excess of £41m to society. Balfour Beatty’s employees, whose work takes them to the heart of local communities the length and breadth of the UK, will now become a part of this huge youth social action movement.
By working in partnership with the DofE we are not only bridging the skills gap in the UK construction industry, but we are making a real commitment to reach as many young people as we can, boosting their aspirations, work readiness and future prospects.