Who we are
Our corporate responsibility approach
We believe we must strategically manage issues relevant to our corporate responsibility. By acting in this way, we make a meaningful contribution to the creation of a sustainable future for Canadians and the world.
Supporting our purpose to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world
Since our founding in 1880, Bell has been enabling Canadians to connect with each other and the world around them. Our approach to corporate responsibility is to manage the company in ways that support the social and economic prosperity of our communities while safeguarding the environment, with a commitment to the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards.
Our approach is informed by a set of guiding principles that support our corporate strategy and policies throughout the organization. Through stakeholder engagement and our own internal processes, we monitor issues and opportunities, and set objectives. We continuously measure and report on our progress in increasing environmental stewardship, nurturing a healthy and inclusive workplace, building stronger and healthier communities and implementing best-in-class governance practices.tagGRI 102-15
We insist on this approach not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because we strongly believe that Bell’s corporate responsibility actions provide significant societal and environmental benefits that enable Bell to improve operational performance, attract and retain talent, increase access to capital and proactively manage risks. Our ESG strategy therefore generates positive returns for our shareholders as well as for our other stakeholders.
Alignment of Bell's strategic imperative to reflect our purpose
Our purpose and execution is guided by our six strategic imperatives. In 2022, in recognition that our ESG commitments underpin everything we do, we’re broadening our strategic imperatives to voice our commitment to create a sustainable future.
Governance and risk management tagGRI 102-18, 102-20, 102-22
We continually seek to strengthen our leadership in corporate governance and ethical business conduct by adopting best practices and providing full transparency and accountability to our stakeholders. The BCE Board of Directors (BCE Board or Board) and management believe that strong corporate governance practices contribute to superior results, thereby creating and maintaining shareholder value. The Board is actively engaged in the strategic management of corporate responsibility issues, and receives regular reports on performance.
The Board of Directors has established clear lines of authority over, and oversight of, our corporate responsibility programs and our approach to ESG practices, with primary accountability at the committee level. The Corporate Governance Committee (CGC) is responsible for oversight of our corporate purpose and our ESG strategy and disclosure, which includes oversight and related disclosure of climate-related risks. It is also responsible for our governance practices and policies, including those concerning business conduct and ethics.
In 2021 the Corporate Governance Committee:
- conducted a deeper dive on climate change (including on TCFD commitments);
- recommended a carbon-neutral target for the Corporation; and
- broadened the scope of our ESG initiatives, emphasizing a direct link between ESG and our overall goal, strategic imperatives and corporate purpose
Moreover, the Risk and Pension Fund Committee (RPFC) oversees environmental and security risks, including data governance and cybersecurity, while the Management Resources and Compensation Committee (MRCC) has oversight of human resource issues, including respectful workplace practices, health and safety, and tracks corporate performance against our ESG targets. In 2020, the MRCC formally added ESG targets to corporate performance metrics, establishing a link to compensation.
Furthermore, as of 2022, additional ESG related metrics were added and are embedded into each of the strategic imperatives, which is reflective of how ESG is embedded into the overall strategy of the business. ESG is targeted to represent, in aggregate, at least 30% of the total strategic imperatives score in 2022. The MRCC reviews the detailed metrics and targets and approves them early in the year, tracking progress throughout the year These cover corporate governance and ethics, as well as key performance metrics such as community investment, greenhouse gas emissions reduction, ISO recertification, team member engagement, the time lost accident frequency rate and waste management. These metrics can be found under the key metrics section of this report. In addition, EVPs have 30% of their annual bonuses tied to personal objectives that include a variety of corporate responsibility topics.
At the management level, the Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Compliance (HSSEC) oversight committee is mandated to make every effort to ensure that our corporate responsibility strategy is integrated throughout the business in order to minimize risk and optimize business opportunities. This committee is co-chaired by the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) & Executive Vice-President (EVP), Corporate Services and the Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer who report to the RPFC, CGC and the MRCC.
Corporate Responsibility Board
In order to support the evolution of our corporate responsibility strategy, in 2021 we created an internal Corporate Responsibility (CR) Board composed of 50 Bell leaders (directors, vice presidents and senior vice presidents). The CR Board meets quarterly and its responsibilities include the following:
- Embed corporate responsibility considerations into corporate and business strategies,
- Help identify corporate responsibility areas of further improvement,
- Establish relevant KPIs,
- Support our corporate responsibility disclosure,
- Respond to stakeholders' concerns, and
- Support various corporate responsibility initiatives.
Reports on progress are provided to the HSSEC Oversight Committee.
By working as a unified team, we can further enable long-term value creation for all stakeholders.
For more information on risk management, please see our 2022 Annual General Shareholder Meeting and Management Proxy Circular, our 2021 Annual Report, and the Our corporate responsibility approach and Business ethics information sheets on our website. tag GRI 410
Corporate responsibility issues and our business
The telecommunications and media industry is the foundation of societal and economic information sharing and commerce. As the Canadian leader in this increasingly important, growing and evolving industry, Bell is a significant provider of the infrastructure essential to enable world-class quality and accessible services for all Canadians. As such, we believe that we have a responsibility to manage key corporate responsibility issues strategically.
Bell’s value chaintagGRI 102-13
Product health + safety
Team member health + safety
Health + safety
Diversity, equity and inclusion
Team member engagement
Team member health + safety
Corporate responsibility topics across our value chaintagGRI 102-13.
Having a clear view of the company’s entire value chain is increasingly important in responsible business practice. Climate-related regulations and the cost and availability of materials and team members are just some examples of value chain risks. At Bell, we make every effort to continually expand and simultaneously deepen our view of actors and issues in our value chain. While our operations and influence are Canadian-based, we participate along with industry peers and across industries in global working groups (such as the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI) and the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) to amplify our voice.
Bell corporate responsibility prioritiestagGRI 102-21, 102-44, 102-46, 102-47
Understanding our corporate responsibility priorities informs how we develop our corporate strategy, invest our resources and report on our business and corporate responsibility efforts.
Bell is committed to continuously improving its responsiveness to stakeholder needs, including through its corporate responsibility goals. Consistent with that commitment, we collect input from stakeholders about corporate responsibility issues that are most important to them. We engage with our various stakeholders on the identified topics of priority. We maintain ongoing engagement through collaborations and by leveraging their expertise, insights and influence to improve our performance and find new solutions to common challenges. See Our corporate responsibility approach information sheet for more details on how we have engaged with stakeholders and the themes covered.
In 2021, we surveyed a sample of our stakeholders ranging from internal team members (unionized and management-level employees, as well as various directors and vice-presidents) to external groups (customers, investors, suppliers, governmental groups, non-profit organizations, community partners and academic institutions). This survey explored a variety of priorities that touched on seven themes: Climate Change, the Circular Economy and Use of Natural Resources, People and Culture, Customer Satisfaction and Network Reliability, Socio-Economic Impact, Business Ethics and Responsible Products and Services. Each theme covers related topics, producing a wide range of issues addressing almost 50 different priorities. For more details on our analysis, see Our corporate responsibility approach information sheet. We also asked our stakeholders which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Bell can have the most impact on.
Through this survey, we have analyzed two angles of impact. Respondents were asked to identify topics with the greatest impact on Bell’s enterprise value as well as on society and the environment. The responses received through this exercise influenced the topics discussed in this report. The results of this stakeholder engagement exercise are presented below
The top environmental, social and governance priorities on which stakeholders consider Bell can have the greatest impact are:
- GHG emissions managementBlue dot, environment and dark blue star, target met
- Energy managementBlue dot, environment and dark blue star, target met
- Digitally enabling society to transition to a low carbon economyGreen dot, customer and dark blue star, target met
- Green fleetGreen dot, customer
- Climate change risks & opportunitiesGreen dot, customer
- Network reliability Yellow dot, economy and dark blue star, target met
- Data privacy Green dot, customer and dark blue star, target met
- Information security Green dot, customer and dark blue star, target met
- Customer satisfaction Green dot, customer and dark blue star, target met
- Wellbeing Red dot, team members and dark blue star, target met
- Diversity & inclusionPurple dot, community and society and red dots, team members and dark blue star, target met
- E-Waste Blue dot, environment and dark blue star, target met
- Waste managementBlue dot, environment and dark blue star, target met
Other pertinent issues
- Accessibility & availabilityYellow dot, economy and dark blue star, target met
- Community investmentPurple dot, community and society and dark blue star, target met
- Community partnershipsPurple dot, community and society
- Environmental impacts of products and servicesGreen dot, customer
- Green-buildingBlue dot, environment
- Health & SafetyRed dot, team members and dark blue star, target met
- Innovation of products & servicesYellow dot, economy
- Local employmentYellow dot, economy
- PackagingBlue dot, environment
- Responsible supply chain managementBlue dot, environment
- Social impacts of products and servicesGreen dot, customer
- Take-back programsBlue dot, environment and dark blue star, target met
- Talent attraction & retentionRed dot, team members
- Training and career developmentRed dot, team members
The Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations that stakeholders consider Bell can have the greater impact on are:
Other SGDs that stakeholders consider Bell can contribute to:
We discuss the sustainable development goals through out this report. For more information on how we contribute to the SDGs, see SGD index.
For more information on our reporting strategy, read Our corporate responsibility approach.tagGRI 102-46, 102-47