Building what matters, sustainably – 2016 Sustainability Report

Social Impact

Social Impact

As engineers, our goal is to help build stronger communities.

At SNC-Lavalin, we know that we can make a difference in every community where we work. That’s why we always strive to make positive contributions and deliver sustainable projects. Our contributions include the impact of our engineering and technologies as well as our project-related economic spinoffs, local employment and training, and charitable involvement.

Our success hinges on an effective and proactive approach to community engagement. We not only look at what local stakeholders can do for the project, but also what our client’s project can do for them.

This approach allows us to truly align project and stakeholder needs and interests. It creates the conditions for engaging respectfully with each other. Together, we find solutions to issues that are important to and generate benefits for all. This includes ensuring that our solutions help communities achieve their social and economic development goals.

Community engagement

Employee volunteering

We’re proud of our employees’ community engagement. In 2016, they cycled, skydived, hiked, golfed and, among other things, cooked to support dozens of worthy charities, as well as literally saved lives. They also won awards for their contribution in several areas. Here’s a snapshot of some key community activities and employee awards across our four sectors.

Awards and distinctions

  • Our Health, Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) team on the Antucoya copper project in Chile received the 2016 National Outstanding Achievement Award from the Canadian Safety Society of Engineering for its innovative “Safety – It’s in your hands” campaign. The highly successful campaign reduced the rate of hand injuries on the project to almost zero.
  • The team behind our Local Resource Development Initiative (LRDI™) program on the massive Ma’aden sulphuric acid complex in Saudi Arabia was recognized for its excellence in improving job skills at the Ma'aden Umm Wu'al Phosphate Project HSE and Partnership Awards. 
  • Our Thermal team was recognized by Prince George’s County Supplier Development and Diversity Division (SDDD) for engaging local and minority businesses on the Keys Energy Center thermal project in Maryland.
  • Dr. Alfred Hanna, Senior Vice-President Special Projects, Hydro Power & Delivery, received two 2016 Corporate Vision (CV) Magazine Executive Awards: the Best Hydro Engineering & Construction VP in Canada Award and the Award of Excellence in Hydropower Solutions in North America.
  •  Stephen Yu, Engineer Emeritus, CANDU Product Development, received the Canadian Nuclear Society (CNS) Harold A. Smith Award for his outstanding contribution to CANDU engineering and product development.
  • Christine Harries, a junior engineer, received a Water’s Next Young Professionals Award from Water Canada magazine for her optimal building structure designs for wastewater treatment and drinking water production.

Health, youth and community

  • Our various teams working on the Ichthys LNG project in Australia cycled, shaved their beards and, among other activities, skydived to raise more than $138,120  for organizations such as OzHelp Foundation (suicide prevention), the Leukaemia Foundation, Courage for CanTeen (young people living with cancer) and Camp Quality (children living with cancer).
  • To mark Mental Health Week, employees in our Perth office came together to raise funds for Lifeline WA, an organization dedicated to preventing suicide, supporting people in crisis and creating equal opportunities for emotional wellbeing.
  • Our Infrastructure Ports & Marine team in Vancouver cycled in the Big Bike Ride to raise funds for the Heart & Stroke Foundation. This annual tradition started in 2014 after a colleague suffered and survived a heart attack.
  • For the 13th year, our Clonmel office in Ireland sponsored the local Rotary Club’s largest annual fundraising event, a golf tournament.
  • Our Bothell Thermal office prepared and served a home-cooked meal to over 85 grateful children and caregivers at Seattle’s Ronald McDonald House.
  • Montreal employees participated in the 88th annual Association de l’industrie électrique du Québec (AIEQ) charity golf tournament to raise funds for Déclic, a non-profit organization working with troubled teens.
  • The UK Rail & Transit team hiked in the Three Peaks by Rail Challenge to raise funds for the Railway Children, an organization that supports homeless children around the world. 
  • Employees also cycled to raise funds for Children with Cancer UK and the Alberta Cancer Foundation.

Aid and shelter

  • In Secunda, South Africa, employees collected funds to purchase water for residents affected by drought.
  • Employees from our Russian office in Sakhalin visited the Otradnoe social rehabilitation centre for minors to distribute winter clothes, knitted caps, gloves, winter shoes and Christmas presents to the children. 
  • Employees at our Surmont Regional Residence facility, aided by staff in Edmonton and Calgary, helped provide emergency food, supplies, shelter and evacuation assistance to more than a thousand individuals affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires in Alberta, Canada.

Education and diversity

  • Marie-Claude Dumas, Executive Vice-President, Human Resoures, promoted gender diversity in her presentation at the Women in Nuclear Canada conference, for which we were the anchor sponsor.

Donations and Sponsorships

Our donations and sponsorships support ideas and initiatives with the potential to stimulate progress and build the future. Our goal is to have a positive impact on communities, learning and innovation.

Our donations and sponsorships in 2016

In addition to completing client projects that improve the well-being of people around the world, our employees are involved in fundraising activities for both local and national charities. In 2016, we supported more than 85 organizations through donations and sponsorships totalling more than $1,231,000.

cheque-centraide-sustainability-2016United Way/Centraide Canada

During the 2016 United Way/Centraide Canada campaign, we raised nearly $510,400 to support social programs and community initiatives. Employees’ year-over-year contribution increased by 14% to $233,035, a record high since 2012, which SNC-Lavalin matched. Our Centraide Cup event raised $10,000 and our pensioners contributed $34,300. Employees will seek to contribute $240,000 to the 2017 United Way/Centraide campaign.

The United Way/Centraide Canada is a non-profit organization that raises funds across Canada for local groups addressing community issues such as unemployment, affordable housing and shelters. Centraide of Greater Montreal is the local arm of the national organization.

The Canadian Cancer Society

April is Daffodil Month in Canada. The daffodil is a symbol of strength and courage in the fight against cancer. On April 6, 2016, employees at our head office in Montreal donated their time and money to the Canadian Cancer Society. They sold daffodil flowers and pins, raising funds to help Canadians living with cancer and their families.  

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national, community-based organization of volunteers dedicated to eradicating cancer and enhancing the quality of life of people living with cancer. 

Standard Operating Procedure

In September 2016, we updated our Donations, Sponsorships, Employee Involvement and Corporate Memberships procedure to better align with our corporate values and continuously improve our systems and processes.

This revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP):

  • Articulates our charitable giving and sponsorship principles and priority areas
  • Maintains a consistent approach to social and community investment by ensuring funding is globally aligned with our philanthropic and business objectives 
  • Establishes clearly defined opportunities for recognition of employee volunteer involvement and fundraising
  • Clarifies the distinction between a donation and a sponsorship

A focus on education and communities


We support initiatives with the potential to stimulate progress and build the future. Our goal is to have a positive impact on communities, learning and innovation. To achieve this goal, we’ll focus on educational causes, in particular, initiatives that assist the next generation of talent as well as local charities that help build caring communities.

As an example of this focus, we donated $25,000 to the Canadian Red Cross to fund disaster relief efforts in Fort McMurray, Alberta, after a wildfire devastated most of that community. In 2016, we also donated $25,000 to KidSport, a national charity helping Albertan families pay for their children’s sports activities during this difficult time.

Also in early 2017, we partnered with Alloprof, a unique charitable organization that offers Quebec elementary and high school students free help with their homework and general training to adults and parents. 

Over the next three years, we’ll donate $150,000 to help Alloprof create, promote and host a virtual educational assistance tool. This innovative tool will greatly expand the resources available to students struggling with certain school subjects. Our partnership with Alloprof reflects our commitment to build what matters by supporting the education and success of Quebec youth.

Reallocating funds

In 2017, we’ll conduct a thorough review of all expiring partnerships, donations and sponsorship agreements. Unfortunately, partnerships that fall outside our priority areas—education and communities—run the risk of not being renewed once they expire.