The Charter

A proper foundation
Charter for Responsible Danish Property and Construction

Download the charter as pdf (A version in English is under elaboration)


The property and construction sector plays an important role in Danish society. The sector shapes and maintains the physical framework surrounding the activities of people and businesses, such as buildings, urban spaces and infrastructure. The sector creates value and jobs and its impact affects society in many ways. With this influence follows a natural responsibility for how the sector interacts with its surroundings.

The construction client has overall responsibility for construction projects, while consultants and contractors each have their roles and responsibilities in realising the client’s requirements. The object of this Charter is to establish a foundation for good collaboration between the parties within the framework of Danish legislation and EU regulation.

The Charter has been developed collaboratively by the Danish Association of Construction Clients and Realdania, with contributions from leading firms and organisations in the sector as well as a reference group comprising the Danish Association of Consulting Engineers and the Danish Association of Architectural Firms. The Charter is based on the UN Global Compact, which has been set in the context of construction projects in Denmark. The Charter addresses specific areas in which construction parties have called for a common foundation for social responsibility. Therefore, the Charter is not a full description of how social responsibility can and should be exercised in the property and construction sector.

Accession to the Charter is recognition of six principles. Each principle it is illustrated by a number of examples of how it can be converted into practice. The level of ambition of the individual firm and organisation, its ownership and regulation (public/private), and its role otherwise in the sector will determine how the principles are implemented in Danish construction projects.

Firms and organisations signing and observing the principles will:

  • Contribute to a socially responsible property and construction sector in Denmark
  • Strengthen their links with stakeholders in the surrounding community
  • Act professionally, by identifying and managing risks

Principles for social responsibility in firms and organisations involved in construction projects in Denmark

A firm or organisation signing this Charter thereby declares that it is committed to working for the six principles for responsibility listed below:

1. We systematically assess whether we are observing the principles of the Charter in the projects in which we are involved

For example by:

  • drawing up a policy for the social responsibility of the firm or organisation
  • utilising well structured methods and tools to assess risk and ensure compliance with the social responsibility of the firm or organisation, including the principles in the Charter
  • communicating openly and actively about how the firm or organisation manages the principles in the Charter.

2. We assess how collaboration partners and suppliers manage social responsibility

For example by:

  • including the principles in the Charter in choices of collaboration partners when possible and relevant
  • establishing dialogue with collaboration partners and suppliers on their policies and practices regarding social responsibility
  • contributing to identifying all the contributors to aconstruction project in collaboration with the most important parties in the project
  • designing and implementing management of the principles in the Charter as early as possible in a project, and as much as possible in collaboration with the most important parties.

3. We establish dialogue with collaboration partners and stakeholders

For example by:

  • collaborating with the social partners on informing contributors to the project about Danish pay and working conditions
  • reacting when becoming aware of non-compliance with the principles in the Charter by collaboration partners or suppliers
  • contributing to solving problems through dialogue at the lowest possible level of conflict and furthermore by utilising existing systems and authorities for conflict resolution: the trade-union and contract law system, the Danish Working Environment Authority, the Danish tax authorities (SKAT), etc.
  • establishing dialogue with neighbours to the project and other relevant stakeholders in order to take as much account as possible of legitimate interests and to strike a balance between conflicting interests.

4. We work for sustainable solutions

For example by:

  • striving to apply sustainable principles in planning, execution and operation of construction, for example by utilising internationally recognised certification schemes such as DGNB etc.
  • striving to use sustainably manufactured construction materials and elements according to internationally recognised methods and standards.

5. We have sound employment and working conditions

For example by:

  • recognising the importance of and respecting the content of collective agreements with regard to pay and working hours as well as other conditions both internally and at sub-contractors
  • working for a healthy and safe working environment as part of both planning and executing projects
  • working to secure apprenticeships and placements for young people on vocational training programmes in Denmark
  • ensuring well-qualified employees.

6. We demonstrate independence and anti-corruption practices

For example by:

  • not receiving or offering remuneration, gifts, holidays or entertainment which can cast doubt on whether services are supplied and decisions are made on an honest basis
  • always informing customers and collaboration partners about any personal interests, relationships, or considerations which could entail dependence or conflicts of interest.