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Stredoslovenská energetika, a.s. (SSE): Agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility

The generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and energy, as vital commodities and prerequisites for economic and human development, are business activities that cannot be conducted without a highly-developed sense of social responsibility. Their practice implies a commitment from all companies and their employees working in this industry. [Agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility of the EDF Group, January 24, 2005 – excerpt from the Preamble]

The generation, transmission, distribution and supply of electricity and energy, as vital commodities and prerequisites for economic and human development, are business activities that cannot be conducted without a highly-developed sense of social responsibility. Their practice implies a commitment from all companies and their employees working in this industry. [Agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility of the EDF Group, January 24, 2005 – excerpt from the Preamble]

In the context of the markets for energy and especially for electric power
which are developing everywhere in the world, as well in the context of ever-increasing competition, all companies forming the EDF Group have to achieve competitiveness and effectiveness in the economic and social sphere, as well as in the environmental sphere, through creating a model of profitable and permanently sustainable growth. The social dialogue between employees’ representatives and trade unions on one side and the management on the other side must contribute to the confirmation of the social responsibility of the group.

The EDF Group, including the SSE Group, intends to confirm its values in the context of global economic competition: respecting people, environmental protection, performance, solidarity, and integrity. In connection with these common values, EDF Group aims to create an identity, culture, and moral process across the whole group. The Agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility (henceforth only “Agreement”) was signed on January 24, 2005 (with planned validity for three years, 2005-2007), by the President of EDF, Pierre Gadonneix, and all representatives of employees of the main companies of the EDF Group, as well as by four international trade unions’ federations of the Group EDF’s sections, and is defined as:

- the chance to strengthen the team commitment of EDF in permanently sustainable development and to contribute to the progress of social dialogue on a supranational level;

- a coherent framework evaluating our steps as a socially responsible company, which is the subject of monitoring commitments accepted within the International Parity Committee (The Committee of the Dialogue concerning Social Responsibility, Comité de Dialogue sur la Responsabilité Sociale du Groupe EDF, CDRS);

- a motion for new incentives, which must be used and consolidated jointly, thus contributing to the creation of the group’s identity.

In 2007, its validity was prolonged until the end of 2008 by an addendum, following mutual agreement among the contracting parties, and negotiation of its contents for the next three years are currently underway.

Between May 13 and 15, 2008, a meeting of the Committee of the Dialogue concerning Social Responsibility of the EDF Group took place, the purpose of which was to evaluate the pursuit of the set goals of the implementation of the Agreement on Corporate Social Responsibility by individual branches.

The importance of this agreement is best characterised by the actual sphere of its activity, which applies to 13 companies controlled by EDF in 9 countries on 2 continents with more than 150,000 employees.

In the action plan of the SSE, a. s. for 2007, individual projects were elaborated in order to specifically meet the commitments of the Agreement – in the preferred parts of the Agreement – as follows:

I. Working health and – security
Project Safety first

II. Employees’ ability to adapt and their professional career
Manager Academy II, the aim of which was to unify the managerial culture in the company with managers on the IV. Leadership level and employees with significant potential, and to increase the level of managerial skills in order to render support for an easier mastering of tasks implied by the company’s intents.

Trainee Project
The project is designed for final-year college students and heads as a tool for searching for suitable candidates to fulfil new challenges and needs.

Replacement of labour
The aim of this project is to recruit and prepare new young employees for the position “electrician” in the form of expert guidance from older employees, so called “tutors”, who intend to leave for early retirement. This step also partially stabilises the until-now increasing average age of employees.

III. Fight against discrimination
Anti-discrimination agreement (“ADD”)
The implementation of the Anti-discrimination agreement in all spheres of the company’s activities and creation of a committee to supervise the fulfilment of this agreement. The project Anti-discrimination agreement was represented by the SSE at the international round of the competition – Permanently Sustainable Development Award (CTR) in France where, out of 624 projects presented, 59 advanced to the next round, including the SSE project.

IV. Approach towards the environment
- reconstruction of substations
- proposal to support business partners (clients, current suppliers of power from small sources and potential investors in the construction of new sources) using power from environmentally-friendly sources and operating renewable alternative production sources
- installation of “antibird” consoles or ridge barriers on all new wirings
- summary and evidence of facilities containing PCB materials, education in the sphere of increasing employee awareness concerning handling dangerous materials.

V. Support of energy efficiency measures aimed at clients
Founding new consultancy centres in Commercial Offices in Lučenec, Banská Bystrica and in the Call Client Centre in Žilina within the project Reconstruction of Commercial Offices.
Pilot project “SSE comes to You” is focused on providing advice about the effective consumption of power and mediatory services at home for lonely or elderly people, and also for people with medical disabilities.

VI. Help for medically disabled people
- As part of the reconstruction of existing commercial offices and in all new buildings, barrier-free entrances for disabled clients at our workplaces are to be built.
- Preference is to be given to protected workshops which meet the demands of our company, and efforts made to use their services
- employing people with medical disabilities and creating appropriate working conditions for them, including offering the chance to work at home
- sponsoring sports and cultural activities for medically disabled people within the region of SSE, a. s.’s sphere of activity.

VII. Dialogue between employees and managers
Implementation of motivating-evaluating dialogues in the SSE Group in February 2007, as part of the new system of remuneration, and consequently launching this system of remuneration in filial companies EEM, a. s., and SSE – Metrológia s.r.o. as of July 1, 2007.
Simultaneously, taking into account a balance of individual companies, the best events within the Agreement in the companies of the EDF Group were summarised, as a tool for exchanging experience between separate branches, and with the aim of other companies in the group potentially acquiring techniques.
For the coming period of 2008, common priorities were agreed after a mutual discussion between management and employees’ representatives for new or confirmed continuation of existing activities in the following spheres:
- careers/attendant social aspects of restructurings
- fight against discrimination
- suppliers
- energy efficiency
- social and local economic development
- social dialogue

Topic: Corporate Responsibility


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