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Boralex sells facilities, cuts direct emissions 95%

Boralex made a significant cut to its Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2022 and furthered its efforts to make a more diverse, sustainability-minded board of directors. (Courtesy Boralex)

Renewables developer Boralex announced a significant cut in its Scope 1 and 2 greenhouse gas emissions over two years and reported reforms to its governance structure in its 2022 corporate sustainability report.

Kingsey Falls, Que.-based Boralex (BLX-T) has built wind, solar, hydroelectric and energy storage projects in Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and France, with an installed capacity of 2.2-gigawatts. Its next goal is to reach 4.4-gigawatts of installed capacity by 2025.

In the report, president and CEO Patrick Decostre  emphasized efforts to capture more sustainability data and “to be more closely aligned with the needs of our markets and to give ourselves the increased agility we need to support rapid growth.

“We are confident that this new sustainability-minded approach will allow us to create value for our stakeholders, namely our customers, our shareholders, our employees and our host communities.”

This is the company’s third corporate sustainability report.

Slashing its emissions

In 2022, Boralex reports emitting 1,215 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) of Scope 1 emissions, 2,811 tCO2e of Scope 2 emissions, and 115,409 tCO2e of Scope 3 emissions.

This represents a 95 per cent reduction in Scope 1 emissions and an 85 per cent reduction in combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions compared to 2021.

Its combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2022 are a decrease of approximately 93 per cent compared to the combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2020. Its 2022 Scope 1 emissions declined 98 per cent compared to its 2020 Scope 1 emissions, but there was a 225 per cent increase in Scope 2 emissions from 1,246 tCO2e to 2,811 tCO2e.

Need additional info about the measurement terms in this article? Our Measurements Guide can help

Regional emissions factors are updated annually based on the most recent data provided by government agencies in Canada and the United States, as well as data published by the International Energy Agency.

Boralex cited the sale of its Blendecques facility in 2021 and of the Senneterre facility in 2022 as the primary causes of this dramatic drop in emissions.

The company does not have Scope 3 emissions data for 2020 and 2021.

For avoided emissions through renewable energy production, Boralex said it avoided 354,442 tCO2e in 2022, compared to 352,666 tCO2e in 2021 and 283,831 tCO2e in 2020.

Its avoided emissions calculations were calculated using internally developed criteria designed by EY.

Greening and diversifying its governance

To impart a greater focus on ESG in its governance, Boralex created the position of senior vice president, enterprise risk management and corporate social responsibility to consider “more environmental and social factors in our enterprise risk management, which will in turn allow us to pursue business opportunities with greater confidence and a sharper focus on risk resilience.”

Monitoring its corporate social responsibility became a mandate of its board of directors in the spring of 2022.

Boralex’s target for representation in its board was met with a fifth female director, surpassing its 40 per cent goal by reaching 45 per cent.

Two disclosure training sessions were held in 2022 for the board – on the framework of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, and the development of corporate social responsibility disclosure frameworks.

Greener procurement

Boralex adopted and implemented its Sustainable Procurement Charter to set expectations for suppliers. The strategic suppliers were assessed by EcoVadis to integrate ESG performance into Boralex's supplier selection process.

Its expectations for suppliers are based on the ISO 26000 standard. Boralex said 98 per cent of suppliers involved in contracts above this amount signed the charter in 2022.

Other achievements

  • Helped preserve biodiversity at wind farm sites with a new strategy to protect birds in agricultural areas in France.
  • Women’s representation across the company reached 33 per cent, which it said “handily” outstrips the objective set for 2022.
  • Improved its total recordable incident rate in 2022 compared to 2021, scoring 0.94 on a company-wide basis.

Read the report here.

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