2017 Sustainability Report

Economic Impact

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

In 2017, we continued to deliver against our strategy, strengthened our business and successfully concluded the biggest and most transformative acquisition in our 106-year history. We achieved financial results within our annual earnings guidance while better positioning the company for longer term success. We also completed several challenging contracts, won important projects in all our sectors and are currently shortlisted for diverse megaprojects around the world.

Strengthening our platform for growth

Throughout last year, we took systematic steps to build an efficient platform to support our ambitious growth agenda—Vision 2020. This agenda focuses on achieving four strategic objectives aimed at generating adjusted consolidated earnings per share of $5 by 2020. These objectives include: 1) continuing our progress in operational excellence, 2) building a client-centric organization, 3) with a performance-driven culture and 4) growing our business and delivering superior shareholder returns. 

In 2017, we acquired Atkins, a respected powerhouse in design, engineering and project management. Its integration reshapes our organization, expands our capabilities and makes us a true global player. Bringing Atkins into our organization created a compelling one-stop shop with deep technological expertise that’s geared for greater project and technical complexity across higher margin market segments. It strengthens our ability to harness the power of digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, to help create smart cities with intelligent infrastructure, mobility and energy. 

Contributing nationally, regionally and locally 

Ensuring our operations are efficient, our people deliver as promised to clients, and our company is ethical and profitable strengthens our long-term resilience and the economic role we play with various stakeholders and communities.

Every day, our employees’ actions directly improve communities and people’s quality of life. Together, we contribute 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.

Sustainable project execution 

Delivering world-class project execution at every lifecycle 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 lifecycle 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.


End-to-end value chain

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 their projects worldwide. As a result, thousands of local employees and enterprises have benefitted from working on some of the world’s largest capital projects.

Until recently, our LRDITM implementations took place in diverse sectors and included hydroelectric, mining and industrial projects. 

Reinforcing 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 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 programs also enable clients 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.



LRDI’s impact over past 20 years


LRDITM brochure

A focus on sustainable development

We make some of our biggest contributions to sustainable development through our rail & transit, renewable energy and nuclear power activities. 


Rail & Transit: Sustainably connecting people

Expanding cities and a growing world increasingly require solid, sustainable, intelligent solutions to keep things moving and people connecting. As leaders in intelligent mobility initiatives, our solutions cover thousands of kilometres on every continent, both modernizing existing systems and creating new ones for generations to come.

Enabled by data, technology and innovative ideas, our end-user and outcome-focused approaches reimagine infrastructure across all transport modes. The result is more efficient, sustainable and safe transport systems and cities. The addition of Atkins’ complementary rail & transit expertise in 2017 increased our capability and capacity to drive the development of smart cities and mitigate urban congestion, pollution and stress worldwide.

By persuading car drivers to travel by public transit, optimized systems generate significant economic, environmental and social benefits that attract new businesses and investors. Our large-scale infrastructure projects also create longterm jobs with an unmatched variety of specialties and responsibilities compared to other industries.

In early February 2018, Montreal chose our joint-venture partnership to deliver most elements of its new 67-kilometre light rail transit system. When completed in 2021, it will be the world’s fourth largest automated light rail transit line. The two contracts are expected to contribute $3.7 billion to Quebec’s economy, including 34,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs with some 65% of the resources procured in the province.

Read about ‘traditional’ railway solutions amid an innovative and ever-evolving transport mix or access this blog to learn more.

Clean Power: The foundation for sustainable growth

Hywind, the world’s first floating offshore wind farm (Photo credit: Trude Refsahl, Statoil)

In 2017, we created a Clean Power sector, a move that reflects our increased focus on and commitment to responsible energy. It also builds on the long-standing role we’ve played in renewable, nuclear and hydroelectric energy, as well as our significant contributions to clean air, CO2 reductions and smarter energy management and storage.

Our commitment to clean power includes our participation in Stockyard Hill, the largest onshore wind farm in the southern hemisphere. Through our Atkins business, our involvement in the world’s first floating offshore wind farm in Scotland puts us at the forefront of floating offshore wind development. In hydroelectric energy, we continue to help drive the industry forward with megaprojects such Lower Churchill in Central Labrador and the John Hart Generating Station in British Columbia whose innovative design greatly reduces the site’s environmental footprint. 

Our Renewable Energy Centre of Excellence brings together some of industry’s brightest minds in hydro, transmission & delivery, nuclear, renewables, energy storage and digital & telecommunications. Together they’re supporting the development of clean energy solutions around the world.

ebr-ii-idaho-national-lab-thumbNuclear energy: Safe, reliable, affordable and low carbon

EBR II Idaho National Lab (Photo Credit: Idaho National Laboratory)

A sustainable energy mix isn’t complete without nuclear energy. At SNC-Lavalin, we helped pioneer Canada’s commercial nuclear industry in the 1960s. Today, as stewards of CANDU® technology, we provide in-depth refurbishment to the global industry. In Canada, our biggest nuclear projects also happen to be the country’s largest clean energy projects.

Our unique reactor technology helps make safe, reliable and low-carbon energy more accessible worldwide. We systematically adopt industry-leading best practices to safely optimize our work. Continuing our focus on responsible power, our next-generation Advanced Fuel CANDU Reactors (AFCR™) will run on recycled uranium, improving uranium resource use and reducing utilities’ fuel costs. 

In January 2018, we combined our nuclear business with that of Atkins to leverage the unique skills of our respective teams. We’re now equipped to deliver the full spectrum of lifecycle services: consultancy, EPC(M), field services, technology services, reactor support and decontamination & decommissioning. 

Through the former Atkins, we’re helping ‘green’ the world by leading environmental cleanup activities at the United States Department of Energy sites and commercial nuclear sites. Clients around the world have come to count on us for our commitment to safety and efficiency at all levels and phases of nuclear work.