Building what matters, sustainably – 2016 Sustainability Report



At SNC-Lavalin, we strive to ensure that our activities support the development of communities while causing no lasting harm to the environment. We help our clients build projects that improve people’s lives, preserve the environment and provide value to their businesses and stakeholders for generations to come.

We recognize that our activities—office, construction, operations and maintenance work, project design and engineering, and infrastructure ownership investments—impact communities and the environment. We systematically team up with our partners and clients to minimize any negative impacts and maximize the sustainable benefits of these activities. 


Oversight and reporting

Our senior management team communicates our Global Environmental Management System (GEMS) requirements to the sectors, business units, divisions and work sites. Site line management—executives, managers and supervisors—are accountable for implementing GEMS. Within each sector, a dedicated Health & Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Lead helps communicate GEMS and its requirements to our employees and partners.

Environmental performance, challenges and opportunities are reported on a quarterly basis to the Safety, Workplace and Project Risk Committee (SWPRC) of the Board of Directors.

An integrated policy

On January 1, 2016, we replaced our Environmental Policy with an integrated Health & Safety, Security and Environment (HSSE) Policy. The new Policy captures our commitments in each area while fostering the development of common processes. In early 2017, the Global Health & Safety, Environment and Global Security teams conducted their annual review of the policy and recommended its adoption with no modifications. 

Code of Ethics and Business Conduct

Every employee and consultant is required to review, acknowledge annually and abide by our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. The Code contains a specific provision outlining our commitment to observe and comply with all applicable environmental standards and practices.

Global Environmental Management System

Since 2013, our Global Environmental Management System (GEMS)—also called our GreenBook—has been helping us identify and apply best environmental management practices while ensuring our activities comply with all applicable laws and regulations. GEMS meets the requirements of the ISO 14001 standard and is updated annually. 

GEMS is designed to achieve continual improvement using a Plan-Do-Check-Act approach.


In 2016, we aligned GEMS with the new ISO 14001:2015 standard. The main modifications made were:

  • Identifying internal and external issues that impact our environmental performance, specifically our ability to meet our compliance obligations, achieve our environmental objectives and protect the environment  
  • Ascertaining the environment-related needs and expectations of shareholders, the SNC-Lavalin leadership team, employees, partners, clients, contractors, regulators, surrounding communities and NGOs
  • Incorporating a life-cycle perspective to ensure we consider a project’s lifecycle stages and the environmental aspects associated with each stage as well as the degree of control SNC-Lavalin can exercise at each stage 

GEMS includes the following key tools and documents:

  • Leading indicators
  • Best Environmental Management Practices (BEMPS)
  • Audit tools

Additional environmental obligations based on our BEMPS and site-specific environmental protection requirements supplement any existing applicable environmental standards, laws and regulations. We share these obligations with all contractors and subcontractors working on our construction sites.

The GreenBook is available across our organization via our Infozone site. 

New projects: 100-day review process

Initiated in 2015, a 100-day review process ensures that new projects are set up in accordance with our systems including all GEMS requirements. This process allows us to start off major projects on the right foot and quickly identify and address issues before they impact performance.

Good neighbourhood committees

We set up good neighborhood committees on all our major projects to build bridges with surrounding communities. These committees raise community awareness and understanding of projects, their expected impacts and proposed mitigation measures. They also provide stakeholders with the opportunity to share their concerns, ask questions and even propose solutions.

Environmental expertise

Our professionals are continually seeking ways to increase the environmental benefits of every project we work on. This is where we make our biggest contribution to the environment. We apply innovative thinking to effectively manage our clients’ engineering and construction projects, and build facilities and infrastructure that meet the highest environmental standards. 

In-depth environmental expertise is embedded in each of our four business sectors: Infrastructure, Mine & Metallurgy, Oil & Gas and Power. In addition, our Environment & Geoscience team offers a broad spectrum of services to help clients create projects that not only overcome sustainability challenges but also set new standards of environmental excellence.

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