Who we are
Chair of the Board BCE
Strong performance toward greater sustainability, resiliency
BCE excels at creating value for the benefit of customers, communities, employees and shareholders. With this first Integrated annual report, we are pleased to look back on our progress in 2022 with a focus on how BCE is contributing responsibly to creating a better, more sustainable and resilient future.
Bell’s purpose is to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world. We accelerate our positive momentum by investing in our networks, services and content to the benefit of all Bell stakeholders. By working together, we seek to build a sustainable future for our common benefit, guided by our six strategic imperatives.
We also know that leadership must be earned, and we are pleased to provide this Integrated annual report – a first for us and for a major communications company in North America – to better inform you about our focus on our networks, our customers and relationships, our products and services, our environment, our people and our financial resources. Overall value is increasingly measured across these capitals, and highlighting our success provides a more holistic view of the sustainable progress we are making and our strong focus on building resiliency.
Throughout our 143-year history, Bell has delivered the latest communications technologies, helping Canadian businesses compete and enabling customers to connect with increasingly greater speed, reach and reliability to what they want, when they want it.
Across the BCE group of companies, we are building fibre and wireless networks that are among the fastest in North America with the quality and resiliency that Canadians have come to expect. We are consistently making it easier for customers to do business with us. We are delivering innovative products and services that make life and work easier and more productive. We are informing and entertaining Canadians across the country through our media properties. And we are moving forward with responsible actions to enhance how we perform and manage risk in an intensely competitive, highly dynamic and rapidly changing environment.
These actions, combined with our commitments to ESG, and through our Bell for Better initiatives in mental health, environmental and workplace leadership, all contribute to a more sustainable and resilient future for our customers, our employees and our shareholders.
In 2022, Corporate Knights named Bell the top telecommunications company, and fourth-ranked company overall in Canada, on their Best 50 Corporate Citizens list, a recognition earned based on the strengths of our ESG and sustainability initiatives and the positive impacts we make in communities across the country. We also successfully completed our third year holding the ISO 50001 certification for our Energy Management System – after becoming North America’s first communications company to achieve that designation – and we were named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers for the sixth consecutive year, as we move closer to our goal of achieving carbon neutral operations by 2025 and reducing absolute GHG emissions by 2030.
Reflecting our deeply embedded focus on workplace benefits, skills development and diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, in 2022 Bell was named by Mediacorp one of Canada’s Top Employers for the eighth year in a row and one of Canada’s Top Employers for Young People for the fifth year running. Bell also repeated its achievement as one of Canada’s Top Diversity Employers, a Top Family-Friendly Employer and a Montréal Top Employer. More recently, Bell was recognized as a Future Workforce Top Employer in Computer Sciences based on input from thousands of Canadian university and college students.
Bell’s growth strategy continues to deliver strong financial results. Supported by healthy free cash flow generation and a strong balance sheet, we continued accelerating capital expenditures on advanced broadband and wireless connectivity, reaching a historic high of $5.1 billion in 2022. Our sound financial position also allowed us to increase our common share dividend 5.2% to $3.87 effective with the Q1 2023 payment on April 17, 2023, the 15th consecutive year BCE has increased the dividend by at least 5%.
In October 2022, we welcomed Louis Vachon as a Director on the BCE Board and as a member of our Management Resources and Compensation and Risk and Pension Fund committees. An exceptional business leader and experienced corporate executive, Louis is a recipient of the Global Citizens Award from the United Nations Association in Canada and is also a Member of the Order of Canada and an Officer of the National Order of Québec.
Last year also brought sad news with the loss of former Bell and BCE CEO Jean de Grandpré. An important and influential business leader, Jean played a key role in the creation of BCE in 1983. Jean was fond of saying “It is the people that make the company.” We could not agree more, and we extend a thank you to all members of the BCE and Bell team who worked every day and through many challenges in 2022 to deliver on behalf of all Canadians.
As Chair and on behalf of every member of the BCE Board, I thank all of our stakeholders for your ongoing support. I trust you share our confidence in the future direction of the BCE group of companies as we continue our journey toward a more sustainable and resilient future.
President and Chief
BCE Inc. and Bell