REDUCING OUR GHG EMISSIONS
We take concrete steps, based on robust and detailed data, in order to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at the source.
Scope 3 emissions
When calculating its GHG emissions, iA Financial Group takes great interest in knowing its impact in different areas of activity. As such, it was again obvious to us to include categories from Scope 3. We have therefore calculated emissions in areas such as waste management, transportation and non-occupied real estate investments. The CDP study also recommends disclosing GHGs emitted by indirect activities not related to electricity consumption (Scope 3). As such, iA Financial Group also calculates emissions related to waste management, business travel and employee commuting.
iA Financial Group commissions external firms to perform characterization studies measuring waste material recovery rates in many of our buildings in order to meet BOMA BEST and LEED certification standards.
A recovered material is one that continues its useful life through reuse, recycling or composting and thereby avoids ending up in landfill or incineration.
Paper reduction and recycling programs
For our clients
In all of our business lines, most of our documents are now produced in digital form. When we use paper, we make an effort to use paper made of 100% postconsumer recycled fibres. This has resulted, year after year, in a significant reduction in the volume of paper mailings to our clients.
In Quebec, this tonnage is reported to Éco Entreprises Québec (ÉEQ), in accordance with the Quebec Environment Quality Act for deposit and separate collection. Like all other reporting companies, iA Financial Group pays an annual fee to ÉEQ for recyclable materials sent to individuals. In the case of iA Financial Group, these materials are mainly printed matter. The amount paid, administered by ÉEQ, finances separate collection by municipalities.
For our employees
In our offices in the various cities where we operate, efforts to reduce paper consumption in the workplace are widespread and affect all our internal business activities.
We are aware that the paper used in our offices remains of very high quality for recycled pulp producers. For this reason, we work with a partner that ensures ultra-secure destruction, at the highest level offered to its customers, of our documents.
This partner then works with local and regional industries that de-ink the material, pulp it and ultimately develop new recycled paper products. We then buy back a portion of this recycled paper, thus completing a circular economy loop.
Since 2018, iA Financial Group has been giving new life to its outdated computer equipment through a partnership with Quantum Lifecycle.
New roads for our old equipment
Once collected directly and securely from our offices, the equipment is tracked by Quantum to its own facilities, where it is emptied of its content, cleaned and put back into circulation. Rigorous monitoring is maintained at every stage of this secure destruction process.
Equipment that cannot be reused is disassembled and its components are sold to partners who specialize in recycling them.
A positive gesture extended to our employees and the community
At iA Financial Group, we have developed additional ways to allow our employees and the community to benefit from this initiative.
Equipment available at a discount to our employees
Quantum refurbishes the recovered equipment and resells it to a network of established clients through its transactional website Qnovum.ca. On this website, iA Financial Group employees can obtain the devices recovered from various partners for their own personal use. Our employees who take advantage of this offer receive a 20% discount on the purchase, as well as free home delivery, which is paid for by iA Financial Group.
Donations to the community
When equipment that we once owned is resold, a portion of the sale is returned to us and, once processing and other related fees have been deducted, is held in a charitable account. At iA Financial Group, we have decided to reinvest these amounts in the community. Sometimes community organizations come to us with specific IT needs. The purchase of this equipment represents a large portion of their budget, which they cannot invest elsewhere, in care or direct assistance to beneficiaries.
We offer them the possibility of purchasing equipment that fully meets their needs on Qnovum.ca, and we pay for the purchases out of our charitable account. In 2020, we were able to donate 73 laptops to various organizations that work with youth and immigrants, for a total value of $36,500.
This initiative preserves the environment by extending the life of equipment with electronic components that are highly polluting and harmful to ecosystems and people’s health when they end up in landfill, it benefits the community through the money and resources it allows to be reinvested, and it vitalizes the economy by mobilizing a forward-looking local company.
Accessories and household items
In addition to very user-friendly recovery bins for waste generated in our workplaces, many other initiatives have been introduced to recover personal accessories and items that our employees may need to dispose of. These initiatives are designed to make life easier for our employees and encourage them to do more to protect the environment by diverting as many untreatable items as possible from municipal recycling.
Personal electronic devices
iA Financial Group has Electrobac recovery containers where employees at the head office and workers at the 3800 Marly building in Quebec City can recycle their small electronic devices. Items deposited are collected and sent to a certified processing centre. Any data stored in the devices is completely destroyed and the devices are then recycled or refurbished. The centres involved in the recycling process are all audited and approved by the Recycler Qualification Office (RQO) and operate under the official program of the Electronic Products Recycling Association (EPRA).
In partnership with one of our suppliers, three recovery boxes for all types of batteries are located in our head office buildings in Quebec City.
Small office accessories
In partnership with our office supply vendor, collection boxes for pens, markers and mechanical pencils have been installed in our three head office buildings.
The items collected are cleaned and transformed into plastic pellets that are used to manufacture new products.
We calculate the annual GHG emissions generated by head office employees when travelling for business and commuting to and from work.
Promotion of sustainable transportation
To act as an ambassador and influencer for sustainable transportation among our employees and the community, iA Financial Group has introduced a number of initiatives and incentives in most of our geographic locations.
In Quebec City, an incentive of 50% of the Quebec City and Lévis bus pass is paid by iA Financial Group for employees. The transport companies also offer our subscribers an additional 10% discount. For Quebec City employees of iA Auto and Home Insurance (iAAH), the entire cost of the pass is paid by the employer.
Also, through our Transit Support Program launched in February 2018, iA Financial Group provides financial support to our Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver employees who use public transit as their primary mode of transportation to the office. These employees are reimbursed $50 per month, provided they meet the eligibility criteria. This program has had a major impact for our employees.
Aware of all the benefits of carpooling on mental health (e.g., reduced stress, co-worker bonding) and on the environment (e.g., reduced GHG emissions), iA Financial Group has offered employees in Quebec City and Montreal a carpooling program in partnership with ridesharing.com since 2009. In addition, 30 parking spaces are reserved for employees who carpool to work, 24 in Quebec City and 6 in Vancouver.
Electric vehicle charging stations
Over 20 electric vehicle charging stations are available to employees and tenants on 12 of iA Financial Group’s properties.
iA Financial Group is attuned to the benefits of physical activity on the productivity and wellbeing of its employees. The following facilities therefore allow many employees to stay in shape and avoid solo car commutes:
- Bike racks on our various properties, most of them in secure locations
- Locking bike racks
- Showers and change rooms
Participation in public and active transportation events
Again in 2020 , iA Financial Group was a major participant in the Défi Sans Auto Solo car-free challenge organized as part of public and active transportation week. The challenge was maintained in 2020, despite the pandemic and lockdown measures, because it covers all activities involving travel by an individual during the period, whether for work or for other activities. During the seven day challenge, iA Financial Group participants calculated their public transit kilometres, active transportation kilometres and kilometres saved by telecommuting, which contributed to a reduction of approximately 961 kg of greenhouse gas emissions compared to travelling alone by car.
Environmental employee recruiting initiatives
During 2020, iA Financial Group adapted and revised its strategy to ensure a memorable, distinctive and reinvented experience for its existing staff, but also for new hires.
As part of this new vision and our commitment to sustainability, our organization pledged, as of January 2021, to plant one tree per new employee, in addition to those planted as part of our carbon-offsetting activities.
In addition, our Talent Acquisition team has committed to supporting and promoting local businesses from the different territories served by iA Financial Group, and to exposing their products by offering 100% local welcome gifts to our new employees. Because of the diversity of our suppliers, new employees will each be able to discover different companies throughout the year, depending on the partnership in place when they are hired.
Lastly, note that our onboarding process, which used to include a large volume of paper documents, is now almost entirely digital.