Our commitment towards Sustainable Development (SD) is dear to us because it is directly linked to our vision to be the leader in the implementation of best practices for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
It is also essential if we want to be coherent with the product and message we deliver to our clients, our community and all our stakeholders. Bearing in mind that we offer a solution that helps optimize our clients’ business processes and ensure that they respect their sustainable development and CSR commitments. Through the implementation of an internal SD approach we have started a dialogue with our stakeholder, whether those with direct or indirect interest in our activities. The concept of stakeholder engagement is the cornerstone of our products and services; its implementation at the internal level increased our comprehension of the challenges our clients must face, especially when it comes to CSR issues. Our hope is to promote changes in sustainable behaviour and we believe that the best way to do this is to practice what we preach.
Hence, for the past three years we have been reporting annually on our economic, environmental and social performance, in accordance with the G3 Guidelines provided by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). GRI is a network that provides a framework recognized worldwide for the presentation and analysis of reports on economic, environmental and social performance. Each report is audited by a third party to validate our internal processes, the quality of our data as well as the conformity of data processing with GRI requirements and indicators. We also submit our reports to be audited by the GRI to confirm that they comply with guidelines. This annual presentation of our performance allows to track the evolution of our SD initiatives and to identify areas of improvement that should be considered within a continuous improvement process.
We just finalized our fourth sustainable development report that covers the 2012 fiscal year. We obtained a C+ certification level from the GRI, which includes the presentation of our company profile and a minimum of 10 performance indicators. Each category (economic, environmental and social) has to be represented by at least one of these indicators. The evaluation process of our performance required an analysis of our relations with stakeholders, including employees, clients, community and many other groups linked to Boréalis. There was also the evaluation of our governance system and the integration of sustainable development in our daily activities.
2012 was a pivotal year because of our exceptional growth; it changed our status from small to medium business. This expansion brought its share of challenges and concerns. Among other things, it made it more difficult for us to reach certain goals linked to sustainable development.
The 2012 report states activities and initiatives we carried out throughout the year, and the directions we wish to follow in the future. Notably, we want to prioritize the consolidation and integration of our SD action with our new strategic business plan currently under revision. Furthermore, our expansion around the world creates a great challenge, that of integrating the scope of our activities within our accountability process. Currently, social and economic data collected is related to our Canadian and international activities, while data linked to our environmental performance only concerns Boréalis’ headquarters in Magog. We will have to implement an information management system for environmental data in our other offices during the upcoming years.
Another challenge we will have to address involves the evolution of GRI guidelines towards a new G4 version. Companies that follow GRI directives are required to comply before 2015. The GRI reviewed its guidelines to enhance their technical quality, eliminate ambiguities and limit divergent interpretations. The objective of this reorganization is to better harmonize the framework with other internationally accepted standards and provide more guidance in identifying pertinent issues that must be taken into consideration during the accountability process. From now on, emphasis is placed on pertinence, and the GRI requires additional information on the content to be divulged. In the future, we wish to conform to this new version that is better adapted to the context of SMEs.