Sustainable Development Goals and their importance at HOCHTIEF
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which took effect as part of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, are driven by an ambitious aim: to improve people’s living conditions and protect the planet. All countries are called upon to contribute to achieving the stated goals. That will require the cooperation of all society’s actors, and the support of businesses is a key factor in measurable improvements in sustainability.
Three questions on this topic for Nikolaus Graf von Matuschka, Member of the Executive Board of HOCHTIEF Aktiengesellschaft in charge of Corporate Responsibility:
Mr. von Matuschka, how are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) relevant to HOCHTIEF?
HOCHTIEF intends to make every effort to support these goals within the scope of its business activities. As an international construction group, we influence a great many people’s surroundings. At the same time, construction impacts communities and the environment in multifaceted ways. And, no less importantly, we also play a key role in developing infrastructure in ways that are sustainable and meet real needs. In other words: We can do quite a lot. That’s because the SDGs take up megatrends that our activities as part of our Group strategy also serve.
Are all 17 SDGs equally important for HOCHTIEF?
The goals defined by the United Nations are all on an equal level and conditional upon one another—but in connection with our activities, some of the goals and indicators are especially relevant to our actions and to sustainability management at the HOCHTIEF Group:
- Industry, innovation and infrastructure (SDG 9)
- Sustainable cities and communities (SDG 11)
- Affordable and clean energy (SDG 7)
- Responsible consumption and production (SDG 12)
- Climate action (SDG 13)
- Life on land (SDG 15)
- Clean water and sanitation (SDG 6)
- Good health and well-being (SDG 3)
- Quality education (SDG 4)
- Peace, justice and strong institutions (SDG 16)
- Partnerships for the goals (SDG 17)
We feel HOCHTIEF has a special responsibility and capacity to contribute toward achieving these goals.
What does that mean specifically?
We can use these goals as direct springboards. For example, we can deploy innovations to improve the construction process and consequently reduce the negative impact on the environment. Or we can harness newer business segments such as green building to make structures energy efficient and infrastructure viable long term. All these factors contribute directly to the SDGs.
The great relevance to HOCHTIEF of pursuing these particular goals is reflected in our Sustainability focus areas. We evaluate these regularly, always taking into account the perspectives of internal and external stakeholders as well as the impact of our actions on the environment and society. For this reason, we consider achieving the SDGs to be closely linked to our CR program, for which we pursue specific goals.
We have allocated the above SDGs to our existing focus areas and their goals. That way, we make sure to keep an eye on key issues and link the operating environment with company practice.