At Premier Tech, sustainability is our ability to sustain ourselves over time through finding the right balance between taking care of the planet and people to ensure a shared prosperity. This long-term mindset has allowed us to reach our first 100 years and inspires us for the future.
We want to reach the next milestone by making good use of the ingenuity of our teams, while always staying genuine. Our approach to sustainability, intuitive until now, naturally aligns with our Values, our Culture and our purpose. We are now integrating it into an intentional and structured position and strategy that reflects in everything we do.
Our journey to making sustainability
We have structured our sustainability initiatives by opening up the conversation with our stakeholders — partners, clients, team members. Then, we have conducted a more formal materiality analysis. We have considered their expectations and the issues most relevant to them to identify the key impact areas to consider and prioritize in our journey.
We have then established a diagnosis and conducted a maturity assessment of our sustainability processes. It has allowed us to measure our internal maturity level regarding the sustainability best practices and reference frameworks. These steps have helped us identify the main issues at the heart of our commitment as well as past, current and future actions in the matter.
— These steps have helped us identify the main issues at the heart of our commitment as well as past, current and future actions regarding sustainability. —
This has led us to the development of our position and strategy — a process consistent with our strategic planning model and approach where our strategies and ambitions take shape in iterative conversations between our business groups, the Leadership Team and the horizontal sustainability team. The close collaboration between these teams has ensured a global alignment across the realities of the groups and regions in which we are active.
This year marks the implementation of our first sustainability strategy and tools to measure our progress. The sustainability horizontal team will oversee its implementation and follow-up within the various groups.
A position and a strategy that reflects our commitment
Our position brings our sustainability story to life and embodies our commitment while remaining in line with our Values, our Culture, our purpose and the markets we serve — sustainability and beyond, connecting planet and people for prosperity.
These words — our words — reflect our ongoing commitment toward sustainability and our priorities in three spheres: planet, people and prosperity, as well as the fields in which we have an impact — our impact areas. Stable over time, our position builds upon the essence of our impact until now and the main aspects identified as the foundation of our actions for the future.
— Stable over time, our position builds upon the essence of our impact until now and the main aspects identified as the foundation of our actions for the future. —
Implementation of a horizontal team
To ensure the development and implementation of our position and strategy, we needed to put in place an internal structure with anchors in each of our business groups. Considering the various roles and teams involved in sustainability, we have created a horizontal team with a leader in that matter for each business group.
The members of this team bring their expertise related to their activities and their respective markets. This diversity of expertise and skills allows for the effective endorsement in each of the relevant positions and for a mutual enrichment that supports the exploration of innovative solutions and the concrete implementation of actions.
— Considering the various roles and teams involved in sustainability, we have created a horizontal team with a leader in that matter for each business group. —
Sustainability and beyond
Connecting planet and people for prosperity
At Premier Tech, we believe that sustainability is more than just a goal, it is rather a journey. We have always taken pride in caring for natural resources, team members and communities. Moving forward, our commitment is to amplify our impact as we keep on innovating.
This commitment means taking action and embracing practices to minimize the environmental footprint of our activities and products with a comprehensive understanding of environmental challenges. Because we care for the planet.
It also means keeping the well-being and development of team members, partners, and communities at the heart of everything we do. Because we are committed toward people.
By building impactful partnerships and developing products that address societal needs, we create value for all. We connect planet and people for prosperity.
Sustainability and beyond is more than improving our impact, it is the ambition and spirit with which we want to address sustainability. This, by challenging ourselves to think beyond and explore ways to generate a greater positive impact.
For Premier Tech, helping to protect the planet involves developing a comprehensive understanding of environmental challenges and implementing concrete actions to minimize the footprint of our activities and products. This means taking part in the climate action by reducing our carbon footprint, keeping those efforts balanced with the other aspects of our products’ environmental footprint throughout their life cycle, and continuously developing ecoresponsible production and business practices. We focus our efforts on three impact areas: GHG and climate action • ecodesign and life cycle thinking • ecoresponsible production and business practices.
GHG and climate action
Climate action is a collective challenge that involves businesses, individuals and communities alike. As a company, we are committed to measuring the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of our activities based on recognized standards, implementing an ambitious decarbonation strategy and developing a residual emissions sequestration and offset strategy.
A first complete GHG inventory
This year, we have started to compile the first greenhouse gas inventory of our global activities accounting for our direct and indirect scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions*. Once we have reached this step, we will have the required perspective to develop a decarbonation plan, tackle the main challenges with a strategic approach and commit toward climate action.
*According to the GHG Protocol corporate accounting and reporting standard
Ecodesign and life cycle thinking
Beyond our GHG footprint, we also aim to develop a comprehensive understanding of our products and services’ environmental footprint — health, climate change, ecosystems, or resources use. We want to fully include ecodesign practices in our innovation process and develop products and services that consider the most relevant elements of our environmental footprint throughout their life cycle.
The Ecoflo® biofilter, an ecodesign model
function as a natural barrier and filter in wetlands. Our goal was to recreate that ecosystem in a gravitational water treatment system, which would naturally act as a filtering medium without any additional energy source. Right from its original conception at the end of the 1980s, the Ecoflo® biofilter was innovative and included concepts inspired from a life cycle thinking — great life expectancy, gravity mechanism, compact and repairable. Life cycle analyses have since then confirmed the relevance of this process and they are now the foundation on which we keep developing the product.
Ecoresponsible production and business practices
From our roots in the horticulture industry comes our awareness of the natural resources’ value and the importance of always improving our production practices’ footprint. We want to maintain this commitment and integrate it in a more structured way across our activities. This includes major actions that materially change our global footprint, as well as local actions related to team members’ daily work life and the impact of Premier Tech in its communities.
Responsible peat bogs management
Since the early 1990s, Premier Tech has been committed toward the protection of peat moss and peat bogs, and the active mobilization of the industry in that regard. In 2010, Premier Tech has obtained the Veriflora® Responsibly Managed Peatlands certification, which is overseen by a third-party certificator, the Scientific Certification Systems. The certification acknowledges the quality of our practices and of the responsible management of our peat bogs. The requirements of this certification include all aspects of the production: from preparing the land to restoring it, through the quality control of the products and the working conditions of team members.
Because we are committed toward people, our priority is to offer a work environment that ensures safety, health and well-being. We care for Premier Tech team members by investing in their development, highlighting their talent and allowing them to reach their full potential. We take care of people by committing — with team members — to the vitality and the development of our communities. We focus our efforts on three impact areas: team members development • team members’ health, safety and wellness •community engagement.
Team members development
At Premier Tech, fulfilling individual ambitions is a collective strength. We are committed to create a vibrant and engaging learning environment allowing each team member to develop new skills, stay up to date in their respective field and face coming challenges. We believe that investing in the training and development of team members helps them thrive. We also enhance our collective expertise and its outreach, contributing to the development of the industry and the communities.
A unique learning ecosystem
The University of Premier Tech (UPT) was created in 2015 to support the skills development of team members. UPT offers various learning solutions thanks to 250 trainings and resources, a team of some 15 training experts and a mobile platform. It includes programs designed for managers or experts as well as trainings for the development of professional, technological and technical skills. UPT is key to the ongoing development of knowledge and skills within the company.
Team members’ health, safety and wellness
Taking care of team members’ health, safety and wellness is a priority for us. We want to ensure safe work environments and offer benefits that support emotional, physical, professional and financial well-being. We are committed to creating healthy and dynamic work environments that align with our Values and our Culture and that foster diversity, inclusion as well as collaboration. We want these concepts to be genuinely reflected in all our home bases.
A unique Premier Tech experience
Vast open areas, natural light, vibrant colours as well as individual and collective workspaces are some of the highlights of the Premier Tech architectural model, which aims to foster creativity and collaboration. Many other initiatives have also enhanced the Team Member Experience throughout the years — sports fields, hiking trails, cafés, points of services, medical clinic. Premier Tech continuously implements various initiatives to extend these benefits to a larger number of team members according to the reality and the specific needs of each region and home base.
We are proud of our ongoing and meaningful engagement in the communities. We focus on three key areas: health, sports and education, in which we mark our presence by supporting individuals as well as implementing infrastructures that will have lasting impacts. These align with who we are and meet the needs of our communities. The initiatives in which team members are engaged are also important to us and we help them support these causes. We also want to extend our positive impact through our acquisitions and home bases, always keeping in mind the local needs and cultural realities.
Support the team members’ sport initiatives
The commitment of Premier Tech toward sports comes from its will to support passionate athletes of tomorrow aiming at the highest level of their sport. We invest in sports infrastructures, sponsor athletes of various levels and support sports with a glocal perspective. When a team member is invested in a cause, it is all the more meaningful for Premier Tech to support the initiative and take part in the project. It was the case for the Club de Canoë-Kayak de la Rance in France, that Premier Tech helped by buying new equipment. Canoe kayak, just as cycling, aligns with Premier Tech’s values: passion, going above and beyond and, most of all, teamwork.
For Premier Tech, going beyond sustainability is an opportunity to see further ahead and address sustainability with ambition and determination. It means developing offers, business models and partnerships leading to change as well as creating value for our clients, our industries, our partners, our communities and the environment. Our efforts at challenging ourselves to go beyond are captured in two impact areas: impactful offers and business models • impactful partnerships.
Impactful offers and business models
Beyond improving our operational footprint, some of our products and services provide solutions to environmental and social challenges. We want to extend their positive impact and challenge ourselves to come up with new ideas. Pushing the limits of innovation allows us to create products and services making a real difference.
RewatecTM, an impactful business model
The waste of drinking water is a critical environmental challenge. Our RewatecTM solutions help harvest rainwater as well as protect and optimize the use of water resources. Considering the climate change we experience and the acceleration of drought frequency in many regions, these products and services help protect the groundwater resources, save the energy needed to make it drinkable and control rainwater runoff.
Collective actions are often required to tackle societal challenges. We believe that our positive impact is strongly increased when we address challenges specific to our industries with stakeholders from various perspectives — whether they are academic, community or business institutions. We aim to lead the way in the matter and inspire our stakeholders and the other actors of our industrial sectors to do so. We believe this collective effort can be achieved in a way that benefits all. By creating synergies and joining our expertise, we can help meet challenges such as circularity of plastics, protection of natural resources and biodiversity.
Raising the standards through collaboration
Founded in 1992 following Premier Tech’s initiative, the Peatland Ecology Research Group (PERG), of which Premier Tech is a founding member, is the result of collaboration between the Canadian horticultural peat moss industry, the academic scientific community as well as federal and provincial government agencies. Our strong and historical partnership with this group shows and strengthens our commitment toward the protection of this natural resource. It also helps us maintain peat bogs management standards high and continuously improve them — not only in Canada, but also in Europe. Our collaboration has since expanded to other universities and research groups across Canada, putting together a variety of specific expertise to benefit the sustainability of this resource, which is core to Premier Tech.