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Community Relations

GRI 3–3, 203–1, 203–2, 413–1, 413–2 / SDG 17

As declared in the corporate strategy VISION 2030—Clean Energy of Tomorrow, CEZ Group’s social commitment is to remain a responsible corporate citizen. Our community relations target is to cultivate good relationships with communities.

Corporate Citizenship

CEZ Group recognizes its social, environmental, and financial responsibilities linked to its operations and business activities in the European market. Our goal is to be a responsible corporate citizen and a good neighbor who is actively and consistently involved in the support and development of community life. CEZ Group supports projects in various areas, including (but not limited to) social care, education, culture, sports, environmental protection, improvement of local infrastructure, and healthcare. We have a significant economic (direct and indirect) impact on the development of local communities and regions in Czechia. We are a major employer and create employment opportunities in the supply chain. 

We monitor the social and environmental impacts of our activities in the localities where we operate. We disclose the impacts of our activities in accordance with applicable legislation. We communicate our social impacts transparently with local stakeholders in all areas of our business. In the locations where we operate, we establish working groups with local stakeholders from all areas to discuss the impacts of our activities. To communicate with communities, we have a publicly available Community Relations Policy, the implementation of which is the responsibility of the Director of Public Affairs of CEZ Group, who reports directly to the CEO. It is based on the following principles: community relations are part of responsible business; we consider community relations as a tool for obtaining feedback; we strive for mutually beneficial coexistence of communities with CEZ Group in the territory on the basis of open communication; we deal with communities in a transparent manner; communities have a set of communication channels with guaranteed response times. 

CEZ Group promotes transparent and open communication about its current activities and operations, the state of the distribution grid, and investments with an impact on local communities. Throughout the year, meetings are organized between CEZ Group representatives and members of local governments, NGOs, municipalities, and local communities to provide comprehensive information and to deal with issues from community grievance mechanisms.  

CEZ Group management also regularly communicates with employees and informs them about the activities, developments, and direction of the company. Employees have access to information online, in newsletters, via online interviews with company management, in the company magazine, and through other channels.  

CEZ Group management also openly communicates with trade unions about their intentions, the Group’s financial results, and other matters concerning the employees. Major CEZ Group companies have collective agreements, which regulate relations between employees and the employer. 

CEZ Group, together with CEZ Foundation, is one of the largest corporate donors in Czechia. Their comprehensive approach to donation activities is regularly recognized by an independent jury (TOP Responsible Company, Donors Forum ranking). In 2023, financial donations by CEZ Group companies reached a total of CZK 499.0 million, of which CZK 358.8 million were donated to CEZ Foundation, and CZK 140.2 million were donated directly. In addition to direct financial donations, CEZ Group supports municipalities, local communities, and non– profit organizations through non–financial contributions. 

Employees are also involved in corporate donation. Two employee fundraisers were held in 2023.  

In February, an extraordinary collection was held to help the victims of the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Employees contributed CZK 1.4 milion, which the CEZ Foundation doubled to CZK 2.75 milion and increased by CZK 8,000 unspent from previous years. The CEZ Foundation also released CZK 1 million to ADRA immediately after the earthquake in an accelerated approval procedure, which was used to help people on the ground – supplying blankets, sleeping bags, winter clothing, food, drinking water and providing alternative temporary accommodation. 

Employees donated a record CZK 4.7 milion in the traditional autumn fundraising campaign Fulfilling Wishes – Thinking of Others, which focused on helping 131 children and adults whose fate had not favoured them. The CEZ Foundation doubled this amount to CZK 9.4 milion and increased it by CZK 45,816 unspent from the previous year. A special feature of this fundraiser is that the recipients are nominated by the employees themselves. 

In 2023, the Fulfilling Wishes campaign was held for the seventeenth time and the total amount raised in the campaign and special collections since its inception exceeded CZK 82 million. 

CEZ Foundation also runs a popular mobile app called EPP – Help by Movement, which works at the same time as a sports tracker and a charity app. The general public is motivated to be physically active (the options include activities for all age groups and for the handicapped) and is also directly involved in the choice of projects which should be financially supported. In more than eight years of the app’s existence, it has gained over 653,000 users. Thanks to their sports activities, the CEZ Foundation was able to distribute CZK 31.5 million among 384 non–profit organizations in 2023. 

The corporate volunteering program Time for a Good Cause is announced annually in all regions of Czechia. The collective agreement guarantees that each employee can use two workdays of paid leave to volunteer. In the 16 years since the launch of the volunteering program, over 9,600 employees participated in 1,345 events. Volunteering activities can be carried out both individually and in a larger group. The company also supports team building in the form of a volunteering activity. All non–profit organizations involved in the volunteering program have the opportunity to get a contribution from CEZ Group to cover the expenses of providing working tools and refreshments for the volunteers.

Overview of Areas Supported in the Volunteering Program in 2023 with Respective Numbers of Volunteers
Ecology, animals, environment 595
Social and health 182
Regional and community development, cultural heritage 156
Children and the youth 43
Elderly 25
Education and research 16

In 2023, employees donated a total of 7,620 hours to corporate volunteering.

Various events and activities have a long–standing presence in CEZ Group’s philanthropic endeavors. These include employee grants, breakfasts, and sheltered workshop markets organized for employees, and recycling of clothes and mobile phones to support the employment of people with disabilities.  

Breakfast for employees, Easter and Christmas markets include the sale of products and refreshments from social enterprises employing people with disabilities and from sheltered workshops. In 2023, employees contributed more than CZK 1.3 million to these events. 

Since 2017, a charity collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories called Wardrobe Draft is regularly organized by CEZ Group at several locations in its operations in Czechia. In 2023, employees donated record nearly 3,214 kg of clothing and footwear which was then distributed to regional charities and clothes banks. In total, over 14,440 kg of clothing has been collected since 2017. In May 2023, employees in Prague were able to participate in a new SWAP event for clothing and household items, which also included an educational lecture on the circular economy and responsible shopping called How to Consume Smartly. 

In November 2023, ČEZ, a. s., donated 127 working laptops to Ukrainian schools in Kherson, Cherkasy, Chernihiv, and Chernivtsi regions, which were accumulated as part of regular equipment replacement. All laptops have been thoroughly checked and can serve well for several more years. The laptops were received at the Embassy by the Ukrainian Chargé d'affaires Vitaliy Usatyy and will be delivered to the schools by representatives of the Aid for Ukraine Foundation. 

Employees in Prague newly joined the Czech Day Against Cancer collection, where they could support the fight against cancer by buying a yellow marigold flower.  

Employees at the Temelín and Dukovany power plants have once again joined the Three Kings Collection, the financial proceeds of which go to people in difficult life situations.  

We support medical facilities – two utility vehicles were donated by ČEZ Distribuce to the Thomayer University Hospital. ÚJV Řež provide conference center space for events organized by local communities and municipalities and also organizes public education and cultural events for the public.  

Since 2019, employees in Prague can donate blood directly at the workplace. We cooperate with the outreach team of the Central Military Hospital and carry out 3–4 blood donation dates per year. As of 2019, Central Military Hospital medics have already taken over 230 litres of blood. 

CEZ Group operates nine information centers offering a wide range of excursions and interactive activities. The turnout in 2023 was more than 281,000 visitors. One of the most exciting parts of the excursions is always a close–up view of power plant technologies. Therefore, in addition to the standard offer, we also prepare special tours of our facilities, which are normally inaccessible, for those interested in energy. This year, these include, for example, the hydroelectric power plants Lipno, Les Království or Střekov. In addition to these, visitors could also take part in the very popular holiday tours of the grounds of our Temelín and Dukovany nuclear power plants. 

However, nuclear power plants can be seen up close by anyone who visits our "nuclear" information centres. There, we use virtual reality goggles to transport visitors to the most guarded areas in the Czech Republic, including directly to the reactor – ReakTour. Nearly 90,000 people have tried this experience in the infocentres and thousands more at themed fairs and conferences. 

Thanks to their high popularity, our online excursions called Virtually at the Power Plant continued in 2023 as well. The tours are available free of charge via MS Teams. The target group consists mainly of schools that take them as a supplement to science subjects, but the general public can also apply. The project has already started in 2020 at a time of pandemic restrictions. The popularity of the project has exceeded initial expectations – by December 2023, more than 120,000 pupils and secondary school students had participated, so ČEZ, a. s., continues to offer it to schools. Participants will take a virtual tour of Czech nuclear power plants and the internal structures of hydro, wind, and photovoltaic power plants, and can also learn more about electricity distribution. In 2023, a new excursion focusing on the Dlouhé stráně hydroelectric power plant has been added to the program and further extensions to the popular project are already in the pipeline. 

In 2023, CEZ Group companies were awarded for Sustainable business, social responsibility and employee management in the following selected competitions in the Czech Republic and abroad: 

Czech awards: 

  • ESG rating 2023 (in the category Large Company): 1st place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (the award is given by the Associaton of social responsibility, which compiles the ranking in cooperation with the Prague University of Economics and Business). 
  • TOP Responsible Company 2023 (in the category Reporting): 1st place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (awarded by the Business for Society platform). 
  • TOP Responsible Company 2023 (in the category Large Company): inclusion of the parent company ČEZ, a. s., among the leaders (awarded by the Business for Society platform). 
  • TOP Responsible Company 2023 (in the category Innovation project): 3rd place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (awarded by the Business for Society platform). 
  • TOP Responsible Company 2023 (in the category Diversity and Inclusion project): special jury award for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (awarded by the Business for Society platform). 
  • National Quality Award of the Czech Republic 2023: 2nd place for ČEZ, a. s. (Nuclear Power Division), in the category Private Sector (awarded by the Quality Council of the Czech Republic). 
  • Sustainability Ranking 2023 (in the category Strategy): 2nd place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (awarded by the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic and Týdeník Ekonom). 
  • Sustainability star 2023 (in the category Sustainable Projects of the Year): 2nd place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (awarded by the Scientific Council and the organizers of the Czech & Slovak Sustainability Summit 2023). 
  • Nordic Chamber of Commerce Diversity Awards 2023 – the Diversity and Inclusion Unit's We Count on You project won. 
  • TOP Employers 2023 – a survey conducted among university students. For the fourth time in a row, CEZ Group ranked 1st in 3 categories: in the Energy, Gas and Petrochemical category, in the Technician category and in the Clear Choice category. 
  • Sodexo Employer of the Year 2023 (in the category Large Company with more than 5 thousand employees): 1st place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. 
  • Sodexo Employer of the Year 2023 (in the category Large Company with up to 5 thousand employees): 5th place for the subsidiary ČEZ Distribuce, a. s. 
  • Most Trustworthy Energy Supplier 2023 in the Most Trustworthy Brands CZ Award (the company holds the title since 2016). 
  • Donors Summit 2023 organized by the Donor Forum: 2nd place for CEZ Foundation in the category Annual Report. 
  • Czech Top 100 2023 organized by Comenius: 1st place for ČEZ, a. s.  
  • Health Promoting Enterprise (award for companies promoting health at the workplace and caring for the health of their employees above and beyond the law, awarded by the National Institute of Public Health). 
  • Internet Effectiveness Award 2023: 2nd place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (the Data Library project).
  • Czech Republic of the Future 2023: 1st place in 2 categories: CEO of the Year and HR Director of the Year. 

International awards: 

  • Reuters Responsible Business Awards 2023 (in the category Reporting and Transparency): victory for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (awarded by Reuters). 
  • Environmental Finance Company Awards 2023 (in the category Best Sustainability Reporting in EMEA): 1st place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (awarded by the professional portal Environmental Finance). 
  • Environmental Finance Company Awards 2023 (in the category Sustainability Leader of the Year): 1st place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (awarded by the professional portal Environmental Finance). 
  • Women in Governance, Risk and Compliance Awards 2023 (in the category Chief Sustainability Officer of the year): victory for the parent company ČEZ, a. s. (awarded by the GRC World Forum). 
Human Rights

GRI 2–27, 3–3, 406–1, 408–1, 409–1, 411–1

CEZ Group is committed to respecting and upholding human rights in all its operations and business activities. CEZ Group adheres to all relevant legal requirements and obligations and strictly prohibits any form of malpractice, corporal punishment, discrimination, human trafficking, slavery, forced labor, and child labor within its operations. CEZ Group’s commitment to corporate responsibility and ethical conduct reflects the national legislation, EU regulations, international treaties, and regulatory rules currently in force and effect. In addition, the recommendations, and practices of professional organizations, including best practices, are incorporated into corporate culture and behavior. 

The same respect for human rights is required in the supply chain – CEZ Group suppliers are obliged to maintain the same level of integrity as CEZ Group requires of its own companies and employees, including in relation to third parties. CEZ Group suppliers are required to sign and abide by the Commitment to Ethical Conduct, which includes principles of behavior regarding human rights, labor practices, protection of people and the environment, anti–corruption, and money laundering. CEZ Group reserves the right to monitor and verify that the suppliers follow the rules stipulated in the Commitment mentioned above. To this end, CEZ Group performs audits in its supply chain as part of its compliance management system. 

CEZ Group views its human rights due diligence system as an ongoing process aimed at identifying and managing the risks and impacts associated with all phases of its operations (planning, construction, operation, maintenance, and decommissioning of electricity and energy facilities), considering the geographic and social context and characteristics of its supply chain. 

CEZ Group participates in the UN Global Compact initiative and follows and respects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the core conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). First information on CEZ Group’s progress under the UN Global Compact will be presented in 2024. 

Historically, Czechia has never been a colonial power and has never conquered or settled in areas inhabited by indigenous peoples. While no official definition of the term indigenous exists, CEZ Group recognizes the United Nations approach, which is based on the fundamental criterion of self–identification. This approach also considers several other factors, such as a strong link to territories and surrounding natural resources; distinct social, economic, or political system; distinct language, culture, and beliefs; and non–dominance in society. Because CEZ Group does not operate in territories with indigenous population, it does not have an Indigenous Peoples Policy. However, CEZ Group recognizes the rights of autochthonous ethnicities, such as Kaszubi, Mazurzy, and Silesians.