SNC Lavalin – 2019 SDG Leadership Awards

SNC-Lavalin Group Inc


Industry: Infrastructure Engineering

Primary SDG Focus

Secondary SDG Focus

Please summarize your company’s SDG focus, how that SDG was implemented and how you achieved and measured the impact.

The New Champlain Bridge Corridor (NCBC) project in Montréal, Québec, received the Envision® Platinum award for sustainable infrastructure. Envision recognition for this iconic and regionally important infrastructure project was officially unveiled on June 5, 2018 to coincide with World Environment Day. An award celebration was hosted by Signature on the Saint-Lawrence Construction (SSLC) near the project site in Montréal at the annual BBQ, organized by the Consortium. Attendees at the event included Melissa Peneycad, ISI’s Director of Sustainable Projects, as well as Hugh Boyd, SSL Project Manager; Marthe Robitaille, SSL Environmental Manager; and Chantale Côté, Senior director of the New Champlain bridge project at Infrastructure Canada and a crowd of over 150 people. The NCBC project is the first Envision-recognized project in the province of Québec (fourth in Canada overall) and the second bridge project to earn an Envision award in North America. This project exemplifies SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and with an innovative pre-fabrication system of project delivery also demonstrates best practice in relation to SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption.

How was your primary SDG focus identified and prioritized in the company’s value chain?

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure SDG 12: Responsible Production and Consumption are embedded in the project brief and have been delivered across numerous aspects of the project.

How was your primary SDG integrated and anchored throughout your business?

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure SDG 12: embedded in the project brief and have been delivered across numerous aspects of the project.

The construction of the NCBC project is complex; no temporary structure or construction barges are allowed on the St. Lawrence Seaway as this is a dedicated navigation channel where no activity may interfere with maritime traffic. To overcome this technical constraint, the team requested the use of an innovative approach to construction where the assembly of the main span tower of over 240 metres in length could be done without disrupting traffic on the seaway. The approach used by the NCBC project team was the object of an experimental development in the field of civil engineering.

Did you employ any innovative approaches in your efforts to implement the goal?


Innovation and Exceptional Performance

The NCBC project exceeded the highest levels of achievement within the Envision system for several credits in the Quality of Life category, earning the project bonus points for exceptional performance.

Furthermore, the project is implementing a new passive de-icing concept to mitigate the risk of ice accumulation on the bridge cable-stay system from falling to the bridge below. A modified bridge structure designed to prevent ice from shedding in large quantities was developed in partnership with DSI, the project’s cable-stay system supplier, and the National Research Council of Canada.

Were any partnerships leveraged or created?

The NCBC project is a major regional transportation system and a significant throughway allowing for nearly $20 billion annually in Canada-US trade. It is being delivered through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the Federal Government acting as the public partner and the Signature on the Saint-Lawrence (SSL) as the private partner responsible for carrying out the project. The SSL consortium is comprised of four companies, including SNC-Lavalin, Dragados Canada Inc., Flatiron Construction Canada Limited, and EBC.

What communications strategy did you employ to share the initiative with your stakeholders?

A detailed communications strategy has been developed for the project. Active stakeholder engagement and continued dialogue have been among the core principles of the project since its inception. Initial consultations were led by the federal government, and subsequently by SSL. A wide variety of stakeholders were solicited for input throughout project planning and delivery, including residents from the City of Montreal’s Verdun and Sud-Ouest boroughs, residents in the cities of Brossard and Longueuil, members of Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, Port of Montreal, the association of intermunicipal transit councils, and the interregional committee for freight transport. The project addressed several concerns raised by stakeholders, including technical constraints regarding constructing the project over the St. Lawrence Seaway, integrating multi-use paths in the project area, managing traffic flows during and post-construction, reducing noise and vibration for residents in the area, and providing accessibility to public transit.

How were KPIs and the levels of success outlined and defined?

As the owner of the project, the Government of Canada laid a strong foundation for sustainability. The Federal Sustainable Development Act (FSDA) publicly articulates the government’s commitments to improving the sustainable performance of Canadian initiatives, projects, and developments. The NCBC project aligns with the FSDA commitments to ensuring continued safety and service, promoting economic growth and providing value for Canadians, and fostering sustainable development and urban integration. Specific to this project and in keeping with each member’s long-standing commitments to sustainability, SSL developed its own policies and tools to ensure the priorities and commitments made by the Government of Canada were translated into concrete actions and outcomes over the life of the project. For example, the project team implemented an extended environmental quality management system (EQMS) to include social aspects in order to improve the project’s sustainable performance across a broad range of social, environmental, economic, and quality indicators. The EQMS was developed in accordance with the International Standard Organization’s 14001 and 9001 standards for environmental and quality management respectively.

How were reporting and monitoring conceptualized and undertaken?

Detailed reporting and monitoring were undertaken continuously throughout the duration of the project.

What were some key lessons learned?

The project had multiple site constrains which the team exhibited ingenuity throughout the entire construction process to overcome. The St. Lawrence Seaway, a dedicated navigation channel, didn’t permit construction since it would interfere with maritime traffic. To overcome this technical constraint, the team used an innovative approach whereby construction of the main span tower could be completed without disrupting traffic on the seaway. This tactic was the object of an experimental development in civil engineering.

What were the key impacts and results?

As one of the busiest crossings in Canada, the economic contribution of the NCBC project to the provincial economy cannot be overstated. This transportation corridor will support annual traffic of between 40 and 50 million commuters, as well as over $20 billion in international trade. Improvements to mobility brought by the NCBC compared to the existing Champlain Bridge will have a direct positive impact on the economy by reducing travel time for cars and trucks and providing reliable public transit options as well. To reach Envision Platinum status, a project must demonstrate that it delivers a range of environmental, social, and economic benefits to the host and affected communities. The Envision system examines the impact of sustainable infrastructure projects as a whole, through five distinct categories: Quality of Life, Leadership, Resource Allocation, Natural World, and Climate and Risk. These key areas contribute to the positive social, economic, and environmental impacts on a community.

This is the first ENVISION® project evaluated in Quebec and the first large-scale bridge in Canada to receive the award, which recognizes all the efforts made to observe the highest standards in terms of environmental performance and sustainable development.