“Sustainable practice means preserving values, creating values, and increasing values”

Interview with Nikolaus Graf von Matuschka, Member of the Executive Board and Labor Director at HOCHTIEF Aktiengesellschaft, who is also in charge of Corporate Responsibility.

Mr. von Matuschka, what is the significance of sustainability at HOCHTIEF?

Sustainability is part of our guiding principles and thus influences all of our economic activities. The spectrum ranges from ethical conduct to fair working conditions to the responsible handling of resources and active contributions to society. This means accepting responsibility and thinking holistically. For us, sustainability is a value driver.

Can you describe that in more detail? As a construction Group, HOCHTIEF creates lasting values: Our buildings and transportation projects are built for the future. They are designed to be well manageable, to meet all user requirements, and to conserve resources. We are creating something new while at the same time preserving what is already existing, thus also serving future generations. We can only do this, however, as a profitable Group with a market-oriented service spectrum that offers attractive jobs and makes economic and social contributions.

What does this mean for sustainability in practice?

Sustainability requires continuous work on a variety of topics. We therefore constantly review and improve our processes. It is important to ensure that sustainability is measurable: For example, data on the recycling rate (74.3 percent), the lost time injury frequency rate (1.32) or diversity in the Group provide a specific picture of our performance. Our success in these fields is also reflected in the current listings in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and the CDP. Currently, we are particularly working on further improving data quality in terms of transparency and comparability.

Current initiatives that contribute to sustainability range from our Energy Efficiency and Innovation Awards to work safety days, health training, compliance training —a very wide range. In order to ensure that we keep an eye on the relevant topics of sustainability that are important to HOCHTIEF, we are actively seeking the dialog with internal and external stakeholders.

Is sustainability a value in itself?

We are convinced that our financial success is only possible if economics, ecology, and social issues are equally considered—with every project, in every respect. This is the only way to achieve long-term success—and that is HOCHTIEF's goal. Preserving, creating, and increasing value are all directly interrelated.

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