Selvaag Bolig will meet requirements related to

  • human rights and social dumping
  • worker rights and social conditions
  • impact on the natural environment
  • combating corruption and price fixing

The company ranks among the leading housing developers in Norway. Its operations have big spin-offs for Norwegian sub-contractors, public welfare and value creation. The business achieved a turnover of NOK 3 billion in 2016 with the help of 96 work-years. According to calculations by analyst NyAnalyse, activities in 2016 generated overall demand from Norwegian sub-contractors corresponding to roughly NOK 2.5 billion and helped to secure some 1 700 work-years of employment at these companies and in other parts of the value chain.

Selvaag Bolig will create value for society by building good homes which as many people as possible can afford to buy, develop good residential areas and contribute actively to the development of sustainable urban communities. This means in part that the company gives priority to urban areas experiencing expansion pressures as well as to large development projects, develops site-efficient homes with the greatest volume in lower price categories, seeks to be cost-effective and works to ensure positive official policies by being a clear voice in the public debate.

Ethical, social and environmental considerations are integrated in its day-to-day operations. The company has a goal of being a good and secure workplace, and requires that it and its suppliers pursue their operations in compliance with applicable legislation and statutory regulations. Furthermore, Selvaag Bolig ill be a responsible social player and minimise emissions/discharges and damage to the natural environment.

The company has ethical guidelines which are described at www.selvaagboligasa.no.

The company also reports on its corporate governance in this annual report and on the website at www.selvaagboligasa.no. Continuous efforts are made to ensure that employees are familiar with and observe all the company’s guidelines. In order to ensure compliance, all employees must take a mandatory e-learning course on ethics and social responsibility. The whole workforce had taken and passed this course by 31 December.

Human rights and social dumping

Selvaag Bolig does not have its own construction company, and accordingly spends substantial amounts on purchasing construction services every year. That provides big opportunities for influencing the industry in the fight against social dumping. Selvaag Bolig sets requirements for and works continuously to help ensure that suppliers and sub-suppliers have pay and working conditions as required by law. The bulk of the company’s operations are in Norway, and it purchases services primarily from large, highly reputable Norwegian construction contractors. In addition, it buys construction services from two large players in Estonia and Poland. The company does not accept any form of harassment or discrimination on such grounds as race, religion, nationality, sexual orientation or gender, and does not tolerate any behaviour which can be perceived as threatening or demeaning.

Selvaag Bolig requires that its suppliers do not practise social dumping and that all statutory requirements are observed. This requirement is included, for example, in contracts with suppliers of construction services. In this way, the company helps to ensure that its partners and suppliers work in accordance with applicable legislation and rules, and that no social dumping occurs in the value chain. Work done in Norway by supplier and/or partner employees complies with Norwegian collective pay agreements and legislation. Suppliers doing work on Norwegian building sites must, for example, be able to document at all times that the labour force used on these sites is legal. This is followed up with regular inspections.

To the best of the company’s knowledge, no social dumping or breaches of human rights occurred in Selvaag Bolig or at its suppliers during 2016. The company’s routines for safeguarding human rights and countering social dumping are considered to function well, and work on improving them will continue in 2017. Reference is also made to section 3.8 of the company’s ethical guidelines on the working environment, available on its website at www.selvaagboligasa.no.

Worker rights and social conditions

Selvaag Bolig will be an inclusive workplace, where the rights of all employees are safeguarded in accordance with applicable legislation.

Expertise enhancement

All employees are given opportunities for professional development and expertise enhancement, including through courses, seminars and specialist gatherings both in-house and externally. All managers with personnel responsibility must conduct annual job reviews. Expertise enhancement is a key item in these discussions. Furthermore, a programme was introduced in 2016 which is mandatory for all middle managers with responsibility for personnel. Intended to enhance the awareness of the management team about its own leadership style, this is practically oriented and will provide specific tools which the manager can use in their day-to-day work. However, the biggest source of expertise development is daily work in the company. That includes giving employees assignments in new disciplines and projects, as well as sharing and enhancing expertise in and across the various departments.

Job satisfaction

The working environment in Selvaag Bolig is regarded as good. The company measures job satisfaction among employees on an annual basis, and the results in 2016 were the best ever for the company. The goal is for the company to be one of Norway’s most attractive workplaces. On the basis of the employee survey, a number of measures were implemented in 2016. These included strengthening the middle manager function, establishing arenas for expertise-sharing and continuing efforts to reinforce the internal flow of information in the company. Special measures were also undertaken in the various departments. New surveys indicate that these measures have worked well. Selvaag Bolig is certified as a great place to work. This certification has been developed by the Great Place to Work Institute on the basis of a global standard for the characteristics of a good workplace. A survey and assessment of Selvaag Bolig’s organisation and management practices has been conducted, as well as a detailed evaluation to identify strengths, weaknesses and improvement areas.

Working environment and sickness absence

Ensuring that efforts to reduce sickness absence and prevent injury have a high priority in the companies is given emphasis by the board. The group’s target is that sickness absence will be below three per cent. It was 1.5 per cent for the group for 2016, compared with 3.5 per cent for 2015 and 3.1 per cent in 2014. The corresponding figures for the parent company were 1.8, 2.7 and 3.3 per cent. No lost-time injuries were recorded among the company’s employees during 2016. The company works continuously on measures to reduce sickness absence.

Health, safety and the working environment (HSWE)

Selvaag Bolig has adopted guidelines based on ISO standards for health, safety and environment. Through the Norwegian construction client and internal control regulations, the company fulfils the requirements for construction clients on monitoring health, safety and the working environment (HSWE) at building sites. Contracts for all projects accord with regulatory requirements, and HSWE performance is reported regularly to the chief executive and board as specified by the guidelines to the regulations. Selvaag Bolig sets special requirements for HSWE in all turnkey contracts. Specific provisions are included in all contracts entered into by the company with contractors on turnkey contracts. As the construction client, Selvaag Bolig prepares an HSWE plan for its construction projects and ensures that the turnkey contractor follows up all the requirements defined in the contract. Regular inspections are conducted at the building sites. Immediate action is taken if nonconformities are detected. These routines function well and will be continued.

Equal opportunities

The group’s general policy is that no unequal treatment or other form of discrimination related to gender or ethnic background will occur. It gives emphasise to expertise rather than gender, age or ethnic background when making appointments. Women account for 49 per cent of the workforce and 33 per cent of managers.

Impact on the natural environment

Selvaag Bolig pays special attention to environmental considerations when pursuing its housing development activities, and has taken account of the natural environment in its planning and management systems. The company will seek to minimise its negative impact on the environment and climate. Its environmental impact relates primarily to energy consumption, materials, waste, interventions in and use of natural resources, and the way the housing projects contribute to good local and urban development. Selvaag Bolig builds houses in accordance with applicable legislation and statutory regulations. These include strict requirements for climate-friendly and energy-efficient homes. The company is continuing to develop environment-friendly buildings more cheaply, in part so that the company can adapt its homes more easily to possible future and tougher official requirements. Internal work is evaluated regularly. The buildings and the construction process are followed up continuously through internal and external inspections. The company’s routines and management systems are regarded as good, and are being continued without change.

Combating corruption and price fixing

Selvaag Bolig does not accept any form of corruption. Its employees must exercise caution in accepting or providing gifts, services or other benefits from or to business contacts.

Selvaag Bolig does not accept any form of price fixing with other players. Employees must not contribute to any form of price collusion with business contacts or others which could distort competition or conflict with applicable regulations against price fixing and/or cartel operations. The regulations and how they are to be practised are known to the employees, in part through training programmes for new recruits and reviews in group meetings, and are available on the company’s website. No cases of price fixing or corruption were exposed in 2016, and continuous efforts are made to strengthen knowledge of the company’s routines among employees – in part through a mandatory course on ethics and social responsibility, which also deals with this topic.

Further information can be found in section 3.9 of the company’s ethical guidelines on dealings with customers, suppliers, competitors and government agencies, which are available on the company’s website at www.selvaagboligasa.no.

Whistleblowing routines

Section 3.15 of the company’s ethical guidelines contains provisions on routines to be followed in the event of possible suspicions that formal legal or regulatory rules, or the company’s ethical guidelines, have been breached. These routines instruct the employee concerned to raise the issue through the line organisation, possibly with the group’s legal officer. The company also has a channel for anonymous whistleblowing on its intranet site, which goes to the company’s legal officer. This is intended to lower the threshold for reporting on breaches. The ethical guidelines are available on the company’s website and intranet.