2017 Sustainability Report

Social Impact

As engineers, our goal is to help build stronger communities.

At SNC-Lavalin, we know that we can make a difference in the communities where we work. That’s why we strive to make positive contributions by leveraging our strengths in engineering and technology to deliver sustainable projects. The work we do produces project-related economic benefits, increases local employment and training, and supports our charitable involvement.

Our success hinges on an effective and proactive approach to community engagement. We not only look at what local stakeholders can do for the project, but also what our client’s project can do for them.

This approach allows us to truly align project and stakeholder needs and interests. It creates the conditions for engaging respectfully with each other. Together, we find solutions to issues that are important to and generate benefits for all. This includes ensuring that our solutions help communities achieve their social and economic development goals.

Community engagement

Good neighbourhood committees

We know that our clients’ projects can have an impact on neighbourhoods and their residents’ quality of life, especially in urban environments.

To minimize disruptions and annoyances, we help clients set up good neighborhood committees on major projects to build bridges and relationships 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.

For one of our Montreal projects, we gave residents the opportunity to meet with the project’s managers to discuss mitigation measures and improvements. As a result of this consultation, we implemented several measures including:

  • Turning off spotlights after work hours
  • Building an eight-foot wall around the construction site to minimize annoyances
  • Creating temporary parking facilities for workers 
  • Installing permanent bicycle racks for residents

Leaving a positive social legacy on a UK strategic rail project

With our project partners, we’re currently completing work on the Stafford Area Improvement Program. This major rail investment project will enhance rail transit efficiency and reliability on the West Coast Main Line while reducing road congestion. The line is one of the UK’s most important rail corridors and connects London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow.

As part of the first pure alliance in the UK rail industry, this project provided us with the opportunity to create habitats and landscapes that benefit the environment beyond what was required technically. We also invested heavily in social legacy initiatives to ensure communities could connect with green spaces long after our contract. 

Due to the significant impact on certain areas, particularly the rural hamlets of Chebsey and Norton Bridge, a ‘legacy’ group comprised of public, parish, borough and county council representation was formed to identify and manage several small ‘betterment’ initiatives and ensure lasting local socio-environmental benefits. Successful projects include:

  • Providing three defibrillators and training supported by West Midlands Ambulance Service
  • Poppy planting during the WW1 centenary and providing planters/landscaping at Great Bridgford 
  • Creating a dedicated nature reserve at a local religious retreat to help relocate great crested newts
  • Installing a children's play area
  • Improving two village halls as well as community facilities
  • Installing traffic-calming measures
  • Funding the Parish Council website featuring dedicated project information and links to relevant sections of the main Network Rail website

Employee volunteering, awards and distinctions

We’re proud of our employees’ community engagement. In 2017, our employees organized fundraising events, helped underprivileged children and volunteered as disaster relief workers. They were also recognized for their contributions in several areas. A snapshot of some key community activities and employee awards across our four sectors follows.

  • Alex DeLorey, Project Manager, Feeders and Components for Bruce Power’s Major Component Replacement (MCR) project in Ontario, Canada, successfully made it to the final round of the Canadian Space Agency’s Astronaut Recruitment Campaign. 
  • Greg Snyder, Engineering Manager for the Muskrat Falls/Lower Churchill project in Labrador, Canada, received an Individual Award for Technical Excellence from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of New Brunswick (APEGNB). This award is presented to outstanding engineers who have made significant contributions in applied research, design, innovation, industrial problem-solving, construction or technology transfer.
  • In February 2018, we were awarded Platinum Elite status in ReNew Canada’s Top 100 Projects listing, their highest ranking, for the sixth year in a row. More than twenty of our 2017 Canadian Nuclear, Clean Power and Infrastructure projects are featured, with Bruce Power and the Darlington Nuclear Refurbishment projects both topping the list for a second consecutive year. Muskrat Falls and Eglinton Crosstown LRT weren’t far behind, in third and fourth position, and Site C Clean Energy Project was in fifth place.
Health, youth and community
  • Our Thermal team in Bothell, Washington, US, organized yet another successful volunteer dinner for the Ronald McDonald House of Western Washington and Alaska. The House is a safe and nurturing place for the families of children receiving treatment at nearby Seattle Children’s Hospital. Together, the team served over 91 children and caregivers that call Ronald McDonald House home.
  • Through our Oil & Gas team in South Africa, we sponsored the construction of a security fence to keep underprivileged children and unemployed youth safe at Ithemba Labasha, a non-profit community centre outside Ballito in Kwa-Zulu Natal. The centre’s services include a daycare, a feeding program and skills development. 
  • Thanks to volunteers from our Thermal business unit and our client Public Service Electric & Gas (PSEG), students at Brandywine Elementary School in Maryland, US, got their very own outdoor classroom in April 2017. The outdoor classroom features a butterfly garden, raised garden beds for students to grow flowers and vegetables, an outdoor chalkboard, seating and a labyrinth. Our volunteers helped build the classroom and SNC-Lavalin donated some of the materials.
Aid and shelter
  • When Hurricane Harvey hit the coast of Texas in the US, we had approximately 1,400 employees in the Houston area. During the worst of the storm, our teams remained in contact with these employees around the clock to ensure everyone was safe and sound. Colleagues helped coworkers whose homes were flooded or heavily impacted. Employees also supported the Red Cross, both by volunteering locally and through company donations. 

Education and diversity

  • We continued our partnership agreement with the Montreal-based Seize Your Future mentorship program. The organization strives to train the next generation of female leaders between the ages of 15 and 20. The program includes training workshops, completion of a community project and coaching from a female mentor distinguished in her field, as well as networking events and panels centred on women and leadership. 
  • Angella Mignon-Smith, a Mechanical Engineer on our Nuclear team, was invited to be part of the #HERstory in Black project, which celebrates the achievements of young black women in Toronto, Ontario, as part of both Black History month and Canada’s 150-year celebrations.
  • We sponsored the third annual Women’s Infrastructure Network (WIN) awards ceremony, which took place simultaneously in six cities across Canada on April 26. This event recognizes the achievements of women in Canada’s infrastructure sector and celebrates emerging leaders in the industry. 
  • We were proud to receive the Diversity Employer of the Year Award from the Ichthys LNG project, near Darwin, Australia, for the number of aboriginal and female apprentices we had on site in 2017.


  • Our Capital team in Toronto organized e-waste and textile collection drive at 195 The West Mall as part of Canada’s Waste Reduction Week and in collaboration with Partners in Project Green. The drive was a huge success and the team succeeded in diverting 81 kilograms of clothing and 44 kilograms of electronic waste.
  • Employees in Lephalale and Mpumalanga, South Africa, donated more than 80 trees to The Fold Children’s Home in August 2017. Our team worked with the children to plant the trees in the centre’s vegetable and fruit garden.

RACE: Raising awareness and cutting energy

To decrease office energy consumption worldwide, Atkins launched RACE, a friendly competition encouraging employees to curb their energy use. Between 2009 and 2012, RACE helped deliver a:

  • 12% reduction in electricity use (equivalent to 1,780 tonnes of CO2)
  • 3% reduction in UK and Europe gas consumption (or 111 tonnes of CO2)

Introduced in 2014, RACE2 includes more categories to make the contest more inclusive: office wellbeing, community, energy, green travel, inspiring the next generation, waste and water. In 2017, the RACE2 Awards recognized the following offices for their outstanding contributions: 

  • North America: Henderson – 2 gold medals (community and office well-being)
  • Middle East: Dubai – 2 silver medals (community and office well-being) and 1 bronze (energy and waste)
  • Asia Pac: Bangalore – 1 platinum (office well-being), 1 gold (community) and 1 bronze (energy and waste)
  • UK and Europe: Manchester – 1 platinum (community, inspiring the next generation, office well-being and green travel), 1 silver (energy) and 1 bronze (water)
In addition, the Chelmsford office was recognized as the ‘most improved office’ based on three years of increased scores. The Epsom Campus won the joint office award for their excellent results and teamwork.

Donations and Sponsorships

Our donations and sponsorships support ideas and initiatives with the potential to stimulate progress and build the future. Our goal is to have a positive impact on the communities we operate in, as well as on learning and innovation.

2017 donations and sponsorships

In addition to working on client projects that help improve well-being around the world, our employees are involved in fundraising activities for both local and national charities. In 2017, we supported 80 organizations through donations and sponsorships totalling more than $1,072,000.


Key 2017 donations and sponsorships included:


United Way/Centraide Canada

During the 2017 United Way/Centraide Canada campaign, we raised $682,193.33 to support social programs and community initiatives. We exceeded the participation rate of the 2016 Quebec campaign with 22% of employees in the province making donations. As in previous years, our Centraide Cup event raised $10,000.

The United Way/Centraide Canada is a non-profit organization that raises funds across Canada for local groups addressing community issues such as unemployment, affordable housing and shelters. Centraide of Greater Montreal is the local arm of the national organization.

Red Crosscheque-red-cross-sustainability-2016

We made two important donations to the Canadian Red Cross in 2017. We donated $25,000 to assist relief efforts following the intense flooding that devastated parts of southern Quebec. We made another $20,000 donation to support emergency relief efforts after massive wildfires burned across British Columbia. 

We also supported the American Red Cross with a $25,000 donation to assist relief efforts following the torrential rain and intense flooding that devastated entire parts of Texas following tropical storm Harvey. The donation enabled the American Red Cross to provide important support for personal services, cleanup, rebuilding, furniture replacement and other necessities to assist with the recovery.

We also continued our ongoing commitment to the CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital Foundation. An avid supporter of the cause since 2001, we co-sponsored a charity golf tournament benefitting the Foundation whose mission is to raise funds for sick children and their families.

Alloprof: Year 2

Also in early 2017, we partnered with Alloprof, a unique charitable organization that offers Quebec elementary and high school students free help with their homework and general training to adults and parents. 

Over a three-year period, we’ll donate $150,000 to help Alloprof create, promote and host a virtual educational assistance tool. This innovative tool will greatly expand the resources available to students struggling with certain school subjects. Our partnership with Alloprof reflects our commitment to build what matters by supporting the education and success of Quebec youth.

Updated Standard Operating Procedure

In 2017, we completed another update to our Donations, Sponsorships, Employee Involvement and Corporate Memberships procedure to better align with our corporate values and continuously improve our systems and processes.

This revised Standard Operating Procedure (SOP):

  • Articulates our charitable giving and sponsorship principles and priority areas
  • Maintains a consistent approach to social and community investment by ensuring funding is globally aligned with our philanthropic and business objectives 
  • Establishes clearly defined opportunities for recognition of employee volunteer involvement and fundraising
  • Clarifies the distinction between a donation and a sponsorship