Building what matters, sustainably – 2016 Sustainability Report

Economic Impact

Economic impact

What we do creates long-lasting value for clients, end-users, employees, partners and societies worldwide.

Our financial strength

The stronger SNC-Lavalin is financially and the more streamlined and efficient, the greater its capacity to win and deliver projects that contribute to local economies. In 2016, we generated good returns despite market and economic challenges. Given our diversified backlog and solid long-term outlook and cash position, we also raised our quarterly shareholder dividend by 5%, sustaining a 16-year trend of increases.

Early in 2016, we launched our Operational Excellence program to drive efficiencies, improvements and alignment with our core business strategy. Throughout the year, we successfully delivered major projects and won new business across our four sectors. Ensuring our operations are efficient, our people deliver as promised to clients, and our company is ethical and profitable strengthens our long-term sustainability and the economic role we play with various stakeholders and communities.

Contributing nationally, regionally and locally 

Our approximately 35,000 employees are directly improving communities and people’s quality of life. Together, we’re contributing to national, regional and municipal economies with revenue-generating projects. These projects deliver the innovative, sustainable solutions the world is calling for.

We’re one of very few firms with the resources, capabilities and experience to invest in, design, build, then operate and maintain infrastructure and facilities that enhance lives. On every project, our goal is to maximize our local presence along with the economic and social benefits to local stakeholders.

How we create stakeholder value


We’ve honed and proven our world-class project delivery capabilities on thousands of global projects.

Sustainable project execution 

Delivering world-class project execution at every life-cycle phase is how we help foster our clients’ prosperity. And to be ‘world class’ today, a project needs to be sustainable in its design, implementation, operation and legacy.

That’s why we strive to consistently apply sustainable technologies and best practices on all client projects. Providing strategies for reducing a project’s environmental footprint and maximizing its life-cycle value is part of our approach. So is creating shared value with our clients and the communities we operate in. For clients, this means successfully delivering projects with low lifetime costs. For communities, it’s about sourcing, hiring and investing locally.

Local Resources Development Initiative (LRDITM): A shared-value approach

Our best-in-class LRDITM program focuses on creating shared value between major engineering and construction projects and local rights-holders, governments and other community stakeholders. It recognizes the intrinsic link between social development and economic impact, and makes strengthening both a key priority in host communities without impacting project costs, schedule, quality and safety. Since 1997, we’ve partnered with clients to successfully integrate the LRDITM into client projects worldwide.

The economic benefits generated by the LRDITM include:

  • Reducing client costs by using local labour and suppliers
  • Improving project profitability
  • Creating local jobs
  • Building local capacity, opportunities and wealth
  • Strengthening local businesses, supply chains

Strengthening clients’ social license to operate

Clients have identified our LRDITM program as a key driver of their projects’ success. The LRDITM helps them obtain and strengthen their social license to operate at the project’s outset. It serves as a key differentiator and competitive advantage at a time when the need for resources and the influx of capital are at their peak. As the project moves into the operations phase, we gradually transfer this knowledge and these skills to clients.

As an integral part of a project’s sustainability and social responsibility framework, the LRDITM allows us to pinpoint and address social issues and opportunities at all project stages. In turn, this creates new possibilities for both the project and sharing value with the community. LRDITM strategies also enable us to avoid social hazards and minimize other risks during project execution.

Key components

Our LRDITM services and solutions are grouped into three main pillars, each one comprising operational objectives.


How LRDITM works

Each customized LRDITM program kicks into action at the beginning of a project’s construction phase. We start by assessing the skills and capacities of the local workforce and businesses to develop a tailored training curriculum adapted to their needs. In parallel, our team builds strong relationships between project managers and community representatives to maximize employment and outsourcing opportunities. 

Main LRDITM benefits

For local communities: 

  • Provide employment opportunities and support the entry of young people into the labour market 
  • Create a pool of semi-skilled/skilled local labour 
  • Strengthen local small/medium enterprises (SMEs) and regional supply chains 
  • Open training and earning opportunities for women 

For clients:

  • Reduce construction and operation costs through local employment and procurement 
  • Gain better visibility by optimizing collaboration with local communities and authorities, the private sector and other key stakeholders
  • Develop projects in compliance with internationally recognized best practices and standards in local development

LRDITM legacy

Since 1997, we’ve successfully integrated our LRDITM program into major projects for a variety clients around the world, including:


A focus on sustainable development

Our vision is to work with clients to implement, whenever and wherever possible, a sustainable development strategy for each project. In part, this means looking for engineering solutions that contribute to sustainability. Our power, oil and gas, infrastructure, and mining and metallurgy experts seek sustainable approaches and solutions throughout a project’s lifecycle, from design and engineering to construction and long-term operations and maintenance.

Sustainable development also includes engaging with the community and key stakeholders in a meaningful way that considers their needs from the very outset of every project. The objective is to ensure optimal local involvement and benefits at every step. Our best-in-class Local Resources Development Initiative (LRDITM) helps us do just that. Today, the LRDITM is aligned with international best practices for stakeholder relations. canada-line-sustainability-thumbnail

Rail & Transit: Helping create sustainable urban centres

Our Rail & Transit experts help deliver public transit infrastructure that supports sustainable urban growth and generates significant economic, social and environmental benefits. In Canada, we’ve been selected to work on 10 of the country’s 13 most recent major light rail transit projects.

With the world’s population increasingly city based, urban mobility is one of the toughest challenges cities face. In Toronto, Canada alone, traffic congestion costs the city’s economy $3.3 billion per year. Around the globe, transit infrastructure is aging and networks are saturated. These trends make the need to rethink urban mobility and public transit greater than ever.

Optimized transit systems help persuade car drivers to travel by public transit. These systems lie at the heart of Smart Cities. Efficient, up-to-date public transit attracts new businesses and investors. Large-scale infrastructure projects also create sustainable jobs with an unmatched variety of specialties and responsibilities compared to other industries.

Read this white paper and blog to learn more.

Renewable energy: Powering today, protecting tomorroweolienne-thumbnail

We’ve played a key role in power projects for more than a century. As the global demand for sustainable energy sources grows, we took a significant step in 2016 to ensure we continue leading the way in this sector. We established our Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where the provincial government has introduced a Green Energy Program.

The centre will help reinforce our global leadership in practical, best-in-class turnkey utility-scale renewable power solutions. To date, our teams have engineered and built some of Canada’s biggest photovoltaic and wind plants, along with some of the largest power plants around the world. In 2016, we made significant investments in our renewable energy business by continuing to build both a highly skilled team and a competitive offering. This, in turn, allowed us to qualify for many wind and solar bid opportunities around the opportunities around the world.


Nuclear energy: Safe, reliable, affordable and low carbon

In the 1960s, we helped pioneer Canada’s commercial nuclear industry. Today, we provide in-depth refurbishment expertise for CANDU reactors. We’re committed to efficiency and safety at all levels and phases of a nuclear project. This process begins with ensuring we identify and mitigate hazards, and then use industry-leading approaches to optimize project execution. 

In 2011, we became the first engineering and construction company to receive N-Stamp certification for safety and quality from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Nuclear Component Certification Program. In 2016, we signed an agreement in principle to develop our next-generation CANDU reactors with partners in China, the world’s largest nuclear market. Our Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactors (AFCR™) will run on recycled uranium, improving uranium resource use and reducing utilities’ fuel costs. This unique reactor technology will also help make safe, reliable, affordable and low-carbon energy more accessible worldwide.