• Corporate Knights named Bell the top telecom company in the world and #4 in Canada overall on the Best 50 Corporate Citizens list
  • Science-based targets for greenhouse gas emissions reduction approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi)

Bell recognized for its ESG performance in corporate responsibility and environmental standards (CNW Group/Bell Canada)

MONTRÉAL, Aug. 8, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell announced today that it has been recognized for its corporate responsibility, and that it has achieved an important milestone for its greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategy, furthering its commitment to the highest ESG standards.

Corporate Knights has named Bell the top telecom company in the world, and #4 company in Canada overall, on the Best 50 Corporate Citizens list. The annual Corporate Knights ranking evaluates 332 of the largest Canadian companies on a set of 24 environmental, social and governance (ESG) indicators to single out the Best 50 that Corporate Knights considers "the vanguard of corporate sustainability leadership in Canada."

In addition, Bell is pleased to announce that its science-based targets for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), confirming the company's alignment with the most ambitious temperature goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

"We are proud to build on our environmental leadership by setting science-based targets, positioning us as a corporate leader in the transition to the low-carbon economy. We're committed to building a sustainable future and contributing to a better world. By reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our operations, we are continuing to take action to help fight climate change and improve our energy performance."

Mirko Bibic, President and CEO BCE Inc. and Bell Canada

Addressing climate change
Bell's leadership on environmental issues includes a wide range of innovative programs to reduce environmental impacts throughout our operations. We demonstrate our commitment to energy management and reducing the carbon footprint of our network, in line with our strategic imperative to help create a sustainable future, with projects and innovations such as:

  • Reducing fuel consumption through ongoing fleet modernization and electrification;
  • Collaborating on innovative solar-powered systems that reduce our reliance on diesel generators, in partnership with the University of Sherbrooke's Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation (3IT) and its Nanotechnologies and Nanosystems Laboratory (LN2), as well as with Saint-Augustin Canada Electric;
  • Optimizing facility and equipment heating and cooling to reduce electricity usage;
  • Implementing other renewable energy projects across Canada, including 10 sites with solar panels in the Atlantic region,12 wind and solar power equipped cell sites across Ontario and 10 photovoltaic and diesel hybrid power systems in the Northwest Territories.

Bell and Université de Sherbrooke worked on initiatives that include using solar energy to minimize generator use in remote locations (CNW Group/Bell Canada)

In addition, Bell's next-generation telecommunications technologies (including cloud services, virtualization, teleconferencing and videoconferencing) are major contributors to the fight against climate change by reducing the carbon footprint of governments and businesses across the country. Rapid advances in Internet of Things (IoT) services powered by Bell's networks are enabling the optimization of asset and fleet management, as well as smart buildings, smart cities, smart operations and smart fieldwork applications, all enabling customers to reduce their GHG emissions.

Science Based Targets initiative
The SBTi is a partnership between CDP, the United Nations Global Compact, World Resources Institute and the World Wide Fund for Nature to mobilize companies to set science-based emissions reduction targets and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. The SBTi defines and promotes best practice in science-based target setting and independently assesses companies' targets.

Science-based targets are emissions reduction targets in line with what the latest climate science deems necessary to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

Bell has set the following science-based targets1:

  • Reduce absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions 57% by 2030 from a 2020 base year;
  • Reduce absolute scope 3 GHG emissions from capital goods, fuel-and energy-related activities, upstream transportation and distribution, waste generated in operations, business travel, employee commuting, downstream transportation and distribution, use of sold products, end-of-life treatment of sold products, franchises and investments 42% within the same timeframe;
  • Reach 64% of our suppliers by spend, covering purchased goods and services, having science-based targets by 2026.

Leading in environmental, social and governance performance
Bell's ESG strategy creates social and environmental benefits by helping to build a better world, better communities and better workplace. Our approach includes enhancing our environmental leadership, creating a workplace focused on diversity, equality and inclusion, and employee well-being, leading in mental health through Bell Let's Talk and demonstrating best-in-class governance.

In 2022, Bell achieved ISO 50001 certification of its energy management system for a third consecutive year, after becoming the first communications company in North America to achieve that designation for our Energy Management System. Bell announced its goal to have carbon neutral operations starting in 2025 and have been recognized as one of Canada's Greenest Employers for the sixth consecutive year.

More information about Bell's environmental track record is available in its Corporate Responsibility Report, which outlines the benefits we deliver to our customers, team and communities, including our Bell for Better investments in mental health, environmental and workplace leadership that make Bell a top corporate citizen. Bell's ESG commitment is also highlighted in the BCE 2021 Annual Report to shareholders, available at BCE.ca.

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1

Our science based targets may need to be adjusted in the future because the SBTi requires that targets be recalculated (following the most recent applicable SBTi criteria and recommendations) at a minimum every five years, or more often if significant changes occur (e.g. business acquisitions/divestitures).

About Bell
Bell is Canada's largest communications company, providing advanced broadband wireless, TV, Internet, media and business communication services throughout the country. Founded in Montréal in 1880, Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca or BCE.ca.

Through Bell for Better, we are investing to create a better today and a better tomorrow by supporting the social and economic prosperity of our communities with a commitment to the highest environmental, social and governance (ESG) standards. This includes the Bell Let's Talk initiative, which promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns like Bell Let's Talk Day and significant Bell funding of community care and access, research and workplace leadership initiatives throughout the country. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.

Media inquiries
Jacqueline Michelis
jacqueline.michelis@bell.ca
@Bell_News 

Investor inquiries
Richard Bengian
richard.bengian@bell.ca

Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements made in this news release are forward-looking statements, including statements relating to our environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives including, without limitation, our goal to have carbon neutral operations starting in 2025 and to achieve our science-based targets for GHG emissions reduction, our business objectives, plans and strategic priorities, and other statements that are not historical facts. All such forward-looking statements are made pursuant to the "safe harbor" provisions of applicable Canadian securities laws and of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are subject to inherent risks and uncertainties and are based on several assumptions which give rise to the possibility that actual results or events could differ materially from our expectations. These statements are not guarantees of future performance or events, and we caution you against relying on any of these forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release describe our expectations at the date of this news release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such date. Except as may be required by applicable securities laws, we do not undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Our ESG objectives, and the benefits expected to result therefrom, are subject to risks and, accordingly, there can be no assurance that our ESG objectives will be completed or that the benefits expected to result therefrom will be realized. In addition, forward-looking statements for periods beyond 2022 involve longer-term assumptions and estimates than forward-looking statements for 2022 and are consequently subject to greater uncertainty. In particular, our GHG emissions reduction targets are based on a number of assumptions including, without limitation, the following principal assumptions: implementation of various corporate and business initiatives to reduce our electricity and fuel consumption, as well as reduce other direct and indirect GHG emissions enablers; no new corporate initiatives, business acquisitions or technologies that would materially increase our anticipated levels of GHG emissions; our ability to purchase sufficient credible carbon credits and renewable energy certificates to offset or further reduce our GHG emissions, if and when required; no negative impact on the calculation of our GHG emissions from refinements in or modifications to international standards or the methodology we use for the calculation of such GHG emissions; no required changes to our science-based targets pursuant to the SBTi methodology that would make the achievement of our updated science-based targets more onerous; and sufficient supplier engagement and collaboration in setting their own science-based targets and sufficient collaboration with partners in reducing their own GHG emissions. For additional information on assumptions and risks underlying certain of our forward-looking statements made in this news release, please consult BCE Inc.'s (BCE) 2021 Annual MD&A dated March 3, 2022, BCE's 2022 First Quarter MD&A dated May 4, 2022, BCE's 2022 Second Quarter MD&A dated August 3, 2022 and BCE's news release dated August 4, 2022 announcing its financial results for the second quarter of 2022, filed by BCE with the Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities (available at Sedar.com) and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (available at SEC.gov). These documents are also available at BCE.ca.

SOURCE Bell Canada

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