You will find Bechtel colleagues helping communities all around the world to improve the quality of life where we work and live.
Partnering with Communities and Society
Bechtel colleagues are active members of their communities and contribute to improving industry sustainability practices around the world.
Raising the bar with stakeholder engagement
For the 35,000 residents of Gladstone, Australia, the effect of creating three massive LNG plants on Curtis Island has been transformative to their local economy. More than $1 billion in local wages have been paid, $697 million in purchase orders and contracts spent, and 20,000 contracts awarded since construction started. In addition, more than 5,000 local employees work at the projects, and 400 adult apprentices were trained and hired.
As with all projects, strong relationships with the community and regulatory authorities are critical. We are delivering a community and natural environment that will support our customer for decades. Bechtel’s ties with the Gladstone region span some 30 years—an enduring legacy we want to continue.
In Gladstone, the common practice of dialogue, grievance procedures, and informed consultation was important but insufficient, given the unprecedented size, scale, and complexity of the projects.
We knew it required a more focused approach that kept stakeholder engagement central to project execution. The result: We created a Centralized Services Organization (CSO) with stakeholder engagement as its organizing principle and a goal of ensuring a positive sustainable handover of the projects to the customers and communities.
- More than
- local employees took jobs at the LNG plants, and 400 apprentices were trained and hired.
By making sustainability part of the project handover to the customers and communities, we knew where we wanted to be and how to get there.Melissa Case
Manager of Community Relations,
Curtis Island LNG projects, Bechtel
Among its efforts, the CSO unifies stakeholder engagement for all three projects into one standard process and set of performance indicators for more efficiency and greater consistency. It also serves as the primary interface with key external stakeholders to streamline communication and eliminate confusion and misunderstanding.
Some of the most effective CSO programs include the ongoing guided cruise tours of the projects for the residents of Gladstone, along with community encounters that allow residents to experience the work, camp food, and accommodations. The CSO formed a standing committee in Gladstone consisting of local police, industry, customers, community leaders, and small businesses to address concerns regarding health and safety issues and the influx of workers to the area. It also launched and maintained a social media presence to keep communities, employees, and their families connected and engaged day to day.
Finally, the CSO instituted a workforce integration investment plan to support local charities and organizations. Workers are empowered to engage communities, assess priority issues to address, and use a participatory process to allocate technical and financial resources where needed.
The results are encouraging. Based on Bechtel-conducted surveys of 45 community leaders (with an annual response rate of 95 percent), community perceptions of Bechtel and the projects have improved since the CSO became operational in 2012. By giving the community an opportunity to experience the projects firsthand, and by addressing concerns quickly and consistently, we have helped foster a deeper appreciation of the projects and their social, environmental, and economic benefits. This effort is leading to a positive, more sustainable handover of the LNG projects to our customer and communities.
On November 15, 2011, Bechtel made the commitment to take on 400 apprentices for the Curtis Island LNG projects, the single largest intake of apprentices in Australia’s history. In 2014, working closely with the Australian government’s National Apprentice program, Bechtel has achieved that goal.
Lighting lives, creating livelihoods in Samarth, India
In a small Indian village of 2,500, where only 21 percent have access to electricity, we are working with local volunteers to bring primary lighting and livelihood to the community.
Together with Engineers Without Borders-India, we are using two unconventional but abundant energy sources: rooftop solar photovoltaic systems and biochar briquettes derived from surplus sugarcane leaf biomass. The solar lighting provides an important and economical alternative to the currently used kerosene lamps. Making the briquettes from the 1,000 tons of excess sugarcane leaves generated each year creates a renewable power source and eliminates approximately 5.4 tons of carbon emissions annually.
Promoting the advancement of women in Abu Dhabi, UAE
As a signatory of Women Achieve, a program established by the Abu Dhabi American Chamber of Commerce to promote the professional development of women, Bechtel joins several leading companies pledging to give greater opportunities for women’s participation in training and career advancement in the United Arab Emirates.
Building Crossrail and building knowledge
Bechtel organized a special program for World 50, a membership organization of leading global businesses, to provide a firsthand experience for 25 senior executives on what it takes to build the largest construction project in Europe. The visit took them 33 feet (10 meters) below London, and then through its busy streets and neighborhoods, to see and sense the project’s social and environmental sustainability impacts. Additionally, we presented a paper at the American Society for Civil Engineers International Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure describing our approach and key learnings on integrating sustainability in Crossrail’s design and construction.
Stepping up to address global issues
Designing cities to be more efficient and sustainable, moving beyond aid to support Africa’s development, and helping hydropower become a reliable and renewable source of energy are among the global issues for which Bechtel’s expertise and experience provide practical ideas and paths forward.
Together with CSIS, we started a new thought leadership series focused on how the private sector is building capacities and using technological or process innovations to promote sustainable outcomes. CSIS and Bechtel kicked off the series by highlighting the Gabon National Infrastructure Plan, a unique public-private partnership between the government of Gabon and Bechtel. We shared our experience of modernizing the planning and execution capabilities of l’Agence Nationale des Grands Travaux.
- More than
- children and adults with cerebral palsy have used a new hydrotherapy pool in Malaysia.
Supporting the U.S. Council for International Business (USCIB)
When the USCIB, an association of 300 multinational companies and private-sector organizations, looked to its members for thought leadership to support the United Nations post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals we volunteered to help. Bechtel assisted with outlining a set of recommendations that addresses several global trends impacting the future of infrastructure in the developed and developing world, including resource constraints and climate resilience.
In 2015, one of the realities of international cooperative action toward urgent sustainable development challenges is the need for the kind of practical action only business can provide—and nowhere is this more true than infrastructure. Bechtel plans and builds sustainability and resilience into urban, energy, and transport infrastructure worldwide.Norine Kennedy
Strategic International Engagement, Energy and Environment,
U.S. Council for International Business