There’s no denying the movement afoot to hold companies more accountable for their actions. They need to rethink their approach if they are to keep pace with a constantly changing world.
Investors want to be kept abreast of the strategies companies plan to adopt to deal with the risks related to climate change, the evolving labour market and emerging technologies. And they want a thorough analysis of the various impacts on the environment, on society and on the planet.
Taking a page from civil society, these same investors are also demanding greater transparency in corporate reporting, cognizant of the fact that businesses that make environmental and social priorities part of their culture are more likely to perform well.
The real estate and construction sector is not immune to this shift. Given that the built environment is responsible for more than 30% of greenhouse gas emissions (World Green Building Council), the industry has no choice but to take action and put strategies into place to reduce its carbon footprint.
For Ivanhoé Cambridge, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is at the very core of its mission. Creating living spaces that foster the wellness of users, and the wellness of the planet as a whole, is in itself a tremendous responsibility. As is wisely investing the funds entrusted to the Company’s care.
This principle underpins all of the decisions made and actions undertaken by Ivanhoé Cambridge, from developing top-quality buildings in accordance with the highest industry standards and finding effective ways to reduce its carbon footprint, to providing its employees with motivating work environments and giving back to the community.
Ivanhoé Cambridge invests in ambitious projects that shape the urban landscape of some of the world’s most vibrant cities. It is dedicated to creating living spaces that enhance the comfort, safety and quality of life of the occupants of its properties, while minimizing their environmental footprint.
In 2017, Ivanhoé Cambridge and its partner Blackstone announced the largest private multifamily residential rooftop solar project in the United States at Stuyvesant Town/Peter Cooper Village, a community comprising over 11,000 multifamily units across 80 acres (32 hectares) of New York City. The two have been the co-owners of StuyTown since 2015.
This massive project will triple Manhattan’s capacity to generate solar power. The panels will offset roughly 63,000 US tons of carbon dioxide emissions or the equivalent of removing 12,000 cars from the road.
The solar panels are just one of the measures introduced by the partners to make StuyTown more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Other initiatives have included painting the 20 acres (8 hectares) of roofs white to mitigate the heat island effect and reduce carbon dioxide levels. Energy savings have also been achieved by installing a centralized building management system, hot water heat exchangers and LED lighting. Last but not least, a smart weather station has been set up to reduce water consumption by keeping soil irrigation levels to what is strictly needed.
In addition to this sustainability initiative, Ivanhoé Cambridge and Blackstone are committed to preserving the unique heritage of this historically middle-income community. In 2015, the partners signed a deal with the City of New York to keep rents affordable for 5,000 households over a 20-year period.
The sharp decline in the worldwide bee population has been attributed by many to the widespread use of agricultural insecticides. The situation is particularly alarming when one considers that a full third of human nutrition is reliant on pollination. Anti-pesticide by-laws enacted by many major cities mean that building rooftops are being converted into flourishing bee habitats. In 2017, several Ivanhoé Cambridge properties decided to roll out the red carpet for these new winged tenants.
With guidance from the urban beekeeping experts at Alvéole, Vaughan Mills, Édifice Jacques-Parizeau, Le 1500 and Place Ste-Foy installed rooftop hives. Every two weeks during the summer, Alvéole staff visited the sites to make sure the bees were healthy, perform the necessary maintenance and extract the honey. At the end of September, the first harvest yielded an average of 10 kilograms of honey per hive.
Other Ivanhoé Cambridge properties, such as Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, Eighth Avenue Place in Calgary and Guildford Town Centre in Surrey have also gone this same route. Workshops were held during the year for employees interested in learning more and in taking part in the honey harvesting process.
Over the years, Ivanhoé Cambridge has introduced numerous green building programs and initiatives in its properties. Some of the simplest among them have borne tangible and very telling results. For instance, the switchover to LED lighting has yielded energy savings to the tune of 15% to 20%, depending on which technology it had replaced.
A total of 89% of the properties managed by Ivanhoé Cambridge are environmentally certified by one or more programs, chief among them LEED and BOMA BEST. These certifications recognize the eco-friendly features of new or existing buildings, based on a set of criteria.
In 2013, the new WELL Building Standard was established to focus exclusively on user comfort, health and wellness. The benefits of a WELL building can be more difficult to quantify than energy savings and water efficiency, but it remains that happy, healthy employees are decidedly more productive, which in turn is a considerable bonus for their employers. Two of Ivanhoé Cambridge’s flagship developments, namely CIBC Square in Toronto and DUO in Paris, are determined to join the WELL building ranks.
Recognized Well-Being and Environmental Certification Standards
A leading certification program for sustainable buildings
Pioneer in environmental building certification
Designation for energy-efficient buildings
Certification based on best practices in terms of environmental and energy performance
The hallmark of excellence around the world for sustainable building
Initiative that places comfort, health and wellness at the centre of building performance
Ivanhoé Cambridge was the first major real estate company in Canada to install electric vehicle charging stations at its properties, of which there were 170 by the end of 2017. Some parking spots are also set aside for car-sharing services.
Active transportation and public transit also continue to be a top priority. Most of Ivanhoé Cambridge’s Canadian properties offer bicycle parking facilities; some even have changing rooms available for cycle commuters. And the availability of nearby public transportation options remains an important factor when deciding on the location of the Company’s development projects.
In 2017, Ivanhoé Cambridge was named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers by Mediacorp. The Company was singled out for the involvement of its employees in various social and environmental initiatives, its sustainability performance measurement system and the high rate of environmental certification among its properties.
Every year, Ivanhoé Cambridge organizes initiatives that shine the spotlight on its employees’ big hearts and boundless energy.
Year in, year out, employees flock to the fundraisers organized in the Company’s offices across Canada in support of United Way. In 2017, these activities, combined with Ivanhoé Cambridge’s matching gift, brought in more than $500,000 to be invested in the local communities where the money was raised.
Ivanhoé Cambridge encourages its employees to stay fit and engaged by taking part in sports-themed fundraisers.
In February 2017, the staff at Carrefour de l’Estrie in Sherbrooke climbed on a set of stationary bikes to participate in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Great Spin, to raise money for cancer research and prevention and to reach out to people living with the disease.
During the summer, a team of Ivanhoé Cambridge employees tackled the 1,000-kilometre-long Grand défi Pierre Lavoie, the mission of which is to encourage people across Quebec to make healthier lifestyle choices, while another group jumped on the saddle to bike from Montreal to Quebec City in support of the Jewish General Hospital’s Segal Cancer Centre.
Ivanhoé Cambridge makes it a point to invest in the communities where it operates. It supports charities in three key sectors, chosen for their close alignment to the Company’s core values and business strategy.
In its community endeavours, Ivanhoé Cambridge tends to lean toward causes that are linked to its own spheres of activity. To start with, it lends its support to organizations that reach out to the homeless. And for the past few years, the Company has been teaming up with Habitat for Humanity to promote affordable home ownership as a means of breaking the cycle of poverty.
On May 19, 2017, this partnership with Habitat for Humanity presented a group of Ivanhoé Cambridge employees with the singular opportunity to engage in a rewarding community experience. An energetic group of about 20 women showed up bright and early at the construction site of two LEED-certified townhouses in Ormstown, Quebec.
In addition to appealing to the participants’ team spirit and social consciousness, the day-long activity helped forge strong ties with the community and the organization behind the endeavour.
During the holiday season, Southgate Centre (Edmonton), CrossIron Mills (Greater Calgary), Tsawwassen Mills (Greater Vancouver) and Vaughan Mills (Greater Toronto) gave guests the opportunity to exchange the gift cards they received for an Ivanhoé Cambridge gift card of the same value.
This one-of-a-kind initiative proved to be a huge hit with the public. The day of the event, people lined up before the doors even opened to take advantage of the offer. In the end, a total of $63,000 in gift cards was collected by the four centres and donated to local charities.
Ivanhoé Cambridge is a leading economic player in the communities where it operates. Its properties contribute to local vitality, and the direct and indirect benefits of its activities drive prosperity and enhance societal well-being.
Whether it involves purchasing goods and services from local, Canadian-based suppliers or giving back to non-profit organizations, the Company sees its investments in the community as an effective way of projecting its values as a good corporate citizen.
Good corporate governance makes it possible to make well-informed decisions to achieve a given set of objectives while still keeping risk at bay. In an effort to address stakeholders’ expectations in terms of performance and corporate governance, Ivanhoé Cambridge has put a cohesive decision-making process in place, coupled with an efficient oversight structure.
The Board of Directors is made up of a majority of independent directors and is chaired by the Company’s Chief Executive Officer, Daniel Fournier. The Board oversees the Company’s management and operations and is also responsible for approving strategic planning. A full list of Board members can be found at the end of this report.
The Board delegates select powers to three committees: the Investment Committee, the Human Resources and Compensation Committee, and the Audit Committee. Each committee is chaired by an independent Board member.
The Integrated Risk Management team monitors inherent risks associated with the Company’s operations and ensures consistency with the practices upheld by the Company’s main shareholder, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ).
The Company’s Internal Audit team provides an impartial, independent evaluation of the Company’s risk management, control and governance processes and proposes ideas to improve their efficiency.
The Code of Business Conduct is Ivanhoé Cambridge’s overarching ethics policy for all of the Company’s dealings and operations. It provides a clear framework for employees on matters of interpersonal relationships, conflicts of interests and the protection of the Company’s assets.
Every day, Ivanhoé Cambridge strives to provide a healthy work environment where employees are empowered to reach their full potential. The Company is committed to promoting a culture that is free of discrimination, harassment and violence in any form.
Ivanhoé Cambridge’s anti-corruption policy outlines its zero-tolerance stance toward all forms of corrupt behaviour on the part of its employees, officers, directors and any third parties it has dealings with. All employees are required to report any activity that appears to be in violation of this policy.
Violations of the Company’s Code of Business Conduct or any other applicable policy or law may be reported confidentially through the ethics hotline.
The past year marked a turning point for Ivanhoé Cambridge in terms of corporate social responsibility. In addition to making CSR one of the priorities in its 2018–2020 strategic plan, the Company set up a working group to incorporate specific environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into the processes of each of its business units and corporate services. The group is overseen by the CSR department and reports directly to the Company’s Management Committee. The implementation of a 2020 CSR vision, along with strategic and operational objectives, will make it possible to monitor the progress made in this regard.
Moreover, in line with its community investment goals, Ivanhoé Cambridge is developing partnerships with organizations in markets where the Company operates.
The Donations and Sponsorship Committee handles requests for assistance received from the community and recommends which nonprofit organizations will be the recipients of the Company’s charitable contributions, as stipulated in the corporate policy on donations and sponsorships.
Ivanhoé Cambridge’s main shareholder, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), is subject to the Quebec government’s Sustainable Development Act and has signed on to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI). As a real estate subsidiary of CDPQ, Ivanhoé Cambridge also contributes to CDPQ’s sustainability action plan in keeping with the government’s sustainable development strategy and to its PRI reporting activities.
Ivanhoé Cambridge performs environmental due diligence for all acquisitions, developments and operations in all regions. The Company’s processes are underpinned by an environmental management system, which provides a systematic way of managing environmental risk and compliance, including 11 environmental programs. Environmental performance is closely tracked, with results submitted to the Board of Directors’ Audit Committee on a yearly basis.
The past year marked the third time Ivanhoé Cambridge has taken part in the Global Real Estate Sustainability Benchmark (GRESB). The results put the Company in the top 10% compared to its fellow private real estate companies with diversified portfolios.
As the GRESB targets a specific segment of the real estate industry, participants can compare their performance against that of their peers and identify potential areas for improvement. Ivanhoé Cambridge’s ongoing participation in the GRESB since 2015 has helped broaden its corporate social responsibility and accelerate the progress of its initiatives, thereby putting the Company among the leaders of this prestigious ranking.
2016 Top 25%
2017 Top 10%
Corporate social responsibility is an integral part of the way we do business. It is at the heart of our decisions and actions.
Chairman and CEO
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Daniel Fournier oversees all of Ivanhoé Cambridge’s operations and investment activities, including strategy development, asset allocation, portfolio management and growth. He is also closely involved in the development of the Company’s network of local and international investment partners. In addition, Mr. Fournier is responsible for and a member of the Board of Directors of Otéra Capital, a subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, one of the leading institutional fund managers in Canada and Ivanhoé Cambridge’s parent company.
Mr. Fournier brings to the table more than 30 years of business experience and a solid background in the real estate industry. Prior to joining Ivanhoé Cambridge, he was the Chairman of the Board of Genivar, now WSP Global, and a former member of Canadian Tire’s Board of Directors. He was also a Director of the Summit Industrial Income REIT and of Standard Life (Canada), now part of Manulife. Mr. Fournier is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the McCord Museum Foundation in Montréal. He also acts as Co-Chair of the fundraising campaign of Bishop’s University in Sherbrooke, Québec.
During its most recent strategic planning exercise, Ivanhoé Cambridge identified corporate social responsibility as a priority for 2018–2020. Its vision for 2020 is to be among the leaders of the real estate industry in this regard.
The Company aims to integrate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into every facet of its business processes. In 2017, it set up a working group of representatives from each business unit and corporate services to come up with an integrated action plan, complete with targets aligned with Ivanhoé Cambridge’s strategic objectives.
One of the most stimulating and ambitious of these objectives is to help the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, its main shareholder, fulfill its commitment to fighting climate change by increasing its low-carbon investments by 50% by the year 2020.
As a responsible investor, Ivanhoé Cambridge creates living spaces that foster the well-being of people and communities while reducing its environmental footprint. Accordingly, the Company has developed a vision for 2020 to be recognized as a real estate industry leader in terms of CSR and to position itself as one of the most respected companies in this field.
This commitment is built around five main objectives: ensuring healthy living environments, guaranteeing optimal environmental performance, generating a meaningful and lasting impact in the communities where it operates, being recognized for its highly engaged talent and implementing governance best practices.
Reduction in natural resources
Community engagement of employees
Corporate social responsibility policy
Responsible investing policy
Integrated risk management