Sustainability at work – 2014 Report

Environmental expertise

Environmental expertise

In-depth environmental expertise is embedded in each of our four business groups: Power, Oil & Gas, Mining & Metallurgy and Infrastructure. In addition, our full-service Environment & Water engineering team has been helping clients build sustainable projects and maintain regulatory compliance for over 40 years.

From early impact studies for hydroelectric developments to full-scale remediation and major capacity-building initiatives, we’ve become a global leader in providing environmental services. This includes:

  • project sustainability
  • site assessment, remediation and brownfield development
  • natural resource management
  • water resource management
  • social and economic analysis
  • management system development and auditing
  • agricultural and rural development
  • waste management
  • air, noise and vibration
  • climate change
  • impact assessments
  • geographic information systems
Specialized expertise

Over the years, we’ve developed industry-leading knowledge in a number of sectors. This know-how translates into projects that improve the quality of life and the natural environment in communities worldwide.

Carbon capture and storage
Our experts from Oil & Gas, Environment & Water and Power teams are working together to develop clean technology solutions to reduce carbon emissions. These solutions include pre- and post-combustion capture, compression, transportation and system design.

For over a decade, we’ve been successfully partnering with public and private stakeholders to improve and implement carbon capture and utilization technologies in industrial facilities worldwide. We’ve provided pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, development plans, EPC packages, and advisory services for potential and actual projects in Canada, Saudi Arabia, Brazil and Abu Dhabi. The carbon capture demonstration project at Boundary Dam proves that existing fossil-fuelled power plants can be retrofitted effectively to improve the environmental performance while maintaining the facility's viability.

An industry first in carbon capture and storage
October 2014 saw the launch of the integrated carbon capture and utilization (ICCU) project at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam in Canada. It’s the world’s first commercial post-combustion ICCU system at a coal-fired power facility. The system is designed to capture 90% of the CO2 emissions from one of the power plant’s units, the equivalent of one million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually. It's also designed to capture all SO2 emissions, a gas known to cause acid rain.

Find out more

Light rail transit
Rail is the world’s most environmentally friendly mode of mass transportation. It protects the environment and makes cities more livable by reducing stress, pollution and traffic congestion.

Since building the groundbreaking SkyTrain in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1986, we’ve participated in virtually all of Canada’s light rail transit (LRT) and subway projects. Projects in Canada and beyond include:

  • 2014-ongoing: Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Toronto, Canada
  • 2013-ongoing: Confederation Line LRT, Ottawa, Canada (public-private partnership)
  • 2012-ongoing: Evergreen Line LRT, Vancouver, Canada
  • 2011-2015: Hurontario LRT, Mississauga, Canada (preliminary design)
  • 2010-2012: West LRT, Calgary, Canada  
  • 2009-2012: Hamilton LRT, Canada (preliminary design)
  • 2007-2009: Belgrade LRT, Serbia (feasibility study)
  • 2006-2009: Centennial LRT, Calgary, Canada (mechanical engineering)
  • 2005-2006: St. Petersburg LRT, Russia (feasibility study)
  • 2004-ongoing: Canada Line LRT, Vancouver, Canada
  • 2001-2007: Montreal metro extension to Laval, Canada
  • 2001-2003: Manchester Metrolink, UK (preliminary study)
  • 1997-1999: Manila LRT, Philippines (feasibility study)
  • 1996: Karachi LRT, Pakistan (study)
  • 1994-1999: Kuala Lumpur LRT, Malaysia

Reducing emissions in Canada’s capital
Confederation Line, Ottawa’s light rail transit system, will reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 94,000 tonnes in 2031. The system will also reduce criteria air contaminant emissions by approximately 4,600 tonnes in the same year. Ottawa’s updated modelling analysis calculated that the project would result in 13,750 fewer vehicles on the road, leading to a saving of 232,700 vehicle kilometres travelled in 2031 during the morning peak hours.

District cooling systems
At SNC-Lavalin, we’ve become a leading provider of energy- and space-efficient district cooling systems (DCS) to the Middle East and beyond. Since 2000, we’ve played a key role in delivering close to 40 systems, primarily in the Middle East.

One central DCS plant can cool approximately 17,000 homes, reducing energy consumption by 30% and CO2 emissions by 50% compared to conventional cooling technologies. Many governments in the Middle East now require district cooling systems in all new developments.

Water resource management
All societies and all engineering projects require water. The integrated and sustainable planning, management and governance of this precious resource is essential for our common future.

At SNC-Lavalin, we increasingly integrate sustainable water management into all phases of our projects. We’re always seeking more efficient ways to use and reuse water on our clients’ projects.

Irrigation schemes
We’ve been designing and developing sustainable irrigation and water management solutions in developing countries for decades. Irrigation systems boost agricultural productivity, allowing people who are dependent on the land to move beyond sustenance farming and generate an income by growing produce to sell at local markets.  

These projects strive to maintain the ecology of the surface water supporting the irrigation systems. Wherever we work, we focus on finding the right solution for each region’s unique water needs, resources and challenges.

As an industry leader in assessing and remediating contaminated sites, we help clients work with local stakeholders to:

  • maintain water quality
  • protect surrounding ecosystems
  • return previous industrial lands to productive use

An excellent example is the remediation and restoration of a historical coal gasification site on the Victoria Outer Harbour. Industrial use of this site dates back to the early 1900s. The disposal of coal tar generated by a gasification facility resulted in contamination of the lands and adjacent bay. 

We led the assessment and remediation, enabling the lands in question to be included in Victoria’s urban renewal strategy. The water draining into the outer harbour now complies with British Columbia’s water quality objectives. 

Recent projects
Here’s a partial list of the water-related projects we worked on in 2014.

  • Deliver engineering and technical services for construction of a 100-kilometre pipeline to provide water for a refinery and, ultimately, three communities in Ecuador
  • Collaborate with a Dutch NGO to promote sustainable water management to enhance food security in rural communities in Mali
  • Develop solutions to protect fish habitats on the John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project on Vancouver Island in Canada
  • Design sustainable solutions for liquefied natural gas (LNG) development projects in northwest British Columbia, Canada
  • Implement drainage best practices to assist with sustainable watershed management at Mosaic Potash Esterhazy mines in Saskatchewan, Canada
  • Conduct studies of potential surface water-groundwater interactions in Canada’s Lower Athabasca region for the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA)