Who we are

OUR PURPOSE AND CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY APPROACH

Management of corporate responsibility at Bell

Bell is committed to making a meaningful contribution toward creating a sustainable future. We believe we must manage issues relevant to our corporate responsibility strategically. By acting in this way, we make a meaningful contribution to create a sustainable future for Canadians and the world.

Corporate responsibility supports our purpose and goal 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 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 sustainability, achieving a diverse and inclusive workplace, leading data governance and protection, and building stronger and healthier communities.GRI 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 ESG actions provide significant societal and environmental benefits that enables 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.

For example, while waste management and energy reduction initiatives address important environmental concerns of society, they also create a chain of benefits for Bell. They enable us to operate more efficiently as part of our imperative to operate with agility and cost efficiency (#5). They also align with the values of our team members, driving satisfaction and engagement, advancing our work toward imperative #6: engage and invest in our people. In addition, they free up funds for a variety of purposes, from extending our networks in support of the productivity of Canadian businesses (#1), to investing in the communities we serve. Engaged team members also drive customer satisfaction, a key aspect of our imperative to champion customer experience (#4). Moreover, engaged team members in turn drive growth with innovative services, and help us to deliver the most compelling content (#2, 3). Finally, our customers want to do business with responsible companies and want to reduce their own environmental footprint.

1. Build the best networks
2. Drive growth with innovative services
3. Deliver the most compelling content
4. Champion customer experience
5. Operate with agility and cost efficiency
6. Engage and invest in our people

Governance and risk management

We seek to remain a leader in corporate governance and ethical business conduct by maintaining best practices, transparency, and accountability to our stakeholders. This includes adhering to the highest standards of corporate governance, as BCE’s Board of Directors and management believe that good corporate governance practices contribute to the creation and maintenance of shareholder value. The Board of Directors is actively engaged in the strategy and management of corporate responsibility issues, and receives regular reports on performance. GRI 102-18

The Board of Directors has established clear lines of authority and oversight over our corporate responsibility programs and our ESG practices, with primary accountability at the committee level. The Corporate Governance Committee is responsible for oversight of our ESG strategy and disclosure as well as policies concerning business conduct and ethics. The Risk and Pension Fund Committee oversees ESG issues, including environmental risks, security and business continuity. The Management Resources and Compensation Committee has oversight for human resources issues, including respectful workplace practices, health and safety.

The Health, Safety, Security, Environment, and Compliance (HSSEC) oversight committee is co-chaired by the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and Executive Vice President (EVP) Corporate Services and the Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer. The Board of Directors mandates this committee to make every effort to seek to ensure our CR strategy is integrated throughout the business in order to minimize risk and optimize business opportunities.

The CHRO & EVP Corporate Services and the Chief Legal & Regulatory Officer have 30% of their annual bonus tied to personal objectives that include a variety of ESG topics. 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, time lost accident frequency rate, and waste management. These metrics can be found under the key metrics and results page. In addition, in 2020, the Management Resources and Compensation Committee introduced a metric in our incentive compensation to track corporate performance against our ESG targets.

For more information on risk management, please see our Notice of 2021 annual general shareholder meeting and management proxy circular starting on p. 21, our 2020 Annual Report, starting on p. 41, Our purpose and corporate responsibility approach and Business ethics information sheets In the Key documents section.

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 an important provider of the infrastructure essential to enable world-class quality and accessible services for all Canadians. As such, we believe we have a responsibility to manage key corporate responsibility issues strategically.

Bell’s value chainGRI 102-13

Suppliers
Our business partners
End users
Primary resource
extraction
Manufacturing/
distribution
Production/Construction/
Installation
Delivering products and
services
 

Air qualityConflict mineralsCorruption/briberyEnergy consumptionFossil fuelsSoil contaminationWater pollutionWorking conditions Air qualityCorruption/bribery Energy consumptionFossil fuelsProduct health + safetySoil contaminationTeam member health + safetyWater pollutionWorking conditions
Business continuityCommunity relationsEconomic impactEnergy consumptionEnvironmental incidentsFossil fuelsHealth + safetyProtecting biodiversity Soil contaminationWaste management Business continuityCommunity relationsCorporate governanceData securityDigital divideDiversity and inclusionEconomic impactEditorial freedomEnergy consumptionEnvironmental incidentsFraud preventionFossil fuelsPrivacySoil contaminationTeam member engagementTeam member health + safetyWaste management
AccessibilityCustomer satisfactionData securityEnergy consumptionFraud preventionPrivacyProduct safetyProduct stewardship

Corporate responsibility topics across our value chainGRI 102-13. SDG 17.17

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 all examples of value chain risks. At Bell, we make many efforts 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 in global working groups (such as the Global Enabling Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), and the UN Global Compact (UNGC)) with industry peers and across industries to amplify our voice.

What we report

We report on the topics at the intersection of value chain impacts, industry sustainability megatrends, stakeholder interest, and external research on emerging trends. These are the issues that are of greatest importance to our stakeholders and could have an important impact on our business. For a complete description of our stakeholder engagement process, please see Our purpose and corporate responsibility approach in the Key documents section. GRI 102-46, 102-47

Please see the About our report section for information on the targeted audience and boundaries for this report, reporting standards, major changes since the last reporting period, data collection and data verification.

Significant sustainability topics in our industry

Topics that have significantly affected our industry in recent years include bridging the digital divide, employing an increasingly diverse workforce, addressing climate change, managing energy consumption, information security and privacy threats, mounting electronic waste (e-waste), and supply chain risks. Below we explain how these topics relate to our business.

Bridging the digital divide

Despite the importance of high-speed Internet for the full participation of Canadians in the digital economy, many Canadian households still do not have access. Bridging the digital divide means building out our network into remote and underserved areas of the country to facilitate Canadians’ access to the tools they need to participate more fully in our democracy, be successful and thrive.

Diversity and inclusion

Focus on diversity continues to grow for the ICT sector to ensure talent reflects the customer base, not just so that products and services are accessible for all, but also because it is linked to greater innovation, global success and talent retention.

Energy consumption and climate change

Always a notable component of business service solutions in our industry, energy consumption – which drives GHG emissions associated with climate change – is becoming more important as networks grow to support ever-increasing use of wireline and wireless services, such as Internet, data hosting, and a vast array of connected devices and objects.

Privacy and information security

As devices connected to the Internet become more numerous, smarter, and as data-transmission volumes increase, service providers must work continuously to improve the level of information security through the protection and effective organization of systems, applications and information repositories.

E-waste

Marketplace experience is confirming that, as faster and smarter devices are developed, customers need and want to replace devices more often. That creates more waste. Companies are expected to recover this unwanted equipment. This is an important initiative, given that electronic components may contain environmental contaminants that generate significant risks for workers and communities involved in the recycling and disposal of e-waste.

Supply chain

We purchase products from a limited number of manufacturers, some of which dominate the global market. Resellers must remain vigilant by evaluating the level of risk of key suppliers and by implementing mitigation measures at the contractual phase that improve their resilience to potential risks.