Shared Value Creation
At Power Corporation, we firmly believe that for our business to prosper, so too must the societies within which we live and work. Employing diverse and talented people and investing in high-quality and responsibly managed businesses is helping us build and strengthen our business for the future, while enabling more sustainable outcomes for our customers, communities and people.
Responsible management allows us to generate long-term sustainable value for our enterprise, the economy and society at large. In our view, we can be successful as a business and create shareholder value only if we seek to serve all our stakeholders and create value for them as well. This involves conducting our business in a way that benefits the communities where we operate, while providing products and services that benefit society.
As a company in the financial services industry, we understand that we manage our clients’ savings and investments and guide them in building their futures and their families’ security and confidence. We take this responsibility very seriously and believe that in creating indirect financial benefits for customers of our group companies, we represent a positive force in society. We effectively enable these customers to manage their retirement and healthcare needs, accumulate wealth and achieve financial security through prudent investments and, through providing financial advice, help foster financial literacy. This provides an important contribution to a prosperous, empowered society.
Our mission is to enhance shareholder value by actively and responsibly managing our investments, so they generate long-term, sustainable growth in earnings and dividends. In 2021, $1.2 billion of dividends were paid to our shareholders and to those of our main publicly traded operating companies, Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial. Major pension funds, mutual funds and insurance companies being amongst our shareholders, these dividends benefit millions of individuals who rely on them for their income.
We depend on the people in our group of companies for the success of our business. Together with our group companies, we employ approximately 33,700 diverse and talented people worldwide.
In turn, we provide our employees with competitive compensation and rewarding careers and give them the resources to develop their expertise and leadership skills. Also, our investments in training and new technologies continue to develop local talent and the intellectual capital of our people. In 2021, together with our main publicly traded operating companies, we paid out $5.68 billion in employee salaries and other benefits. These funds flow through the economy, impacting hundreds of communities across Canada in which our employees live and work.
We also encourage and support engagement with the not-for-profit sector and personal giving by employees through our Employee Giving Program. The program recognizes and rewards employees’ efforts in two ways: by matching personal charitable donations and providing grants to eligible charitable organization where employees volunteer.
Business Partners and Governments
Our group companies source an array of goods and services from a broad spectrum of suppliers. We encourage these providers to offer environmentally and socially responsible products and services. This allows us to build a strong and sustainable supply chain that collectively plays a responsible role in society.
Power Corporation, and our publicly traded operating companies, Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial, made $4.2 billion in payments to suppliers and various levels of government in 2021, generating indirect benefits for all the companies in our supply chain and enabling governments to benefit from personal taxes paid by our employees and through the corporate taxes levied on our suppliers.
We hold dear the responsibility we have towards the communities in which we operate, which is why being active in our community is a natural extension of our will to generate a positive impact in the life of Canadians. We believe in the power of the voluntary sector and social entrepreneurs, working in partnership with governments and businesses, to build a better, more inclusive society with improved opportunities for all Canadians. Giving back and helping build stronger communities is a shared value across our group companies and amongst our employees at all levels.
Over the past ten years, through donations and investments, Power Corporation has contributed to more than 2,000 organizations working in the areas of community development, arts and culture, the environment, education and health. In 2021, initiatives funded by the Power group include projects for the advancement of women and gender equality, diversity and inclusion, environment, reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and financial inclusion.
Our substantial commitment to philanthropy across the country has earned companies in our group the designation of “Caring Company” from Imagine Canada, having consistently exceeded the minimum donation guideline of one per cent of pre-tax domestic profit to charitable causes. In 2021, as a group, Power Corporation and our subsidiaries Great-West Lifeco and IGM Financial made a total of $45 million of charitable contributions to approximately 2,000 community organizations in Canada alone. We are helping to break down barriers to social inclusion, while contributing to better health and education, community development, environmental protection, and access to arts and culture.
Power Corporation’s community investment microsite, Power Corporation in the community, showcases some of the exceptional work being done by the organizations we support.
Power Corporation encourages and supports engagement with the not-for-profit sector and personal giving by employees through its Employee Giving Program. The program recognizes and rewards employees’ efforts in two ways: by matching personal charitable donations and providing grants to eligible charitable organization where employees volunteer. Power’s group companies also work diligently to make a difference in the communities they respectively serve, through their respective community programs and initiatives, as well as employee volunteering activities and workplace campaigns.
Through its national corporate citizenship program, Stronger Communities Together, Canada Life is working to improve the mental, physical and financial well-being of Canadians at the national, regional and local levels. The company works with organizations who are forward-thinking and collaborative and fund innovative programs that address gaps, and support diverse, under-served and vulnerable people and communities. Canada Life also encourages its employees to give their time and expertise to a range of causes that help address many regional and local community priorities. The company recognizes the volunteer and fundraising efforts of its employees by providing financial support that adds to the impact of their collective and individual efforts. In 2021, Canada Life awarded $73,600 in community volunteer grants to charitable organizations where its employees volunteered. In total, throughout 2021, Great-West Lifeco and its group companies donated over $14.8 million to local and global causes.
Each of IGM Financial’s operating companies implements its own community giving program, with its own guidelines and combination of centralized giving, directed from its corporate head offices, and decentralized decisions made by their people. In 2021, IGM Financial and its operating companies contributed $9.2 million to community and charitable organizations across Canada. Moreover, a record $1.92 million was raised by employees for United Way and the Mackenzie Together Charitable Foundation through the IGM Caring Company Campaign – 23 per cent more than in 2020. In addition, IGM Financial encourages its people to volunteer in their communities and it recognizes exceptional contributions through various community service award programs. Volunteer efforts at each of its operating companies are facilitated through planned events, two paid volunteer days per year and ongoing support for Canada’s National Volunteer Week every April.
In 2021, the Groupe Bruxelles Lambert (GBL) Sponsorship Committee (GBL ACT), made its largest ever contribution to civil society, doubling its support to €3.8 million (up from €1.9 million in 2020) across 42 projects in the fields of education, health and environment, in the hope of making an impact and building a better world for future generations. Through its sponsorship policy, GBL commits itself to supporting, for the most part, Belgium-based, sustainable projects with a long-term vision that have a positive effect on society. Finally, their commitment takes shape through agile, coherent and responsible management.
This impact is multiplied through the active involvement of our employees, whom we encourage to volunteer for causes that speak to them. Our officers and employees are also very active in both charitable giving and volunteering. In fact, many of our officers and employees also sit on the boards of the non-profit organizations they support.