Allreal has a comprehensive and standardised quality and cost management system which is implemented consistently and updated regularly. The web-based database “Processes at Allreal for Quality” (PAQ) defines standards and processes, and provides all employees with tools such as regulations, templates and examples for their day-to-day work. All employees are trained at regular intervals on how to use PAQ, with the last session taking place in December 2019.
As a total and general contractor, Allreal is liable for non-compliance with minimum wage laws or the statutory working conditions offered by both contractors and all of their sub-contractors in the supply chain. The high cost and time pressures so prevalent in the construction sector give rise to the risk of violations of labour and social security provisions. These not only involve quality risks, but also liability and reputation risks. Allreal strongly condemns illegal labour and wage dumping, and obliges all contractors to strictly adhere to the applicable provisions.
In 2020, Allreal did not record any violations on its construction sites. The company takes a range of actions to further minimise the risk of violations of the Posted Workers Act, including, for example, strict contract terms, an ID requirement for construction workers and access checks on large construction sites. Allreal created the Qualiconstruct programme in spring 2017 and works in very close partnership with selected companies which are known for their excellent track record in terms of quality, cost-effectiveness, credit standing and innovative capacity. Around 57 companies in 14 employment categories have joined the programme since its launch.
Allreal has also been working with another similar information system – Informationssystem Allianz Bau (ISAB) – since March 2020. The data-based electronic platform, supported by the major social partners within the construction and renovation trades, aims to maximise transparency surrounding contractors’ compliance with the minimum working conditions in place. Allreal requires all construction companies to register with ISAB before working with them.
During the period under review, Allreal awarded 99.7% of work to companies and suppliers based in Switzerland.
Allreal site managers, who are deployed on site and present for the entire construction period, monitor and manage compliance with standards and laws as well as the quality of execution.
The company’s own service organisation ensures that any defects that occur after the building has been handed over to the developer or owner are rectified in a fast and straightforward way. A specially developed, efficient online platform is available to those responsible for the administration of corrective action. Systematically recording the defects also guarantees that any clusters of defects are discovered and taken into account when planning going forward.
As part of an initiative launched in the previous year to review maintenance services provided by third parties at portfolio properties, the building management team within the Real Estate division reviewed, updated and retendered ten contracts with facility management service providers during 2020. These contracts cover annual basic services amounting to around CHF 1.96 million. One result of the review process is that invoices for incidental costs are more detailed, providing Allreal customers with maximum transparency and cutting down their costs.
Once construction work is complete, both customers who have purchased residential property from Allreal and a selection of developers of third-party projects are given the opportunity to evaluate the company and make specific suggestions for improvement using a standardised questionnaire. During the 2020 financial year, 36 questionnaires were returned. In the overall assessment, 69% of developers of third-party projects were “very satisfied” with Allreal and the remaining 31% were “satisfied”. 87% of the customers who purchased residential property said they would recommend Allreal.
In autumn 2020, the property management team within the Real Estate division ran a representative customer survey on tenants in residential and commercial properties. A total of 287 tenants were included in the survey to assess the service provided by the in-house property management department and by external management companies working on behalf of Allreal. 33% of surveys were completed.
Ten points were raised as assessment criteria and opinions were given on a scale of one to four. An impressive average score of 3.29 was achieved across all of the criteria. People completing the survey also had the chance to add any further comments.
The survey brought to light some useful suggestions for ways to optimise the services on offer. The results were studied in depth with the relevant teams and action was taken accordingly.
The in-house property management department performed particularly well, confirming that the strategy of managing as many properties as possible in-house is a plus for customers and Allreal alike.
The Code of Conduct, which is binding for the entire Allreal Group, outlines the business conduct expected of employees and business partners and defines the guidelines that must be respected and followed with no exceptions or limitations. It also stipulates the sanctions in the event of violations. Observance of high ethical standards characterised by personal responsibility, and strict adherence to all legislation of significance to the company form the basis of all entrepreneurial activity.
Once a year, employees of Allreal are given in-depth training in one specific area of the Code of Conduct. The training on bullying and discrimination in the workplace scheduled for 2020 had to be postponed to the following year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
As part of the revision of the Code of Conduct in 2018, the following corruption risks were defined as being considerable and taken into account by Allreal: the award of planning and sub-contracting services, the award of property management and facility management contracts, the acquisition of development properties, the acquisition of GC/TC contracts and the purchase/sale of yield-producing properties. 2018 was also the last year in which compulsory training covered the subject of corruption. All in all, 234 people – or 98% of employees – attended the event.
In the 2020 financial year, no incidents related to suspected corruption were reported.
Both employees and third parties who discover or suspect violations of applicable laws or the Code of Conduct are able to report these to an independent external body. The report is submitted via an online form which is available from the Allreal Intranet and on the company website. The use of a third-party provider guarantees the whistleblower’s anonymity and the confidential handling of information in all circumstances. The independent external notification body ensures that there are no negative consequences for a whistleblower as a result of making contact.
In addition to the existing independent external notification body, which is also happy to help third parties, Allreal started working with the specialist Swiss centre addressing bullying and harassment in the workplace in the fourth quarter of 2020. The centre is on hand to advise employees and members of the group management team who are concerned about signs of bullying, sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace, with anonymity maintained at all times. A training session is being arranged for employees in 2021. During the period under review, there were no reports of bullying, sexual harassment or discrimination in the workplace.
There were also no reports of violations of the protection of customer data or freedom from discrimination in 2020. Similarly, Allreal was not sanctioned or fined for any failure to comply with social and economic legislation and regulations or failure to comply with environmental laws in the period under review.