Elia, a sustainable employer

Health and Safety

The safety of everyone, everywhere, is always our number one priority. We continuously invest in safety and work in a responsible and safe manner. Our goal is zero accidents. Every employee and contractor knows the principles of our safety programme. We ensure that Elia Group’s safety instructions are properly applied in order to prevent incidents.

Electrical infrastructure is and always will be dangerous. That is why safety is our top priority in all that we undertake. Continuous development of technical, managerial and behavioural competencies is therefore a core responsibility of our Competence Centre.

On a managerial level, safety is the responsibility of the Chief Executive Officer, and part of executives’ variable bonus is also linked to safety performance.

The GO FOR ZERO programme has five pillars:

  1. People & technical Skills - In an ever-changing world, everyone needs to hone their skills constantly and learn continuously. The People & Technical Skills project aims to catalogue the technical and behavioural skills within Elia, then develop training paths to enhance these Elia skills
  2. Operational & Safety Excellence - Feedback, open dialogue and regular communication within and between teams are all absolutely vital if Elia’s ambitious targets on safety, efficiency and operational quality are to be met. Continuous improvement entails researching and developing solutions to operational problems.
  3. Operational & Safety Excellence with DSOs - Elia shares many high-voltage substations with distribution system operators. In view of this fact, Elia and its colleagues in the distribution sector decided to launch a project to enhance safety.
  4. Safety for Contractors In response to the energy transition, Elia is undertaking the most ambitious investment programme in its history. In cooperation with its contractors, Elia is striving to ensure that they too, have optimal safety and zero accidents.
  5. Safety Leadership - Elia structurally implemented a management style that encourages employees to report risky behaviour and to work safely. Every manager must inspire and set an example, while also creating a climate of trust in which all employees adopt safety- oriented attitudes and behaviour and never compromise on safety.

We are exploring the introduction of a health and safety management system. Talks are on-going with 50Hertz experts on their experience in applying the OHSAS 18001 system.

Safety Weeks

Each year, Elia organises Safety Weeks for its staff in May and September in an effort to raise awareness about the importance of safety.

The programme included various communications, training sessions and team exercises, designed to ensure that everyone got involved and took the messages on board. In May 2018, the spotlight was on our “6 non-negotiables”, i.e. behaviours that we no longer wish to see in the company. In September, we focused on “Safety on the road”.

Safety training

Elia continuously trains its personnel. All field employees must follow a training path, which is periodically refreshed. Elia also provides raining material, training and tests to contractors (for instance, 1,290 people followed our new “Works Supervisor” training and tractors 1,041 passed the test and were certified).

Safety inspections

After a big increase in the number of inspections in 2017, the focus from 2018 on is more on the quality than the number of inspections.

Risk analysis

Via a thorough, systematic risk analysis Elia can take the correct measures and implement the right actions to ensure a preventive approach to safety and, where necessary, make improvements. We use measurable objectives and indicators that are stringently monitored and assessed.

Safety culture

Safety is a critical part of our corporate culture. Elia aims to develop a genuine safety culture, pursued by each and every person and department within the company. The concept of safety must be a reflex for everyone!

Ongoing training and awareness-raising are critical. Right from day one, Elia personnel are given thorough safety training to ensure that they respect their own safety and that of their fellow workers and the environment at all times. Special training is always provided when new working methods are introduced.

Further information on values, processes and performance:

Diversity

Elia is committed to equal opportunities for all candidates, regardless of gender, age, background or religion. We also believe in giving a chance to young people and less young people, who can sometimes find it difficult to find a job on the market. Elia is regularly attending job fairs to meet future candidates from all educational backgrounds (engineers, technicians, etc).

Elia has staff spanning a range of nationalities, age groups and experiences. Our activities require a multiplicity of talents, and we strive to form teams that excel at what they do. We believe that our teams are enriched by diversity. Because accountability and the good of the community are central to our culture, we aim to use our company’s diversity as a tool for social and professional integration.

Women are less represented in EA and in EE, two companies requiring a more technical background. Since these two companies provide most of the senior managers this leads to a lower percentage of women in those roles.

In the future, the Human Resources Department will work on developing a charter of diversity to enshrine our commitment to diversity and our principles.

Ambassadors

A network of ambassadors was created at Elia before the summer of 2018. Developed at the initiative of passionate colleagues, the group shares ideas, tips and tricks, successes and events, and organises workshops within the company through a cooperative process. Ideas are also shared via the intranet, with all colleagues who are familiar with the issue being able to take part.

A real sustainable dynamic has been created within the company.

Sustainable food

From small snacks eaten at the desk or on the worksite to a full meal enjoyed in the company restaurant, food is consumed at a number of times throughout the workday.

With an average of 300 meals served at its Brussels-based sites every day, Elia is working with its service provider Aramark to offer sustainable food in its restaurants.

As a basis, we used the criteria of the Brussels Capital Region's GoodFood label, which we would like to obtain by the end of 2018.

We put jugs of water on the tables in our restaurants. We favour the use of seasonal fruit and vegetables and products from organic or integrated farming, grown without pesticides or chemical fertilisers. We offer varied, balanced menus with a vegetarian option. We do not cook eggs from battery hens and prefer to buy farm chickens (minimum 20% by weight, on an annual basis) rather than chickens raised in battery cages. We choose fish caught through sustainable fishing. Fish that are classified as 'red' in the WWF sustainable seafood guide are no longer on the menu.

For exotic products and coffee, we opt for fair trade.