Since the late 1990s, ISO 14001 certified environmental management systems have governed all our operations that could have an impact on the environment. In 2016, we worked on adapting our environmental management to ISO 14001:2015. We will soon have one single environmental management system (EMS) that will cover the work done by all employees and replace the current seven systems. The new EMS should be certified by summer 2018.

Video: Broderie signature

Since 2009, Broderie Signature  (in French only) has manufactured the bags used by Hydro-Québec line workers. This company, established in 1983, provides long-term employment for people with functional (physical and intellectual) limitations. The contract signed with Broderie Signature provides for delivery of 26,000 bags in different styles and materials over a five-year period. (in French only)

Activities in 2016

  • The mandate was renewed of the NSERC/Hydro-Québec Industrial Research Chair on Control of Tree Growth at the Université du Québec à Montréal. Objective: develop an integrated urban management approach to trees near Hydro-Québec infrastructure to facilitate adaptation to climate change.
  • Gold-level Clé Verte (Green Wrench) environmental certificates were awarded to the vehicle repair shops in Rimouski, Saint-Jérôme and Montréal-Ouest, and the Beauport, Chicoutimi, Granby and Mont-Laurier repair shops earned Platinum-level (the highest level) renewal certificates.
  • Every year, we serve approximately 600,000 meals to the workers in Baie-James and at La Vérendrye and Montagnais substations. In 2014, we launched a project to decrease food losses at our premises and have since achieved a 15% reduction in these losses and in the cost of food. (Nord-du-Québec)
  • Adoption of Online Billing by 148,657 additional customers. At year end, 1,019,627 of our customers were signed up for this service, which means more than 9.8 million fewer bills printed each year. From September 6 to December 6, we ran a campaign urging customers to sign up for Online Billing. For each of the 92,245 customers who did, we donated $3 to Centraide in their region, for a total donation of $276,735. Plus, one customer won a Chevrolet Volt in a random draw from among existing and new users of the service.
  • Recovery and reuse of insulating oil

    • 2016: 87.9% of insulating oil was reused
    • 2015: 93.3% of insulating oil was reused
    • 2014: 92.2% of insulating oil was reused
    • 2013: 81.2% of insulating oil was reused
Residual hazardous materials recovered under the 4R-D program
Type of materials recovered (tonnes) 2013 2014 2015 2016
Liquids 5,811 5,686 4,250 4,929
Solidsa 3,868 2,063 1,906 2,945
Electrical equipment 5,284 3,885 5,199 6,465
Total recovered 14,963 11,634 11,355 14,339
  1. Recovered solids include gases.
Procurement, recovery, reuse and recycling of residual materials – Some statistics
  2016 Notes
Procurement Recovery
Printer cartridges and accessories (units) 14,244 11,337 Recycled cartridges accounted for 57% of purchases made for printers with a recycled-cartridge option (66% in 2015).
Computer equipment
  • Purchased (units)a
  • Computers (units)

  • 2,453
  • 1,833

  • not applicable
  • 7,401
Computer and electronic equipment is collected by a company that employs people with functional limitations. After the data is erased, equipment that still has value is sold or given to charities. Obsolete or damaged equipment is dismantled and recycled.
Wooden pallets (units) not available 15,762 Recovered pallets that can be reused are put on the market.
Paper and paperboard (tonnes) 223.8 907 Purchases were for paper only. They decreased by 36 tonnes compared with 2015. Recovered: 638 t of paperboard and 269 t of paper.
Porcelain from transmission line insulators (tonnes) not available 140 All insulators are crushed. Metals are removed and recycled; porcelain is mainly used as landfill mulch.
Clothing (kg) not available 7,087 Collection is handled by CFERs in Alma and Boucherville. Clothing that is still usable is reconditioned and sold. Worn-out clothing is recycled when possible.
Metal (tonnes) not available 12,130 Metal is sold for recycling.
Ring binders (units) 3,803 5,296 Binders recovered are repaired or recycled.
  1. Computer equipment includes desktop, laptop and workstation computers and monitors.

Video: Québec network of business and recycling training centres

For the past decade, Hydro-Québec has partnered with the Réseau québécois des centres de formation en entreprise et récupération (in French only)  (CFER). The business and recycling training centres in the network recover and recycle materials while helping young people aged 15 to 18 who are having difficulty in school develop vocational skills that will enable them to enter the labor market more easily. The CFERs encourage young people to remain in school and endeavor to develop citizens' sense of responsibility and support for the environment and sustainability. The Normand-Maurice CFER in Victoriaville recovered 437 tonnes of Hydro-Québec's power-line hardware in 2013. Parts in good condition were re-milled and reused, while damaged parts were recycled. (in French only)

Video: Sustainable management of excess computer material

Hydro-Québec owns nearly 25,000 IT devices. As part of its Sustainable Development Action Plan, the company has committed to reusing and recycling its residual materials, including IT equipment that has reached the end of its useful life. Once the data on excess IT equipment is deleted, the equipment is sent over to AFFI for recycling and reuse. Every year, around 5,500 desktop computers and laptops are passed on to this social economy organization that employs 450 people, 83% of whom have reduced mobility. (in French only)