Quebec Port Authority (QPA) has entrusted the development of a sustainable development strategy to Johanne Gélinas of the firm Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton. Gélinas has previously held the position of Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development at the federal government and was a commissioner at the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) in Quebec. “Making Port of Quebec a leader in sustainable development was a commitment I made when I took the helm two years ago,” said Mario Girard, President and CEO. “We have already taken steps in this direction, such as the establishment of a community relations committee, but now we want to build a structured framework that will be a foundation for our activities. This is the natural evolution of our vision.”

Global approach

The first task of Johanne Gélinas’ team will be to identify the most pressing sustainable development issues. This approach will include the assessment of international best practices implemented by large ports that are leaders in the field, as well as consultations with QPA stakeholders.

This identification will make it possible to set strategic directions for sustainable development, allowing the Port to identify and prioritize actions required to position itself as a responsible organization. The entire process will be interactive and will involve community stakeholders.

“QPA has a unique opportunity to grow in the center of a major city with remarkable architectural and natural heritage, which is located alongside the St. Lawrence River. The relationships that the Port has built over the decades have involved numerous important environmental, social and economic actors,” said Gélinas. “Part of our approach is to develop a vision that will strengthen the relationship between the city and the Port and put in place the conditions necessary to maintain environmental integrity (environmental safety), social equality (social responsibility) and economic efficiency (sustainable growth).”

“I have full confidence in Ms. Gélinas’s expertise, and I think she will make a significant contribution to the Port becoming a leader among responsible organizations. The deadline for the delivery of its sustainable development plan is set for the end of 2013, and the entire port community of Quebec will be engaged in the approach. Having this kind of strategy is important for the Port’s future development,” concluded Mario Girard.