"The time for debate is over! The greatest challenge facing the planet in this 21st century relates to sustainability and climate change! CIMA+ intends to fully embrace its role in terms of corporate social responsibility with respect to sustainable and responsible engineering, community involvement and the company's internal practices."
- LUC JOLICOEUR, P.Eng., M.Sc., D.A.P., LEED AP BD+C
François Plourde, Chief Executive Officer of CIMA+, is pleased to announce the appointment of Luc Jolicoeur to the position of Senior Vice President, Sustainability. The appointment took effect as of April 14, and Luc will oversee the major course change that was undertaken a few years ago with a view to transforming CIMA+ into a company that takes its responsibility to future generations firmly in hand.
We had an opportunity to talk to him about his new role and the challenges that await him.
What are the sustainability issues facing a company the size of CIMA+?
"Sustainable and responsible engineering, community involvement and best internal practices"
There are really three pillars to be considered. The first involves practicing sustainable and responsible engineering, which includes climate change resilience. The second is our involvement in the community. This encompasses volunteer work and the donations that we make, namely related to health, education, the war on poverty and the environment, all the while with a vision of diversity and inclusion. The third pillar relates to internal practices. The design and layout of offices is a good example, but we must also be mindful of reducing our carbon footprint. We plan to calculate it in order to quickly determine where we can reduce it and where we can offset it. We must also adopt an internal responsible procurement policy for the future that will prioritize local, ethical and responsible purchasing. Lastly, the well-being of our employees is essential. It is important for us to adopt performance indicators that will allow us to improve our surroundings and the health of our employees, along with our projects.
What is your vision for the role of engineering in the fight against climate change?
"Resilience, adaptability and optimization"
We play a vital role! We design infrastructure assets that serve the public in their everyday lives. This means that we are everywhere, and we must ensure that we design assets that are resilient to climate change, and that we adapt existing assets accordingly. We must also innovate while optimizing infrastructure designs in order to reduce the use of resources. Reducing the use of resources means reducing the generation of greenhouse gases, which will limit our contribution to global warming.
What instincts need to be developed so that every employee can participate in this vision and help you make it a reality?
The publication of a guide to sustainable and responsible engineering deals with that question in a thorough and exhaustive manner. We want all of our employees to develop the reflex to take into account all aspects of the life cycle of a project, beginning with the design stage. We must go beyond the current norms and standards in order to design infrastructures that are resilient to climate change and therefore fully play our advisory role to our customers.
Finally, what advice would you like to pass on to the next generation of contractors and engineers?
I would like to tell them that, despite all of the negative news being presented to us in the media, there is hope. We can influence the course of events! Every action counts, and climate change must be attacked on multiple fronts. If we all do our part, we will succeed for ourselves, and for future generations.
I would also like to entrust them with a mission. We have the good fortune of having access to a lot of complimentary resources, which means that we also have a duty to contribute to creating a more sustainable and inclusive world. These are beautiful challenges, are they not? Thanks to sustainability and innovation, we can help our clients create projects of great value. Opportunities abound, and all we have to do is seize them!
About Luc Jolicoeur
Luc Jolicoeur holds both a Bachelor degree and a Master's degrees in Civil Engineering from Université Laval, along with a Post-Graduate diploma from École nationale d’administration publique.
He has acquired more than 30 years of experience in the design and management of multidisciplinary projects, and after overseeing the Buildings Engineering Division for the last 6 years, he is now responsible for the sustainability strategy of CIMA+ across Canada.
A LEED certified professional, Luc is a passionate promoter of sustainable development and infrastructure life-cycle analysis. He is also involved as a volunteer with a number of professional, athletic and charitable organizations.