Quality, Safety and Sustainable Development
September 28, 2012
Ludovic Duplan, CEO of Karmar, a Polish-based construction company that is part of France’s Bouygues group, talks to Ewa Andrzejczak.
The Karmar company was founded in 1991. In 2007, it was acquired by Bouygues Construction, one of the world’s 100 largest construction companies. Why did the French group select you to be its partner on the Polish market? What was the rationale behind that choice?
First let me specify that the Bouygues Group is among the Top 10 construction companies in the world. We have been active in Central Europe and particularly in Poland since the early 1990s. In early 2000, The group decided to set up a network of local companies throughout Europe in order to ensure long-term development in the region.
As part of this strategy Karmar was acquired in 2007, providing the group with local references and resources in order to further strengthen the development of the Bouygues Group’s activities in Poland.
Your company is active in both the public and private sectors, constructing buildings and infrastructure throughout Poland. This adds up to a very broad spectrum of business. What’s the reason for this? Is it because you want to fend off the crisis or does this policy stem from other reasons?
Having a strong network of local subsidiaries throughout Europe is essential for the group to keep its leadership in construction. Therefore we are not developing our group on the basis of speculative or opportunistic approaches, but are focusing on our expertise and on areas where we are able to provide added value to our customers.
The Bouygues group has expertise in both building and civil works, and is supporting Karmar in its development strategy by providing all the necessary technical and financial tools. Our strategy in Poland, as everywhere else, is to provide the best international practices at a locally competitive cost.
Sustainable development is part of your company’s strategy. What do you do on a daily basis to put the principles of sustainable development into practice?
Sustainable development is a top priority for us. We have thoroughly reviewed our production approach and introduced the internal “Green Site” label to gather best practices in term of sustainable development. Our site teams are committed to reducing energy consumption during construction, ensuring proper sorting of wastage, and respecting the environment.
At the commercial stage we promote certification and offer our clients opportunities to ensure in-house certification processes. Our value-for-money approach is based on enabling our customers to enjoy the highest possible certification level with a minimum or even no cost impact. Our in-house team of technicians is capable of providing value-added engineering solutions to guarantee energy savings.
I would also like to emphasize that quality and safety are another key priority for Karmar, alongside sustainable development. We are investing a lot in training our staff and our partners—suppliers, subcontractors—and in continuously improving our output. The Polish market is becoming more mature; our customers and end users are increasingly demanding; quality, safety and sustainable development help us diversify our range of services and make Karmar a competitive and reliable long-term partner.
Green construction and certification of buildings require builders to constantly improve their skills and expertise in new technology. They also have to work closely with certification bodies. What are your experiences when it comes to environmentally friendly projects? What, in your view, is the biggest barrier to the development of sustainable construction in Poland?
As I have said, we are very steadfast on sustainable development, and certification is part of the process. We have our in-house assessors to deliver all services related to certification. We also have our technical department, which is capable of proposing green solutions to our customers at both the design and construction stages. At the moment, we are the main contractor for the TP SA headquarters in Warsaw, and we are determined to ensure that the project is delivered with a BREEAM rating of “very good.”