A social impact assessment (SIA) is a proactive and anticipatory tool used to help understand the potential impacts that a proposed project may have on a community.
This present SIA has been prepared in application of YPM’s vision on sustainable development in Myanmar.
In addition, YPM will develop a corporate social responsibility program that will be funded through the company’s profit (section 6).
2. The project
2.1. Project workforce
The graph below represents the workforce of the project. It distinguishes:
This graph is important because it represents the influx of staff mostly external to the local community that will commute every working day to and from YPM. These workers will be potential customers for local shops, restaurants, tea shops, shopping centres, taxis, trichaws, buses...
(Note on the graph: the graph stops deliberately in May 2015 as to show 1 full year of operation; however, the project will run for 15 years)
It is anticipated that the project will have a very important positive impact on the local neighborhood in terms of cash influx, as about 500 employees will be brought in from other areas of Yangon. The direct impact will be increased livelihoods opportunities and income from local shops and small family businesses of the neighborhood. The indirect impact will be the potential creation of job opportunities in local shops triggered by the increase in demand for services.
2.2. Project workforce training
The construction workforce is comprised of skilled and unskilled workers direclty hired by YPM as well as by YPM’s sub-contractors staff. All construction workers hired directly by YPM will undergo proper professional training for their respective tasks as well as safety and security training. YPP site supervisor is residing on site during the renovation process to ensure adherence to guidelines and guidance provided during training as a way to ensure both quality of the work as well as knowledge integration for the workers so that they develop their capacities.
YPM is also putting lots of attention in selecting sub-contractors. In particular, clauses regarding workers’ security and child labor (YPM unconditionally refuses to work with contractors involved in child labor) are added to contracts signed with contractors and specifically followed up by YPM site supervisor.
2.3. Project workforce compensation
For both contruction and operations period, it is important for YPM to maximize social responsibility. YPM will pay careful attention onto salary levels in the labor market in order to pay and compensate its employees adequately, so as to ensure decent living opportunities. Trends will be constantly monitored and YPM will proactively & regularly adapt its remuneration and compensation policies in order to meet the evolution of the market in Myanmar.
YPM is committed to ensuring safety at work. YPM will ensure that employees participate in safety trainings relevant to the phase of work (renovation or operation) and are provided with adequate protective gear in a safe work environment.
2.5. Project close
The project has an estimated life in excess of 15 years. YPM is addressing the market of high grade office spaces. This market is currently expanding and it is expected that it will continue to do so for the next 10 years. While YPM will modify its pricing according to maket evolution, it is anticipated that the project will run to its forecasted end of 15 years with a high occupancy rate.
Any closure to the project, at forecasted end should not have dramatic consequences on the local community as it is expected that the building owner would continue the project on his own.
2.6. Project viability
YPM’s assessment of the market trend is such that any economic downturn in any of the neighboring country would not have significant impact on the project, considering economic growth projections in Myanmar and ongoing reforms. The project is assessed as viable based on its current terms and business plan.
3. Project impact on existing socio-economic environment
Immediate existing environment consists of a mix of both residential (small apartment units built in the 90s) and tyre shops with a few restaurants and small shops. A monastery is located in the close proimity at the back the the main road. Within 10 minutes walk of the project, there are 2 main shopping centres (May Nyi Gone and Dagon Centre) and an amusement park.
As a consequence of economic reforms in Myanmar and increased investment, land prices are increasing. As in other economies, this will provoke land and building owners to turn away from their traditional occupations to more profitable property developments, which will likely change the economic orientation of plots of land, and slowly of entire blocks.
In YPM neighborhoods, there are a number of tyre and car maintenance shops, mainly on Bagayar Street, but also in adjacent small lanes. While the project is too small to trigger the change mentioned in the above paragraph, it could however serve as a demonstration of what local owners could achieve in terms of development. Because of this as well as because of the visibility of the building at the corner of Bagayar Street and Damazeti Road, YPM is committed to uphold sustainable development principles:
4. Environmental considerations and their social impact
YPM is committed to sustainable development in Myanmar. Considering the building orientation (facing south), YPM decided to use innovative façade technology in order to increase insulation of the building, leading to naturally lower temperature inside the building. This will result in decreasing the need for air conditioning, therefore decreasing the power consumption footprint of the project. This will benefit the neighborhood and the wider Myanmar community as YPM will draw less power form the grid than a conventional building.
This façade technology consists of highly specialized double glass windows, assembled in high tech factories and installed by specialized technicians. As this technology is not yet available in Myanmar, it has to be imported from Vietnam.
In addition, YPM is currently exploring available smart building technologies that will aim at optimizing appliances operations with the effect to further decrease power consumption.
5. Urban & design considerations and their social impact
YPM’s approach to architectural and design features of the project was very careful and thoughtful. The guiding principle during project elaboration was to ensure that the building would nicely integrate into its environment, mixing Myanmar tradition with international standard and modernity. The result is a building that incorporates some Myanmar traditional features while the glass façade will likely reflect the Shwedagon Pagoda from the south-west of Bagayar street. The social impact is likely to be positive, as it will participate into building an image of a modern Myanmar that can succeed by allying traditions and modernity.
6. Corporate Social Responsibility programme
In order to be a proactive actor of Myanmar’s sustainable development, YPM is actively seeking to maximize the positive impacts of its project. In addition to the above mentioned elements, YPM is committing to allocate 3% of its net profit to a CSR pool fund, managed by YPM.
YPM is still in the stage of developing its CSR program in terms of scope and goals as it needs careful consideration in order to ensure a maximized impact on communities. Options investigated are:
Selection criteria for the use of CSR pool fund will likely be “relevance to YPM’s core business”, “relevance to the concerned community”, “change measurability”, “target groups’ goals & past achievements” although final indicators will depend on the finalization of the CSR program.
Regardless of the details of CSR program that will be finalized, YPM will ensure to embrace responsibility for the company's actions and encourage a positive impact through its activities on the environment, consumers, employees, communities, stakeholders and all other members of the public sphere.