Sustainability

Corporate sustainability is a natural part of GRK’s strategy and vision to be a pioneer in infrastructure construction. We want to promote sustainability together with our customers and partners and support their climate goals.

A responsible pioneer in efficient infrastructure construction 

The life cycle of infrastructure can be decades or even over a hundred years, so our operations have a long-lasting impact on the surrounding society. In addition to high-quality and safe construction work, the positive effects are reflected in the functionality of the finished infrastructure. These include built and maintained road and rail networks as well as systems of utility networks and services. The development of industry practices and new solutions in line with the circular economy, as well as employment and tax payments, will also have positive effects. The negative effects, on the other hand, are the use of raw materials and materials, energy consumption and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. As a pioneer in the industry, we strive to increase our positive hand print while minimizing negative impacts.

Fair play and the fight against the grey economy 

Our services are produced in a high-quality, cost-effective and environmentally friendly manner, both at the designer’s desk and on the construction site. All GRK companies comply with operating systems in accordance with the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 45001 standards, and the operating systems are also certified under the said standards for the Finnish and Estonian operations. In spring 2021, we published our code of conduct, the principles of fair operations, as well as a notification channel for reporting suspected breaches or unethical conduct in the company. You can access the notification channel here.

The principles of fair operations are also fully applicable to our partners. We treat all our partners fairly and strive for long-term cooperation agreements. Our operations comply with the Act on the Contractor’s Obligations and Liability when Work is Contracted Out and we also require our suppliers to comply with it. By complying with competition legislation, we ensure fair and free competition. Securing continuity is an essential part of the preconditions for the future success of our rapidly growing Group. Thanks to profitable operations, we are able to be a major employer, a reliable partner and a good corporate citizen. Through profitable growth, we create new business opportunities and jobs. We bring prosperity to society through tax money, jobs and growing skills.

Low-carbon and resource-efficient solutions 

Climate change is a global challenge, and, in addition to the energy and transport sectors, the construction sector plays a key role in changing the direction of climate change. The carbon neutrality targets of the EU, states, municipalities and companies are also moving the infrastructure sector towards low-emission solutions. In order to promote climate change mitigation, the sector needs a uniform method of calculating emissions so that tenders’ and offers’ CO2 emission levels can be reliably compared. GRK’s goal is to support the development of a common calculation model for the industry and to pilot an emission calculator suitable for construction site use during 2021.

Carbon dioxide emissions in the infrastructure sector mainly consist of the materials used, the energy demand during use and the fuels and working methods of the site. In infrastructure construction, emissions can be reduced, for example, by using recycled and other low-emission materials and renewable fuels. Emission reductions will also be achieved by optimising soil and aggregate transport logistics and improving material efficiency.

An active approach to circular economy solutions 

GRK’s day-to-day environmental sustainability is guided by an action plan, quality, environmental and safety policies and risk management policy. We use the ISO 14001:2015 environmental system, which ensures soil, air, and water protection in all our operations. In addition, we focus on reducing noise and vibration and optimizing transport distances while protecting the work environment as well as residents and infrastructure users.

In our development projects, we actively promote new and innovative solutions for the circular economy. GRK has an ongoing multi-year project to pilot carbon sequestration in several pilot areas and model compensation for carbon dioxide emissions from GRK’s operations. We have also been the first infrastructure company to introduce Neste’s renewable MY diesel and MY fuel oil products. In the protection of the environment and the climate, we want to stand out in concrete terms: not just talk but affirmative actions. Our goal is to operate as energy-efficiently as possible and replace raw materials and materials with reuse and recycling options. The sorting of waste generated in our operations is made more efficient and the amount of waste is minimized. In 2020, the amount of circular material (excluding spoils) used by the GRK Group itself or delivered for further processing was 335,000 tonnes. The change has been significant, with an increase of 47 per cent compared to the previous year.

GRK employees and a prosperous work community 

Personnel is GRK’s most important resource, and we take good care of our employees. Our personnel have participated in drafting the principles of fair operations. The principles define how we act in relation to other people, customers, partners, the environment, assets and society.

Ensuring and the continuous development of safety and security are central to all our operations. We make sure that the workplace is safe and that working does not harm anyone’s physical or mental health. All our employees are familiar with safety issues and working on-site before starting work. The use of the required safety equipment is actively monitored on site. The safety of infrastructure users affected by construction sites is ensured by good advance planning and weekly safety measurements. In 2020, GRK Infra Oy and GRK Rail Oy received a rating of Level II – Towards the top of the world, awarded by the Zero Accident Forum, which is one indication of our long-term safety work.

Good advance planning ensures safety at work. In developing safety at work, in 2020 we invested in increasing the reporting of near misses. We encourage construction sites to report near misses through rewards. Safety rewarding applies to all GRK employees working on construction sites.