As engineers, our goal is to help build stronger communities.
At SNC-Lavalin, we know that we can make a difference in every community where we work. That’s why we always strive to leave behind a positive and sustainable legacy. Not only through the impact of our engineering and technologies, but also through project-related economic spinoffs, local employment and training, and 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.
A focus on sustainable development
Our vision is to work with clients to implement, whenever and wherever possible, a sustainable development strategy for each project. In part, this means looking for engineering solutions that contribute to sustainability. Our power, oil and gas, infrastructure, and mining and metallurgy experts seek sustainable solutions throughout a project’s lifecycle.
Sustainable development also includes engaging with the community and key stakeholders in a meaningful way from the very outset of every project. The objective is to ensure optimal local involvement and benefits at every step. Our best-in-class Local Resources Development Initiative (LRDI™) helps us do just that. Today, LRDI is considered a best practice for stakeholder relations.
Local Resources Development Initiative™: a shared-value approach
LRDI focuses on creating shared value between our projects and local rights-holders, governments and other community stakeholders. It makes the economic and social development of host communities a key priority. Since 1997, we’ve partnered with clients to successfully integrate LRDI into a dozen projects worldwide.
LRDI is based on four main pillars:
- Establishing a training program for the local labour force
- Documenting and tracking the local labour force during the construction phase
- Optimizing local goods, services and businesses on the project
- Providing a support strategy to develop local communities and Aboriginal peoples
Implementing LRDI strategies requires that we develop a full understanding of the positive impacts a project can generate. We then work with local stakeholders to maximize these spin-offs to benefit the entire community.
Strengthening clients’ social license to operate
Clients have identified LRDI as a key driver of their projects’ success. LRDI helps them obtain and strengthen their social license to operate at the project’s outset. It serves as a key differentiator and competitive advantage at a time when the need for resources and the influx of capital are at their peak. As the project moves into the operations phase, we gradually transfer this knowledge and these skills to clients.
As an integral part of a project’s sustainability and social responsibility framework, LRDI allows us to pinpoint and address social issues and opportunities at all project stages. In turn, this creates new possibilities for both the project and sharing value with the community. LRDI strategies also enable us to avoid social hazards and minimize other risks during project execution.
Working in partnership to build capacity
Maximizing local project benefits is best achieved through partnerships. Here are just a few examples of how we’ve partnered to deliver greater benefits to communities worldwide in recent years.
- In Angola, we provided hands-on skills training through our LRDI strategy on the Matala Dam Project to more than 700 individuals in a very remote and poor region of the country. Many of these workers have since found permanent employment at the dam. In May 2014, we received a Certificate of Appreciation from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security for the program’s positive impact on the local communities.
- In Mozambique, we joined forces with the Instituto Nacional de Emprego e Formação Profissional to open a second Kentz Training Solutions centre in late 2014. The centre provides project-related training programs and 29 of its trainees are now working on the Nacala port expansion.
- In Madagascar, we teamed up with local NGOs to maximize the positive impact of LRDI strategies on the Ambatovy Nickel Mining Project. We taught 6,100 locals bricklaying, formwork, rebar bending, painting and welding. The training included health and safety instruction. We also helped small, medium and micro-enterprises with tendering, works schedules, HSE management, and training and mentorship programs.