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Manifesto for Sustainability

Manifesto for Sustainability and for the Building of a better tomorrow!

The Construction and Real Estate sector, in Portugal, is responsible for 17.4% of GDP and 50.5% of investment at national level, still representing 600 thousand jobs. At European level, this sector is also important in the European economy, since it generates almost 10% of GDP and is responsible for 20 million jobs, namely in micro and small companies.

 

This sector is also a major consumer of intermediate products (raw materials, chemicals, electrical and electronic equipment, etc.) and related services. Given its economic importance, the performance of the Construction sector plays a major role in building societies and the future of communities and can significantly influence the development of the global economy.

 

The quality of construction works also has a direct impact on the quality of life for all citizens. Equally important is the fact that the energy performance of buildings and the effective management of resources in the production, transport and use of products for the construction of buildings and infrastructure, have a significant impact on energy, climate change and the environment.

 

In this respect, we can affirm that the application of the principles of circular economy, the efficiency of the resources involved, as well as the maintenance of the material and immaterial heritage (knowledge, processes and organization) of the companies in this sector are essential to guarantee the sustainability and the ability to endure and maintain a place in local and global value chains. Global sustainability depends on concerted actions, promoted and supported by Governments, and the maintenance of organizations in the sector, demultiplying and directing effort and resources towards creating value.

 

 

WITH GREAT POWER COMES GREAT RESPONSIBILITY

Casais is a group with more than 60 years of existence that, in two decades, managed to move from the 35th position of the national ranking of engineering and construction companies to the middle of the table of the national top 5. With a transition from the second to the third generation, and with consolidated management bodies and processes, we look to the future with the vision of continuing to be a reference of solidity and knowledge. Managing with mastery and innovation, privileging strategic partnerships and new markets, based on a culture of excellence and sustainability. We are the group with the largest integrated capacity for the building sector. We believe that our future is based on three cornerstones:

1. Produce value by creating built assets for our clients and the group through integration and industrial efficiency;
2. Develop and preserve a community of people who follow our business;
3. Bet on knowledge and strategic partnerships.

 

We believe that these cornerstones are built and developed based on the circular economy, an integrated approach along the entire value chain and through greater resource efficiency in the sector. For this reason, we have been making concerted efforts on several fronts and aligned with the standards and good practices issued by the European Union (EU), disclosed in its most recent Circular Economy Principles for Buildings Design document, and with the Sustainable Development Goals, established by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

 

We are driven by initiatives that guarantee the development of the value chain, seeking that investments promote and reinforce sustainability in the Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) dimensions.

 

We are aware that our organization also has a role in leading global sustainability, demultiplying and directing effort and resources towards creating value, so we reinforce our action with objectives that guide this purpose.

 

  1. OUR GOALS
  2. BOOST INNOVATION WITH A DISRUPTIVE VISION AND NEW BUSINESS MODELS
  3. - Implement a collaborative approach methodology;
  4. - Develop construction methods and industrialization processes at the construction site;

  5. INCREASING CUSTOMER-CENTERED CULTURE
  6. - Expand our presence in the client;

  7. INCREASE STRENGTH AND FINANCIAL AVAILABILITY, MANAGING RISK, TO APPLY TO STRATEGIC INVESTMENTS
  8. - Increase profitability through the effective application of resources (human, material and financial);

  9. PROMOTE SUSTAINABILITY IN BUSINESS PROCESSES, PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, CREATING GREATER SHARED VALUE IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL, SOCIAL AND GOVERNANCE DIMENSION
  10. - Implement methodology for managing the life cycle of resources;
  11. - Foster collaborative management inside and outside the company;

  12. DEVELOPING WISDOM IN OUR PEOPLE THROUGH CREATION, CAPTURE, RETENTION AND SHARING KNOWLEDGE
  13. - Implement a model for valuing knowledge, skills and contribution to the organization;

 

  1. ON THE SUSTAINABILITY ROUTE
  2. At the Casais Group, we believe that we have a leading role in building societies and in the future of communities. For this reason, we have been reinforcing our commitment to the sustainability of our customers, employees and other communities, thus contributing to the pillars of a balanced society aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

  3. Thus, and with a strategic vision of firm commitment that the construction of our customers' vision cannot be dissociated from the existence and incorporation of sustainable commercial practices in the creation of long-term value, we are preparing the organization and our people for the changes that are in progress and that cause significant changes in the business models implemented so far and considered as models to follow.

  4. In this sense, we have been elaborating our strategy so that it includes not only environmental sustainability, but also social sustainability and, consequently, economic sustainability. All of this based on management practices, principles and values that define the Casais community.

  5. Making cities and communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable, while taking urgent measures to combat climate change and its impacts, is one of the key objectives that make our commitment.

  6. The Casais Academy, of which we are very proud, is the engine that sustains our social sustainability, since it guarantees access to inclusive, quality and equitable education and promotes opportunities for learning, skills development and training throughout the lives of the our employees.

  7. Last but not least, the cycle is completed with our economic sustainability. This comes directly from the work developed, with a focus on the sustainability of buildings, through the construction of resilient infrastructures, inclusive industrialization and the promotion of innovation.

 

TOGETHER WE BUILD A BETTER TOMORROW

  1. In the ENVIRONMENTAL dimension
  2. Only through an integrated approach along the entire value chain is it possible to respond to our commitment. Thus, it is essential that the improvement of the sustainability of the buildings we build obeys the general principles of the Circular Economy Principles for Buildings Design document, issued by the European Union (EU), mainly, with regard to issues such as durability, adaptability and reduction and management waste.

  3. Building the future is certainly more sophisticated, complex and demanding, but it is also more motivating and more rewarding because it is possible to do more and better. Consuming less natural resources, using more renewable sources, making buildings that are more flexible and adapted to our needs, using systems and construction techniques that allow greater added value.

  4. Lifetime
  5. Building resilient infrastructures, promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization as well as fostering innovation are just some of the premises that can and should be associated with the principle of durability.

  6. Industrialization is our tool to increase efficiency and we believe it will be essential for the construction transition, where we will increasingly see products and systems designed and produced in an integrated way, thus allowing to transform construction into a process of assembling components that can be configured in different ways to achieve the hired final result.

  7. The lifetime of buildings depends on better design, better performance of construction products and information sharing. In this sense, as a civil engineering and construction company, we are already at the forefront with regard to the use of construction techniques that promote the durability of buildings and the resilience of materials.

  8. Our teams use technologies such as BIM to simulate different durability and cost comparison scenarios. For Casais it is already a reality to use software that allows us to have a more incisive focus on the main performance indicators of the building, such as its cost throughout the entire life cycle.

  9. We have also included in our processes the resources necessary for error resilience and we have already started our off-site industrialization and pre-construction process, with a considerable impact on all phases of design, construction and maintenance of buildings.

  10. We are developing solutions that allow us to add off-site construction processes to BIM technology that focus on the opportunity to bring the construction sector closer to the best practices in other industries.

  11. The visible face of this industrialization process is BluFab that embodies our off-site construction unit and is supplying the works with elements manufactured and assembled at the factory.

  12. Thus, in addition to being completely focused on developing quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructures, designed to support human well-being and economic development, we have been promoting inclusive and sustainable industrialization, promoting at all times technological development processes, research and innovation.

  13. Adaptability
  14. Today we aim buildings to adapt to our needs and to keep up with changes in business, companies and people.

  15. We are also committed to making cities and communities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. We intend to increase inclusive and sustainable urbanization and the planning and management of participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlements in all countries in which we operate. We have also been strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural heritage, while trying to reduce the negative environmental impact of our activity in all the countries in which we do business.

  16. It should be noted that the four billion tons of cement produced annually for concrete construction represent eight percent of the total global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), the latter retaining heat and, consequently, global temperatures increasing.

  17. The most recent studies demonstrate that the use of wood construction materials of sustainable origin can reduce greenhouse gases. We therefore understand that our company has a legal obligation to prevent, reduce and repair environmental damage arising from the exercise of our activity.

  18. In this regard, we argue that adaptability is the true path to sustainability. The minimization of the financial cost through the use of the appropriate tools, the prolongation of the useful life of the building at a reasonable cost and the maximization of the adaptability of the buildings from the user's perspective, led us to enter into a partnership with CREE.

  19. The solutions and sustainable mindset of CREE technology are aligned with our current and future position in the construction industry. It is a hybrid structural system that combines wooden engineering products with other materials, making the most of each one's attributes.

  20. It is a different and innovative approach for the construction sector, constructing buildings that provide CO2 reduction, allowing a complete, simplified and standardized industrialization of the construction process, from the initial planning to the delivery of the building.

  21. We highlight the “Circular Building Design” and “Design for Change” principle of this solution designed and engineered to allow disassembly and subsequent reuse of a large part of its components.

  22. We believe that, on the path to the design of carbon neutral buildings, we need to adopt renewable materials, question conventional processes and stand up for codes and standards in this regard. We are aware of our responsibility and will do our part.

  23. CREE's prefabrication approach, together with the highest possible quality and the lowest input of sustainable material, fit perfectly into our vision, commitment to society and our philosophy.

  24. The environmental performance of the Casais Group continues to evolve in a sustained manner since the decision to implement the Integrated Quality, Environment and Safety Management System (SGI). For this reason, we have been ensuring the adoption of sustainable strategies, such as the adoption of the pioneer construction of CREE in hybrid wood, which are fundamental for the development of the company and consolidation of its position in an increasingly competitive market.

  25. Reduction and management of waste
  26. In our business cycle, we still have environmental concerns inherent to our entire activity. In all the countries where we are operating, we have been taking urgent measures to combat climate change and its impacts. We work together with architects, designers, pre-construction, security and quality and environment department, planning all stages with the utmost care.

  27. We therefore intend to integrate measures related to climate change into our national and international policies and strategies, while strengthening resilience and the capacity to adapt to risks related to climate and natural disasters in every country where we operate.

  28. We know that this concern not only benefits us in terms of operating costs, but is also a crucial activity for the benefit of the environment, health and carbon economy.

  29. Because efficiency and waste come in many forms, we are focused on implementing projects with a strong focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, thus placing us at the forefront of innovation, in the search for excellence in solutions and in customer service .

  30. The bet on new businesses, such as energy storage with Ampere Energy Portugal, represents important steps for the Group to reiterate its ambition and affirmation in this dimension. We believe that energy efficiency presents itself as an opportunity, as it allows for future savings and contributes to increasing the competitiveness of communities.

  31. We combine all these dimensions in the EPA (High Environmental Profile Buildings) own brand, which incorporates the perspective of the “zero carbon” building and the “Nearly Zero Energy Buildings (NZEB) logic, in addition to many other dimensions. We are taking a leading role in presenting solutions and products that respond to these principles to the market.

  32. The changes in habits amplified by the COVID-19 effect came only to anticipate a set of needs that were already gaining expression and that now become unavoidable and will affect the way we use our housing and work spaces.

  33. A house that becomes our safe and comfortable space, isolated, and at the same time more connected than ever, that gives us health and years of life, because it is attentive to our comfort, reinforces our concepts that incorporate years of experience and knowledge. Homing spaces, which incorporate all these concepts, are our answer to an increasingly demanding market and where the priority is well-being, health and comfort.

  34. Aware that the aspirations of some are the needs of many, we believe that the potential of these concepts is reinforced with the development of our solution packages A, AA, AAA, within the "Urban Concept" initiative, where we develop a "set" of solutions pre-studied at prices appropriate to the budget / quality expected from each of our customers.

 

  1. In the SOCIAL dimension
  2. Aware of the constant changes, agility becomes an asset, and to be an asset, it must first become a culture.

  3. The adoption of collaborative philosophies implies an operating system with “agile” management software, where action is increasingly based on a transversal empowerment logic, because we believe that, in the end, we all aspire to autonomy and mastery. The breakdown of old fixed and immutable concepts and functions constitutes a paradigm shift and affects the sustainability of the model on which employment is based.

  4. We are therefore facing this paradigm as a new challenge to ensure sustainability in the Social area, where we have started to incorporate yet another tool to provide the adaptation of functions with a view to the continuity of people on a path within our organization: Academia Casais.

  5. Humanity's greatest challenge is the retention and transmission of knowledge and, in our reality spread across 17 markets, this is also one of the most relevant skills for our survival and growth.
  6. This is our motto for Academia Casais, aware of the continuous challenge that is imposed on the market for any company to remain relevant and sustainable.

  7. The Casais Academy aims to strengthen our development, giving a much deeper and more sustainable sense to our Organization, strengthening us and allowing us to look to the future, shaping the Community where we operate.

  8. Academia Casais's mission is to build a community based on values and principles, enabling people to face the challenges of professional life through the sharing and development of knowledge and skills.

  9. The evolution of each person's career is a process and, in this way, we are able to carry out our mission by investing in the people we make grow and who help us make the works grow. "We create great leaders and they build our customers' vision." And this is how we aspire to achieve our purpose of building a better world.

 

  1. In the MANAGEMENT dimension
  2. The needs and satisfaction of our customer lies in its final customer. We serve the family who buys the apartment, the student who attends school, the user who enters the hospital. At the end of the line, our final customer is society (all of us) and, therefore, we are raising our mission to a higher level.

  3. To respond to the needs of the Society, we must be closely linked to it. Understanding the needs in a world in constant change, implies greater presence during the use of the building, remaining and following its life cycle.

  4. Understanding the needs and knowing how to build in a responsible way is increasingly critical, so, as an organization with industrial knowledge, we are committed to developing our own product, adapting the projects we receive to the products that best respond in the various dimensions.

  5. To satisfy the needs of our customers, we have to act on the business model itself and operate under a Contractual Collaboration regime with them, through multi-project contracts, with the purpose of participating from the product design and conception phase to the construction phase. This is the way forward.

  6. Given such speed, the challenge is the management of change and, therefore, we have always believed that having a common Culture (the CASAIS Culture), an alignment, a synchronization and a union of efforts is the essence of our success. This union results in partnerships that mirror a community made up of customers, partners and employees.

  7. Because our influence can go beyond our direct sphere with customers, partners and employees, we are laying the foundations of Fundação Mestre Casais, whose purpose is centered on two main axes, which reinforce our interdependence with society and the world.

  8. They are the dimension of training, which can go far beyond our direct relationships and the effects of climate change, which can only be overcome through a joint contribution and effort by the whole society. Capitalizing on all the knowledge of the Casais Group, we intend to be an active part in the promotion and dissemination of policies to avoid waste, carry out initiatives related to sustainable construction and invest in materials that help to save energy and reduce CO2 emissions.

 

WE ARE A FORCE FOR GOOD!

  1. “Made In Portugal”
  2. Bearing in mind the principles of Environmental, Social Sustainability and Management practices as well as the general principles of the Circular Economy Principles for Buildings Design, it should also be noted that business continuity presupposes the adoption of measures with an impact on the sustainability of the business force. The principles of circular economy and sustainable buildings are applied to all actors in the value chain. Our economy recovers if people have jobs. It is employment that provides income for consumption. And it is consumption that originates industrial production. The effects of investment through public procurement must be synchronized and must be verified at all levels.

  3. In order for viable business models to exist, a reliable market must be implemented, especially in this context of crisis, where the balance of ecosystems has been jeopardized. It is important to highlight the importance and the role that Engineering and Construction can have in reactivating the economy, where a concerted work of all actors (from the government, companies and people) is necessary to identify, firstly, the supply chain value of our economy and the respective installed capacities, namely, what services, products, materials and areas exist, number of industries, their typology, which are the added value they offer and their integrated capacity.

  4. And secondly, but not least, it is necessary to identify the investments that the country and the regions need, not only the investments of the immediate, but also those that have long been postponed. Many of these investments have not been implemented and / or have been repeatedly postponed due to lack of money or because of budget constraints. The construction sector has many examples, such as:
  5. - Rehabilitation of all public buildings strategic for the future of the country and cities that are degraded by the lack of investment in maintenance (Hospitals, Health Centers, Universities);
  6. - Road networks and water and sanitation infrastructure;
  7. - The bet on energy efficiency also presents itself as a good opportunity, as it allows for future savings and contributes to increasing the competitiveness of this community formed by people and companies.

  8. Aware that, in this scenario of global intervention by organizations, such as the European Community and Government, we will have public investment initiatives, it is imperative that a responsible choice is made for the right investments, that is, those that will have a higher impact on the economy.

  9. The extent of Engineering and Construction in multiplying and impact in the remaining areas is enormous, namely:
  10. - In the industry;
  11. - In services;
  12. - In trade.

  13. For this reason, and to make this cycle even more virtuous, we believe that encouraging the use of locally produced products and services is essential. Although there may be some restrictions on limiting the use of “Made In Portugal” products, we believe that we can find measures that allow this same incentive, thus promoting a unique opportunity, not only for national supply chains, but also for Portuguese companies, who will have the opportunity to meet again, promoting and stimulating national production.

  14. Keeping the company and the people is what will allow us to stand for the moment to reactivate the economy, make responsible investment choices and adopt sustainable construction practices in its various dimensions and, as a result, these actions will enable us to fulfill our purpose of building a better world. 

  15. And, this way, emphasize that we are a force for good!

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