Building what matters, sustainably – 2015 Report

President’s message

Our approach - President’s message

Building what matters, sustainably

At SNC-Lavalin, we build what matters for people and communities across four diverse businesses: Infrastructure, Mining and Metallurgy, Oil and Gas, and Power. We pay close attention to what we build, how we build it and who we build it for and with. Our core values guide our daily decisions and actions. And as our capabilities and reach expand, so does our understanding of how we can generate sustainable value for our stakeholders worldwide.

Further embedding sustainability

In 2015, we refined our sustainability strategy and developed a high-level implementation plan. This strategy gives us a broader perspective on how we create value and evaluate performance. It recognizes the importance of advancing the triple bottom line of environmental, social and economic sustainability. Our sustainability strategy leverages the unique expertise we’ve gained over the past 20 years in helping clients manage the local social and economic issues associated with large infrastructure and resource development projects.

We make the biggest sustainability contribution by finding ways for clients to reduce their projects’ environmental footprint and optimize local economic and social project benefits. Our Local Resource Development Initiative (LRDI™) program provides us with a proven framework for accelerating these benefits. Since 1997, we’ve trained close to 17,000 local residents worldwide through our LRDI program. In Saudi Arabia alone, we expect to have trained and employed more than 500 local workers on the new Waad Al-Shamal project by June 2016.

In 2015, we reinforced our sustainability commitment by signing the United Nations Global Compact and joining the Global Compact Canada network. We’re also developing a materiality matrix to identify which sustainability issues matter most to our business and stakeholders. The next step will be to establish relevant metrics for each of the matrix’s components.

Our economic impact

The stronger we are financially and the more streamlined and efficient, the greater our capacity to contribute to local economies. In 2015, we posted our best results of the past four years. We also launched Capital, our investment and asset management division, to grow our investments, finance projects and manage our multi-billion-dollar infrastructure investment portfolio. 

Also in 2015, our “STEP Change” initiative ramped up our overall efficiency and competitiveness. We launched “Operational Excellence” in early 2016 to further drive efficiencies and improvements throughout the company.

Our environmental impact

While our biggest contribution to environmental stewardship occurs through our clients’ projects, we strive to continuously improve our own environmental footprint. In 2014, we set out to optimize the office space we occupy globally by 14% and reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least as much. In less than a year, we had cut our office-related GHG emissions by 30%. Our current objective is to build on the lessons learned to reduce our office-related GHG emissions by an additional 5% over the next 18 months.

At our head office in Montreal, Canada, we’re tracking and improving key water, energy and waste metrics with a view to achieving BOMA BEST® certification, Canada’s commercial building sustainability standard. In early 2016, we drafted a standard operating procedure to manage the sustainability of our offices globally and further reduce their environmental footprint. We’re developing systems to cost-effectively track our transportation-related emissions, our most significant environmental impact.

We’re also helping clients deliver projects certified to stringent environmental standards. The McGill University Health Centre’s Glen site is Quebec’s first hospital to be certified Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold NC (New Construction). Montreal’s new Champlain Bridge Corridor will be certified to the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision system. We’re applying Envision guidelines to the expansion of Montreal’s subway for the Societé de Transport de Montréal (STM). In British Columbia, we’re helping build the world’s greenest refinery on Canada’s west coast.

Our social impact

Attracting, retaining and developing the best talent, supporting local community initiatives, and encouraging employee volunteering figure among our social contributions. We also make a difference socially by adhering to the highest ethical standards and building a zero harm culture. Our ethics and compliance system is now recognized globally as world class and our new House of Policies is helping us uphold our standards. In 2015, we exceeded our total recordable incident frequency target by 28%, confirming our position alongside world leaders in health and safety.

We recently rolled out our new Diversity Program to enhance diversity and gender equality across the company. Our goal is to ensure that women make up 20% of senior management in three years. We’ll also increase the number of women in our engineering and entire management population from about 13% today to 20% in three years. As part of our commitment to improving gender balance at SNC-Lavalin, we recently joined the Canadian chapter of the “30% Club” which targets achieving a minimum of 30% women on corporate boards by 2019.

Reinforcing our sustainability commitment

We’ll continue to seek and seize opportunities to make sustainability an integral part of how we think and act across SNC-Lavalin. This includes being a good corporate citizen everywhere we operate. It also entails using our engineering expertise and growing sustainability mindset to help clients think innovatively and in a more environmentally friendly and sustainable way.

These are some of the ways we’ll continue building what matters, sustainably, around the world for decades to come.