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Our sustainability focus in building the world of tomorrow

Focus areas

Our sustainability work is based on three pillars: Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). Within each pillar, we have defined the most relevant focus areas that will guide our daily work at HOCHTIEF. Collaboration, digitalization and innovation are crucial to accomplish our sustainability goals.

HOCHTIEF sustainability focus areas including the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)
HOCHTIEF sustainability focus areas including the Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs)

Sustainable Development Goals

Our contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals

We support the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Here, in connection with our construction business activities, the following goals and indicators are particularly relevant for the HOCHTIEF Group.

The most important are the three SDGs

  • "Industry, innovation and infrastructure",
  • "Sustainable cities and communities" and
  • "Climate action".

You will receive a list of our exact measures by clicking the Mission Statements.

These three SDGs were rated as the most important for HOCHTIEF overall in a survey conducted by YouGov Deutschland among 1,655 participants in the following groups: general populace, decision makers, employees, subcontractors, and CR experts.

HOCHTIEF also makes specific contributions for sustainable development:

Environmental Dimension

With everything we build, we change the environment and influence our landscapes. That is why HOCHTIEF has made it its goal to operate not  only in nature but also for nature.

Environmental and climate protection are integral parts ​of our mission as a sustainable,  global infrastructure group. ​Our aim is to prevent negative impacts on the environment and offering solutions for sustainable and resilient infrastructure. We will achieve this by increasing awareness and using our expertise along the life-cycle of our projects.

  • Global Environmental Management

    Professional environmental management creates the foundation to deliver sustainable projects and to manage environmental risks and opportunities. Raising awareness, defining processes and training employees are key tasks for us at HOCHTIEF.



    "The image of the classic site manager will considerably change."

    Stephan Tilner, Managing Director Nexplore Germany

    Read Inside HOCHTIEF

    We conserve natural resources and save CO2

    Our company has direct and indirect impacts on sensitive systems which are worthy of protection in our environment. We want to conserve these as best as possible: Consequently, our project teams prepare a customized environmental protection program for every project. In this way, we contribute towards conserving resources and habitats and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions.

    The measures we have developed range from using efficient machines and recycling construction materials, right through to fitting innovative technology, such as combined heat and power stations or ice storage technology. Our focus is on certified sustainable buildings and infrastructure projects, which are also characterized by their efficient operation. We have analyzed opportunities and risks for our business, which arise from climate change. This analysis is based on the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).


    HOCHTIEF: Climate-related Risks and Opportunities Analysis

    PDF (349.7 KB)

    HOCHTIEF Group Directive Occupational Safety, Health, Environmental and Climate Protection

    PDF (263.4 KB)

    Responsibly-minded into the future - Sustainability in practice

  • Climate Change

    We support the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. We will reach this target in close cooperation with our clients, business partners and suppliers.


  • Water Protection

    Management of water is a material issue for HOCHTIEF. In all of our activities, we seek to responsibly manage and conserve this valuable resource by using water efficiently and sparingly.

    We are committed to make a substantial contribution to the conservation of water.


  • Biodiversiy and Ecosystems

    Biodiversity is the basis for functioning and stable ecosystems: a rich variety of species is vital to provide food, fresh water and clean air for all living beings. It is our responsibility to protect,  conserve or restore biodiversity.


  • Sustainable Products and Services

    HOCHTIEF is already very experienced in certified green buildings and infrastructure. We want to be a leading provider of sustainable solutions in the market. Most of our public and private clients will increasingly focus on sustainable projects.

    We think holistically and provide high quality
    We want to construct sustainably and create lasting structures for tomorrow. To achieve this, foresight is worthwhile right from the first project phase: In processes based on partnership we look for the best long-term solutions for our clients’ projects.

    Green building
    We have already built a good 900 certified green buildings and infrastructure projects on behalf of our clients. They are characterized by a resource-conserving construction method and a particularly efficient operation. HOCHTIEF is regarded as one of the most experienced suppliers in this segment.

    Innovation during construction
    Innovations make the construction process and the projects more sustainable. Digital processes or methods, such as Building Information Modeling (BIM) conserve resources—for instance, if precise time scheduling improves construction site management, delivery times are optimally coordinated with each other and empty runs are avoided.

    Blockchain technology, the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence will continue to optimize our processes in future. We are actively shaping this development in our industry.


  • Circular Economy

    Circular economy aims to consider the  life-cycle of projects and to close the loop of production and consumption. It stimulates to use materials more efficiently and to avoid the generation of waste.


Social Dimension

HOCHTIEF’s most valuable asset is its employees. Their knowledge, commitment and talent have shaped the company into what it is today. That is why we put our employees’ health, safety and job satisfaction first.

  • Health and Safety

    Health and safety of those that work for us is a top priority for HOCHTIEF.

    We aim to be an attractive employer
    HOCHTIEF projects are evolving all over the world. Here we are successful thanks to our well-trained and committed employees. Our teams create solutions every day: for the everyday major and minor challenges and beyond the construction sites. They provide their know-how, ensure efficient project work and also take care of the areas surrounding their construction sites.

    Occupational safety and health
    In particular, we are concerned with the safety and health of our employees and all participants in our projects. Against this background, we have introduced the “Lost Time Injury Frequency Rate” (LTIFR), which designates the frequency of work-related accidents, as a non-financial performance indicator.


    HOCHTIEF Group Directive Occupational Safety, Health, Environmental and Climate Protection

    PDF (263.4 KB)

  • Workplace Variety

    We foster a culture of openness and mutual respect at HOCHTIEF—regardless of ethnic origin, nationality, gender, religion, world view, disability, age, or sexual identity.


  • Training, Talent and Recruitment

    Strategic personnel work
    Accountability, responsibility, integrity and fairness, variety and innovation—all this goes hand in hand. We already promote talents at schools and universities and inspire interest in working at HOCHTIEF. In order to tie employees to our company, we offer them fair remuneration, targeted qualification and promotion. Our further training offers comprise specialized and cross-discipline seminars for all employees, from subjects such as occupational safety and health, via executive staff training and Compliance, through to construction physics and risk management.

    Together we create a working environment for motivated and satisfied employees, who identify with HOCHTIEF.

    The most important points of the strategic personnel work:

    • Recruiting and searching for talents
    • Personnel development
    • Employee loyal​​​​​​​ty
    • Diversity
    • Employee rights and
    • Occupational safety and health​​​​​​​

    HOCHTIEF Group Directive Anti-Discrimination, Anti-Harassment and Anti-Bullying

    PDF (109.5 KB)

    HOCHTIEF Commitment to living wage

    PDF (158.4 KB)

    You will find further information about HOCHTIEF as an employer in the HOCHTIEF Career portal.

  • Working Environment

    We promote and maintain a positive atmosphere in which everyone feels valued. We are convinced that a positive work environment improves employee job satisfaction, boosts staff loyalty and morale, and increases productivity.


  • Social Activities

    HOCHTIEF supports communities not only with its construction and engineering expertise, but also its social commitments. Together, we can achieve real social impact through donations, sponsorships and corporate volunteering initiatives.

    We promote local communities
    In our project work, we are always in contact with the people whom we work with and for. Our self-conception is to assume social responsibility in every place where we operate and realize projects—for example through cash donations and donations in kind, transfer of know-how or personal commitment of our employees. We are also committed to providing aid projects in countries where we have no business operations.

    With our donations and sponsoring activities in the Group, we concentrate on two prime issues which are of particular significance for our company and our operating activities: Education and the promotion of young talent and design and preservation of living spaces.

    Bridges to Prosperity

    We have already been supporting the NGO Bridges to Prosperity for many years. Together we build pedestrian bridges in remote regions of the world—currently focusing on Rwanda. Generally a HOCHTIEF team travels there to build a bridge together with the inhabitants of a village and the surrounding communities. The bridges enable inhabitants to safely reach schools, markets and hospitals without kilometer-long indirect routes, even in the rainy season.



    With our commitment we would like to also improve the infrastructure in poorer regions—and at the same time convey knowledge about constructing bridges. More than 90,000 people already directly benefit from HOCHTIEF’s commitment. The projects are also a great experience for the employees—the internal further recommendation rate for participation in the bridge projects is a constant 100 percent.

    In 2021 the Ntaruka Bridge was built in Rwanda; but this time without the support of the HOCHTIEF team because of the pandemic. Roughly 1,600 people now use the 44-meter-long bridge.

    The positive effects of a pedestrian bridge are tangible: Studies commissioned by Bridges to Prosperity prove positive long-term impacts:


    higher income


    increase in earnings in farming


    more employment for women



    Hence, with each bridge construction HOCHTIEF contributes to the overall development of the country.


    You will find more information on the official website of Bridges to Prosperity

    HOCHTIEF Group Directive Social Engagement

    PDF (107.8 KB)

Governance Dimension

Sustainable business at HOCHTIEF begins with good corporate governance. We take a firm stand against corruption, bribery and human rights abuses and are committed to  a responsible supply chain.

  • Sustainability Governance

    We integrate ESG (Environment, Social, Governance) matters into all our operations. Sustainable success will  be part of our remuneration system.


  • Anti-corruption and Anti-bribery

    We pursue an ambitious approach to prevent bribery and corruption. We have implemented adequate compliance measures throughout HOCHTIEF to prevent violations of company regulations, and to sensitize employees to these issues.


  • Responsible Supply Chain

    At HOCHTIEF we take responsibility along the entire supply chain—from procurement of primary materials to the finished construction.  Sustainability will be an integral part of  our supplier management as we integrate environmental, social and governance variables into our procurement processes.

    We represent fair, transparent procurement processes
    The procurement volume at HOCHTIEF amounts to more than 70 percent of Group work done—it is hence important that the issues of sustainability and transparency are taken into consideration when procuring materials and services. We regard ourselves as responsible for clear awarding processes in supplier management and for procurement of sustainable materials.

    We are registered with the Silver status at the international procurement platform EcoVadis, and hence belong to the most sustainable 30 percent of evaluated companies.

    HOCHTIEF places high standards on the choice of business partners: We only cooperate with partners who comply with these requirements and who, for their own part, enforce and encourage compliance amongst their own subcontractors and suppliers.



    Suppliers and subcontractors can register in the HOCHTIEF supplier portal and have the opportunity to present their company and hence their services and products. By registering, suppliers and subcontractors become part of the HOCHTIEF network. They receive information about bid invitations and can make applications for these if they are interested.



    You will find more information on our page for business partners.


    Hand in hand successfully—Our page for business partners

  • Human Rights

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the foundation of our modern society. As responsible members of society, we at HOCHTIEF ensure that our Human Rights Corporate Management System is being implemented and is up to date in accordance with all applicable laws.


    You will find more information on our page on human rights

  • Sustainable Finance

    We encourage long-term investments in sustainable economic activities and projects. By taking environmental, social and governance (ESG) considerations into account when making financial decisions,  we promote sustainable development  and innovation.


Digital and Innovation

HOCHTIEF’s success record in work and project delivery is driven by innovation. In-house solutions created for specific projects and the deployment of new systems and methods enhance quality, cost-efficiency, and sustainability. Digital technologies contribute decisively to efficiency gains across our activities. This is why innovation features among our Group’s guiding principles. We embrace innovation and digitalization in our ESG strategy as basic enablers that underpin the successful performance of our construction activities.

 


Our twin transformation drive in digitalization and sustainability is for the benefit of the people on our projects, the environment, our customers and all other stakeholders and enables us to further strengthen HOCHTIEF’s leading market positions.

Marcelino Fernández Verdes, CEO

Innovation is a key success driver in project execution and delivery at HOCHTIEF: Custom solutions developed in our projects and the use of cutting-edge systems enhance quality, cost-efficiency, and sustainability. Process and methodology improvements from digital technologies in particular boost operational efficiency. Innovation is a corporate guiding principle and shapes our fundamental understanding of our work across the Group.

With regard to materiality, we identified “digital transformation” as a driver with cross-cutting impacts on all focus areas. The green and digital twin transformation has been introduced as a key element of our strategy.

Strategic innovation management at HOCHTIEF as well as the operational implementation and coordination of innovation-related activities are the responsibility of Nexplore. Operating as a central strategic unit, Nexplore promotes the systematic adaptation of digital products in the operational units. Nexplore stands out for generating proprietary digital product innovations programmed to the latest technical standards in collaboration with leading technology companies and universities. Nexplore is developing more sustainable processes, optimizing logistics with the help of Blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning. Joining forces, among others, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Darmstadt, and together with our worldwide operational project teams, Nexplore has launched a first set of hardware and software applications.

The new cutting-edge technologies, ongoing digital developments and innovative players are expected to substantially influence and change the construction industry over the coming years, impacting HOCHTIEF’s business. Construction companies will need to provide resilient and reliable digitized infrastructure solutions, balancing increasing efficiency with security risks. HOCHTIEF wants to keep up with these trends—and therefore has to make sure a future-oriented organization. With Nexplore as a central innovation hub, HOCHTIEF gears towards effectively exploiting the opportunities and chances of digitalization, building a competitive advantage for the whole HOCHTIEF Group.