2017 Sustainability Report

President's message

Strengthening our commitment to sustainability

At SNC-Lavalin, we’re committed to advancing the economic, social and environmental pillars of sustainability. We’re embracing our responsibility to address today’s pressing urban challenges by helping shape environments that are greener, more livable and resilient—smart cities with intelligent infrastructure, energy and mobility. Acquiring Atkins, a global leader in technology-enriched design and engineering, empowers and inspires us to do even more. 

Adding Atkins to our organization in 2017 marked the biggest and most transformative acquisition in our 106-year history. It made us one of the world’s few fully integrated professional services and project management companies able to deliver large-scale, complex, multi-billion-dollar projects from start to finish. As we combine Atkins’ leading digital technology expertise with our deep engineering know-how, we’re set to help clients and cities successfully transition to a low-carbon economy. 

We’re already using digital and artificial intelligence technologies to increase the efficiency and sustainability of our engineering designs as well as to help us rethink the future of urban transport and infrastructure.  

Realigned to maximize our contribution 

Last year, we enhanced our organizational structure to better align with our clients’ needs and capitalize on our strengths and new opportunities. A new Clean Power sector combines our established hydroelectric leadership and Atkins’ extensive renewable energy expertise, while giving us true life-of-asset service capabilities. As clients increasingly seek clean energy solutions, our wind and solar activities are growing. In late 2017, we signed on to deliver the world’s largest wind farm in the southern hemisphere.

The Atkins acquisition deepens our offering in nuclear, a carbon-free energy source. It enables us to better assist clients in reusing nuclear waste and in maintaining and safely decommissioning nuclear energy facilities. With Atkins on board, we’re also stronger in rail & transit where we’ll use our complementary expertise to further mitigate congestion, pollution and stress in cities worldwide.

Building on our strengths 

One of our first priorities is to ensure that our house always remains in order. We’ve built a world-class Ethics and Compliance Program and rigorously monitor the efficacy of and adherence to our Code of Ethics and Business Conduct. We also continue to strengthen our balance sheet and ramp up our efficiency which, in turn, enables us to generate more value for our stakeholders.

Since 2013, we’ve renewed our entire management team and Board of Directors. In 2017, we reached an agreement with all Quebec public bodies under the Voluntary Reimbursement Program (VRP). This major achievement allowed us to resolve our legacy issues in the province. 

Strong governance and accountability also guide us in taking steps to keep our people safe and our own environmental impact low. In 2017, we integrated our health, safety and environmental management systems to accelerate performance improvements. We achieved an all-time high of 41 days free of safety, security and environmental incidents across our organization, up from 27 in 2016. We also reduced our significant environmental incidents from six in 2016 to two in 2017.

Last year, our workforce grew by 50%, in part due to the acquisition of Atkins. To ensure we not only retain talented employees but also empower them to excel and make a difference, we provide ongoing training and stimulating career opportunities. Thanks to our Diversity & Inclusion program, 27% of our corporate directors are now women, placing us well above most Canadian boards as well as our 2018 target of 20%. We also committed to increasing our First Nations employees in Canada. 

We held our first Values Survey and Company Culture Survey in 2017. When rolled out in 2018, our new corporate values will speak to both our legacy and former Atkins employees. The findings of our Culture Survey are helping us implement targeted initiatives to build a more collaborative and client-centric organization. All of these actions will help create a more performance-driven culture.

Making a difference 

Our responsibility for sustainability includes renewing our commitment to the United Nations Global Compact in 2017 and engaging in projects that promote the UN’s broader development goals. Examples include our active participation in the World Economic Forum’s Partnering Against Corruption Initiative and our education- and community-focused donations and philanthropic activities. Our recent memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco to transfer knowledge and skills through training and development activities is another example of our social engagement. 

At SNC-Lavalin, we’re cognisant that resolving the planet’s complex economic, environmental and societal challenges will require a step change in imagination, holistic thinking and levels of cooperation across disciplines. That’s why we’re committed to delivering technology-enriched solutions that help ‘build it forward’ and ensure a sound future for all.