We complete materiality assessments on a regular basis to ensure our sustainability reporting is focused on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics that are most material to our stakeholders and our business.
Following the sale of our Canadian fossil fuel-based electricity generation business in 2019, we worked in 2020 with an external consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of our material topics. We engaged over 80 key internal and external stakeholders, including employees, investors, bondholders, customers, business partners, regulators, community members and Indigenous communities. Participants were asked to prioritize the most significant ESG issues and assess the impacts of these issues on our businesses, as well as ATCO’s ability to create a positive change.
As a result, nine key material topics were identified as most significant. Our sustainability reporting for 2022 is focused on these nine priority topics, supplemented with information from four additional subtopics.
We then organized our nine material topics into the following five categories (see below for descriptions):
- Energy Transition
- Climate Change & Environmental Stewardship
- Operational Reliability & Resilience
- Community & Indigenous Relations
Energy Transition and Innovation: Global climate goals require innovation as we transition to a low-carbon economy. This category is about how we promote and accelerate the energy transition through cleaner fuels, renewable energy, energy infrastructure and storage, and energy efficiency.
Climate Change & Environmental Stewardship
Climate Change and GHG Emissions: We contribute to climate change both directly and indirectly through greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our own operations, as well as GHG emissions from our suppliers and our customers’ use of our products and services. We are also impacted by climate change physically, such as by extreme weather events, and through other factors that come with transitioning to a low-carbon economy, such as changing policy, regulation, technology and markets.
This category is about our GHG emissions track record, and efforts to mitigate both emissions and the physical and transition risks associated with climate change.
Operational Reliability & Resilience
System Reliability and Availability: We are exposed to the risk of outages and system disruption impacting the customers and communities we serve. This category is about our system reliability track record and our efforts to ensure a continued and reliable supply of energy.
Emergency Preparedness and Response: As a provider of essential services, emergency preparedness is critical to providing the reliable and efficient service that customers and communities depend on. This category is about how we prevent, respond to, and recover from incidents and emergencies and provide emergency response assistance to others.
Health and Safety: We are exposed to inherent safety risks, affecting employees and contractors –including both direct harm to people as well as the potential for indirect operational and financial consequences. This category is about our occupational health and safety track record and how we create and maintain a safe and healthy workplace for employees and contractors. We consider a safe and healthy workplace one that is free of injuries, fatalities and illness, and considers other aspects such as the mental health of workers.
Public Health and Safety: Our operations and activities may present inherent safety risks to the public. This category is about our public health and safety track record and how we reduce incidents involving the public.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Our culture and hiring and promotion practices have an impact on the diversity of our workforce. This category is about our efforts to promote diversity, inclusion and equality and the progress we are making.
Community & Indigenous Relations
Community Engagement and Investment: Our activities can impact our neighbours. This category is about how we engage with and give back to community groups. This includes meaningful and authentic stakeholder engagement, as well as community investment such as corporate volunteering, sponsorships and donations.
Indigenous Engagement, Economic Opportunity and Reconciliation: Our activities can impact Indigenous groups. This category is about how we facilitate meaningful and authentic engagement with Indigenous communities, and promote economic participation, education and employment opportunities, among other considerations.