Who we are
BCE welcomes the increased demand from our stakeholders for transparency regarding our climate-related risks and opportunities. We take seriously our responsibility to disclose our performance and initiatives on climate-related matters. We also believe it is important to detail how related risks and opportunities can affect our business. As a result, we report on climate-related information in accordance with the recommendations from the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures in our TCFD Report on Climate-Related Risks and Opportunities. A summary of our TCFD Report is described below.
The Board has overall responsibility for supervising the management of BCE’s business and affairs, which includes taking into account the effects of climate change. The Board has established clear lines of authority and oversight over our climate-related risks and opportunities, with primary accountability at the Board committee level. The committees with oversight over climate-related risks and opportunities are:
Risk and Pension Fund Committee (RPFC): oversees environmental and business continuity risks, including those related to climate change.
Corporate Governance Committee (CGC): responsible for the oversight of our ESG strategy and disclosure, including climate change.
Management Resources and Compensation Committee (MRCC): oversees human resources issues and tracks our corporate performance against our ESG targets. Our GHG reduction targets are part of the ESG targets linked to compensation.
Audit Committee (AC): monitors significant ESG issues that could impact financial reporting and approves risks and assumptions disclosure related to climate change.
While the Board is responsible for BCE’s risk oversight program, management has established a governance framework through the Health, Safety, Security, Environment and Compliance (HSSEC) Oversight Committee. The HSSEC Committee oversees health and safety, security, environmental and compliance risks, and seeks to ensure they are addressed through efficient programs implemented within the various business units. In addition, two management committees, the Energy Board and the Corporate Responsibility Board, report to the HSSEC Committee. We have also implemented internal working groups aimed at overseeing specific elements of our climate change strategy. This includes the Carbon Reduction Task Force, the Carbon Innovation Working Group, and the Climate Resiliency Task Force.
The management and oversight of climate-related matters have been integrated into the roles and responsibilities of executives, management and other team members. Remuneration is linked to the successful delivery of our corporate-wide climate change strategy through the evaluation of progress against climate-related commitments and targets.
BCE takes the risks of climate change very seriously. We also recognize that climate change could bring opportunities for our business. This includes higher demand for our products and services, which could contribute to a cleaner economy and enhance our brand value and corporate reputation.
Although the TCFD recommends disclosure only where such information is material, we are voluntarily reporting under this section without limiting our disclosure to what is material to Bell.
In alignment with the TCFD recommendations, we categorize climate-related risks into transition and physical risks. Transition risks are associated with the transition to a lower-carbon economy. This may include extensive regulatory, technology, and market changes needed to address mitigation and adaptation requirements related to climate change. Physical risks are associated with the physical impacts from a changing climate and can either be event-driven (acute) or longer-term shifts (chronic) in climate patterns. For the purpose of disclosures recommended by the TCFD, we have focused on six main climate-related risks, which fall under the transition and physical risk categories identified by the TCFD.
The effects of climate change can also create opportunities for BCE, including in the following areas:
In 2021, we updated our previous climate-related scenario analysis from 2020 to reflect the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) conclusions.
The qualitative and quantitative climate scenario analysis studied a number of future emissions pathway scenarios. The analysis took into consideration low and high temperature warming scenarios for both physical and transition risks over a short- (five-year), medium- (10-year) and long-term (20-year) time horizon. We selected and used six distinct scenarios in our analysis.
Our scenario analysis included the following climate-related risks, which we identified as having a potential financial impact on our business:
The results of the scenario analysis were provided to BCE’s HSSEC, CGC and RPFC. This enables these committees to review the potential financial impacts from climate change and equips them with the information needed to incorporate climate-related risks and opportunities into future decision-making and strategic planning.
To learn more about the insights from our scenario analysis, including the potential impact level of each risk, see our latest TCFD Report.
BCE’s processes for identifying, assessing and managing climate-related risks are integrated into our multidisciplinary, company-wide risk identification, assessment and management processes.
The Corporate Responsibility and Environment (CR&E) team monitors industry trends and publications, consults with subject matter experts and works collaboratively with BCE’s Risk Advisory Services (RAS) team. Through this, the team ensures that risks are appropriately documented and profiled within the organization. Identified risks are assessed based on a number of criteria. This includes the potential nature, scale and scope of impact if the risk were to occur. The likelihood of occurrence is also assessed, predicated on a combination of the level of threat posed to the organization by the risk, and the organization’s vulnerability to a related risk event.
Risk exposures for climate-related risks are communicated by the CR&E team internally as part of standard management practices, with regular oversight review at HSSEC Committee meetings, and quarterly by the RPFC. Our climate risk reporting framework is based on the TCFD risk classification framework. A risk analysis report covering Bell’s most prominent risks is generated and provided annually to the Board of Directors.
We seek to prioritize initiatives with the highest potential for carbon reduction either for the company or for our customers. Opportunities are assessed based on a cost-benefit approach by the Energy Board and findings are reported to the HSSEC, the RPFC and CGC, and evaluated for potential benefit to Bell.
Bell assesses climate-related risks and opportunities in line with its strategy and risk management processes. Although the TCFD recommends disclosure on key metrics and targets only where such information is material, we voluntarily report without limiting our disclosure to what is material to BCE. The key metrics used to monitor our performance are:
Bell’s products and services used by our external customers and within our own operations help fight climate change and adapt to its impacts. Bell technologies have enabled carbon abatement, both for our external customers and within our own operations, of more than 1,379 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) in 2020. This is equal to 5.2 times our operational carbon footprint. Our vision for the future is to continually increase Bell technologies’ carbon abatement ratio by developing and providing carbon-reducing products and services footnote 1.
The Climate Resiliency Task Force has the mandate to identify new risk metrics that will allow us to monitor our performance on managing our climate-related risks. This is done for each business unit that is directly impacted by climate change.
We seek to reduce our GHG emissions, both within our operations as well as up and down the value chain, in order to manage performance against our climate-related goals and to monitor current and future climate-related risks. We set GHG emission reduction targets to signal the importance of doing our part for climate change, ignite innovation in projects that may reduce emissions and drive progress in the right direction. We expect that the achievement of our targets will help reduce operating costs, minimize exposure to carbon pricing, benefit our reputation and introduce new market opportunities. We are undertaking targets to be carbon neutral for our operational GHG emissions starting in 2025. We have set the following science-based targets, approved by the Science Based Targets initiative: