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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.

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. 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 2022, financial donations by CEZ Group companies reached a total of CZK 368.2 million, of which CZK 252.9 million were donated to CEZ Foundation, and CZK 115.3 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, recommending to whom the aid should be directed and making financial donations themselves. Two employee fundraisers were held in 2022: within a week after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, ČEZ, a. s., organized a large fundraiser among employees. The donated sum (CZK 7.3 million) was subsequently doubled by CEZ Foundation to a total of CZK 14.6 million. The donation was distributed to respected non-profit organizations carrying out humanitarian aid directly in Ukraine or taking care of refugees coming to Czechia (e. g., the Czech Red Cross, UNICEF, Medicines Sans Frontiers, Czech Federation of Food Banks, and others). 

CEZ Foundation also launched a Crisis Grant Ukraine aimed at addressing the impacts of the refugee wave on local communities and economies: it was used to cover operating costs – for example, accommodation, meals, and material assistance – of non-profit organizations, municipalities and cities that granted asylum to Ukrainian refugees. Within two weeks, 115 applicants expended an amount exceeding CZK 5 million. 

CEZ Foundation also has a special grant for CEZ employees engaging in local community organizations and activities that address local needs: each employee can apply once every two years for an amount of up to CZK 30,000 (from January 1st, 2023, this amount was increased to CZK 50,000) for their organization.

The traditional Autumn fundraiser campaign Granting Wishes, among CEZ employees raised more than CZK 3.4 million for people in difficult life situations: mainly people with some sort of disability, incurable disease, physical or mental handicap. Again, CEZ Foundation doubled the sum raised by employees to a total of CZK 7.5 million. In 2022, the fundraising campaign Granting Wishes ran for the sixteenth time, and the total sum raised in the campaign and emergency donations since its establishment reached over CZK 70 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 seven years of the app’s existence, it has gained over 600,000 users. In 2022, the app distributed CZK 26.6 million among 356 non-profit organizations.

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 per year to volunteer. In the 15 years since the launch of the volunteering program, over 8,600 employees participated in 1,187 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 receive a contribution from CEZ Group to cover the expenses of providing working tools and refreshments for the volunteers.

Employees of the Severočeské doly Group are involved in the Corporate Volunteering project, in which the company helps selected communities affected by the mining operations at the Bílina and Tušimice mines. In 2022, a total of 22 employees participated in 3 corporate volunteering events in the area.

Overview of areas supported in the volunteering program in 2022 with respective numbers of volunteers
Environment, ecology, and animals 540
Social and health 210
Regional and community development, cultural heritage 93
Children and the youth 66
Elderly 16
Education and research 6

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.

Employee grants are intended to support NGOs in which our employees are directly involved in their spare time. In the past eleven years, 1,032 projects were supported with a total amount of CZK 30.3 million.

Breakfasts for employees and Easter and Christmas markets include the sale of products, food and refreshments prepared by people with disabilities and in sheltered workshops. In 2022, the total amount raised at these events was over CZK 1 million.

Since 2017, a charity collection of clothes, shoes, and accessories called Wardrobe Draft is regularly organized by CEZ Group at several locations in Czechia. In 2022, employees donated almost 2,249 kg of clothing and footwear which was then distributed to regional charities and clothes banks. Since 2017, the total amount collected is over 11,226 kg of clothing.

A regular collection of old, unused, or dysfunctional mobile phones among employees took place  in cooperation with the Remobil initiative. It supports the employment of people with disabilities and promotes recycling, reuse, and the protection of the environment. In 2022, employees donated 447 devices. In the past three years, almost 1,500 devices were collected, equivalent to saving 2,359 kg of CO2 and over 44,000 liters of water.

A number CEZ Group companies organized a variety of charity collections of material aid (clothes, shoes, toiletries, baby food, household equipment and utensils, small appliances, learning aids for children, laptops and more) to support refugees from Ukraine. Several CEZ Group companies helped with accommodation and household equipment for refugees affected by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

We support medical facilities (ČEZ Distribuce provided equipment for a box in a Burn ICU Recovery Room of the Královské Vinohrady University Hospital), community eco projects (Belectric Israel – a garden created for new Israeli residents from Ethiopia). Our colleagues at ÚJV Řež provide a conference center for events organized by local communities and municipalities.

CEZ Group operates nine information centers offering a wide range of excursions and interactive activities. The turnout in 2022 was more than 200,000 visitors. One of the most exciting parts of the excursions is a close-up view of power plant technologies. In 2022, a brand new special virtual tour through the Dukovany nuclear power plant via virtual reality (VR) goggles was launched in the ReakTour project. It is the second VR tour. The VR headsets allow visitors to enter the most guarded areas of the Czech nuclear power plants including the nuclear reactor itself.

Thanks to their high popularity, our online excursions called Virtually at the Power Plant continued in 2022 as well. The tours are available free of charge via MS Teams for both schools as a supplement to science lessons and the public interested in energy topics. The project was started in 2020, when our information centers were closed most of the time due to strict pandemic restrictions. As the popularity of the project exceeded initial expectations – by December 2022, more than 85,000 pupils and secondary-school students took part – CEZ Group continues to offer it to schools. Participants take a virtual walk inside each of the Czech nuclear power plants and the inner structures of hydroelectric, wind and photovoltaic power plants. In 2022, a new type of excursion focusing on electricity distribution was added to the program. Subsequent online tours are planned for the following academic year, too.

In 2022, CEZ Group’s companies were recognized for their sustainable business, corporate responsibility, and employee management in the following competitions:

  • Sodexo Employer of the Year 2022 (in the category Large Company with more than 5,000 employees): first place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s.
  • Sodexo Employer of the Decade 2022 (in the category Large Company with more than 5,000 employees): fourth place for the parent company ČEZ, a. s.
  • TOP Responsible Company 2022 (in the category Large Company and the category Reporting): Leader for the parent company ČEZ, a. s.; organized by Business for Society
  • CEZ Group also succeeded in the TOP Employer 2022 survey conducted among university students. The Group ranked first in three categories: (1) The Energy, Gas, and Petrochemical Sector category, (2) the Technician Award, and (3) the Clear Choice category
  • Most Trustworthy Energy Supplier 2022 in the Most Trustworthy Brands CZ Award (the company holds the title since 2016)
  • Donors Summit 2022 organized by Donor Forum: first place for CEZ Foundation in the category Annual Report and second place for CEZ Foundation in the category Employee Fundraiser Czech Republic
  • National Award for Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development 2022: third place for ČEZ, a. s., in the category of Private Sector
  • Czech TOP 100, third place in the Top 100 Most Important Czech Companies 2021 for ČEZ, a. s. (awards took place in 2022)
  • Czech 100 Best Award 2022, first place for ČEZ, a. s.
  • TOP 10 Large Companies (ESG rating of companies compared as part of SDGs Awards, awarded by the Association of Social Responsibility and the University of Economics in Prague)
  • 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)
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 and supply chain. 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, recommendations and procedures from expert organizations and best practices are incorporated into the 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 supplier follows the rules stipulated in the Commitment. To this end, we regularly perform audits in our supply chain as part of our compliance management system.

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). CEZ Group’s first Communication of Progress for the UN Global Compact will be submitted in 2023.

CEZ Group creates conditions that enable everyone to develop their full potential. We respect and value differences among people whatever their age, sex, gender, race, ethnicity, physical ability, medical capacity, sexual orientation, education, social status, religion, political affiliation, trade union membership and other differences. We reject discrimination of any kind. This principle is defined in our Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

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, we recognize 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, we do not have an Indigenous Peoples Policy. However, we recognize the rights of autochthonous ethnicities, such as Kaszubi, Mazurzy, Warmiacy, and Silesians.

Any violation of human rights can and should be reported through a publicly available  whistleblowing hotline.