When we think about sustainability at SNC-Lavalin, we think about what decisions we can make and actions we can take to help leave the biggest positive economic and social footprint, and smallest environmental one. This is where our decades of global experience in sustainable project execution come into play.
Since 1911, we’ve been helping our clients improve the quality of life for people in communities around the globe. This is our tangible and ongoing contribution to making the world a better place. In years gone by, this included our groundbreaking zero wastewater management solution, industry-leading expertise in sustainable mine development, and comprehensive operations and maintenance sustainability management framework, among others.
In 2014, we put our sustainability expertise to work in several ways.
In Montreal, Canada, we provided the city with the McGill University Health Centre’s Glen campus, one of the world’s most advanced medical facilities. At the coal-fired Boundary Dam power plant in Saskatchewan, Canada, we were proud to be part of delivering the world’s first commercial post-combustion ICCU (integrated carbon capture and utilization) system to such a plant. The system launched in October and is designed to capture 90% of the CO2 emissions and all sulphuric acid emissions, from one of the power plant’s units.
We’re also helping Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, take great strides toward emission-free transportation. When completed, the Confederation Line light rail transit system will literally transform the city’s transportation network.
On Vancouver Island in Canada’s western-most province, the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project is gaining international acclaim. We’re putting the new powerhouse underground to protect downstream fish habitat, restore the natural environment, enhance public safety and minimize the project’s environmental impact.
In Australia, our Kentz CB&I joint venture (CKJV) received two awards for helping protect Barrow Island’s flora and fauna while working on the massive Chevron-operated Gorgon Liquefied Natural Gas Project. In Chile, our industry-leading thickened tailings disposal system enables our client to safely store 20,000 tonnes of waste daily at the Cerro Negro Norte iron ore mine.
And in Brazil, our proprietary fugitive emission detection technology has allowed Braskem, the Americas’ largest thermoplastic resin producer, to reduce volatile organic compound emissions by 50% over the last 15 years.
We’ve learned, and continue to learn, a great deal.
For example, when we made the decision to implement a truly world-class ethics and compliance program, we didn’t only find out what it takes to become a benchmark in the area of ethics. We learned what it takes to be the global reference in any area from the policies, system, processes and tools, to the required mindset, culture and behaviours. Raise the bar in one aspect of your performance and just watch the ripple effect in others.
In August 2014, we acquired Kentz Corporation, a global oil and gas engineering and construction services leader with complementary, high-end expertise. Prior to the acquisition, we leveraged the rigour and lessons learned in ethics and compliance to successfully apply our new due diligence guidelines. We rose to the challenge of integrating 15,000 new employees and, by year- end, had exceeded the integration program’s expected synergies.
As I write this, we’re also in the final stages of formalizing a company-wide sustainability strategy. Many of the strategy’s pieces are already in place. We’re simply framing them within a clear vision of what we want to achieve and how we’re going to do it. Our objective is to take sustainability to the next level by further embedding it across all our processes. We also need to improve our ability to track environmental performance indicators like energy consumption at all our offices.
We’ve seen what we can achieve when our leaders and employees are engaged around a clear vision. In terms of our ‘zero harm’ safety vision, strong engagement has enabled us to reduce our recordable incidents by 50% since 2012.
For us, it’s really quite simple.
It’s about taking the long view and doing the right thing, whether it’s in ethics, safety or sustainability. It’s about helping clients, communities and our own company flourish, today and in the decades to come.