Human rights (Norwegian Transparency Act)
Bane NOR has a duty to safeguard human rights and comply with the Norwegian Transparency Act to ensure transparency and accountability in its activities.
Bane NOR’s activities
Bane NOR respects and supports fundamental human rights as set out in international conventions and Norwegian legislation in all of its activities.
We are aware of the needs of different groups. This has been endorsed by the Board of Directors and group executives through their ownership of the governing documents that set out requirements relating to respect and requirements relating to being a driving force for human rights compliance.
This includes, among other things, the governing documents Ethics and Corporate Responsibility Policy and the Bane NOR Code of Conduct.
We continuously work to ensure that this is anchored across our business.
By virtue of its position and size, Bane NOR has a special responsibility for and opportunity to positively influence compliance, as well as protection of fundamental human rights and decent working conditions. This applies to our own activities, our business partners and our suppliers.
Through our activities, we strive to contribute to developing a responsible construction and civil engineering industry. The way in which we carry out procurements, follow up on contracts and collaborate with and develop suppliers are key measures in ensuring respect for fundamental human rights and decent working conditions.
Our commitment to respecting fundamental human rights and decent working conditions can, among other things, be found in Bane NOR’s Ethics and Corporate Responsibility Policy and Bane NOR’s integrity requirements.
Integrity requirements: Construction and civil engineering
This excerpt is based on NS 8407:2011 General conditions of contract for design and build contracts.
The provisions used in contracts may be more comprehensive.
Bane NOR has identified the following human rights and labour rights as areas in which Bane NOR can have a particular impact:
- The right to work and absence of discrimination between job seekers.
- Fair and good working conditions, including safe and healthy working conditions. Regulations relating to rest, time off and holidays. Prohibition against any forms of discrimination in employment relationships and in connection with recruitment. Equal pay for equal work.
- Freedom of association, freedom of trade union membership and the right to strike. The right to collective bargaining.
- Satisfactory standards of living for employees, including a living wage.
- HSE in the workplace.
- Prohibition against child labour, forced labour and slavery.
- Freedom of expression, freedom of speech and the right to peaceful gatherings.
- Prohibition against any form of racism and discrimination.
- The right to a healthy environment in which production capacity and diversity are preserved.
Bane NOR Code of Conduct
Bane NOR’s social mission is to develop, construct, operate and manage the national rail network.
In our work, the Code of Conduct will guide us in relation to ethical business conduct.
Bane NOR constructs and operates railway infrastructure throughout the country. This entails a broad and varied supplier portfolio spanning multiple industries: consulting, technical assistance, construction and civil engineering, operation and maintenance, electrical engineering and railway engineering equipment, as well as rolling work machinery, etc.
Suppliers vary in size from large international and national companies to medium-sized regional and smaller local suppliers. A total of around 1100 suppliers have contracts or framework agreements in place with Bane NOR, with a total contract value of approximately NOK 105 billion. The annual expenditure is approximately NOK 24 billion.
Bane NOR is a large public sector purchaser and we are conscious of our responsibility to develop a professional and reliable supply chain and contribute to collaboration and learning in the industry. We assume a clear role and impose social responsibility requirements that go beyond legislative and regulatory requirements. We collaborate with other contracting authorities, purchasing organisations and other initiators and we are a member of Ethical Trade Norway.
We are continuously strengthening our corporate responsibility expertise internally and we hold our suppliers accountable. In this way, we contribute to more responsible developments, with decent working conditions.
Bane NOR is subject to the Norwegian Public Procurement Act and the Supply Sector Purchase Regulations. Tender competitions are planned and implemented and contracts are entered into and followed up on in a commercial, socially responsible and resource-efficient manner in line with laws, regulations and internal requirements. We have established management tools for risk assessments and monitoring of the contract portfolio.
The scope of corporate responsibility requirements imposed in contracts depends on the industry and contract type. You can read more about corporate responsibility requirements in construction and civil engineering contracts and goods and service purchases in Bane NOR’s integrity requirements. The requirements are therefore well-known to both current and future suppliers. Suppliers have an obligation to impose all corporate responsibility requirements in agreements with subcontractors.
Verification of integrity indicators during the tendering phase and throughout contract monitoring and the implementation of integrity due diligence assessments prior to the awarding of contracts are important measures to reduce the risk of violation of corporate responsibilities in the supply chain. Compliance with corporate responsibility in contracts is ensured through e.g. HMSREG, an information system developed to counteract work-related crime and social dumping.
Verification of suppliers’ pay and working conditions and the implementation of local integrity audits and supplier audits are also important in relation to verification of compliance with corporate responsibility requirements. Bane NOR also collaborates closely with the Norwegian Tax Administration to verify the payment of taxes and fees.
As a member of Ethical Trade Norway, we report annually on the progress of our work on ethical trade and integrity due diligence in the supply chain.
We are a member of the European Railways Purchasing Conference (ERPC) and thereby collaborate with other European railway undertakings, including operators and infrastructure owners, to ensure a decent supply chain.
We have carried out an overall assessment of the risk of violation of human rights and decent working conditions. We primarily focus on the areas in which we are a major customer and have a relatively high opportunity to influence the situation.
These are the supply chains for electromechanical equipment, railway engineering materials and rolling working machinery, as well as components for these that are considered to be more vulnerable due to the more unknown production process and supply chain.
Furthermore, construction contracts with a high proportion of raw materials such as stone, steel, cement and wood are also considered more vulnerable. Bane NOR will have a particular focus on these supply chains and will demand information from suppliers as to how they manage actual and potential negative consequences in their own business activities and supply chains.
Bane NOR has further defined the parties that are considered the companies’ business partners. In connection with business partner categories, integrity due diligence assessments, including risk assessments, have been carried out.
Such assessments will become part of annual risk assessments in the future.
When we enter into contracts with new business partners, we will carry out a specific quality check of the business partner, including a focus on human rights and decent working conditions.
Bane NOR will publish its integrity due diligence report in accordance with the Norwegian Transparency Act by 30 June 2023.
Do you have any questions about our work on integrity due diligence, cf. the Norwegian Transparency Act?
Please include the name of the act, Norwegian Transparency Act, in the subject field.