Who we are
In this report, “we”, “us”, “our”, “BCE” and “the company” mean, as the context may require, either BCE Inc. or, collectively, BCE Inc., Bell Canada, their subsidiaries, joint arrangements and associates. “Bell” means, as the context may require, either Bell Canada or, collectively, Bell Canada, its subsidiaries, joint arrangements and associates.
Since 1993, BCE has been publishing a Corporate Responsibility Report detailing our performance in managing environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues. This year and going forward, we are presenting both our financial and non-financial performance in this Integrated annual report (referred to as the report or this report), following the Integrated Reporting Framework (as defined below). This integrated report is a first for us and for a major communications company in North Americafootnote 1. We will no longer publish a stand-alone Corporate Responsibility Report. For more information on our corporate responsibility performance, visit bce.ca/responsibility or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This report includes the Strategic Overview, the 2022 annual Management’s discussion and analysis (BCE 2022 Annual MD&A) and the audited consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2022 (BCE 2022 Annual Financial Statements) of BCE Inc. All amounts in this report are in millions of Canadian dollars, except where noted. This report is dated March 2, 2023.
The Strategic Overview on pages 5 to 77 of this Integrated annual report PDF provides a snapshot of BCE’s value creation process. This includes the strategy and performance highlights for the period from January 1 to December 31, 2022, as at December 31, 2022. There are topics with exceptions to this calendar-year timeframe. Energy consumption, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and supplier engagement performance are based on data from July 1 of the previous year to June 30 of the reporting year. Energy savings (including electric, hybrid and more fuel-efficient vehicles) and circular economy performance are based on data from October 1 of the previous year to September 30 of the reporting year. The Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) report is from August 1, to July 31.
The Strategic Overview has been prepared based on the principles set out in the International Integrated Reporting Framework (the <IR>Framework) of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) (which now forms part of the Value Reporting Foundation). We believe this approach provides a useful basis for disclosing how we seek to create sustained value for our stakeholders over time. Integral to the <IR> Framework are the six forms of "capital" (Our networks, Our customers and relationships, Our products and services, Our environment, Our people and Our financial resources) that serve as inputs to value creation. BCE introduces its capitals within our value creation model (page 19) and references them using icons throughout the Strategic Overview and the BCE 2022 Annual MD&A to demonstrate how each capital links to our strategy, value creation and risk management.
Pages 78 to 181 of the Integrated annual report present the BCE 2022 Annual MD&A, which comments on our business operations, performance, financial position and other matters for the years ended December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021.
Pages 184 to 233 of this Integrated annual report present the BCE 2022 Annual Financial Statements comprised of the consolidated statements of the financial positions of BCE Inc. and its subsidiaries as at December 31, 2022 and December 31, 2021, the related consolidated income statements, statements of comprehensive income, changes in financial position, equity, cash flows and the related notes.
The sustainability information included in this Integrated annual report has been prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards. These standards guide the identification of pertinent issues and their impact on both enterprise value, and on society and the environment. We also support the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) recommendations, which are designed to help companies provide better information to support informed capital allocation. We provide a summary of our TCFD disclosures on page 68 to 70 and a report addressing the 11 TCFD recommendations (2022 BCE TCFD Report on climate-related risks and opportunities). Furthermore, we measure and report on select Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) metrics. As a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) since 2006, we report our progress in the areas of human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. This report describes the actions we have taken to implement the UNGC guidelines and principles, and serves as our Communication on Progress (COP).
Throughout the Strategic Overview, visual indicator tags for GRI, SASB and SDGs have been integrated to allow stakeholders to identify where information relating to specific disclosure standards is presented. This allows readers to efficiently find specific information and data. In addition, we have provided indexes detailing how we respond to each standard, which are available at: 2022 GRI Index, 2022 SASB Index, 2022 UNGC Index, 2022 SDG Index and 2022 World Economic Forum Index.
Further details and context supporting certain ESG statements made in the Strategic Overview can be found at the end of the Strategic Overview under the appendix entitled Support for certain ESG statements. Such statements are identified throughout the Strategic Overview by the “ * ” symbol.
This Integrated annual report is available online, in English and French. The PDF file is accessible and easily read on a standard computer screen, and by most screen readers used by the visually impaired. The document is also mobile-friendly. We strive to make all relevant information for our target audiences accessible in this report and via hyperlinks to additional documents available on our website.
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) has performed a limited assurance engagement for select ESG metrics. The results are documented in a limited assurance statement available in the Responsibility section of our bce.ca website.
This report contains data about the BCE group of companies. We have concluded a number of transactions in 2022, including acquisitions, dispositions, partnerships and investments. The most significant of these transactions are the acquisition of EBOX and other related companies in February 2022, and the acquisition of Distributel Communications Limited (Distributel) in December 2022.
2022 BIPOC representation data for new grads and intern hires includes both self-identification questionnaire data and recruit-ment diversity data; whereas prior reports only included recruitment diversity data.
Our 2020 and 2021 energy consumption data and scope 1, 2 and 3 GHG emissions have been restated to exclude emissions from Bell data centres sold to Equinix, Inc. in 2020 and to improve the calculation methodology of scope 3 emissions, in line with standards of the Greenhouse Gas Protocolfootnote 2. The impact of this recalculation is:
As a result of this restatement, our 2020 carbon abatement ratio has increased by 15% from 4.5 to 5.2.
Our science-based targets (SBTs) have been recalculatedfootnote 4 to reflect restated GHG emissions for our 2020 base year (see Restated data section for details), in line with Science Based Targets initiativefootnote 5 (SBTi) criteria and recommendationsfootnote 6. The impact of this recalculation is:
New ESG targets have been added regarding our wireline networks and our information security training. In addition, new indicators around research and development and our media industry have been added. This report also contains new sections such as our value creation model, our operational context, our suppliers and issues impacting value. We have consolidated our ESG performance data into our ESG data summary file. Our governance on corporate responsibility can be read in Our corporate responsibility approach information sheet.