The 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations Development Programme

The 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations Development Programme were adopted by world leaders in the fall of 2015 and took effect January 1, 2016. These goals build on the successes of the Millennium Development Goals, while including new priorities, such as climate change and energy efficiency.

Hydro-Québec intends to do its part by pursuing the objectives most relevant to its industry and its projects. The 17 goals have 169 targets that demonstrate the scope and ambition of the new program. The goals and targets provide guidance for initiatives to be carried out by 2030 in the fields most important to humanity and the planet.

The company has assessed the various goals and its potential contribution to achieving each of them. It has accordingly selected four goals and seven targets which it plans to make its particular focus.

Goals 7, 8, 11 and 13 are those to which Hydro-Québec intends to contribute, by incorporating some of the targets most relevant to its industry and projects.

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships for the Goals

Ensure the social acceptability of our projects

Context

Every year, we carry out close to 1,100 construction and refurbishment projects. A project’s social acceptability may be based on the achievement of a broad consensus rather than a complete lack of opposition.

Solutions considered

  • Continue to inform and consult with stakeholders as soon as a project is envisioned and work with communities to gain a better understanding of their concerns.
  • Reduce the environmental footprint of our projects, through mitigation measures such as landscaping, optimization measures such as reduced-footprint towers and quieter transformers, and other means.

Examples of initiatives in 2017

  • Held open house events to explain projects, gather stakeholder concerns and give tours of new facilities.
  • Designed a landscaping concept that visually incorporated the pipeline at Îles-de-la-Madeleine generating station in Cap-aux-Meules. The design, developed with the community, will not only mitigate the visual impact of the pipeline, but improve the safety and fluidity of motor and foot traffic on the dock there.

Examples of initiatives for 2018–2020

  • Better inform the public about the rationale behind projects.
  • Communicate more proactively by using a variety of consultation practices that will allow more of those affected to give their opinion in the form and at the time most convenient for them.

Sustainable development goal associated with this challenge

  • Goal 11 Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
  • Target 11.3 By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries

Improve customer satisfaction

Context

Customer satisfaction is one of our top priorities.

Solutions considered

  • Make our services more accessible (outage information, online services, etc.).
  • Reduce call wait times and processing times for customers’ work requests.
  • Ensure reliable, high-quality power.
  • Keep rate increases to lower than or equal to inflation.

Examples of initiatives in 2017

  • Expanded our online services for both residential customers (Customer Space) and business customers (Consumption Profile).
  • Took part in two public information meetings held in Québec and Montréal on the 2018–2019 rate increase application.
  • Set up one step service for developers and major builders.

Examples of initiatives for 2018–2020

  • Increase customer awareness about energy savings.
  • Offer more products and services to help customers better understand and manage their consumption and reduce their bills.
  • Reduce service connection lead times.
  • Respect dates determined with customers for carrying out work.
  • Increase our presence on social media.

Sustainable development goal associated with this challenge

  • Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Target 7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

Contribute to reducing GHG emissions in Québec, with a view to reaching the goal of a 37.5% reduction by 2030 compared with 1990

Context

By generating 99.8% of our output from a clean, renewable source, we already contribute to reducing the continent’s GHG emissions. We are also a major player in transportation electrification, through initiatives such as the Electric Circuit.

Solutions considered

  • Maintain the vehicle fleet emission reduction target.
  • Convert off-grid systems to cleaner, less costly energy sources.
  • Continue our efforts toward transportation electrification (personal vehicles and public transit).

Examples of initiatives in 2017

  • Took part in research on climate change issues.
  • Carried a out solar power pilot project in Quaqtaq.
  • Increased the proportion of hybrid or plug-in electric vehicles in our fleet.
  • Reduced GHG emissions from our light-vehicle fleet.
  • Offset senior management’s travel-related GHG emissions.

Examples of initiatives for 2018–2020

  • Gradually convert off-grid systems to cleaner and less-costly energy sources. Launch initiatives for all off-grid systems by 2020.
  • Add hybrid and plug-in vehicles to our light-vehicle fleet.

Sustainable development goal associated with this challenge

  • Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Target 13.2 Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning

Adapt our practices and infrastructure to climate change

Context

Climate change is already impacting our activities. We must adapt our facilities and business practices to this new reality.

Solutions considered

  • Continue our collaboration with Ouranos to stay on the leading edge of developments and prepare for the new reality by adapting our practices accordingly.
  • Review all our practices that must be adapted in response to climate change.

Examples of initiatives in 2017

  • Shared climate change knowledge in house.
  • Developed a decision support tool with a view to incorporating variants of a changing climate when determining the specifications of some equipment.

Examples of initiatives for 2018–2020

  • Assess the impact of climate change on all our business practices and facilities. Ensure that all components, such as permafrost thawing and faster vegetation growth, are considered.

Sustainable development goal associated with this challenge

  • Goal 13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts
  • Target 13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries

Promote energy efficiency

Context

Our energy efficiency initiatives have led to a substantial decrease in electricity use.

Solutions considered

  • Manage demand through measures such as interruptible load programs for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial customers.
  • Educate customers about the benefits of being energy wise.
  • Continue our initiatives with low-income customers.

Examples of initiatives in 2017

  • Raised awareness of energy efficiency, made sustainable energy choices and supported customer efforts in those areas.
  • Set up a new Business Web site showcasing online services, offers and energy efficiency programs.
  • Offered hourly tracking of home electricity use in the Customer Space.
  • Implemented energy-saving measures in company facilities, including installing efficient lighting and ventilation systems.

Examples of initiatives for 2018–2020

  • Reduce power demand by 300 MW.
  • Offer residential customers the option of reducing their energy use by having their heating interrupted in exchange for compensation.
  • Satisfy a portion of increased demand through our energy efficiency initiatives.

Sustainable development goal associated with this challenge

  • Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Target 7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

Improve our profitability

Context

The company’s profitability creates wealth for Québec. The dividends we pay the Québec government improve public services.

Solutions considered

  • Increase clean energy exports.
  • Continue efforts to increase the capacity and output of our hydroelectric generating stations.
  • Commercialize our innovations.
  • Acquire assets or stakes outside Québec.
  • Develop the Québec market.
  • Optimize our resources and processes.

Examples of initiatives in 2017

  • Exported a record net volume of 34.4 GWh ($1,575 million).
  • Responded to two RFPs to provide clean power to neighboring states (Massachusetts and New York).
  • Developed new markets in Québec, including data centers.
  • Improved our goods and services procurement practices.

Examples of initiatives for 2018–2020

  • Sign new long-term contracts for the sale of electricity to neighboring systems.
  • Purchase assets or stakes outside Québec.
  • Continue efforts to commercialize our innovations.
  • Take advantage of business opportunities related to decentralized energy sources, such as photovoltaic solar, storage and electric vehicles.

Sustainable development goal associated with this challenge

  • Goal 8 Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Target 8.2 Achieve higher levels of economic productivity through diversification, technological upgrading and innovation, including through a focus on high-value-added and labor-intensive sectors

Contribute to the energy transition

Context

The gradual abandonment of fossil fuels globally as part of the fight against climate change is opening up new business opportunities for the power industry.

Solutions considered

  • Increase the capacity of our generating fleet.
  • Work to further transportation electrification.
  • Continue our exports, which play a key role in the energy transition of our neighbors in the northeastern United States by helping to reduce their GHG emissions.
  • Convert off-grid systems to cleaner, less costly energy sources.
  • Continue research, specifically on energy-positive homes.
  • Purchase assets or stakes in hydropower generation and power transmission in regions outside Québec where the energy transition is in full swing.

Examples of initiatives in 2017

  • Carried out pilot projects and R&D with a view to integrating new technologies and renewable energy sources into our grid.
  • Responded to two RFPs to supply clean power to neighboring states (Massachusetts and New York).
  • Densified the Electric Circuit fast-charging network.

Examples of initiatives for 2018–2020

  • Develop new customer services (smart grid).
  • Continue to monitor advances in solar power, particularly with respect to investment costs and applications.
  • Simplify the integration of residential wind and solar power into the grid (net metering).
  • Purchase assets or stakes outside Québec.

Sustainable development goal associated with this challenge

  • Goal 7 Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all
  • Target 7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

Remain an employer of choice

Context

The business world is changing. The company wants to keep an agile, proud and enthusiastic workforce.

Solutions considered

  • Improve employee commitment, leadership and pride in the company.

Examples of initiatives in 2017

  • Launched our employee ambassador campaign, introduced new Hydro-Québec promotional items, educational kits for in-school presentation.

Examples of initiatives for 2018–2020

  • Set up a field observation program for managers, to improve health and safety performance.
  • Set up a special telephone line for employees to answer questions they are asked.
  • Encourage and acknowledge employees’ volunteer work.

Sustainable development goal associated with this challenge

  • Goal 8 Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all
  • Target 8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment
  • Target 8.12 By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization