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  • 8/14/2019 Las mejores prcticas de sustentabilidad empresaria de 2008 en Canad






  • 8/14/2019 Las mejores prcticas de sustentabilidad empresaria de 2008 en Canad


    About StratosStratos is one of Canadas leadingsustainability consultancies. Nationaland international clients relyon Stratos for forward-looking,strategic analysis and advice.Stratos' success is built on

    expertise in corporate sustainability,public sector management andassurance.

    Our Vision: A world wheredecision-makers at all levelsintegrate sustainability into theiractions to improve ecological andhuman well-being.

    Our Mission: We providebusiness, governments andorganizations with expert advice,information and tools that assist thedevelopment and implementation ofmore sustainable policies andpractices.


    This study was made possible

    through the financial support of

    organizations dedicated to

    improving sustainability reporting

    practices. We express sincere

    thanks to our sponsors.

    Stratos is a carbon-neutral companythrough the Tree Canada Foundationprogram.

    ISBN 978-0-9689895-3-1

    Copyright 2008 Stratos Inc.Design by

    Reproduction and dissemination of this report isencouraged with credit; quotation from this reportis permissible with citation.

    Stratos Inc. is wholly responsible for the content of thisreport and the associated technical documentation.

    This survey does not assess corporate performance,but rather assesses how companies report on theirsustainability practices. It is our experience that greaterpublic disclosure of sustainability information enablesstakeholders to use this information to inform theirdecisions. Project sponsors had no input in theassessments or analysis.

    Natural Resources


    Ressources naturelles


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    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Table of Contents

    Executive Summary ......................................................2

    About This Report ..........................................................3


    Trends in Corporate Sustainability

    Reporting in Canada ......................................................4

    Overall Findings ............................................................6

    Detailed Results by Category

    Context and Coverage ..................................................8

    Leadership and Direction ............................................10

    Policies, Organization and Management Systems ................12

    Stakeholder Relations ................................................14

    Environmental Performance ..........................................16

    Economic Performance ..............................................18

    Social Performance ..................................................20Integrated Performance ..............................................22

    Extending Influence Upstream and Downstream ..................24

    Quality, Credibility and Communications ............................26

    Emerging Issues and Best Practices

    in Report Strategy and Content

    Report Strategy........................................................28

    Report Content ........................................................32

    Conclusion ..................................................................35

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    Initiatives (GRI) G3 Guidelines, climate change,and Aboriginal relations. As we look ahead at thechanges to the sustainability reporting landscapein Canada, we encourage corporate sustainabil-ity reporting practitioners to get ready and getserious about tackling these issues in a moresubstantive way:

    Materiality, a work in progress:There are signs that leading Canadian

    companies are grappling with the

    concept and implications of materiality

    of sustainability information. Our seven

    leading reporters hint at formal

    processes, but none provide sufficient

    detail to allow the reader to fully

    understand the rigour of their internal

    systems to identify material sustain-

    ability issues. Over the coming year we

    expect processes to become formal-

    ized and as a result, reports to become

    shorter and more focused.

    Climate change reporting getsserious: Reporting on corporate activities to address climate change

    impacts is starting to take off, with the

    topic mentioned in 84% of company

    sustainability reports. Among our seven

    leading companies climate change

    reporting is becoming more sophisti-

    cated, reflecting the maturity of

    company strategies to address the

    issue. We expect disclosure on the

    corporate response to climate change

    to continue to grow in sophistication

    with issues including governance and

    product performance getting increasedattention.

    Use of the GRI Guidelines hitscritical mass: Forty-five percent ofCanadian sustainability reporters now

    make use of the GRI Guidelines either

    as a general guide or through adher-

    ence to its requirements. However, to

    date only 6% of reporters have adopted

    the new G3 version. Companies are

    innovating to signpost readers to GRI

    content, with the use of hyperlinked GRI

    content maps being particularly useful.

    We expect use of the Guidelines to

    increase and encourage companies to

    determine their approach to applying

    the GRI based on a sound assessment

    of the business case.

    Reporting on Aboriginalrelations is critical in Canada:More than half of Canadian

    sustainability reporters (51%) discuss

    Aboriginal relations, highlighting the

    importance of the issue to Canadian

    corporations. Reporting on Aboriginal

    relations among leading companies

    encompasses corporate approaches

    and performance on engagement and

    relationships, economic development

    and Aboriginal rights.

    Best Practices in Canadian Corporate

    Sustainability Reporting is Stratosfourth review of corporate sustain-ability reporting in Canada. This studyexamines the state of corporatesustainability reporting in Canada, andtakes an in-depth look at sustain-ability reporting by seven leadingcompanies with a view to identifyingbest reporting practices. The sevencompanies included in this study have

    consistently ranked in the top 10 ofStratos previous benchmark surveys.

    The sustainability reporting fieldin Canada is entering a periodof change. The disclosure ofsustainability information by compa-nies on the Toronto StockExchange (TSX) Composite Index isnow common practice, with 80%including some environmental orsocial information in their annual orstand-alone sustainability reports, upfrom 70% in 2005. Meanwhile, the

    growth in stand-alone sustainabilityreports is slowing, with the number ofsustainability reporters down 5% from2005. Nonetheless there is an ongo-ing transformation in the disciplinewith the rapid development of sus-tainability reporting systems and morerigorous tools and reporting frame-works. This suggests that companiesare investing to gain from the businessvalue they are finding in reporting andto respond to more sophisticatedstakeholder expectations to improvethe quality of reporting.

    Against this backdrop we find thatleading companies are innovating withbest reporting practices on a numberof fronts. We identify examples ofexcellence in reporting includinglong-term goal setting (page 10),stakeholder engagement (page 14),environmental performance (page 16),and Aboriginal engagement (page 20).

    We also look in more detail at fourpriority areas for corporate reporters:materiality, the Global Reporting

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Executive Summary


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    How We Chose ReportersWe invited companies to participate in this

    study based on their demonstrated leader-

    ship in sustainability reporting, as evidenced

    by their rank in our previous benchmark

    studies, as well as through our extensive

    knowledge of sustainability reporters in

    Canada. We invited companies from a range

    of sectors. Companies that agreed to

    participate provided financial support, but

    had no input in the assessment or analysis.

    Reports were assessed against detailedguidance for each criterion and assigned a ratingof 0-3 for each, with a total of 138 pointsavailable. The methodology and criteria wereupdated to reflect new reporting requirements inthe Global Reporting Initiatives G3 Guidelines

    The most significant change in the methodologyis the application of the concept ofmaterialitywhich requires that companies report on theissues that are most significant to them in termsof their business impact and the degree of

    stakeholder interest. The updated methodologyand criteria remain comparable to our 2003 and2005 benchmark surveys. However, due to thisyears smaller sample size, we have notcompared 2007 performance with performancein previous years. Our focus in this report is tohighlight best practice.


    Category 1 Context and Coverage

    Category 2 Leadership and Direction

    Category 3 Policies, Organization andManagement Systems

    Category 4 Stakeholder Relations

    Category 5 Environmental

    PerformanceCategory 6 Economic Performance

    Category 7 Social Performance

    Category 8 Integrated Performance

    Category 9 Extending InfluenceUpstream and Downstream

    Category 10 Quality, Credibilityand Communications

    Rating System

    0 No meaningful information is providedon the specific criterion.

    1 Patchy information is provided. Thecompany is beginning to report on in-formation related to this criterion, butgaps exist, and the information is notcomprehensive.

    2 The report provides good informationon the criterion. However, importantissue areas or key performance indica-tors may not be adequately addressed.

    The company may not be reporting onits entire operations as identified within

    the report; or it may not present threeyears of data and/or future targets in thisarea (for performance related criteria).

    3 The report provides full coverageof the criterion. For performancecriteria, it covers preceding periods andfuture targets, and providesan analysis or explanation ofperformance trends.

    About thisReportCorporate sustainability reporting is adynamic and fast moving field. InCanada, best practice is evolvingquickly with companies simultane-ously seeking to innovate and refreshreporting approaches and meet ex-pectations for greater standardization.Best Practices in Canadian Corporate

    Sustainability Reporting is Stratosfourth review of corporate sustainabil-ity reporting in Canada. It presentsthe results of research on the uptakeof and approaches to sustainability re-porting in Canada and presents ourreview of sustainability reporting atseven leading Canadian companies,including the results of our detailed re-port assessments and examples ofbest practice reporting. This studydoes not look at sustainability per-

    formance specifically, but rather athowcompanies report on their sus-tainability performance and practices,with a view to identifying examples ofbest practice.

    This study also explores approachesto four top-of-mind reporting issues materiality, the Global Reporting Initia-tive, climate change, and Aboriginalrelations.

    MethodologyThe methodology used for this study

    was similar to that used in previousbenchmark surveys. This methodol-ogy assesses the issue coverage andquality of information presented incorporate sustainability reportsagainst ten categories of informationthat we would expect to form part ofcorporate sustainability disclosure.Collectively, these categories com-prise 46 criteria.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    About this Report/Methodology

    Please refer to our last detailed benchmark survey, Gaining Momentum, page 5 and Appendix 1 (page 37),for the list of criteria assessed in each category:

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    2001 2003 2005 2007


    22% 2



    Percent of TSX Composite Index ProducingSustainability Reports








    2001 2003 2005 2007





    Canadian Sustainability Reporters

    Every year more companies take their first leapinto corporate sustainability reporting. Since2001, the number of corporate sustainabilityreporters in Canada has increased from 57 to108.3 Over the same time period, the percent of

    TSX companies that produce sustainabilityreports increased from 10% to 18%.

    In more recent years we have seen a slight dip inCanadian corporate sustainability reporting, witha 5% decrease in the number of reporters

    between 2005 and 2007 (from 114 to 108), anda decrease in the number of TSX companiesproducing stand-alone sustainability reports (from25% in 2005 to 18% in 2007). This is set againstthe steady increase in the number of TSXcompanies including at least some sustainabilityinformation in their annual reports or in a stand-alone report from 70% in 2005 to 80% in 2007,up from 35% in 2001.

    Global ReportingInitiativeForty-five percent of Canadian sustainabilityreporters used the GRI Guidelines in 2007, upfrom 35% in 2005. While the majority of compa-nies using the GRI are still using the 2002 Guide-lines (over 85%), there are signs of uptake in useof the G3 Guidelines released in late 2006, whichare actively used by seven companies. Of theseven Canadian sustainability reports that wereassessed as part of this study, six referenced theuse of the GRI or reported in accordance with theGuidelines. We take a more detailed look atapproaches to using the GRI SustainabilityReporting Guidelines on page 30.


    Trends in CorporateSustainabilityReporting inCanadaOver the past 15 years we have seentremendous growth and improvementin corporate sustainability reporting.

    In 1993, less than one percent oflarge Canadian corporations werecommitted to public environmentalreporting.1 Today, corporate sustain-ability reporting is a core element ofbusiness strategy at 47 of the 265companies on the TSX CompositeIndex.2

    The termsustainability reportincludes reports that provide information

    on a companys management and

    performance related to one or moreaspects of sustainability beyond

    financial performance. For the

    purpose of this study, this term

    encompasses environmental, social,

    community, corporate responsibility,

    sustainability, or corporate social

    responsibility reports, along with annual

    reports that include five or more pages

    of environmental and/or social informa-

    tion, including performance data.

    This study focuses on Canadian

    reporters, defined as Canadian

    companies with or without Canadian

    operations that produce sustainabilityreports, or international companies with

    operations in Canada that report on

    these operations in their sustainability

    reports, including Canadian-specific

    performance data.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting







    2001 2003 2005 2007

    9%13% 15











    2001 2003 2005 2007

    Percent of Canadian Reporters Using Assurance

    Percent of Canadian Reporters Using GRI

    1 Composite listed companies identified as of August 30, 2007.3 In order to identify Canadas sustainability reporters, Stratos looked at the websites of 379 companies drawn

    from lists such as the TSX Composite Index, Report on Business Magazines top 100 companies by revenue and

    top crown corporations, winners of the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants (CICA) corporate reporting

    awards (sustainable development category), and Corporate Knights 2007 Best 50 Corporate Citizens.

    Trends at a Glance










    2001 2003 2005 2007





    Percent of TSX Composite Index DisclosingSustainability Information in Public Reports

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    Of the 379 companies that we reviewed forsustainability information, 34% discuss climatechange in their sustainability and/or annualreports; of these companies, 67% providesupporting performance data. Similarly on

    Aboriginal relations, 22% discuss the issue; ofthese companies, 37% provide supportingperformance data.

    When we look more closely at Canadian sustain-ability reporters, Aboriginal relations and climate

    change are clearly material issues. Climatechange is covered in 84% of sustainabilityreports, and 86% of these reports includesupporting data, suggesting that systems totrack and report on climate change performanceare becoming well developed.

    Aboriginal relations is covered by 51% ofsustainability reports, and 44% of these reportsinclude supporting data such as Aboriginalemployment or spending on procurement with

    Aboriginal businesses.

    Reporting on these issues is lower if we considercoverage strictly within the annual reports of

    sustainability reporters, with 35% of sustainabilityreporters covering climate change (45% of whichprovide data) and 20% covering Aboriginalrelations (27% of which provide data) in theirannual reports. The relatively widespread cover-age of climate change in annual reports suggestsa growing recognition that climate risks arematerial to business performance.

    AssuranceThe use of assurance in sustainabilityreporting continues to be a dynamicarea. We see a slight dip in the use ofassurance with 15% of Canadiancompanies assuring their reports incomparison to 18% two years ago.

    The mix of assurance approachesused by Canadian companies is

    shifting, with heavier reliance placedon internal assurance and stake-holder-led processes, with the latternow used in 50% of assured reports.

    Third-party auditing of reports contin-ues to be the approach of choice withover 80% of assured reports usingthis approach. The big four audit firmsare starting to dominate with morethan half of companies who choosethird-party auditing engaging a bigfour firm.

    Reporting on

    Key IssuesTwo key issues rank high in the mindsof Canadian companies climatechange and Aboriginal relations. Wehave tracked which companies reporton these issues in their annual orsustainability reports, and whichcompanies provide performance data.

    Reporters discussing climate

    change in their sustainability

    reports: 91 (84%)

    Total number of sustainability

    reporters:108 (100%)

    Of the reporters discussing

    climate change in their

    sustainability reports, those

    providing data: 78 (86%)

    Reporters discussing climate

    change in their annual repor

    38 (35%)

    Total number of sustainabilit

    reporters:108 (100%)

    Of the reporters discussing

    change in their annual repor

    those providing data: 17 (45

    Total number of sustainability

    reporters:108 (100%)

    Reporters discussing

    Aboriginal relations in their

    annual reports: 22 (20%)

    Of the reporters discussing

    Aboriginal relations in their

    annual reports, those

    providing data: 6 (27%)

    Reporters discussing Aboriginal

    relations in their sustainability

    reports: 55 (51%)

    Total number of sustainability

    reporters:108 (100%)

    Of the reporters discussing

    Aboriginal relations in their

    sustainability reports, those

    providing data: 24 (44%)

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting


    Aboriginal Relations:Annual Reports of Sustainability


    Aboriginal Relations:Sustainability Reporters

    Climate Change:Annual Reports of SustainabilityReporters

    Climate Change:Sustainability Reporters

    Who Assures

    13% Internal Audit

    44% Big Four Audit Firms

    38% Non-big Four Audit Firms

    50% Stakeholder Groups

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    Of the four performance categories Environmental, Economic, Social andIntegrated Economic Performance isparticularly strong, reflecting the success ofcorporate efforts in reporting on socio-economicimpact.

    Drilling down to specific

    criteria, some interestingfindings emerge:

    > The quality of reporting on corporatesustainability vision and the links to

    corporate goals and priorities is good,

    hinting at better integration of sustainabil-

    ity in business planning.

    > Strong reporting of health and safety performance highlights the maturity of

    management approaches in this area.

    > Weaker reporting on water and material inputs suggests that there is still work

    to be done on some aspects of

    environmental reporting.

    > Reporting on the influence of companieson sustainability performance in their

    value chain is limited, offering potential

    differentiation for companies who cover

    this area systematically.


    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Overall Findings

    Leading ReportersAssessed in the Study

    BC Hydro







    The seven companies assessed in thestudy are recognized sustainabilityreporting leaders, having all scored inthe top 10 in previous Stratosbenchmark surveys. The top markachieved by a company assessed inthe benchmarking component of thisstudy was 78% with all companiesscoring over 58%. The quality ofreporting among these seven report-ing leaders is high, with just five points

    separating the top three and only a 28point spread across all companies.

    The reports of these seven leadingcompanies are generally strongin describing the context for theiroperations and the sustainabilitychallenges and opportunities theyface (Context and Coverage andLeadership and Direction). Reportingon Environmental Performance andEconomic Performance is alsostrong, and reporters use sophisti-cated approaches to communication

    and ensuring the credibility of theinformation presented (Quality,Credibility and Communications).

    The quality of reporting on stakeholderengagement (Stakeholder Relations)is far more mixed. Reporting oninfluence on sustainability perform-ance in the corporate value chain(Influence Up and Downstream) is aparticular weakness in a number ofreports.

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    Study Average

    Maximum Score

    Minimum Score

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Overall Findings

    Maximum, Minimum and Average Scores by Category

    Category (Number of Criteria)

    Top Five Criteria (Category)

    Company Profile (Context and Coverage)

    Corporate Vision (Leadership and Direction)

    Key Financials (Economic Performance)

    Community Development (Economic Performance)

    Health and Safety (Social Performance)

    Bottom Five Criteria (Category)

    Water and Material Inputs (Environmental Performance)

    Human Rights (Social Performance)

    Business Ethics and Integrity (Social Performance)

    Supply Chain Management (Influence Upstream and Downstream)

    Customer/Consumers (Influence Upstream and Downstream)

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    Top Scores:

    BC Hydro, Enbridge,Suncor, TELUS,

    TransAlta, Vancity

    This category measures thedegree to which the reportinforms the reader about what

    the company does, the scopeand scale of its operations, andthe scope and materiality ofissues in the report.

    All of the companies score highly onContext and Coverage, and sixcompanies share the top spot. Thesereporters are adept at describingtheir business and thesustainability issues they face (with anaverage score of 95% on companyprofile) while scoring on the quality of

    thereport profile which assesses disclosure onthe approach to setting geographic, organiza-tional, temporal and issue coverage of the report is lower (67%). None of the reports fully identifythe process for determining report content, withfew of the companies providing clarity on theirissue priorities, a topic we examine in more detailon page 28.

    Best Practices> Suncor provides a good schematic diagram

    and description of the companys operations.

    >Vancity clearly communicates its organiza-tional structure and the different companiesthat make up the group.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Detailed Results by Category

    Category 1

    Context and CoverageCategory 1: Context and Coverage




















    Source: Suncor 2007 Report on Sustainability, foldout.

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    Source:Vancity2004-05 Accountability Report, p. 4.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    Best Practices> BC Hydro presents the companys five core

    values, as well as 15 long-term goals that willguide the business over the next 20 years,including progressive commitments related tosafety, environmental impact, and electricityconservation and efficiency.

    > Suncor clearly articulates the companysvision and strategy to become a sustainable

    energy company, including presentinga strategic framework to achieve this goal.

    > TransAltas CEO statement includes acompelling discussion of climate change a key issue for the company.

    Top Scores:

    BC Hydro, TransAlta

    The three criteria in thiscategory measure how wellthe report describes the signif-icant challenges and opportu-nities related to sustainability

    that the organization faces,how it plans to address thesechallenges and capitalize onthese opportunities, and how itintends to position itself in thefuture.

    Overall performance on Leadershipand Direction is strong, with anaverage score of 81%. Performanceis strongest on corporate vision at86%, with the seven leadingcompanies doing a good jobdescribing their corporate vision andhow it integrates economic, environ-mental and social performance.

    Category 2

    Leadership and Direction


















    81% 86



    Category 2: Leadership and Direction


    Source: Suncor 2007 Report on Sustainability, p. 8.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Detailed Results by Category

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    Source: 2007 BC HydroAnnual Report, p. 123.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    Best Practices> BC Hydro discusses the companys Triple

    Bottom Line Project, undertaken to developa framework and tools to help ensure moreconsistent and effective TBL decision-making.

    > Enbridge presents a CSR integration casestudy on their Waupisoo pipeline, demonstrat-ing how the company puts CSR into practice.

    > Suncor highlights their public policy direction

    and positions for six key issues, includingclimate change and labour shortages.

    >Vancitydiscloses the members of its execu-tive team that are held accountable for eachtarget related to sustainability performance.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Detailed Results by Category

    Top Score:


    This category assesses thequality of reporting on thecompanys relevant sustain-ability policies, procedures,management systems and

    decision-making structures.Reporting on Policies, Organizationand Management Systems isvariable across the eight criteria.Reporting on environmental management systems (EMSs) andsocio-economic management sys-

    tems is strong with an average scoreof 81% and 76%, respectively,suggesting maturity in thesemanagement approaches. Reportingon policies and codes of conduct,voluntary initiatives, and integration

    of triple-bottom line (TBL) considera-tions into decision-making is weakerwith average scores of 57% for allthree criteria. Low scores onpoliciesand codes of conductwere often theresult of reports not including enoughinformation on policies. Most oftenmissing in voluntary initiatives werediscussions of the companysinvolvement in and outcomes of theseinitiatives.

    Category 3

    Policies, Organization and Management Systems





















    57% 6

















    Category 3: Policies, Organization and Management Systems

    Source: Enbridge 2007 Corporate SocialResponsibility Report foldout, p. 13.


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    Source: 2007 BC HydroAnnual Report, p. 56.

    Source: Suncor 2007 Report on Sustainability, p. 10.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    Best Practices> BC Hydro, Enbridge, Suncor, TELUS and

    Vancityseek feedback on their reports fromexternal stakeholder/expert advisory panels.

    > BC Hydro reports on a number of innovativestakeholder engagement mechanisms,including a Community Advisory Committee tothe Board of Directors, and an ElectricityConservation and Efficiency Advisory

    Committee that helps generate new ideas tobuild a conservation culture in B.C.

    >Vancity and TELUS provide details of thefeedback received from stakeholders on theirreports, and also communicate how they haveresponded to this feedback.

    The Value of Stakeholder InputThere is growing consensus among leadingreporters in Canada on the value ofstakeholder commentary and feedback onreporting, an approach used by five of theseven leading reporters in our study.

    The approaches to stakeholder involvementin reporting activities fall into two categories:

    > Appointment of a stakeholder panel toprovide critical feedback and challenge onreport development, some providing anassurance-style statement in the report.

    > Stakeholder workshops or feedbacksessions to provide pre- or post-publication comment.

    Involving stakeholders in the reportingprocess can provide numerous benefits:

    > Direct feedback on whether the reportmeets the information needs of keystakeholders.

    > Input to issue identification andmateriality processes.

    > Focused recommendations on areasfor improvement.

    > Demonstrates the responsiveness ofthe reporter to stakeholders.

    > Assurance for readers that the reportmeets stakeholder needs.

    > Assurance for the reporter thacontroversial issues have been identifiedand managed to stakeholder satisfaction.

    > Improved relationships with key corporatestakeholders.

    Top Score:Vancity

    This category assesses howwell the report describes thecompanys stakeholders, howit solicits their input and howthe company considers their

    input in its decision-makingprocesses and in determiningthe content of its report.

    The results of this category suggestthat while companies are adept atidentifying their key stakeholders andthe mechanisms used to engagethem (criterion 4.1), there is lesscomfort with direct disclosure ofstakeholder feedback and how it isused to drive improvements anddecision-making (criterion 4.2).

    Category 4

    Stakeholder Relations



















    Category 4: Stakeholder Relations


    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Detailed Results by Category

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    Source:Vancity2004-05 Accountability Report, p. 14.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    Best Practices> BC Hydro identifies energy savings resulting

    from the use of demand-side management,and sets future targets.

    > Suncor uses benchmarks to compare its GHG,SOx and NOx performance against that of thebroader industry.

    > TELUS compares its water consumption todomestic water consumption rates and sets afuture target to improve water monitoringcoverage.

    See page 32 for an in-depth discussion ofreporting on climate change.

    Top Score:


    This category assesses howwell the report describes thecompanys past and currentenvironmental performance.A report should address all

    relevant material and resourceinputs and environmental out-puts; provide trend data;explain how and why changeshave occurred over time; anddescribe what level of futureperformance the companycommits to achieve.

    The growing concern over climatechange was a highlight in thesereports, however, reporting ongreen-house gas (GHG) emissions scores

    slightly lower than other criteria,reflecting that GHG data and targetsare still a work in progress for somecompanies. Reporting on energyinputs, air emissions and land use,biodiversity, habitat and species isstrong at 76%. Environmentalperformance reporting is weakest onwater and material inputs, with fewcompanies providing good data ontheir major material inputs.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Detailed Results by Category

    Category 5

    Environmental Performance




























    Category 5: Environmental Performance


    Source: BC Hydro Service Plan 2007/08 to 2009/10, p. 31.

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    Source: TELUS 2006 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, p. 62.

    Source: Suncor 2007 Report on Sustainability, p. 55.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    Best Practices> Syncrude provides a range of data on direct

    economic contributions, including total annual

    economic contributions, expenditures,

    procurement of goods and services,

    cumulative payments to governments, and

    royalty payments.

    >Vancityprovides a wealth of information on

    community development including informationon their grants to social enterprises.

    Top Score:


    This category assesses howwell the report describesthe companys past and cur-rent economic performance,including both financial per-

    formance and broader eco-nomic contributions to, andimpacts on, local andnational economies.

    All companies receive top marks for

    reporting onkey financials with infor-

    mation either presented in sustainabil-

    ity reports or linked to annual reports.

    Reporting on community develop-

    mentis high at 90%, with information

    on financial and in-kind support for

    community development now routine.

    Reporting on taxes and royalties isless developed with data broken

    down by taxing authority rare, and few

    of the study companies in the extrac-

    tive sector reporting on royalty


    Category 6

    Economic Performance































    Category 6: Economic Performance


    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Detailed Results by Category

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    Source: Syncrude 2006 Sustainability Report, p. 21.

    Source:Vancity2004-05 Accountability Report, p. 70.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Detailed Results by Category

    Best Practices> Enbridge discusses its human rights policy

    and program in Columbia, which includes

    extensive education and awareness training.

    > Syncrude produces a review of its approach

    and performance on Aboriginal engagement.

    They use innovative approaches to reporting

    activities in this area including interviews with

    Aboriginal Youth and include a range of

    performance information on employment, edu-

    cation, business development and leadership.

    See page 34 for an in-depth discussion of

    reporting on Aboriginal Relations.

    Top Scores:

    BC Hydro, Suncor

    This category assesses howwell the report describes thecompanys past and currentsocial performance, includinghuman resources and labour

    issues, health and safety,human rights, business ethicsand relations with AboriginalPeoples.

    Reporting on Social Performance is

    mixed, with sophisticated approaches

    in place for health and safetyand

    human resource management and

    employee relations, but weaker

    disclosure onhuman rights, as well as

    business ethics and integrity. The very

    low score onhuman rights (38%) is a

    reflection of the low materiality ofhuman rights issues for most of the

    companies in the study that have only

    Canadian operations. Issues related

    to discrimination and harassment are

    covered under workplace diversity

    and labour rights criteria in our


    Reporting on human resource man-

    agement and employee relations and

    workplace diversityis well established

    with the seven leading companies

    tracking information on the generalquality of workplace life and the diver-

    sity of their workforces. Six of the

    seven companies in the study report

    on employee surveys or focus groups.

    Category 7

    Social Performance





























    Category 7: Social Performance


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    Source: Enbridge 2007 Corporate SocialResponsibility Report, p. 58.

    Source: Syncrude

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    Source: Enbridge 2007 Corporate Social Responsibility Report, p. 66.

    Source: TransAlta Corporation 2006 Report on Sustainability, p. 94.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    Best Practices> BC Hydro is a clear leader in reporting on

    product and service stewardship, providing

    information on a range of programs and

    performance related to reducing energy

    consumption and peak demand, including:

    Program and performance information and

    targets for Power Smart, the companys

    initiative to reduce energy consumption athomes and businesses;

    The number of Green Power Certificates

    sold, which are supplied from certified green

    generation facilities, and the GHG emissions

    avoided as a result; and

    Details of programs to reduce peak


    > Enbridge reports on a range of demand-side

    management programs and related savings

    from these programs, including savings to


    > TransAlta describes several initiatives

    undertaken in the area of supply chain

    management, including criteria for choosing

    suppliers, a commitment to use local vendors,

    a pilot supplier scorecard for safety

    performance, and an update of the vendor

    certification process.

    >Vancity reports on third-party screening of

    strategic suppliers to determine their alignment

    with the companys Baseline Ethical Policy.

    Top Score:

    BC Hydro

    This category assesses howwell the report describes thecompanys environmental,social and economic impactsboth upstream (i.e. within the

    supply chain) and downstream(i.e. as a result of thecompanys products or serv-ices) and how the companymanages or influences theseimpacts.

    Extending Influence Upstream and

    Downstream is the weakest category

    overall. Nevertheless, there is

    evidence that companies are starting

    to explore reporting in this area, which

    provides a real opportunity for

    competitive differentiation. We expect

    disclosure on product sustainability

    performance to be an area of rapid

    progress in future years as more

    companies explore ways to reduce

    the impact of their products and

    services, especially in relation to

    climate change.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Detailed Results by Category

    Category 9

    Extending Influence Upstream and Downstream

















    52% 5



    Category 9: Extending InfluenceUpstream and Downstream


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    Source: BC HydroAnnual Report 2007, p. 64.

    Source: TransAlta Corporation 2006 Report on Sustainability, p. 18.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    Source: TransAlta Corporation 2006 Report on Sustainability, p. 74.

    Source: Suncor 2007 Report on Sustainability, p. 57.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Results by Category

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    We assessed the use of the materiality concept

    by our group of leading reporters through our

    report profile criterion and found practices to be

    mixed. For companies to score a 3, the process

    for determining materiality and topic prioritization

    must be identified. Tellingly, no company scored

    a 3 on this criterion. While some companies

    show evidence that a process has been used to

    determine what to report, full descriptions of

    materiality processes are absent from all of the

    reports, and a number of the reports sufferedfrom a lack of clarity on which issues are a

    corporate focus.

    Materiality: The information in a reportshould cover topics and indicators that

    reflect the organizations significant eco-

    nomic, environmental, and social impacts, or

    that would substantively influence the

    assessments and decisions of stakeholders.

    Source: Global Reporting Initiative

    The evolution of corporate sustain-

    ability reporting is characterized by

    shifts in the strategies that inform

    report design and focus, and

    the topics that a report addresses.

    Reporting has transformed from the

    ad-hoc and single-issue approaches

    of the 1990s to todays standard-

    based reports that reflect the

    dimensions of a companys influence

    and impact across the sustainabilityagenda. The development of the

    materiality concept and the GRI G3

    Guidelines are prompting companies

    to rethink their reporting strategies

    and focus their reports on the issues

    of most relevance to the company

    and its stakeholders.

    This section of the report discusses

    the use of materiality and the GRI

    in report strategy, and examines

    reporting on two material issues

    facing companies in Canada: climatechange and Aboriginal relations.

    Report StrategyMateriality

    The growing focus on the concept of

    materiality is a significant trend driving

    the evolution of corporate sustain

    ability reporting. Materiality describes

    the process by which companies

    determine the issues which are most

    significant in terms of their business

    impact and the degree of stakeholderinterest.

    The concept of materiality has been

    used by leading global companies

    and is having a profound impact on

    corporate sustainability reporting

    strategy. The GRI now includes the

    concept of materiality in its G3 Guide-

    lines as one of the core principles for

    determining report content.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Emerging Issues and Best Practicesin Report Strategy and Content

    Nevertheless, some companies are taking steps

    towards better use of the materiality concept

    Suncor identifies its four key challenges upfront

    and comments on the use of a stakeholde

    review panel to provide input on these issues

    Suncor also presents a case study on each of

    these issues, providing context and

    indicating how the company is responding

    Vancitys assurance provider looked at

    materiality, and the assurance statement in the re-

    port explicitly states that based on our work, webelieve that issues material to Vancitys

    stakeholders have been considered and

    communicated in this report. Some companies

    explain why specific issues are not material to

    their business. For example, Vancityexplains

    that biodiversity is not material to its business

    since the company has no holdings in biodiver-

    sity rich areas.

    Implications of Materiality

    Strategy > Clarity on the issues driving long term business value> Robust rationale for focusing sustainability activities> Integration of sustainability into risk management and other business

    processes>Assurance that programs are in place to manage critical issues

    Reporting > Robust basis for identification of issues> Shorter more focused reports> Greater assurance that key issues are covered> Stronger integration between sustainability and annual reporting> Rationale for use and selection of reporting standards and indicators


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    Stratos recommends that companies

    use a robust, auditable process to

    determine the materiality of issues.

    We recommend identifying issues

    based on business priorities, peer

    activities, regulation, media attention

    and global and sectoral standards.

    Stakeholder interest and business

    impacts associated with each of these

    issues can be assessed and

    quantified and a matrix used toidentify issue priorities. The results

    provide critical business intelligence,

    allowing the assessment of strategic

    priorities and providing a basis for

    focusing resources and reporting.

    As we look ahead, we expect to see

    materiality more strongly influence

    Canadian corporate sustainability

    reporting. Reports will start to be

    shorter and more clearly focused on

    business priorities and the needs of

    certain stakeholder groups, and therewill be greater clarity on the processes

    used to determine report content.

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Emerging Issues

    > Operations

    > Reputation

    > Customers

    > Direct costs

    > Share price

    > Media

    > NGOs

    > Investors

    > Customers



    L HBusiness impact


    rest Online

    Business impacts Stakeholder interest


    Availableon request Online

    Source: Suncor 2007 Report on Sustainability, p. 1.

    Source:Vancity2004-05Accountability Report, p. 11.

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    When considering whether to use the GRI, the decision needs to be made based onbusiness strategy, in much the same way that a company would assess the case forimplementation of ISO 14001 or AA 1000. Key questions to consider include:

    As more companies take on GRI reporting and move to the G3 Guidelines, the influence on

    reporting could be profound, with comparability and clarity on material issues being placed

    at the heart of reporting approaches. Despite renewed optimism in the potential of standards

    to improve the quality of reporting, the application of the GRI Guidelines must be viewed asa component of a reporting strategy rather than the ultimate goal of reporting.

    Questions Considerations

    > Cost of implementing new/revising existing performancemeasurement systems

    > Cost of staff time to reshape reporting to GRI formatand align performance management systems(including training costs)

    What investments do

    we need to make?

    > Support in development of internal reporting frameworks> Ease of comparison of performance with sector peers> Assurance that sustainability program is built on established


    What needs do we

    have internally for

    reporting guidance?

    > Investor needs for comparability of information> NGO needs for adherence to a multi-stakeholder standard> Customer needs for adherence to internationally

    recognized standard

    Do our stakeholders

    need to see us using a

    credible standard?

    > Will use of GRI differentiate us from our peers?> Is use of the GRI a prerequisite for leadership reporting?> What scope is there within GRI to test new reporting

    approaches and innovate?

    How will use of this

    standard position

    us in the market?

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Emerging Issues

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    sure of climate change performance are follow-

    ing suit with evidence that leading Canadian

    companies are examining ways to provide

    innovative products and services as a response

    to climate pressures. For example, Suncor

    reports on its investments in low sulphur fuels,

    ethanol-blended gasoline, and wind power pro-

    duction. BC Hydro reports the success of its

    program to offer Green Power Certificates

    green electricity that is 100% generated in B.C.

    and provided to domestic customers on a pilotbasis. Enbridge reports on its commitments to

    invest in renewable and alternative energy

    sources that help reduce GHG emissions and

    address climate change. Vancity reports on

    climate-friendly financial products including:

    > Clean Air Auto Loans for hybrid and natural

    gas vehicles;

    > Home financing incentives to support

    energy-saving home renovations;

    > Financing for green energy alternatives such

    as small-scale hydro projects; and

    > Green mortgage pilot projects.

    The key elements of climate change strategy that

    Stratos recommends to clients are mapped out

    on the following page. We examined reporting

    against each element and found evidence

    that corporate disclosure on climate change is

    growing in sophistication in line with corporate


    Report ContentClimate Change

    Climate change is currently THE hottopic in the corporate sustainabilityfield. The public policy environmentaround climate change is dynamicand stakeholder interest in corporatemanagement of carbon emissionsand climate impacts is growing.

    Against this backdrop, pressure to im-prove corporate disclosure of climatechange strategy is continuing to rise.Indeed there is a compelling argumentthat the high profile and importance ofclimate change makes it a materialissue for all companies, whatevertheir sector. This view is supportedby initiatives such as the CarbonDisclosure Project (CDP). Of thefour study companies invited toparticipate in the CDP, all of themresponded (Enbridge, Suncor,TELUS and TransAlta).

    Credible corporate management of

    climate change requires a robust and

    coherent strategy. Corporate climate

    change strategies are becoming more

    sophisticated with leading companies

    taking a holistic approach that

    encompasses identification of risks

    and opportunities, governance,

    setting reduction targets, and

    stakeholder engagement. Stratos

    recommends viewing climate change

    reporting, including the disclosure of

    approach and performance, as animportant element of corporate

    climate strategy.

    As corporate approaches to climate

    change become more sophisticated,

    companies are pushing their climate

    change strategies to address not only

    the companys operational impact on

    climate change but also the impact of

    the companys products, services,

    and supply chain. The results of this

    study show that practices in disclo-

    Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP):an independent not-for-profit organizationwhose goal is to facilitate a dialogue,supported by quality information, from whicha rational response to climate change willemerge.

    CDP provides a coordinating secretariat forinstitutional investors with a combined $41trillion of assets under management. On theirbehalf it seeks information on the businessrisks and opportunities presented by climatechange and greenhouse gas emissions datafrom the world's largest companies

    The CDP publishes responses from a ques-tionnaire sent to 2,400 of the worlds largestcompanies. The largest 200 Canadian com-panies are invited to respond.

    Source: The Carbon Disclosure Project

    Source: Suncor 2007 Report on Sustainability, p. 6.


    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Emerging Issues and Best Practicesin Report Strategy and Content

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    Corporate reporting on Aboriginal relationsshould address three areas:

    >Aboriginal engagement and relationships:

    The approach to building and maintaining rela-tionships with Aboriginal communities. Thismight include policies, engagement andresponse processes, formal consultationpractices and the management systems toensure consistent implementation.

    > Economic impact:The approach to manag-

    ing and enhancing corporate economic bene-fits for Aboriginal communities. This mightinclude products and services for Aboriginalcommunities, employment opportunities, pro-curement from Aboriginal-owned businesses,and provision of education and training initia-tives.

    > Aboriginal rights: The approach torecognition and protection of the rights of

    Aboriginal communities.

    We look below at reporting among our sevenleaders against these three areas.

    Aboriginal Engagementand Relationships

    > One ofBC Hydros long-term goals is relatedto improving relationships with First Nationsthat are built on mutual respect and that ap-propriately reflect the interests of First Nations.BC Hydro also commits to address pastgrievances of Aboriginal communities.

    > Enbridge reports on its Indigenous PeoplesPolicy and identifies a number of signed agree-ments with Aboriginal communities on theGateway Project to ensure economic and skillsdevelopment.

    > Syncrude reports on its Aboriginal RelationsProgram and its six key commitment areas,and provides examples of its engagement with

    Aboriginal communities.

    > TransAlta identifies its Executive VicePresident with responsibility for AboriginalRelations and has established a transmissionadvisory committee to:

    Develop best practices for transmissionsystems located on Aboriginal lands;

    Foster employment opportunities; and

    Increase dialogue.

    Aboriginal Relations

    Relations between companies and

    Aboriginal Peoples is a key business

    and social issue in Canada,

    particularly, but not exclusively, for the

    resource sectors. There are

    increasing pressures on companies

    and Aboriginal communities to find

    improved ways to engage construc-

    tively for mutual benefit. Corporatesustainability reporting is a component

    of Aboriginal relations strategies,

    allowing companies to demonstrate

    the progress they are making and

    providing a vehicle for engagement

    with Aboriginal groups.

    Fifty-one percent of Canadian

    sustainability reporters discuss their

    approach to Aboriginal relations.

    Among the seven leading reports in

    the study, scores on Aboriginal

    relations were mixed, with BC Hydroand Syncrude emerging as clear

    leaders. In addition to providing a

    wealth of information on Aboriginal

    relations in its Sustainability Report,

    Syncrude also prepares an annual

    Aboriginal Reviewto communicate

    further its Aboriginal relations


    >Vancity has an Aboriginal engagementstrategy.

    > Many companies provide examples of their Aboriginal engagement efforts, includiBC Hydro, Enbridge, Suncor, SyncrudeTELUS, and TransAlta.

    Economic Impact of AboriginalRelations Strategies

    > BC Hydro, Suncor, Syncrude, TELUSand Vancity provide data on Aboriginaemployment. Syncrude and Suncor alsoprovide data on Aboriginal procurement, andBC Hydro and Syncrude provide data on

    Aboriginal community investment.

    > BC Hydro reports on its AboriginaProcurement and Contracting Policy, and a10-year Aboriginal Education and Employmentinitiative.

    > TELUS discusses its Connecting Communities Agreement that delivers high-speed Interneinfrastructure to rural areas in B.C., including anumber of Aboriginal communities, as wel

    as its efforts to bring telephone serviceinfrastructure to isolated Aboriginacommunities in B.C.

    Aboriginal Rights

    > BC Hydro provides data on First Nationnegotiation, litigation and settlement costs.

    Source: Syncrude 2006 Sustainability Report, p. 3


    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting

    Emerging Issues and Best Practicesin Report Strategy and Content

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    > Get ready for materiality: Materiality isgoing to have a profound impact on reporting

    approaches as key stakeholders demand

    greater clarity on key sustainability issues and

    focused reporting on performance on these

    areas. Build a robust process and trim down

    reporting to the issues that matter.

    > Get serious about climate change:Climate change will continue to be the big

    ticket issue in the corporate sustainabilityworld. Consumers, customers, investors, reg-

    ulators and non-governmental organizations

    are all scrutinizing corporate activity. Gear up

    the sophistication of your strategy and look to

    find competitive advantage in your response.

    > Assess the business case for the useof the G3 Guidelines: Uptake of the G3Guidelines is increasing. Assess the business

    needs for reporting to G3 standards and be

    realistic about the costs. Dont just follow the

    pack - build an approach based on sound

    business principles.> Know your performance on

    Aboriginal relations: Reporting on poli-cies, programs and practices for Aboriginal re-

    lations is becoming standard in

    Canadian sustainability reporting, and

    demonstrating genuine progress is vital to

    maintaining trust with stakeholders. Track

    engagement activity, community investment

    programs, and Aboriginal recruitment and

    business development and know how your

    operations, products and services are viewed

    by Aboriginal communities.

    A final thought: As sustainability reportinggets more strategic and sustainability issues are

    increasingly addressed in financial reporting, we

    expect the level of scrutiny to

    increase. Stakeholders are going to demand

    confidence that the numbers, procedures and

    practices reported are an accurate reflection

    of business performance and activity. Do you

    have the mechanisms in place to give them

    that assurance?

    This study tracks two parallel trajecto-

    ries in sustainability reporting in

    Canada. Innovation and best practice

    is pushing ahead on a number of

    fronts at the seven companies in our

    assessment. For these companies,

    corporate sustainability reporting is a

    core component of long-term value

    creation which provides a competitive

    edge. At the same time, sustainability

    reporting is going through a period ofchange. While the rate of growth in

    Canadian sustainability reporting is

    slowing, there are signs that reporting

    companies are catching their breath

    while systems, tools and reporting

    frameworks are developed and imple-

    mented. Approaches to materiality,

    assurance and the use of the GRI G3

    Guidelines are being tested and are

    finding traction as companies exam-

    ine their strategy and plan to step up

    their reporting.

    Our findings are an early indicator of

    renewed activity in reporting. We

    expect the next two years to see

    further evolution and improvement in

    the quality of sustainability reporting in

    Canada. As companies are looking to

    navigate the coming changes, we

    identify key issues that reporting

    practitioners need to consider:

    Canadian Corporate Sustainability Reporting


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    Stratos has developed a sustainability reporting toolkit with the

    Government of Canada. The goal of the toolkit is to provide assistance

    to business to assess the need to report and create an effective report

    The toolkit is available at

    Stratos, with the support of Industry Canada, conducted a study with

    seven Canadian and international companies who are seeing the value

    in integrating sustainability into their business processes. The study, and

    the individual company case studies, provide best practice examples for

    other companies to adopt or adapt. See

    to access the full study and individual case studies.

    Stratos has conducted three

    previous in-depth assessments o

    corporate sustainability reporting

    in Canada. These reports are

    available online at


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    Stratos services to support your sustainability strategy and management

    > Materiality analysis

    > Gap analysis - policies, systems and practices

    > Review peer best practices

    > Facilitate executive decision

    > Governance advice, training, alignment

    > Stakeholder mapping and engagement

    > Advice on priorities and actions

    > Management system design and implementation

    > Design and support to implement programs(e.g. business ethics, human rights, community investment,

    biodiversity, climate change)

    > Sustainability report assessment and strategy

    > Sustainability assurance and stakeholder feedback




    Identify andpriorize key


    Assesscurrent state


    Define policy

    and strategy

    Assign accountabilities


    Buildaction plan


    Issue management


    Review and audit

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    Furthering the Debate

    We encourage discussion and debate on the views expressed in this study.To share your comments and perspectives, please contact

    Julie Pezzack, Principal

    613.241.1001 ext. 237

    [email protected]


    Matt Loose, Manager Corporate Sustainability

    613.241.1001 ext. 236

    [email protected]