We recognize that our activities have significant economic, social and environmental impacts. This is why CIMA+ is committed to becoming a leader in the development of innovative and sustainable projects that meet the needs of our business partners. These projects will have a significant positive impact on local communities by having more resilient infrastructure to better cope with climate change while minimizing environmental impacts.
CIMA+ completed its transition from a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy to an ESG strategy in 2022, after reassessing its materiality matrix.
Our objectives are:
- Become a leader in ESG and sustainable and responsible engineering.
- Instill an ESG culture within the company.
- Set ambitious targets and have the courage to take strong action.
This commitment was born in 2011 in the form of a sustainable development policy and the integration of sustainable development into the values of our company in 2012.
A Centre of Excellence for Sustainability (CESD) was established in 2020 to ensure a consistent environmental, social and governance (ESG) approach across our offices and sectors through the implementation of a strategic sustainability action plan. The integration of sustainability strategies into our day-to-day operations is the responsibility of each member of the organization; the goal of the CESD is to provide the tools and resources necessary to facilitate this transition. The CESD Action Plan is based on three strategic pillars.
for future generations
We aim to build a resilient world where future generations can thrive by supporting our clients lower their environmental impact, while contributing to the SDGs through innovation and excellent delivery.
Engaging our people and
We aspire to empower our people and communities by creating healthy, safe, inclusive and engaging work environments and strengthening our partnerships and collaborations with the communities in which we serve.
a responsible business
We strive to maintain and build trust of our stakeholders through robust and leading responsible business practices with integrity, transparency and accountability.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
Although our activities touch on all 17 SDGs, we have decided to focus our efforts in the short and medium term on the following 9 goals.
These SDGs guide us in developing our action plan and our key measurement indicators will be used in our ESG report to link to the objectives of the three pillars of the CESD. They will also be used in our internal and external communications to demonstrate that our ESG strategy is indeed incorporated into all our firm's activities.
ENVIRONNEMENT - Sustainable engineering for future generations
Objective: carbon neutrality
Several G7 countries, including Canada, are aiming to become carbon neutral by 2040. In Canada, several initiatives are planned over the coming years to achieve this objective, including better communication of national targets and limiting the increase in global warming to +1.5 °C under the Paris Agreement adopted in 2015.
Our decarbonization objectives are to reduce our GHG emissions to zero by 2040 and to become carbon neutral (no longer emitting greenhouse gases or offsetting them to achieve Net-Zero) by 2027, 20 years ahead of the federal government’s target. To achieve this, a number of solutions have been implemented, including the development of policies in favour of sustainable development and travel.
To decarbonize our projects, we ensure that our colleagues are trained using our guide to sustainable and responsible engineering. By allocating more time to training, people feel more concerned by sustainable development and integrate principles more naturally into our clients’ projects. Specifying low-carbon materials and highly efficient systems or arranging space for the addition of solar panels at the design stage are concrete examples of possible integration.
The financial constraints associated with their projects are obviously challenges that our clients face. Our role is therefore to support them and integrate elements that enable them to be competitive, so that they see the benefits of decarbonization in their projects, as well as the long-term cost savings. Moreover, thanks to innovative decarbonization projects, they can receive subsidies and even win awards!
Our decarbonization initiatives at CIMA+
We are already well on our way to achieving our goal of Net Zero. In 2020, the creation of the CES enabled us to make an initial shift by allocating time each year to carry out an inventory of our GHG emissions, the results of which are shared in our CSR report. This report, which covers all aspects of sustainable development at CIMA+, includes important data relating to the current year and those to come. This allows us to be more transparent with our clients and colleagues about our objectives and successes. In addition, and as previously mentioned, internal training programs are also offered by our CES, enabling our colleagues to work diligently on their various projects. Another initiative that is making a tangible contribution to reducing our GHGs and carbon footprint is our aim to make our vehicle fleet entirely electric by 2030.
Thanks to these initiatives, our colleagues have sustainable development in mind when they carry out projects and are seeking to integrate it more and more into their work. One example of this is the project for the National Institute for Nanotechnology Building (NINB) in Edmonton, on which the Buildings team worked, and which included precise ecological criteria.
Our team Energy and Resources has also worked on several energy storage, photovoltaic and wind farm projects in Alberta, Ontario, Québec, the territories and the United States. The use of solar energy, wind power and energy storage is an important step towards reducing communities’ GHG emissions.
Reduction of GHG emissions
We chose 2019 as the base year for our GHG emissions inventory because it is the year we were able to obtain data and reflects our normal operations. CIMA+ uses the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard to calculate
the GHG emissions generated by our leased offices, fleet of vehicles, business travel by car, train and plane, and employee commutes. This inventory is a first step in our efforts to reduce GHG emissions. Our carbon footprint provides a clear understanding of the GHG emissions associated with our activities, enabling us to set reduction targets and develop a concrete action plan to achieve them.
All our employees were surveyed about their commuting habits in 2022, to calculate the emissions associated with these commutes in scope 3, with a response rate of 54%.
In 2022, CIMA+ emitted 4,402 tonnes of CO2 equivalent through its activities, considering emissions from scopes 1, 2 and 3.1
 The conversion factors come from the 2022 with the exception ofare factors of transport emissions in scope 3 of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition to basing the methodology on the GHG Protocol, the inventory is based on the guidelines of ISO14064-1. Some energy intensity assumptions based on the provincial average were used for buildings without consumption data and an average vehicle model consumption was used when fuel consumption was not available for the vehicle fleet. The 100-year global warming potentials of each greenhouse gas are taken from the IPCC's fifth climate change report. An operational control approach was used for the inventory.
Sustainable engineering for future generations
CIMA+: a firm committed to sustainable development and climate resilience
Responsible engineering is built on innovation, integrity, passion and the people involved. “Engineering for people”: these few words sum up our values and our corporate culture. At CIMA+, we put the talent and know-how of our passionate employees at the service of our clients and the community. We have made this commitment, keeping in mind the purpose of engineering: to innovate and improve the quality of life of the people around us.
CIMA+ is one of the largest private consulting engineering firms in Canada, with more than 2,800 employees in some thirty offices from coast to coast. We offer a full range of services in the fields of engineering (building, transportation, energy and resources, municipal infrastructure), sustainable development, the environment, geotechnics, geomatics, 3D surveys (3D scanners and drones), intelligent and mobility systems, and project management.
SOCIAL - Empowering our people and communities
Communities and Partnerships
Since CIMA+’s foundation, philanthropy has always played a very important role. This is reflected in our
commitment to health and well-being, education and the environment. In 2022, we donated more than $440,000
to communities and organizations across Canada, including $120,000 from our employees.
more than $440,000 in philanthropic donations in Canada, including $120,000 from our employees
Here is a list of organizations and causes CIMA+ supports:
- United Way
- The Red Cross (including aid to people affected by the conflict in Ukraine)
- Several hospital foundations
- The Breakfast Club of Canada
- Opération Enfant Soleil
- Scholarships to several educational institutions
- Tree planting initiatives in various parks and municipalities
CIMA+ employees pride themselves in being involved in several other causes, including Movember, and the 24 h Tremblant and Montée des sommets sport challenges, which have raised more than $200,000.
Our first Volunteering Days were held on June 3 and 4, 2022. More than 350 employees from several of our offices across Canada participated to give back to the community.
Here are some of the organizations for which volunteers gave their time:
- La Maison du Père, Montréal team
- A Greener Future, Toronto-Mississauga team
- Operation Friendship Seniors Society, Edmonton team
- Flocons d’Espoir, Québec City team.
Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
As of December 31, 2022, CIMA+ had 2,736 employees, partners and associate partners in Canada, 92.7% of whom held permanent positions.
The age distribution of the workforce is stable.
As of December 31, 2022, the under-30 age group represented 20.4% of all employees, while the over-50 age group accounted for 26%. There is greater diversity at the senior management level, and we are very proud to mention that we have achieved parity among the external members of our Board of Directors, with three women and two men. The workforce continues to evolve positively in terms of diversity. We have seen an increase in the representation of the four groups, which account for 45.2% of the workforce, compared with 34% in 2017.
CIMA+ adheres to the Legislated Employment Equity Program (LEEP), and the Programme d’accès à l’égalité du Québec (equal access employment program), to give equal opportunities to a competent person who is a member of one of the four groups. Participating in these programs allows us to understand where we stand in terms of representation and availability in our markets. The method used to collect the data is self-declaration at the time of hiring, which is updated when necessary. We are following our action plans aimed at promoting the recruitment and retention of members of these four groups. For example, we are improving existing training modules and developing new ones.
We strictly adhere to pay equity principles for men and women.
At CIMA+, we recognize the history and diversity of Indigenous Peoples, their contribution to Canada, and their position as rights holders. Having worked regularly in and with Indigenous communities on more than 1,000 projects, as well as countless projects built on unceded Indigenous lands, we recognize and honour all First Nations, Metis and Inuit Peoples and their past and present contributions to the land.
At CIMA+, we recognize the history and diversity of Indigenous peoples, their contributions to Canada, and their position as rights holders. Having worked regularly in and with Indigenous communities on over 1,000 projects, as well as countless projects built on unceded Indigenous territories, we recognize and honour all First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples, and their past and present contributions to the land.
Reconciliation action plan
In 2022, CIMA+ published a formal Reconciliation action plan (RAP). We firmly believe that this plan will enable us to challenge our current approach and determine how we can continue to do more to understand and support Indigenous communities. In implementing a reconciliation action plan, we aim to drive change by leveraging relationships, respect and opportunities.
Implementing our first RAP will help us achieve the following objectives:
- Create a safe and ethical workplace that honours the history of Indigenous peoples to celebrate their culture and traditions.
- Advancing economic reconciliation through entrepreneurship in partnership with Indigenous businesses and communities.
- Integrate the principles of reconciliation throughout CIMA+ to establish the commitment of all employees to advance reconciliation.
- Create innovative training, partnership and professional development programs to build and strengthen relationships with Indigenous peoples.
- Deliver on our commitment towards corporate citizenship by being more inclusive of Indigenous Peoples in our projects, processes and policies.
Employee Health, Safety and Development
CIMA+ has a health and safety management system (HSMS) that was originally created based on the OHSAS 18 001 standard. Since its implementation in 2013, the system has undergone numerous updates with the involvement of our employees to meet the requirements of our clients as well as the regulatory requirements of each of the provinces in which CIMA+ operates. The HSMS applies to all CIMA+ offices in Canada, to all activities in all technical and administrative sectors, as well as to our visitors and subcontractors.
In addition, after conducting a thorough assessment of the situation last year, CIMA+’s Executive Committee decided to adapt its HSMS to ensure that it is well positioned to obtain ISO 45 001 certification in April 2024.
Results in terms of safety and well-being of our teams
CIMA+’s Executive Committee approves, monitors and reviews its health and safety objectives on an annual basis. Although we calculate the total frequency of our recordable incidents with and without lost time, as well as their severity, CIMA+ does not set any targets in this respect as these are reactive indicators and we prefer to focus on proactive indicators. However, it is important to note that there has been a steady improvement in these indicators if we exclude the year 2020 (a pandemic year with a significant reduction in field operations).
The proactive indicators are defined based on CIMA+’s vision in this area, which is to put health and safety first for its people. The organization hopes that this vision will become not just a priority, but a way of life. The company’s health and safety objectives are defined in terms of our four areas of action: setting an example, engaging our people, managing our risks and measuring our performance.
GOVERNANCE - Leading a responsible business
At CIMA+, we firmly believe that our day-to-day activities should reflect the ESG aspirations of our clients and stakeholders. As a socially responsible company, it is important that we put our message and vision into practice.
Compliance, Ethics and Integrity
In recent years, efforts have focused on putting in place the necessary tools for governance and maintaining exemplary ethical behavior. Ethics are integrated into the evaluation process and good ethical behaviors is valued.
The GRI indicator used to measure CIMA+'s anti-corruption performance is based on the number of hours of ethics training.
In 2022, a total of 2 371 hours since the beginning of 2022 were devoted to mainly 2 essential activities. Every year, all staff must review the Code of Ethics and Conduct and renew their commitment to its principles.
One of our success indicators for 2022, 99.8% of employees have ratified the commitment to the code of ethics. In addition, all new employees must undergo training in order to master the content of the code.
This year, a new version of the code of ethics accompanied by a more user-friendly and better targeted simulation document, as well as a brand-new training, better adapted to our current reality, were made available to all CIMA+ employees. The Code of Ethics and training aims to promote ethical culture throughout the company and provide the necessary tools for our executives to ensure ethical leadership with their teams. Senior officers must provide an annual declaration of interests to ensure decision-making independence in favour of CIMA+'s interests.
Evaluation of ethics
- Update the code of governance and ethics, regularly and as required.
- Renewal of commitment.
- Maintain an ethical risk dashboard.
- Assessment of the awareness, judgment and ethical actions of management, partners, associate partners and employees.
- Assessment of ethical issues specific to CIMA+: drawing up and analyzing a list of priority issues.
- Assessment and characterization of the organizational culture.
- Monitor the various types of conflicts of interest and their disclosure.
- Identify and assess recurring ethical dilemmas and possible solutions, including monitoring the donation and sponsorship policy.
- Monitor the interests of senior executives and their disclosure.
- Assess the adequacy of the code and related procedures.
We are pleased to announce that a new cybersecurity policy has been approved by our Executive Committee, reinforcing our commitment to protecting sensitive information and our digital assets. As part of our continued commitment to cybersecurity, CIMA+
is actively working towards ISO 27001 certification, a globally recognized standard for information security management.
At CIMA+, we understand how cyberthreats evolve and the importance of maintaining a robust defence against them. With this in mind, we have introduced robust measures to counter phishing attacks, which remain a widespread threat in today’s digital landscape. Our efforts include regular awareness sessions to educate and empower our employees so that they can identify and respond effectively
to phishing attempts, thereby reducing the risk of data breaches and unauthorized access.
We firmly believe that cybersecurity is a collective responsibility, and we encourage all employees to remain vigilant and proactive in their day-to-day activities. By fostering a culture of cybersecurity awareness, we aim to ensure that everyone in our organization understands the essential role they play in maintaining the integrity and security of our systems and data.
As part of our commitment towards transparency, we will regularly assess and improve our cybersecurity measures to address emerging threats and comply with industry best practices. We will also conduct audits and assessments on a regular basis to nsure that our cybersecurity policy complies with industry standards and regulatory requirements.
By prioritizing cybersecurity and investing in the necessary resources, technology and training, CIMA+ is committed to protecting its clients’ information, maintaining business continuity and preserving the trust our stakeholders place in us.
In 2021, we initiated a reflection on our supply chain in collaboration with ECPAR (Espace québécois de concertation sur les pratiques d’approvisionnement responsable). In 2002, we used the ECPAR barometer to assess our supply chain and drew up an action plan for the coming years.
Transparency and accountability
Process for selecting and appointing members of senior management
According to the shareholders’ agreement and the articles of incorporation of CIMA+, the Board of Directors is composed of an odd number of directors, between five and nine, at least two of whom are independent. Board members may be elected for a maximum of two consecutive three-year terms, except for the President and Chief Executive Officer, who is an ex-officio member of the Board for as long as they remain in office. Shareholders elect Board members to fill vacancies at the Annual General Meeting, and proposed candidates are recommended and approved by the Board. The members of the Board appoint a chairman among themselves.
Under its terms of reference, the Board must ensure the complementarity of its members’ skills to stimulate interaction and, consequently, encourage management to excel. The Human Resources and Compensation Committee is responsible for selecting and recommending the appointment of new directors. Under its terms of reference, this committee’s primary responsibility in this respect is to determine the selection criteria so that appointments reflect a diversity of experience, skills and gender.
Role of Senior Management in the ESG Governance Strategy
An ESG subcommittee, coordinated by the Senior Vice President, Sustainability and reporting to the Executive Committee, is responsible for reviewing the meaning, values, mission and governance strategy with respect to sustainable development and presenting it to the Executive Committee for approval. This exercise is carried out in conjunction with strategic planning to ensure alignment with our ESG strategy. A series of key performance indicators will be introduced in 2023 to ensure effective monitoring of our ESG strategy. As for the Board of Directors, it will be reviewing the responsibilities of its subcommittees and the governance structure to ensure that ESG issues are properly covered. Lastly, in 2023, we will be working to finalize or update the key policies on ESG, sustainable development, EDI, responsible procurement and travel.