2017 Sustainability Report

Health, Safety and Environment

“Throughout my engineering career, I’ve always put personal safety and the safety of my teammates first—it’s the right thing to do and it’s the only way to operate. The same goes for ensuring our activities help preserve the environment and develop vibrant communities. That’s why Safety is one of SNC-Lavalin’s core values.” 

Neil BrucePresident and CEO


Towards a fully integrated approach to governance

Two years ago, we began the process of integrating the governance of our health & safety and environmental policies and processes. In January 2016, we adopted an integrated Health & Safety, Security and Environmental (HSSE) Policy.

In January 2017, we merged our Global H&S and Environment functions to create one corporate HSE team. Throughout the year, the team focused on integrating our Global Health & Safety Management System (GHSMS) and our Global Environmental Management System (GEMS). Integrating these two systems will drive efficiencies and further improve performance and accountability. 

While the integration effort continued throughout 2017, we continued to govern H&S and environmental activities separately. Each continued to have its own leading and lagging indicators and management system. Our BlueBook and GreenBook captured the key elements of our H&S management system and our environmental management system respectively. In 2017, we harmonized our GreenBook with the ISO14001:2015 standard.

We distributed both books across our organization and to clients and subcontractors to ensure everyone is working to the same standards and requirements. In 2017, both books were available in print and electronically, while the BlueBook was also accessible via a smart phone application.

Integrating Atkins into the SNC-Lavalin family

Upon acquiring Atkins in July 2017, we conducted a gap analysis comparing our respective H&S and environmental management systems. Our findings showed a high degree of compatibility, especially in terms of best practices. Our HSE experts continue to work closely together to ensure alignment across our expanded organization. 

“Adopting certain Atkins’ best practices is allowing us to further improve our legacy systems. As an example, our Environment & Geoscience team is currently piloting the Atkins Operating Safely (AOS) tool. AOS is a streamlined, automated and trackable online system that drives significant benefits on projects as it helps with working alone and journey management. It facilitates field work planning, risk assessments and work preapprovals as well as raises the alarm when help is required.”

On the environment side, we revamped and simplified our incident classification to align with Atkins’ system, enabling incidents to be more easily categorized. The new system focuses our attention on incidents with an actual or potential significant impact on the environment.  

New Global Health & Safety and Environment Management System

In January 2018, we rolled out our newly integrated Global Health, Safety and Environment Management System (GHSEMS). The GHSEMS outlines expectations and supports a ‘One Company’ approach for delivering a robust HSE performance throughout our operations. We also consolidated governance of all HSE processes into one document, the BlueBook.

Updated annually, the GHSEMS integrates our HSE leading and lagging indicators and best practices while ensuring our activities comply with all applicable laws, regulations and client and other stakeholder requirements. It also meets the requirements of the ISO14001:2015 environmental standard and is modelled on the OSHAS 18001 health and safety standard.

A focus on continuous improvement

As with our two governing systems in 2017, the new GHSEMS is also based on the principles of continuous improvement. Adopting the Plan-Do-Check-Act methodology helps us move beyond the status quo and toward achieving the next level of HSE performance. 

In 2018, our offices and project sites will be audited against the GHSEMS by our corporate HSE team. Integrating Atkins also provides ongoing opportunities to share best practices and further enhance our systems, products and services over the coming year.


Oversight and reporting

Sector HSE Vice Presidents convey SNC-Lavalin HSE requirements to our sectors, business units, divisions and work sites. Site line management—executives, managers and supervisors—are accountable for implementing our GHSEMS. Within each sector, dedicated HSE representatives help communicate the GHSEMS and its requirements to our employees and partners.

The Executive Committee receives monthly reports on our global HSE performance. HSE performance, challenges and opportunities are reported on a quarterly basis to the Safety, Workplace and Project Risk Committee (SWPRC) of the Board of Directors. Our CEO is notified of every recordable incident within 24 hours.

HSSE Personal Plan

In 2017, we launched a new initiative that requires all SNC-Lavalin employees to define their HSSE personal commitments. These simple, conspicuously posted manifestos capture each employee’s commitments while promoting personal reflection on these crucial areas. Employees place their manifestos on office walls, laptops and clipboards as a visible and constant reminder of the importance of HSSE. 

Here is our CEO’s 2017 Personal HSSE Plan.


Code of Ethics and Business Conduct

Every year, all employees and consultants must review our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct and vow to abide by it. The Code contains a specific provision outlining our commitment to observe and comply with all applicable HSE standards and practices.

HSE meetings

Early in 2018, we also integrated our H&S and environment meetings. Most of our workforce is represented by formal joint management-worker H&S committees. Managers and employees are strongly encouraged to hold regular HSE meetings to help recognize and understand operational hazards, risks and opportunities at offices and project sites. 

These meetings address appropriate mitigation behaviours and responses. We also strive to promptly and effectively communicate important HSE information across our organization through emails, safety moments, toolbox meetings and our Knowledge Network.

The following HSE meetings take place at all our controlled sites:

  • Weekly employee toolbox meetings to discuss HSE topics
  • Weekly construction/operation coordination meetings where HSE topics are always the first item on the agenda. The construction/operation manager, site HSE manager and contractor representatives are expected to actively participate in these discussions. The site management team also assesses the contractors’ monthly performance against the project’s key HSE performance indicators.

Perfect Days: An integrated performance indicator


In 2016, we established Perfect Days, a simplified way to help us improve and measure our HSE performance on a daily basis. A Perfect Day is any calendar day where no safety injury, security event or environmental release occurred.

This simple measure recognizes perfect 24-hour periods and focuses us on replicating them. It reflects our commitment to learning from every injury, event or release to prevent its recurrence. 

Every Perfect Day is promptly logged in our HSE database, renamed Bluesky in 2018, to give us a real-time view of how we’re performing as the month progresses. The Executive Committee receives monthly reports on our Global HSE performance. 

We finished 2017 with 41 Perfect Days across our operations around the globe, exceeding our target by 11 days. Our goal for 2018 is a minimum of 45 Perfect Days.

New projects: 100-day review process

We conduct a 100-day review process to ensure that new projects are set up in accordance with our systems including all HSE requirements. This approach allows us to start off major projects on the right foot and quickly identify and address issues before they impact performance. 
In 2017, we completed the 100-day review of two projects: Codelco (construction of two sulphuric acid plants at the Chuquicamata Copper Smelter Complex in the Antofagasta region of northern Chile) and Salalah (construction of an ammonia plant in the Sultanate of Oman). In both cases, we discovered no major issues and swiftly made any required adjustments to the projects’ set-up to promote optimal HSE performance.

Stakeholder Engagement

Sharing our HSE expertise

Given our strong HSE performance, clients are increasingly turning to us to help them assess and identify gaps in their own HSE management systems. We conduct gap analyses for clients and work with them to integrate best practices into their systems. These safety advisory services provide us with another way to enhance the sustainability of client projects. 

Our environmental professionals work with our clients to seek ways to increase the environmental benefits of projects where possible. This includes providing whole life costing and solutions. We can make our biggest contribution to the environment by taking into account the use, reuse and recycling of material, water and energy on client projects. We apply innovative thinking to effectively manage these projects, and build facilities and infrastructure that meet the highest environmental standards. 

Helping drive energy efficiency in the UK public sector 

In 2009, we teamed up with Salix, a not-for-profit organization created in 2004 to provide critical interest-free loans for public sector energy efficiency projects in the UK. We help Salix select and bundle the right technologies as well as conduct financial and project risk assessments. The processes we design and deliver together have enabled the widespread implementation of energy efficiency projects across the UK. 

More than 15,500 projects and annual savings of 694,414 tonnes of CO2 emissions

To date, Salix has funded over 15,500 projects, valued at £563.5 million, to increase the energy efficiency of 1,800 public sector organizations. Savings to the public sector are estimated at over £136 million and an annual CO2 emission reduction of 694,414 tonnes. 

Public sector organizations use the cost savings delivered by these projects to pay back Salix Energy Efficiency Fund (SEEF) loans within five years. Salix then reinvests this money in a growing number of energy efficiency projects across the UK. 

Partnering to tackle climate change

We’re proud to partner with Salix to help address climate change by increasing the energy efficiency of hundreds of schools, higher and further educational institutions, emergency services, hospitals, leisure centres and local authority facilities. 

The technologies supported by the SEEF funding program include:

  • Building energy management systems
  • Cavity wall insulation
  • Combined heat and power systems
  • Evaporative cooling
  • Heat recovery systems
  • LED lighting
  • Lighting controls
  • Loft and pipework insulation
  • Server virtualisation
  • Variable speed drives

Client safety conferences

In 2017, we held our annual Global Safety Conference in Montreal, attended by more than 250 clients and partners from around the world. Key conference topics included safety culture and leadership, workplace safety, trade union vision, the Quebec construction industry’s H&S performance and Hydro-Quebec’s safety vision. 

Among the conference’s keynote speakers were John Beck, Founder, President and CEO, Aecon Group; Candace Carnahan, Safety Advocate and Inspirational Speaker; Sylvain Guimont, Motivational Speaker; Jan Klejin, CEO Mammoet; Jeffrey Lyash, President and CEO, Ontario Power Generation; Eric Martel, President and CEO, Hydro-Quebec; Yves Ouellet, Managing Director, FTQ Construction; and Mike Ryan, Managing Director, ExxonMobil Canada. 

The high-energy event gave speakers and attendees the opportunity to share experiences and lessons learned across industries and companies. The panel discussion provided insight into what is working and what needs improvement at various companies as they strive to evolve their safety and environmental culture and performance.