Sustainability-oriented governance

Our sole shareholder is the Québec government. Our governance therefore reflects our responsibility to all citizens and is based on our shareholder’s major priorities. To better serve our customers and contribute to Québec’s development, we have implemented substantial changes at the heart of our operations, including a shift in our corporate culture.

The major priorities adopted by our shareholder—mainly through its Energy Policy and Sustainable Development Strategy [PDF 2.6 Mb – in French only] – directly influence the planning of all our activities.

Our sustainability governance is based on 13 company policies approved by the Board of Directors. These policies express commitments and a business culture. Our sustainability objectives for a given period are defined based on thorough planning. They are then implemented by various mechanisms, such as our environmental (ISO 14001), health and safety (OHSAS 18001) and quality (ISO 9001) management systems. Sustainability governance concerns all organizational levels, and its application is closely monitored by the Board of Directors’ Environment and Public Affairs Committee.

Sustainability governance



  • Achievement of targeted results
  • Respect for our customers, employees and partners
  • Authenticity
  • Teamwork
  • Integrity



  • Sustainable Development Act
  • Strategy to ensure the occupancy and vitality of territories 2011–2022
  • Québec’s Agenda 21 for culture
  • Québec Energy Policy 2030
  • Québec Economic Policy: Putting Jobs First
  • Transportation Electrification Strategy 2013–2017
  • Etc.


Assessment and improvement

Performance reporting

  • Internal
    (annual environmental management review, semiannual reports on environmental compliance)
  • External
    (corporate documents)

Sustainability governance is part of a continuous improvement process that consists of the following stages:

  • Commitment
  • Planning
  • Implementation
  • Assessment and improvement
  • Performance reporting

Main sustainability governance activities.

The Board of Directors’ Environment and Public Affairs Committee monitors the company’s sustainability activities (e.g., environmental compliance, public health and safety, social responsibility). The business units are held accountable regarding these activities. The President and CEO also monitors and is responsible for all sustainability activities.

Édifice Jean-Lesage, Hydro-Québec’s head office.

Responsible procurement

We have incorporated environmental and social criteria into our process for acquiring goods and services. This practice aims to reduce environmental impacts, increase social spinoffs and enhance the economic viability of our suppliers, throughout the life cycle of their products. For the last few years, we have participated in the responsible procurement activities of ECPAR (Espace québécois de concertation sur les pratiques d’approvisionnement responsable), of which we are a founding member. We have carried out life cycle assessments for certain products and services, targeted the product groups with the largest environmental impact and drafted product purchasing guides that include sustainability criteria.

Access to information and the protection of personal information

In accordance with the Act respecting access to documents held by public bodies and the protection of personal information, Hydro-Québec does it's utmost to maintain the confidentiality of customers’, employees’ and suppliers’ personal information, while respecting the public’s right to information. To facilitate access to documents whose publication is prescribed by the Regulation respecting the distribution of information and the protection of personal information, Hydro-Québec publishes them on its Web site. In addition, this site provides information about the right to information and the protection of personal information, including instructions for requesting access to a document. The company’s key official publications are also available on the site.

We make information of public interest available on our Web site. In addition, under the Action Plan for People with Disabilities [PDF 268 Kb – in French only] we take all reasonable measures to ensure that people with disabilities can exercise their right to obtain complete, high-quality information.


  • The updated employee Code of Conduct and the company’s Occupational Health and Safety Action Plan 2017–2020 were approved. Over 90% of employees have done self-training on the new Code of Conduct.
  • Two new directors were appointed to the Board, following the departure of two of its members. The Board now has at least one member aged 35 or under, at the time of the appointment, in keeping with section 43(3) of the Act respecting the governance of state-owned enterprises.
  • We processed 428 requests for access to information (413 in 2016). Of these, 147 were granted in full and 169 were granted in part. Another 50 were turned down, most of them to protect third-party personal information or out of commercial, strategic or security concerns that prevented disclosure of the document. The remaining 62 could not be fulfilled, either because the documents requested were unavailable or because the request was withdrawn. In 16 cases, requesters applied to the Commission d’accès à l’information (CAI) for review of our responses. The average request-processing time was 21 days.

See also