We recognize the important role we can play in advancing more sustainable business practices through the influence we have on our suppliers and business partners. Procurement decisions are taking a prominent role in the sustainability agenda, having become an important mechanism to create a greater impact on achieving environmental benefits.
The decisions we make on the procurement of products and services are based on our sustainability commitments and are aligned with organizations which share our values on this topic. Our commitment to green procurement focuses on integrating environmental considerations into our decision-making processes in a way that creates long-term and sustainable environmental benefits.
Steps Taken to Achieve our Objectives
We established a partnership with our paper suppliers to source only environmentally responsible paper. Such paper has earned responsible forestry certification through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and/or the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC).
Non-Toxic Building Cleaning Products
We continue to work with our building managers to source sustainable products, including non-toxic cleaning products and building materials.
When sourcing Information Technology (IT) equipment, including computers, printers and computer networks, we work with suppliers to purchase equipment that is energy efficient. All of Power Corporation’s IT equipment is “Energy Star” certified.
We support local small- and medium-sized businesses by purchasing their products and services. For example, our local food catering service is encouraged to use only natural and pesticide-free ingredients, and to purchase local products.
Highlights from our Group Companies
In its Canadian operations, Great-West Lifeco specifically engages its critical suppliers to understand the products and services that could reduce the environmental footprint of its buildings, operations, and processes. Supplier evaluation and its Supplier Risk Management Policy includes sustainability, including climate change, as one of its considerations. This includes suppliers that support the company in improving the sustainability of its real estate assets, as well as other products and services that enable them to reduce energy, water, and material consumption (e.g. building equipment retrofits, utility providers, data centre optimization, LED lighting, paper, and building materials).
GWL Realty Advisors is also working collaboratively with service providers to support environmentally conscious activities, products and services.
IGM Financial’s Supplier Code of Conduct was put in place to address environmental and social risks in its supply chain and set out expectations for its suppliers. It includes provisions related to human rights and labour practices, and to improving environmental performance.
Imerys expects its suppliers to adhere to the same high standards as its own business operations. In fact, Imerys’ Supplier ESG Standards are based on its code of business conduct and ethics and its CSR charter, and have been translated in 23 languages. These standards, which must be acknowledged and complied with, are applicable to all their suppliers and form an important part of Imerys’ purchasing policy. The assessment of ESG performance of suppliers starts during supplier qualification and onboarding. Purchasing teams are responsible for carrying out reasonable controls before considering and accepting a supplier, including in particular any supplier that may be classified as higher risk (due to a country or category-related risk classification) during the supplier onboarding process in order to make sure they are able to demonstrate compliance with Imerys’ Supplier ESG Standards. In 2020, Imerys redefined the process to qualify, screen and monitor suppliers’ ESG performance. The process will be rolled out progressively and will require all new suppliers to pass through a series of validations and third-party screening prior to being accepted as suppliers for Imerys. The new onboarding process has been designed to ensure that suppliers are aware of and commit to comply with the Imery’s ESG Standards, but also to support their own development and continuous improvement in ESG performance.
IGM Financial continually seeks opportunities to reduce paper used for communications, marketing, reporting, and other business operations. The company also use of recycled paper and paper from responsibly managed forests. Its photocopiers are also pre-programmed to print double-sided and track usage to determine priorities for paper reduction projects. IGM Financial’s goal was to reduce personal paper use from 2017 by 50 per cent by year-end 2020. With employees working from home in 2020, paper usage was reduced by 84 per cent. The company is focused on making changes across the business so as many of these reductions as possible are made permanent.
Canada Life also makes it a priority to reduce paper usage. As a member of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the company is committed to using responsibly sourced paper and other forest products meeting FSC’s strict environmental and social standards. In 2020, their corporate offices recycle 51 tons of cardboard and 709 tons of paper.