Our 2022 Corporate Social Responsibility Report
In February 2023, we published our third Corporate Social Responsibility report, which brings together all our actions and progress in environmental, societal and governance issues.
At Boralex, ESG issues are part of our growth strategy
On June 17, 2021, on the occasion of our 2021 Investor Day, we presented our new 2025 strategic plan. Built around the four strategic directions that have guided our work since 2019, the plan introduces new targets and has our CSR strategy embedded at every level.
One of our targets for 2025, ranking as high as our financial goals, is to become the leading CSR reference for our partners by going beyond renewable energy.
The integration of CSR into our strategic plan means that at every stage of its execution, we consider not only why we produce renewable energy but also how, taking into account the extra-financial impacts of our operations and our entire value chain. This leads us to proactively manage the risks and impacts of our operations and properly equip ourselves to identify opportunities to improve our practises and access new markets
Our CSR approach is embedded in our corporate strategy to support the sustainable growth of our organisation. It also helps ensure that we can deliver superior longterm financial returns for our shareholders while working collaboratively with our host communities and regions.
Our progress in CSR for the second quarter of 2023
Boralex’s progress in ESG in 2022
Boralex is a modern, versatile company that has long made corporate social responsibility (CSR) a key part of its values and culture. After charting our CSR strategy in 2020 and establishing the CSR governance structure in 2021, we were able to enjoy meaningful advancements and successes in 2022.
At the beginning of 2022, we set ambitious CSR goals for each of the 10 priorities of our strategy. Over the course of the year, we introduced and implemented activities that advanced our commitments in this regard.
Environment – Producing Renewable Energy in a Sustainable and Resilient Manner
- Updated our Environmental Mission Statement
- Decreased Scope 1 GHG emissions by 95% with respect to 2021
- Avoided the emission of 354,442 tonnes of CO2 in 2022 through renewable energy generation
- Decommissioned 18 wind turbines in France in 2022. These wind turbines were resold, and we are able to track their subsequent use.
- Continued to implement TCFD recommendations, in keeping with our 2020 commitment by conducting an analysis of climate-related physical risks in 2022.
Society – Respect our People, our Planet and our Community
- Increased representation of women in management roles to 29.6%, surpassing our 2022 target of 26.5%;
- Good performance regarding occupational health and safety: the total recordable incident rate (TRIR) improved from 2021 to 2022, scoring 0.94 (1.2 in 2021), and company-wide lost time incident rate (LTIR) remained low at 0.19.
- Updated our occupational health and safety commitments
- Became the first legacy partner of the Common Roots Foundation, a non-profit focused on improving quality of life throughout northeastern New York.
Governance – Leading by Example
- Creation of the new role of Senior Vice President, Enterprise Risk Management and Corporate Social Responsibility;
- Mandate of the Board of Directors broadened to include CSR oversight;
- Increased representation of women on the Board of Directors to 45%, surpassing our new target of 40%;
- Launched the Sustainable Procurement Charter and the EcoVadis assessment process for our strategic suppliers for product purchases of 150,000 CAD/USD/EUR and more;
- Updated Code of Ethics, which will be deployed in 2023, to ensure a healthy workplace, safeguard and enhance the Company’s reputation, and comply with legal requirements.
Our ambitions for 2023
Among the many commitments that Boralex has for 2023, the company aims to:
- Ensure all employees and Board members are trained in and adhere to the contents of the revised Code of Ethics.
- Continue to strengthen OHS governance by raising the standards to be applied at all existing and future Boralex sites.
- Quantify our Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions annually and report them in our CDP disclosure questionnaire. Make progress toward our Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) commitments.
- Remain attentive to our communities as our business expands, especially in the United States, where we anticipate accelerated growth.
External Disclosure Platforms
In 2022, Boralex participated in several third-party disclosures:
- EcoVadis, a sustainability and CSR rating organization, which awarded a gold medal to Boralex S.A.S. in France for its CSR performance, putting it in the 95th percentile worldwide for its industry. In 2021, Boralex S.A.S. received a silver medal and was ranked in the 92nd percentile.
- The ESG Corporate Rating of the Institutional Shareholder Services group of companies (ISS), which assigned Boralex a B- rating and “Prime” status, granted if a company meets or exceeds ISS ESG sustainability performance expectations for a specific industry.
- The S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA), an annual evaluation of sustainability practices that covers over 10,000 companies from around the world and focuses on industry-specific, financially material criteria. In 2022, we were given an overall score of 51/100, compared to the average score for our sector of 33/100, putting us in the 77th percentile in our sector. This year’s score is higher than our 2021 score of 38/100.
- CDP, formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project, the gold-standard global disclosure system for investors, companies, cities, states and regions to manage their environmental impacts. In 2022, we received a “C” grade, up from the “D” we were awarded in 2021.
- Board Games, The Globe and Mail’s ranking of Canada’s corporate boards using a set of governance criteria that are designed to go beyond basic regulatory requirements. In 2022, the boards of 226 S&P/TSX Composite Index companies and trusts were evaluated. Boralex ranked 114th with a score of 76/100, compared to 105th in 2021.
- Corporate Knights, the sustainable business magazine, which publishes an annual ranking of outstanding companies in sustainable development. In 2022, 332 large Canadian organizations were evaluated based on a set of 24 indicators and compared to their national and international counterparts. Boralex came in 23rd place, thereby qualifying as one of Canada’s 50 best corporate citizens.
- Boralex is also a signatory of Corporate Knights’ Action Declaration, in which we commit to Paris-align our climate policy engagement activities. Boralex’s Action Declaration is available here.
Materiality analysis: a critical step in defining our csr priorities
Materiality analysis is an essential step of our CSR approach to identify the environmental, societal and governance (ESG) issues that are most important to the Corporation and our key stakeholders, and should therefore be prioritised in our efforts.
In 2020, we conducted 21 interviews with various stakeholders – investors, municipalities, non-governmental organizations, associations and employees – based on a selection of 18 relevant ESG issues. These were identified based on Boralex’s most important potential impacts on society and the environment; and the drivers that could affect positively or negatively our company’s value. This assessment led to the definition of a materiality matrix that maps out the most significant sustainability issues for Boralex’s stakeholders.
Based on this matrix and the extra-financial risks inherent in the Corporation’s activity, we identified 10 priorities and grouped them under the three ESG commitments that guide our actions: leading by example (governance), producing renewable energy in a sustainable and resilient manner (environment) and respecting our people, our planet and our community (society). These priorities reflect our organization’s most important contribution to society and the environment, as well as being factors that can have a positive or negative impact on the Corporation’s value. In this report, we make a clear link between our achievements, our commitments and the associated priorities.
Fostering ongoing dialogue with our stakeholders
To keep a 360-degree view of our CSR approach and how it is evolving, we involve our various stakeholders, including all those who participate, directly or indirectly, in delivering on Boralex’s mission. Our stakeholders contribute to our prosperity, which is why we have a duty to maintain a constructive dialogue with each of them and to create value together.
Starting in our 2021 CSR Report, we have aligned reporting with the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) framework. As Boralex has a strong presence in France, we have also taken into account the non-financial performance framework (Déclaration de performance extrafinancière, or DPEF) used in that country since 2019.
Our contributions to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
By the very nature of our business, our mission and our CSR approach, Boralex is contributing to 13 of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Throughout our CSR reports, we indicate which SDGs are directly related to our various achievements and commitments.
Our approach to managing the impacts and risks related to our activities
Boralex’s activities are sustainable by definition — but they are not without impact. We use a range of means and measures to mitigate the repercussions of our activities, leveraging technological and business innovations and engaging in ongoing dialogue with local communities.
The risks we deal with fall into one of four main categories: strategic, operational, financial and corporate. Our enterprise risk management (ERM) policy, created in 2019, enables us to follow a preventive, reactive and systematic approach to identifying, managing and monitoring risks that may affect our capacity to achieve strategic goals. This policy also promotes informed decision-making with respect to our objectives and mission, defines roles and responsibilities for all stakeholders, and describes accountability processes that correspond to the degree and severity of risk. For additional information about risks related to Boralex’s activities, click here.