Nowadays, more and more often company managers put emphasis on the fact that their organization fits into a broader social context and undertakes initiatives related to corporate social responsibility. What activities do you carry out in this area, how is it implemented, what does responsible leadership mean to you?
I’ll start at the end. For me, responsible leadership means making decisions based on the good of all stakeholders, not just the interests of the organization. And our stakeholders are: investors, participants in construction processes (subcontractors, suppliers and their employees operating on our construction sites), local communities, and above all our employees and their families. Public awareness of the impact of business on the natural environment and on the well-being of people is constantly growing. As a result, social expectations towards companies like ours are growing.
When it comes to concrete actions, we try to act with reflection. We meticulously plan current and future system activities. We are a construction company, so we focus on the construction of the facility, but also on the previous design process. This is the best time to introduce solutions to reduce the negative impact of the future facility on the environment and energy consumption during its use.
More and more investors and financial institutions choose as their partners those organizations that operate in accordance with ESG recommendations. Do you think that is right? How does the company you manage go beyond the so-called business as usual? What is it doing for the climate, local communities, diversity or what would you like to implement in the near future?
We try to act not so much originally, but thoughtfully and wisely. When planning system activities as a general contractor, we focus mainly on reducing the impact of construction and our subcontractors on the environment. The design & build process also gives us the opportunity to incorporate environmentally friendly technologies and materials into the project, whether biodegradable or recycled. We also plan to systematically introduce RES to support our construction offices.
When it comes to local communities: our team, operating on construction sites scattered throughout almost all over Poland, is alert to their needs. It was from our engineers that the initiative of financial support for the Ambulance Service in Czechowice-Dziedzice, the Medical University of Wrocław and many other smaller organizations came.
At Kajima Poland we are constantly looking for areas for improvement. This is facilitated by the annual evaluation of our organization on the Ecovadis sustainability platform and the ISO14001 environmental certification, which forces us to constantly improve and seal our environmental activities. In turn, certificates obtained in 2022 from Dun & Bradstreet and Creditreform provide our stakeholders with high payment and business credibility of our organization.
Every company creates its corporate culture that embodies the values that customers see externally. Do customers prefer to choose this particular company because it does something good with which the customer identifies or is it mainly price-driven purchasing decisions? What is your opinion, what trends have you observed, is something changing in this area?
The fact that investors are increasingly taking ESG criteria into account when deciding to work with them – and large multinational companies almost always – is due to the fact that they want to work with mature and responsible partners. I remember that not so long ago in Poland it was enough for a company to act in accordance with the law, conscientiously fulfill its tax obligation and regularly pay salaries to employees to be considered “mature”.
Now that’s not enough. Today, a “mature” company takes responsibility for all the consequences of its actions for the environment and the well-being of stakeholders. What counts now are real and systemic efforts to achieve sustainable development. How to do it if it costs? If the company finds its way to be competitive and at the same time environmentally and socially friendly, investors will certainly notice and appreciate it. A noticeable trend in thinking about sustainable development is just a deep reflection on how to achieve it.
The development of values and ethical principles in many organizations may indicate that awareness in this area is growing. Many managers declare that they put ethics at the center of their activities. Is compliance with the principles of fair play in management a guarantee of stable development of the company?
Ethics and fair play in business are a condition for the stability of the organization – although not the only one. If a partner acts unethically, there is no trust. And that means a lack of cooperation. Declaring ethical issues can be easily verified by the business community, and for larger communities (employees, local communities, subcontractors) – in social media. And then it will be difficult to rebuild trust.
The world needs wise and good leaders who want to have a positive impact on their environment. Was there a moment when you started to look for a deeper meaning in your work, an opportunity to do something good for your communities or country? What has been achieved?
I can’t pinpoint a specific moment. However, for a long time I have seen our actions in a positivist sense: we build facilities that contribute to the economic development of our country, we pay taxes fairly, we provide jobs for many people and, of course, we build in the spirit of sustainable development. I am glad that as a large company, we have the means to help local communities and not only local ones (I mean supporting Ukraine in its fight for independence). We will continue to do so. In addition, we would like to contribute even more, e.g. by making a significant contribution to building low-energy. This is important for us here and now, but above all for the future.
Maciej Runkiewicz has been associated with Kajima since the beginning of its presence in Poland, i.e. since 2001. Here, initially as Deputy General Director, he was responsible for the construction of production facilities. Currently, as a Member of the Management Board and President of Kajima Poland, he is responsible for the implementation of the company’s policy and all aspects of its operation. Maciej Runkiewicz graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Warsaw University of Technology, where he obtained a master’s degree in civil engineering. As an active engineer, he has the right to manage construction works and to design in the construction industry. He also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) diploma from the Warsaw University of Technology. He is a member of the Polish Chamber of Civil Engineers (PIIB), the Polish Association of Civil Engineers and Technicians (PZITB), as well as the Executive Club business organization. Maciej Runkiewicz lives and works in Warsaw, where Kajima Poland is also headquartered.
Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Valeriia Honcharuk