Corporate Social Responsibility Policy

Introduction

At Touch Projects, we care deeply about our community. Because we live in it, because it’s ‘ours’, and because it’s the right thing to do…

We also hold a strong belief that doing it ‘right’ might be harder, but it’s worth it. That’s why we go ‘above and beyond’ – not for the sake of ticking boxes or complying with standards, but because we take pride and get satisfaction from doing it right.

Corporate Social Responsibility (‘CSR’) is a big part of who we are – as people and as an entity. Our company’s existence is not lonely. It’s part of a bigger system of people, values, other organizations, and nature. The social responsibility of a business is to give back to the world, just as it gives to us, and to leave it a better place.

That encompasses:

  • how we treat our team, our stakeholders, and our community
  • how we treat and protect the environment
  • how we engage with charities and not-for-profits to ‘give back’
  • how we comply with the law, requirements, standards, and governance principles.

Touch Projects specialises in the delivery of infrastructure projects. While we are project managers, we are very aware that the projects we help our clients deliver can have large social and environmental impacts. With this recognition, our social and environmental policies are core to how we operate as a business and how we manage the delivery of projects for our clients. This includes key elements such as ‘sustainability in design’ and strong social engagement throughout the project lifecycle.

Resources are a critical asset to our business and to the wider community. Because of this, our key CSR framework include promoting healthy, safe, and fair workplaces, women’s equality and safety, and our Aboriginals in construction program.

This policy articulates our view of CSR generally and at a principle-level; specific priorities and targets for each financial year can be found in the associated CSR Program document for that year.


Purpose of policy

The purpose of this Corporate Social Responsibility Policy is to highlight the CSR principles and practices to which we aspire, so that we can achieve the highest standards of responsible business practice and sustainability, and produce a positive outcome in our community


CSR ownership and policy context

This Policy has been approved by the Touch Projects Board, which is committed to supporting the business to integrate CSR into all its business activities: ‘in‑house’ and ‘on-site’, internally and on behalf of our clients.

Our CSR Policy has been developed using elements from the following sources:

  • Victorian Government’s Social Procurement Framework (launched in September 2018)
  • Victorian Local Jobs First Policy (inc. the Major Project Skills Guarantee and Victorian Industry Participation Policy)
  • ISO26000: 2010 (Guidance on Social Responsibility Guidelines)
  • Business In The Community – Corporate Responsibility Index
  • St James Ethics Centre’s –The Hub of Responsible Business Practice in Australia
  • The United Nations Global Compact

CSR within broader CSR framework and artefact set

Touch Projects believes strongly in CSR, and in being a good corporate citizen.

We believe the following documents, available on our website (publicly under ‘About us’) demonstrate our commitment to CSR.

Policy
Sustainability Policy Values Statement
Relationship Pillars Privacy Policy
OH&S Policy Safeguarding Children Policy
Aboriginal Participation in Construction Policy Gender Equality Policy

Key principles of CSR

We see the key principles of CSR as being:

Principle At Touch Projects, our commitment is to:
Integrity
Corporate governance, law, and standards
  • operate ethically, with integrity and cultural sensitivity in employing clear standards of corporate governance, respecting the rule of law and striving to achieve the most ethical standards of corporate behaviour
  • continue to develop and mature our CSR policies taking into account the changing nature of the industry to ensure that we strive to achieve the highest standards in all our activities
  • implement a fully-compliant Integrated Management System (‘IMS’) under standard PAS99:2012, which includes explicit certification for ISO9001:2015 (quality), ISO14001:2015 (environmental), and ISO45001:2018 (OH&S). The implementation and formal certification for PAS99:2012, ISO9001:2015, ISO14001:2015, and ISO45001:2018 are scheduled to be completed and running operationally by end-June 2019
Respect
Human rights
  • respect fundamental human rights and the dignity of people by actively promoting equal opportunity, equality and diversity irrespective of race, ethnic or national origins, gender, sexuality, disability, marital status, and religious belief
Trust
Accountability and transparency
  • be accountable and transparent and, subject to privacy and other obligations, prepared to publicly disclose our performance and experiences in the management of our social and environmental impacts, using internationally recognised frameworks for CSR and sustainability reporting
  • integrate CSR and sustainability principles as a core component of business activity, so that the principles form part of the objectives and decision-making processes of all management and staff at the ABC
Interdependence
Stakeholders
  • build understanding about the direct and indirect impact of our operations, both inside and outside of our business, and continuously strive to improve how those impacts are managed
  • engage with, and continue to build relationships with stakeholders by providing them with a range of opportunities by which to express their interests and concerns
  • build relationships with stakeholders throughout the supply chain – from product development through to sourcing, procuring, marketing, selling, promotion, and to the delivery of our services – that share our desire to make a positive impact on society and the environment
  • continue to equip our team with the skills to do their jobs, investing in training and development; and promote a safe working environment that supports health and wellbeing.

Policy implementation

Simply having a policy isn’t enough – it needs to be communicated, implanted, managed, and regularly reviewed and assessed.

The way we do this is:

  • including this in team member induction packs and training
  • ensuring all our clients are aware of this policy as part of bids and by its public-facing nature on our website
  • ensuring compliance with this policy is part of team member formal performance management
  • including CSR as a standing agenda update item at quarterly Board meetings
  • annual review cycle of this policy (each June in advance of the new financial year).

Annual CSR programs

Since its inception in 2009, Touch Projects has always had a corporate ethos requiring it to ‘give back’.

Over the years we’ve done this in different ways, but each year we set ourselves priorities for the year, and strive to meet them.

The Touch Projects Board approves CSR priorities for each financial year, and each financial year’s ‘CSR Program’ is available on the Touch Projects website.


Broader activities driving our good corporate citizenship

  • Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (‘ISCA’) Infrastructure Sustainability (‘IS’) version 2.0 (‘ISv2’) alignment and compliance
  • International Organization for Standardization (‘ISO’) standard ISO 20400:2017, Sustainable Procurement, alignment and compliance, and planned 2019 certification
  • Integrated and pro-active application of both ISv2 and ISO 20400:2017 into TPL’s corporate and client-side ethos and effort
  • Using the European Union (‘EU’) General Data Protection Regulation (‘GDPR’) 2016/679 as the baseline for TPL’s privacy and data protection compliance
  • Immediate ‘pick-up’ and implementation of the new (29 November 2018) Modern Slavery Bill 2018 (Cth) for client-side procurement exercises
  • ISO standard ISO 9001:2015, Quality Management, alignment and compliance, and planned 2019 certification
  • Graduate Program: Engineering and project management graduates have always been an important part of our team as we strive to resource our various projects. Some stay and grow into more senior team members, and others move on with a little more experience than when they arrived.  Touch Projects has an association with Swinburne University in Hawthorn and is seeking to formalise an agreement that will see employment rotations, project case studies (actual and potential) embedded into the final year of the engineering curriculum. As we grow in New South Wales and elsewhere in Australia, we are seeking to do the same and partner with local universities and provide industry access to high-quality graduates.

Management framework for CSR

Touch Projects employs a systematic approach to CSR and sustainability management to strive for continuous improvement in performance, and thereby deliver wider benefits to the company, our team, clients, stakeholders, and the environment.

Relevant staff, as part of their day-to-day activities, will undertake to:

  • Identify key internal and external stakeholders that are impacted by our activities
  • Consider creative ways of engaging and working with our internal and external stakeholders so that material CSR and sustainability risks and opportunities are identified
  • Facilitate strategic and management commitment so that material risks are addressed and opportunities are utilised
  • Strive to continuously develop and improve, and/or adhere to our systems for managing, measuring, monitoring and reporting progress on material risks and opportunities
  • Strive to continuously develop and improve and/or adhere to those systems and practices that assist us to meet clear standards of corporate governance in all our operations
  • Introduce periodically reviewed objectives and targets for CSR and sustainability practices, and integrate these into operating practices
  • Participate in independent audits or reviews assessing aspects of our CSR and sustainability systems and processes
  • Be willing to share what we learn about balancing competing priorities when integrating CSR and sustainability practices and principles into all our operations.

In pursuing the commitment expressed in this Policy, Touch Projects will continue to develop ways to adopt and promote CSR so that we achieve our goal of being visible and active in the community while setting high standards of social, environmental and regulatory responsibility.


Document approval

This document is approved on the date of the last signature below.

Name Signature Date Approved
Nick Savvas
CEO
Feb 28, 2019
John Christou
General Manager
Feb 28, 2019