our social impact
Assessing the socio-economic impact of companies
Before investing in each potential partner company, the Fonds performs, in addition to the traditional due diligence review process, a social audit of that company.
During this audit, the Fonds analyzes the extra-financial aspects of a company, such as management, human resource management, occupational health and safety issues, quality of communications between the employer and employees as well as the position of the company in the community in which it operates.
The social audit takes into account the guidelines provided by the ISO 26000 international standard. This corporate social responsibility standard is based on major international documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Labour Organization conventions.
To measure the socio-economic impact resulting from its disinvestments, the Fonds also performs an overall "exit" audit before withdrawing from a company in which it had invested. When the Fonds invests in a company, its intervention involves much more than capital: the Fonds is concerned with the impact of its investments on the communities where it makes a commitment, and it wants to be as transparent as possible, a fundamental element that is warranted by the trust of its partners and shareholders.
A code of conduct for international business dealings
The Fonds also adopted, several years ago, a code of conduct for international business dealings that it applies to partner companies that have operations generally in emerging countries and their suppliers. This code provides greater direction over the compliance of such operations with human and workers rights. This code is currently under revision, as the Fonds wants to update it. It can be found at:
www.fondsftq.com/code-international (in French only)
The level of risk of an investment
The Fonds specialists who evaluate its potential investments have developed a strict due diligence review process. Assessing the risks of an investment and measuring their overall impact is a procedure that must be periodically updated to take into account all the elements that could affect this investment. The Fonds specialists therefore consider all risks - operational, financial and extra-financial (for example environmental and reputation risk) - and measure them to allow the Fonds, governing bodies to make well-informed decisions.
The investment policy
In addition to the social audit that the Fonds performs on a company before investing in it and the due diligence review it carries out afterwards on all its partner companies, the Fonds' Investment specialists rely on the investment policy of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. This policy sets out the general principles and the main guidelines for our investments. It sets out the issues that the Fonds' Investment specialists must take into consideration and the social, economic and environmental context within which they must operate. The policy was revised and updated during the past financial year to incorporate certain aspects related to sustainability.
The management declaration
Signed upon the closing of an investment in a partner company, the management declaration is a commitment made by the management of that company to periodically confirm (at each meeting of its board of directors), among other things, that it complies with the main labour relations laws and that its operations comply with applicable environmental laws.
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ participates in the debates and discussions on current major economic and social issues, and some of its specialists are invited to speak at international conferences. Here are two examples of particularly interesting conferences to which the Fonds was invited during the last financial year.
- In October 2011, Montréal hosted the International Forum on the Social and Solidarity Economy. The central theme of this conference was the need for dialogue between the State and civil society to develop public policy that promotes a social and solidarity economy. The event highlighted the richness of the social and solidarity economy throughout the world, the diversity of its experiences and the innovative nature of its enterprises, as well as the numerous partnerships that have been built between public authorities and civil society.
In many developing countries, the creation of social economy enterprises resulting from the creative mobilization of communities was often inspired by the cooperative and association model used by Québec institutions. The Forum welcomed to Montréal some 1,500 participants from around the world. Mario Tremblay, Vice-President, Public and Corporate Affairs of the Fonds, participated in a round table and talked about the important role of labour-sponsored funds in Québec's economic and social development.
- In March 2012, a major conference was held at Harvard Law School, in Boston, United States, on pension fund and capital stewardship. Participants advocated in favour of a financial market functioning mode and the development of corporate policies that are more effective for workers and communities as a whole.
It was an honour for the Fonds to be invited to that conference, and Daniel Bourcier, Development Agent, Labour Relations, gave a presentation on the historical context of the Fonds' creation, its social and economic successes 29 years later, its unique network of local representatives in the workplace, the economic training offered to the Fonds' partner companies and the social audit that we perform before making any investment.
The creation of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, a unique institution present in Québec for nearly 30 years, is another result of Québec's creativity!
Training, at the heart of our mission
Training is a major component of the economic and social mission of the Fonds de solidarité FTQ. Through the Fondation de la formation économique that it created in 1989, the Fonds offers training in the workplace that addresses the economic, organizational and financial situation of the company where the training is held.
During the last financial year, the Fondation designed, together with the Education Department of the FTQ and its affiliated unions, a seminar for the advisors and leaders of these unions. This seminar enables the participants to define ways to prevent potential job losses or to anticipate the growth of the company. Initiating an open and transparent dialogue between the companies' management and employees remains essential for finding solutions that ensure the development of these companies as well maintain and create quality jobs.
2012: a successful year
This past year was successful on the training front. In addition to reaching new participant groups, the Fondation continued to offer economic training sessions, always highly appreciated, to the workers of its partner companies.
As it enriches the Fonds' investments in its partner companies and encourages workers to participate in the success of these investments, training is a key path to sustainable economic and social development.
The Fondation continued to give to the Fonds' local representatives (LRs) the training that is essential to their work. Lastly, the Fondation continued to offer training that is adapted to the specific needs of its regional, local and specialized investment network.
for the year
ended may 31, 2012
Here is an excerpt of an article published in the employees' newsletter of Saladexpress, a Fonds partner company to which the Fondation provided training last February. This training was so successful that another session was held in March.
"The economic training offered by the Fonds, that used simple and easy to understand terms as well as concrete examples, enabled us to get a good understanding of the involvement of the Fonds in our company and the financial and economic impact of that transaction on our company."
Good relations with communities
As a responsible institution that is close to people, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ supports many community organizations across Québec. The Fonds also offers support to its regional and local investment network and to partners that engage as well in various activities contributing to the economic and social wellbeing of individuals, communities and enterprises. In addition, the Fonds supports in various ways humanitarian or charitable activities in which its employees volunteer and it values such contributions.
Here are some examples of such involvement.
Centraide has been for several years an important component of the commitment of the Fonds, its employees and its network to the community. Each year, the Centraide campaign is a privileged moment during which the Fonds and its whole organization generously express their solidarity. In 2011, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, its network and its employees contributed $233,040 to the Centraide campaign, a new benchmark for the Fonds.
A fruitful socio-economic dialogue
The Fonds de solidarité FTQ is proud to have participated in the Rendez-vous des entrepreneurs sociaux, in June 2011, and to have provided financial support to this meeting.continued
An original scholarship
In November 2011, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ awarded the Bourse Fonds de solidarité FTQ to a team of students that stood out during the Salon de la PME-HEC Montréal. As part of a three-year partnership, the Fonds de solidarité FTQ undertook to award two scholarships a year to students who will create during this show a booth that will use creativity and originality to capture the attention of visitors... and members of the jury. These projects are an opportunity for the students to deepen their knowledge of local SMEs and for the Fonds to celebrate the success of these important enterprises to the Québec economy.
The Fonds wishes to congratulate the team representing the Au pied de cochon restaurant that won the Bourse Fonds de solidarité FTQ awarded as part of this activity.
This team comprised Majorie Alain, David Blanchette, Anne-Marie Boulay, Jeanne Mazrou, Ariane Moreau, Oliver Milkowski and Ariane Séguin-Dupuis, all students at HEC Montréal.