2017 Sustainability Report


Employees are the driving force behind our contributions in sustainability.

Our employees’ shared expertise, passion and commitment to our clients’ success enable us to forge long-term client partnerships and build what matters, sustainably. With a workforce that grew by 50% in 2017, we’re more focused than ever on creating an environment that ensures employees develop and thrive. This is how we’ll strengthen our Tier-1 capabilities and effectively deliver even the most complex projects.


We strive to embed our culture and values in everything we do. This includes the principles of good governance. As part of our Human Resources (HR) governance, the Executive Vice-President (EVP) of HR participates in the:

  • Executive Committee
  • Senior Management Team meetings
  • SNC-Lavalin Ethics & Compliance Committee
  • HR Ethics and Compliance Committee 
  • HR Committee of the Board of Directors

These committees help align and continuously improve our HR strategy, approach and initiatives. Senior members of the HR team meet regularly with their internal clients as well as lead their own sector meetings. The HR leadership team also meets regularly to discuss key issues affecting employees and the HR function globally as well as how we’re delivering against SNC-Lavalin’s business and people strategies.

Global HR Policy

We revised our Global Human Resources Policy in July 2016. This policy provides the guiding principles for the effective management of human resources worldwide. It reflects our people strategy of building capability and flexibility to achieve our business ambitions and flawlessly execute complex projects, with a focus on three underpinning pillars:

  • People
  • Organization
  • Systems and processes

The Global HR Policy helps us align all decisions and actions with our culture and values while promoting an environment where employees can achieve their full potential. Our goal is to ensure that our employees are recognized as the benchmark for talent across our industry and beyond. In line with this aspiration, we strive to provide our employees with a work environment that: 

  • Prohibits harassment, discrimination and any form of violence 
  • Supports the highest ethics and compliance standards 
  • Actively promotes diversity and equal opportunity 
  • Fosters mutual trust and respect at all levels of the organization 
  • Enables employees to report misconduct without fear of retaliation 
  • Provides employees with the opportunity to attain their full potential

HR Ethics and Compliance Committee 

In early 2017, we established the HR Ethics and Compliance Committee to address HR ethics and compliance investigations. The committee will help ensure that consistent measures are applied following an investigation and that corrective actions are implemented in a timely manner. It also reinforces our corporate values and ethics and compliance culture.

Addressing conflicts of interest

Our employees are the face of SNC-Lavalin. Their actions significantly impact how our company is perceived by all stakeholders. As a condition of employment, we require all employees to understand and abide by our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct.

Reporting any actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest is a Code requirement. The Conflict of Interest Disclosure form helps us promptly identify possible conflicts of interest and quickly address situations that may undermine employee impartiality. To ensure employees understand the form’s content and purpose, we made it available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic, Polish, Romanian and Russian in early 2017.

Additionally, when a conflict is disclosed, managers, HR professionals and, if required, Ethics and Compliance team members follow guidelines to address and mitigate the conflict properly.

In 2017, Atkins employees were also asked to disclose any conflicts of interest and this process was completed by year end.

Background checks

Over the years, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number and the complexity of our projects. As our operations expand, we must take extra care to protect our employees, shareholders, stakeholders and assets while ensuring projects are delivered on time, on budget and without incident.

To help us achieve these goals, we conduct thorough background checks on all candidates for key positions at SNC-Lavalin. The screening process is based on the position’s specific requirements and the local laws and customs. 

These checks help ascertain the candidate’s suitability for the position while diminishing the risk inherent in the hiring process. An applicant’s consent is required before proceeding with the verification. All reports are treated with the utmost confidentiality and used solely for the purpose for which they’re collected.

Strengthening our HR capabilities

In 2017, we continued to improve our HR systems, practices and tools in line with our changing business environment. Through our company-wide HR initiatives, we engage employees and create long-term value for our organization and clients. We’re committed to helping employees reach their development and career goals. We encourage them to proactively identify their career aspirations, seek out new challenges and take action to make their aspirations a reality. Our internal job posting site is one of the ways employees can explore new career opportunities at SNC-Lavalin. 

Diversity and inclusion

We’re proud of our diverse and dedicated workforce. Our employees speak some 70 languages, represent about 130 nationalities and work from offices in more than 50 countries. Their diversity is a key strength in helping us understand and meet client needs worldwide.

We believe that greater diversity will further strengthen our talent pool, enabling us to better serve clients and achieve our business objectives. As part of the Atkins acquisition, we’re currently aligning our processes and objectives and redeploying our diversity and inclusion initiatives worldwide. In this way, we’ll continue to work toward increasing the number of women in engineering and management positions while offering employees more choices and empowering them to reach their career goals. 

In 2017, Atkins welcomed more than 350 graduates and apprentices to help them kick-start their design, engineering and project management careers in the UK. The new intake of these early-career colleagues includes Atkins’ highest ever number of female graduates and apprentices. This tremendous achievement further strengthened diversity and inclusion inside Atkins.

Compensation and benefits

In recent years, we’ve taken significant steps to align employees’ compensation and benefits internally across our organization and externally within our industry.

Total Rewards

Our Total Rewards framework drives employee engagement, helps attract and attain key talent, and reflects our business strategy, culture and relevant local market-competitive practices. Total Rewards supports a pay-for-performance culture that provides top-quartile rewards for outstanding performance while ensuring all employees receive adequate levels of compensation and protection. 

The main elements of Total Rewards include, where applicable, one or more of the following: 

  • A base salary established within a salary structure providing flexibility to recognize employees’ individual skills, competencies, performance and development 
  • An adequate level of protection under health and welfare programs with the opportunity, where applicable, for employees to tailor the protection to their personal and family needs 
  • A capital accumulation retirement program, where available, building an asset base over time to provide post-retirement income
  • Where locally practical, an opportunity to purchase SNC-Lavalin shares and reap the benefits of current and future company success 
  • Incentive programs, both short term and long term, aligning eligible employees’ compensation with the achievement of SNC-Lavalin and business unit objectives, individual performance and shareholder interests, or recognizing employees’ remarkable or outstanding achievements over and above their normal job requirements

Where possible, we adapt our local programs so that employees are provided with more flexibility in choosing their benefits.

Job classification

Employee eligibility and participation in the framework’s applicable elements are based on our job classification system rolled out worldwide. A coherent job classification system enables us to determine salary and incentives using the same template and wage scale regardless of an employee’s location. In 2017, we began the process of applying this classification system to the former Atkins organization.

Performance evaluation

Every year, managers are trained to evaluate their team members using the same criteria worldwide. Performance management, and the fruitful discussions between managers and employees that stem from it, demonstrate our commitment to developing careers at SNC-Lavalin. We encourage managers and employees to make the most of this annual discussion by taking the time to reflect on:

  • The attainment of the past year’s objectives as well as the priorities to come
  • Professional interests and steps taken with respect to career management
  • Potential areas for development
More than just an annual review, performance management is the continuous process of setting objectives, assessing progress and providing ongoing coaching and feedback to ensure employees are meeting their objectives and career goals.

Breakdown of employees by region


Workforce by sector 


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