Hydro-Québec carries out its activities with due respect for the environment and makes a significant contribution to the economic, social and cultural growth of the society in which it operates.
As an owner, manager of collective resources, purchaser and responsible company, Hydro-Québec plays a key role in Québec society. It fulfills its responsibilities while taking into account the three pillars of sustainability: the economy, society and the environment.
At Hydro-Québec, sustainability governance starts with the commitment of the Board of Directors, Senior Management and all the company’s employees. The company has a Sustainable Development Action Plan as well as environmental management systems. Sustainable development is subject to follow-ups and internal and external reporting.
Energy Efficiency Plan
Under the EEP, Hydro-Québec carries out energy efficiency programs, modernizes its intervention strategies and gradually sets up new demand response measures. The EEP also includes programs tailored to low-income customers. In 2015, customer participation in EEP programs generated savings of 570 GWh, for a cumulative total of 8.8 TWh since 2003.
Developing renewable energies
Hydro-Québec generates over 99% of its electricity from water. The development of water resources continues with projects such as Eastmain–1–A/Sarcelle/Rupert and Romaine. The company supports the development of other technologies—such as wind energy and biomass—through purchases from independent power producers in Québec. With wind energy for example, Hydro-Québec buys wind-generated power and feeds it reliably into its system.
Project acceptability and spinoffs
All of Hydro-Québec’s development projects must meet three criteria before they can proceed: they must be profitable, environmentally acceptable and favorably received by the host communities. To enhance acceptance of projects, Hydro-Québec encourages communities to participate in planning them. The company organizes public participation activities and ensures that its construction projects, operation activities and infrastructure projects benefit the regions in which they are located.
Through community investments, Hydro-Québec supports Québec’s cultural, social and economic life. The company either donates to or sponsors various organizations, in accordance with its Donation and Sponsorship Policy. It also funds community projects through the Integrated Enhancement Program and the Fondation Hydro-Québec pour l’environnement.
A positive contribution to reducing Québec’s carbon footprint
Through hydropower generation and the promotion of energy efficiency, Hydro-Québec is actively involved in the fight against climate change. The company implemented an action plan for transportation electrification and, along with its partners, launched Canada’s first public charging network, The Electric Circuit. In addition, Hydro-Québec has implemented various measures to reduce the transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions of its employees.
Prioritizing health and safety
Hydro-Québec attaches great importance to the health and safety of its employees. Various health and safety committees bringing together managers, employees and specialists in the field are active at the local, regional and provincial levels to eliminate risks of work-related injuries and disease. In particular, Hydro-Québec invests a great deal of energy in prevention for its young employees doing risky jobs. Moreover, in addition to ensuring public safety around its facilities, the company informs the public about safe behavior and the hazards of unsound use of electricity.
Human resources management
To fulfill its mission, Hydro-Québec counts on skilled, committed employees. That is why we pay close attention to maintaining a harmonious work environment, recruiting new talent and developing skills.
Hydro-Québec is a founding member of the Ouranos consortium, created in 2001 to study regional climatology and adaptation to climate change. The consortium brings together some 250 experts from Québec, the rest of Canada and abroad, including a number of researchers from our research institute, IREQ.
In the next few years, Ouranos will research the impacts of extreme weather conditions (strong winds, ice storms, rainfall in winter) on the management of power generation facilities in northern Québec, among other issues. The consortium will also study the effect of climate change on water resource management in southern Québec.