Aecon releases inaugural sustainability report

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Aecon Group Inc. says it has released its inaugural Sustainability Report, highlighting the progress, initiatives and commitments of Aecon’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) processes and strategies.

“Aecon is proud to release its first annual sustainability report, Building the Infrastructure of a Better Tomorrow, demonstrating Aecon’s evolving initiatives to embed sustainability in our operations and relationships with our clients, communities, investors and all stakeholders,” said Jean-Louis Servranckx, the company’s president and Chief Executive Officer.

“The infrastructure Aecon builds is critical in enabling society to adapt to a changing climate, transition to a lower carbon, circular economy, and stay safe as the world endures an unprecedented global pandemic. Aecon’s goal is to be the number one Canadian infrastructure company and we recognize the important role sustainability plays in continuing to be a leader in the industry and the country. Together, with the collective efforts of our thousands of employees, we are dedicated to our sustainability commitments.”

The report outlines Aecon’s sustainability strategy, which spans beyond the construction of safe, resilient and sustainable infrastructure, and focuses on five areas:

  • “Our People: Aecon’s number one focus. We are committed to providing our employees with a safe, professional, passionate, diverse and inclusive work environment, with opportunities for career development and community involvement,” the document says.
  • “Our Projects: Aecon has built, and will proudly continue to build, renewable, low-carbon and zero emission power generation, water and wastewater treatment and safe and efficient urban transportation projects. As we also begin operating, maintaining and rehabilitating certain of the assets that we have built – such as light rail transit systems and airports – we are taking a life-cycle approach that extends beyond the design and build phases.”
  • “Our Environment: Aecon’s vision is not only to build sustainable infrastructure, but to build a better tomorrow. In this report we disclose our 2019 greenhouse gas emissions from our corporate operations, and in our future reports we plan on broadening our disclosure to an enterprise-wide emissions inventory while also setting meaningful targets to reduce emissions.”
  • “Our Communities: Aecon plays an important role in the economic fabric of the communities in which we operate. We are focused on more than philanthropy – we strive to help build communities with a commitment to diversity and equality that will grow and prosper for years to come.”
  • “Our Governance and Ethics: Aecon’s commitment to transparency, fairness, accountability and corporate responsibility inspires our actions, decisions and priorities.”

Cynthia A. Williams, Osler Chair in Business Law, Osgoode Hall Law School and co-principal investigator, the Canadian Climate and Law Initiative, said in a statement: “Aecon’s sustainability report is a model for how to do sustainability reporting well.

“Its report is clear, comprehensive, and specific, using best-in-class voluntary disclosure standards to produce a report that all stakeholders, including investors, will find extremely useful. Aecon is also to be commended for its leadership in recognizing that today’s infrastructure must meet the challenges of tomorrow, which definitely include climate change,” Williams said.

Aecon says, to ensure that this mandate receives the highest level of executive focus, tbhe company  has appointed Yonni Fushman as Chief Sustainability Officer in addition to his role as executive vice-president, chief legal officer and corporate secretary.

“Sustainability has always been deeply embedded in Aecon’s culture and reflected in our daily operations – while Aecon is proud to share the many initiatives that are underway, we also recognize that there is much work to be done,” said Fushman. “Moving forward, Aecon will continuously improve in establishing and measuring key metrics, setting meaningful goals and targets, and leading the industry in sustainable infrastructure construction and development.”

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