Social Management System
In 2016, Vancouver Airport Authority introduced a Social Policy aimed at demonstrating our commitment to be a socially responsible corporate citizen. The Social Policy is based on the ISO26000 standard and the United Nations Global Compact. The Vancouver Airport Authority Social Policy addresses our organizational philosophy in the areas of social, economic and environmental practices with the goal of increasing awareness about Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) amongst our employees, stakeholders, customers and communities. As outlined in the ISO26000 standard, the Social Policy identifies our seven focus areas including sound corporate practices, respect for human beings, consideration of supply chain, positive employee relations, protection of natural environment, support for community and consumer, and communication. The full policy can be found here.
In order to demonstrate how we will uphold our Social Policy, Vancouver Airport Authority has articulated a Social Management System which identifies the processes and policies the organization has put in place to demonstrate how we address our commitments in the seven focus areas. The Social Management System (SMS) also follows the ISO26000 standard.
Vancouver Airport Authority desires to be a leader in Sustainability. In order to be a leader, we must be transparent about our goals and business practices. Our goal is to make it easy for the community we serve to hold the Airport Authority to account on how we conduct our business practices and how we impact our community.
The Sustainability Working Group, chaired by the Vice President of Human Resources, is responsible for monitoring the policies and programs, under the umbrella of our social policy, and recommending areas of improvement. The committee sets targets, monitors performance and reports its findings and recommendations to the Executive Team.
Our Social Management System encompasses all of the programs, processes and systems that ensure we are meeting the criteria outlined in ISO26000. Below, we outline the seven focus areas of our Social Policy and identify the corresponding systems and policies in place.
Adherence to sound corporate activities – Business Ethics and Training
- The Ground Lease governs both the economic and day-to-day relations between the Airport Authority and the Government of Canada for a term ending on June 30, 2072. The Ground Lease also sets out the governance framework for Vancouver Airport Authority. The Ground Lease requires that the Airport Authority operate the Airport as a “first class international airport” and that, as the operator, the Airport Authority exercise sound business judgment. Compliance with the obligations under the Ground Lease is internally certified quarterly to ensure the continued commitment to sound business practices.
- Vancouver Airport Authority is committed to sound Governance through transparent Board of Director practices. The community based Board of Directors is appointed through nominating entities representing the federal government, local governments, accounting, legal and engineering professions as well as a few members at large. YVR publishes the Board Governance Manual on yvr.ca, including the Terms of Reference under which Directors and the Chair are appointed and function, as well responsibilities of the committees. Details on remuneration, professional development, evaluation and conflict of interest also are disclosed, as well as the Corporation’s incorporation as a not-for-profit organization and the bylaws. Board Committees are established to assist the Board in overseeing management activities and include Finance & Audit, Governance, Human Resources & Compensation and Planning & Development. On an annual basis, members of the Board disclose organizations in which they have a financial interest or serve as Directors of a Board. Any contracts with those organizations are disclosed to Transport Canada annually.
- The Board of Vancouver Airport Authority adopted a Board Diversity Policy in 2016. Vancouver Airport Authority believes that its composition should reflect the rich diversity of the communities it serves. The Board Diversity Policy is intended to summarize the manner in which the Airport Authority’s Board of Directors will consider diversity in determining the optimum composition of the Board. This Policy also seeks to guide the Board in its communications with Nominating Entities regarding their nomination of candidates to fill seats on the Board. In its annual Corporate Governance Report, the Board has elected to report against National Policy 58-201 [Corporate Governance Guidelines] and the accompanying National Instrument 58-101 [Disclosure of Corporate Governance Practices]. While NI 58-101 does not require the Board to adopt a performance model whereby diversity is a strategic priority, the Board has chosen to adopt such a performance model and to voluntarily disclose the details associated with it. The Diversity Policy aims to have Board representation from all four of the designated groups named in federal employment equity legislation and set a target of half the Board members representing designated groups. The Board monitors and reports on progress each year in the Annual & Sustainability Report and the Board Policy is posted on yvr.ca.
- The Board appoints third party independent auditors to express an audit opinion on the Airport Authority’s financial statements. The audit is conducted in accordance with Canadian generally accepted auditing standards and is performed to obtain reasonable assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement. The audit also includes evaluation of the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by management. The audited financial statements are publicly available on our website at least two weeks prior to the Annual Public Meeting.
- YVR operates a comprehensive and award winning Enterprise Risk Management system (ERM). The system details potential risks to the organization including in the areas of sustainability (governance, economic, social and environment), ranks their likelihood and severity and develops action plans to mitigate the risks. The severity and likelihood of potential risk events are routinely reviewed to determine specific ratings, and action plans are developed to mitigate and manage the risks. ERM informs planning and budgets to ensure that risk is always factored into decision making. The program is designed to continuously monitor the risks facing the organization. Action plans associated with the ERM program are often the genesis of a capital project in that a need is identified and validated as part of a risk mitigation process.
- Vancouver Airport Authority is committed to being a leader in Sustainability. To that end, Sustainability Case Documents (SCD) have been incorporated into the capital planning process as a tool to consider the four pillars of Sustainability: Social, Economic, Environment and Governance. In addition, the Airport Authority’s four strategic objectives—creating a connecting hub, being a leader in sustainability, delivering remarkable customer experiences and building on our exceptional foundation—are used to create decision matrices to aid in the decision making process. The SCD is critical in considering an array of realistic options that could meet a need and narrowing options to the two or three most viable. SCD’s are presented to Executive and Board Committees early in the process to ensure potential projects meets their sustainability expectations.
- Mandatory Business Ethics training was introduced to the organization in 2016. All employees must take an online business ethics course which uses test scenarios to teach employees about the challenges and nuance of business ethics and outlines the Airport Authority’s expectations regarding ethical behaviour. The existing Code of Conduct is being expanded into a broader Code of Ethics, which will include examples of ethical situations that can arise in employees’ day to day work life.
- Vancouver Airport Authority has a Conflict of Interest Policy that all employees must sign prior to beginning work. The objective of the Conflict of Interest Policy is to enhance public confidence in the integrity of the Airport Authority by establishing clear rules of conduct for all Employees and by minimizing the possibility of conflicts arising between the personal interests of individuals and the duties and responsibilities of those individuals as Employees. The policy provides specific examples and areas of concern including purchasing, preferential treatment, airline offers and how to deal with gifts and hospitality and provides for the resolution of such conflicts should they arise. On an annual basis, employee Conflict of Interest disclosures are filled out by all cost centre managers as well as all staff members in Finance and Supply Management. Executive Conflict of Interest disclosures are filled out by Executives annually.
- YVR publishes a Corporate Governance Report annually detailing the role of the Board, selection of directors and their responsibilities. Included in the report is specific information on Board and Executive compensation and incentive measures. The Corporate Governance Report also includes specific information on purchasing practices and in particular an annual declaration of single-source contracts over $100,000 (in 2000 dollars). The Corporate Governance Report is referenced in the Annual & Sustainability Report and published in full on yvr.ca.
- The Airport Authority has a Whistleblower Policy which states that the Airport Authority is a place where breaking the law, breaking the regulations or being dishonest will not be tolerated. The Whistleblower Policy also ensures every member of the organization feels respected and safe to report issues they feel contravene the Code of Conduct and the law. The Airport Authority will not in any manner discriminate against someone who provides honest information through the Whistleblower process. The process is a 24/7 independently monitored confidential hotline and a workplace ethics hotline website where individuals can submit and track reports. Details are available on myYVR and www.vancouver-airport-authority.confidenceline.net.
Respect for Human Rights
- Vancouver Airport Authority is governed by The Canadian Human Rights Act. The Act prohibits discrimination by reason of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, relation, age, sex, marital status, family status, disability, criminal conviction for which a pardon has been granted. The Airport Authority also prohibits discrimination in respect of gender identity or expression.
- Vancouver Airport Authority strives to have a vibrant and diverse workforce and has an Employment Equity Policy to outline our commitments and expectations. We comply with Canada’s Employment Equity Act to ensure fair employment practices across our organization and regularly identify areas for improvement through voluntary surveys, workshops, audits and interviews. We identify occupational gaps in our workforce in terms of representation and set specific recruitment targets for Canada’s four identified designated groups including women, Aboriginal People, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities. We provide extensive training on diversity and respect in the workplace and we publicly report on our progress annually as well as in quarterly updates from the Vice President, Human Resources to the President and the Executive Team. The Airport Authority recognizes its responsibility to accommodate employees with accessibility and cultural needs. The Airport Authority has a No Discrimination provision within our Collective Agreement – the document outlining the relationship between the employer and the Union is published on the Airport Authority’s internal site and external website.
- YVR operates globally both with an office in Hong Kong and business opportunities all over the world through our Innovative Travel Solutions (ITS) team. In order to ensure we advance our Social Policy in our global business efforts, the Executive and ITS teams have developed a risk register by potential partner country. The register assesses the country’s human rights, privacy, intellectual property and safety and weighs the criteria against our potential opportunity. This confidential assessment is updated on a periodic basis and remains with the VP Legal, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary.
Positive Employee Relations
- Vancouver Airport Authority recognizes the right of collective bargaining and to that end, works with its local union from the Public Service Alliance of Canada to negotiate a fair and equitable agreement. In 2017, Vancouver Airport Authority and the Public Service Alliance of Canada entered into a new six year Collective Agreement.
- The Collective Agreement between the Employer and the Union acknowledges and affirms our obligations under the Canadian Human Rights Act and provides specific details about the organization’s commitment to a discrimination free and sexual harassment free workplace. In the event of a violation of either article, a process is detailed for both the Employer and the employee. Vancouver Airport Authority has a Sexual Harassment Policy to recognize the right of every individual to work in an environment free from discrimination and sexual harassment. Any employee subjected to sexual harassment, or treated in a discriminatory manner, is to report the incident to the Director of Human Resources who will investigate. Employees may also seek redress through the Human Rights Tribunal. Anyone who knowingly engages in discrimination or sexual harassment will be subject to disciplinary action which may result in dismissal. The process is published in Collective Agreement and on the organization’s intranet - myYVR.
- Vancouver Airport Authority has an Employment Equity and Diversity Team, charged with promoting and celebrating diversity in the workplace. In addition to the Union President and management representatives, employees from across the organization volunteer to join this working team. The team holds scheduled meetings and sets the agenda for the year – developing activities and responding to issues as they arise. Details available on myYVR.
- Vancouver Airport Authority is committed to ethical practice throughout our organization and has both policies and an employee code of conduct to encourage and ensure ethical behaviour. The Code of Conduct outlines rules and the consequences for the benefit of all YVR employees. Details available on myYVR.
- In order to ensure we create a respectful and positive work environment, Vancouver Airport Authority has a Respect in the Workplace Policy which applies to all employees. Vancouver Airport Authority is committed to providing a work environment where all employees are treated with dignity and respect. Every employee has the right to work in an atmosphere that promotes respect, consideration and is free from personal harassment, bullying or discrimination. We encourage all employees to report any incidents of workplace harassment, bullying or discrimination regardless of who the offender may be and commit to investigating all complaints. Employees who engage in such behavior will be subject to discipline, up to and including dismissal. Details available on myYVR.
- Vancouver Airport Authority outlines its employee grievance procedures in its Collective Agreement with the Union. If the parties don’t reach an agreement through the grievance process, binding arbitration automatically ensues with a neutral third party. The Airport Authority follows the Canada Labour Code. Each year, the organization reports on the number of arbitrations in its Annual & Sustainability Report.
Consideration of our supply chain
- In 2016, Vancouver Airport Authority put its Sustainable Purchasing Policy into practice which looks to integrate environmental, social and economic objectives of the procurement process to reduce our environmental footprint, leverage social benefits and build a sustainable economy. The policy provides specific direction on how to procure goods and services in a way that better supports our Social Policy objectives. In evaluating suppliers and sub-contractors, YVR will include sustainability as a weighted component of the evaluation criteria. Details available on myYVR.
- In 2016, YVR introduced a Supplier Code of Conduct. New suppliers interested in working with YVR must sign off on their compliance to our Supplier Code of Conduct. The Code of Conduct sets minimum standards for safe and healthy workplaces, basic fair labour practices and environmental responsibility. The minimum workplace performance standards are based on the core labour conventions of the International Labour Organizations (ILO). All suppliers are expected to declare compliance with the standards in the ILO and ensure the same standards are upheld by subcontractors. Key elements in the Code of Conduct include a commitment to freely chosen employment, appropriate age of employment, non-discrimination, diversity, competent health and safety practices including safe working conditions, treating employees with respect and dignity and paying according to jurisdictional legislation. Details available on myYVR.
- Sustainable Purchasing Program Toolkit is available to all employees on myYVR which provides specific tools to aid in following the policy including education on greenwashing, understanding of eco-labelling and a sustainability checklist.
- Vancouver Airport Authority is committed to fair and competitive procurement of goods and services. Exceptions to this policy may be made for seven specific reasons including proprietary nature, a single qualified supplier, urgent safety issue and compliance. Permission to single-source a purchase must be obtained prior to purchase with authorization from the accountable departmental Vice President. A report of all single source contracts over $100,000 (in 2000 dollars), with identified reason, is published each year in the Corporate Governance Report and publically accessible online at yvr.ca.
Protection of the Natural Environment
- Since 2008, YVR has operated under a Safety, Security and Environmental Policy which identifies excellence in management of the three key risk areas including environment. The Executive Team is responsible for adherence to the policy ensuring we meet all applicable environment laws and regulations, that we train and educate our employees effectively and we promote a culture of accountability through non-punitive reporting and innovation. The policy is outlined on the website and myYVR.
- The Ground Lease denotes Vancouver Airport Authority’s responsibility for managing environmental risks at YVR. The Environmental Management Plan sets the framework for the program and is updated every five years. The current plan runs from 2015 – 2019 and sets targets for reductions in the areas of greenhouse gas emissions, waste and potable water as well as commits to an improvement in overall ecosystem health. Targets are monitored on a regular basis and results are publicly shared in the Annual & Sustainability Report on the website.
- Vancouver Airport Authority was the first airport in North America to achieve Salmon-Safe certification. The ongoing certification program recognizes progressive, environmentally friendly land and water management practices. A team of independent Salmon-Safe experts conducted detailed site-wide assessments of the airport’s storm water management, landscaping practices, chemical containment and wildlife and pest management program. YVR has an ongoing commitment to meet ten additional criteria including protecting water quality and aquatic life from harmful pesticides and reducing site-wide water consumption. Ongoing monitoring and review of this program by the Environment Team ensures we maintain certification.
- YVR achieved Reduction Level 2 Airport Carbon Accreditation by Airports Council International. There are four levels of certification. Airport Carbon Accreditation is an independent voluntary program administered by WSP/ Parsons Brinckerhoff, to monitor accreditation criteria for airports on an annual basis. Accreditation is recognized on an annual basis. The Level 2 Airport Carbon Accreditation recognizes YVR’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases on an annual basis and achieve its reduction target.
- YVR’s Environmental, Health and Safety Management System (EHSMS) aligns to principles laid out in the internationally recognized standards ISO14001 and OHSAS18001. The EHSMS sets out the framework for ensuring accountability for implementation and operation at the department level and is supported by an auditing program based on a Plan-Do-Check-Act approach to environmental management. The Vice President responsible for Environment leads the review and identifies recommended enhancements to the overall Environmental Management Plan through consultation with the Environment team, Executive, broader Director Group and Environmental Advisory Committee (EAC).
- The Environmental Advisory Committee provides input and suggestions on the Airport Authority’s environmental practices and programs. The EAC is made up of representatives from the community including environmental groups, citizen representatives from adjacent communities, industry partners, Musqueam First Nation and government. The Environmental Advisory Committee is an integral component of the YVR environmental management program and is consultative in nature, to provide input and suggestions to the authority’s environmental practices and programs, and sustainability strategy as it pertains to the protection of the natural environment of Sea Island and the Lower Fraser River Estuary. The EAC provides a forum for liaison between the Airport Authority and its stakeholders. The EAC meets quarterly and minutes from meetings are published and publicly available on yvr.ca.
- The Aeronautical Noise Management Committee (ANMC) is a second community committee which provides a forum to discuss mitigation programs and solicit input on noise management initiatives. The ANMC meets quarterly and members are appointment independently by their respective stakeholder groups including citizens, municipal governments, Musqueam First Nation, airlines, NAV Canada, Transport Canada, industry associations and the Airport Authority. Minutes from meetings are published and available on yvr.ca.
- Through feedback and direction received from the Aeronautical Noise Management Committee, the Airport Authority develops a Five Year Noise Management Plan. The Plan documents the current state of the noise management program, identifies initiatives to address community concerns and improve airport associated noise impacts. The plan in published on the website and monitored on an ongoing basis.
- Each year, the Environment Team publishes a YVR Noise Management Annual Report detailing the impact of aircraft noise on the community. The objective of the report is to share information with the community about activities of the YVR Aeronautical Noise Management Program and to facilitate informed dialogue between stakeholders involved in managing aircraft noise. The report is published annually on YVR's website.
- Vancouver Airport Authority operates YVR under the direction of the federal Airspace Change Communication & Consultation Protocol (ACCP) which was approved by the Minister of Transport in 2015. The protocol was developed jointly by a number of Canadian airports and NAV Canada to address and define communication and consultation requirements for changes to airspace procedures. The objective of the ACCCP is to outline when and how the aviation industry communicates and consults during necessary airspace or procedural changes and clarifies roles and responsibilities of the parties involved. The ACCCP is accessible www.navcanada.ca.
Support for Community and Consumer
- As a community-based organization, the Airport Authority is purposefully non-partisan, working with federal, provincial, local and First Nations governments regardless of political affiliation. The Airport Authority is committed to maintaining appropriate transparency in our political giving practices and will not make financial contributions of any kind (money, employee time, goods or services), directly or indirectly, to political parties or candidates, including through intermediary organizations, such as political action committees, campaign funds or trade industry associations, subject to the exceptions noted below. Details of the Political Contribution Policy are located in the Community Investment Guidelines in section 8.2 and approved by the Governance Committee of Board of Directors.
- As a committed community contributor and in accordance with our goal of being a leader in sustainability, Vancouver Airport Authority has a Community Investment Program where it invests $1 million annually through donations and sponsorships of local organizations. The funds are distributed in accordance with the Community Investment Guidelines approved by our Governance Committee of the Board. The President & CEO reviews and approves each community contribution and all investments over $50,000 are approved annually by the Committee. Our program is outlined on the public website and accessible to all. Specific details of what we support and how to participate in the program are easily available.
- Vancouver Airport Authority is committed to fair and equitable pricing for airlines. In 2016, YVR introduced an updated standard rate structure for airline landing and terminal fees program called ConnectYVR. Full details of the program are publicly available on yvr.ca. The rate structure adheres to the Convention of International Civil Aviation signed in Chicago in 1944 which ensures international civil aviation is carried out in a safe and orderly manner and that air transport services are established on the basis of equality of opportunity and operated soundly and economically.
- To monitor our connection to the community and effectiveness, each year YVR conducts a Community Survey. An independent third party provider conducts a comprehensive survey of the local community to measure their impression of YVR and the effectiveness of our communication efforts.
- YVR has a customer care service person at the airport 24/7 and through email, telephone and TTY (TTD). Any complaints are registered through the Maximo system and either responded to immediately, or shared with the relevant department for follow up. Customer Care tracks the complaint until the party is satisfied. Customer Care analyses feedback and trends to identify any changes or issues that need to be addressed in the terminal.
- Vancouver Airport Authority conducts quarterly Customer Satisfaction Surveys in order to ensure we are meeting the needs of our customers as they use our facility. The Satisfaction Survey provides valuable insight and keeps the Airport Authority accountable to the passenger ensuring we are meeting and when possible exceeding their expectation. The Customer Satisfaction Survey is conducted by an independent third party and results are presented to the Board of Directors and used by management as a benchmarking tool to track current customer service performance, formulate future initiatives and to evaluate the impact of capital improvements and other customer service enhancements.
- The Vancouver Airport Authority Board of Directors approves an annual Communications Policy for the organization. The policy stipulates that YVR is committed to Open, Honest and Timely Information. Each year, the Communications Team presents key performance indicators to the Board that reflect an adherence to this commitment including the results of the Community Survey, the general tone of media coverage and depth of communication message pickup in the media.
- Vancouver Airport Authority publishes a comprehensive Annual & Sustainability Report providing detailed analysis and reporting of the organization’s efforts from financial performance, to workplace safety standards, to operational performance to the corporate governance report. The Annual & Sustainability Report is published in a paper copy and made available at the Annual Public Meeting. The Annual & Sustainability Report is also published on yvr.ca in an abbreviated top line fashion as well as through a downloadable pdf of the entire report. The report is published at least two weeks prior to the Annual Public Meeting so that community members and stakeholders can review in detail and ask any questions in person or online. Advertising in local community newspapers outlining the key results of the report notifies community members that the report is available.
- The Annual Public Meeting takes place at the airport each year on the second Thursday of May. Notice of the meeting is advertised regularly beginning a month prior to the meeting. The meeting is run by the Chair of the Board with the President and some Vice Presidents and team members speaking to specific projects or developments. Free parking is provided and the Annual Public Meeting is streamed lived for those unable to attend in person. A sign language interpreter translates the meeting for the hearing impaired. A question and answer period is held at the end of the meeting where members of the community, stakeholders, employees and media are invited to ask questions of the Executive.
- The Airport Authority is committed to public consultation on large projects that have the potential to impact the community. Consultation is carried out with community members, stakeholders, partners, Musqueam First Nation and governments. The consultation process is tailored for each specific project however the commitment to open, honest and timely information governs the consultation approach.
- Every ten years, Vancouver Airport Authority conducts a Master Plan consultation process to update its Land Use Plan. The full Master Plan is submitted to Transport Canada and the Minister reviews and approves the Land Use Plan. The consultation process for the Master Plan will identify future capacity expectations, trends in aviation and reviews all areas that affect the future of the airport including ground access, amenities, terminal capacity and airspace requirements. A multi-phase consultation program reaches out to community members, industry association, agencies, governments, Musqueam First Nation and employees to provide an opportunity for input and feedback. Once complete, the Master Plan is published on yvr.ca and is used to govern decision-making and development for the horizon of that Plan.
The Social Management System is comprised of numerous policies, procedures and systems throughout the whole organization that ensure we are meeting our commitments and regulatory requirements including our Social Policy. In the daily course of business, if an area of non-compliance is identified, it is addressed as per its governing policy or system. Some elements of the Social Management System are audited internally and some are audited by independent third parties. An annual review of adherence to the Social Policy is included in the development of the Annual & Sustainability Report where areas of non-compliance and the associated mitigation actions are reported.