As a company operating in several industries with direct impacts on the environment and the community, the Rioux group is committed to adopting responsible and sustainable business practices in accordance with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) principles. Officially established in 2022, this policy is a first for the company and is directly aligned with our four social impact axes. Our social impact priorities will be officially launched in 2023 at the unveiling of the Rioux group’s new brand image. We will invest time and energy in environment, mental and physical health, education and entrepreneurship.
The objectives defined in this policy will evolve over time according to our capacity to invest, our understanding of the various issues we face as a company and our prioritization of these issues. The ultimate goal of the Rioux group is to ensure the sustainability of the company and its divisions, as well as that of its employees, managers and directors, and that of the communities in which we operate, for generations to come.
For several years now, the Rioux group has been giving priority to recycling construction materials wherever possible. Several projects, such as the renovation of the former St-Jérôme presbytery in Matane and the expansion of Habitat Construction’s offices, were carried out using between 20% and 80% recycled or reused materials. In 2022, the Rioux group also acquired Habitations Mont-Carleton, a manufacturer of modular buildings. This acquisition is directly related to our sustainable development objectives, considering that modular construction is recognized as having 20% to 30% less negative impact on the environment1. Finally, the Rioux group is currently working on several real estate and hotel projects throughout Quebec and the Maritimes, where certifications such as LEED and BCZ are being evaluated in order to reduce the carbon footprint of these new constructions.
In the years to come, the Rioux group is committed to continuing to adopt eco-responsible practices and processes in its various industries, such as the use of recycled construction materials and the energy optimization of its current and future assets. We will also focus on training and education by mobilizing our employees to ensure that everyone is aligned with our long-term sustainable development vision. Finally, the Rioux group is committed to implementing activities that will bring people together and benefit the environment and the community. Our team is mobilized and wishes to carry out recurring shoreline cleanups where we have establishments, as a first step, and to organize tree planting offensives in all communities where we are present by contract, alliance or operationally.
The various Rioux group companies are all supported by a prevention mutual, which ensures constant monitoring and support for our occupational health and safety requirements.
We also have internal policies promoting the health and well-being of our employees. For example, every Rioux group employee always has free access to the company gym. The company, which values autonomy, a relationship of trust and employee empowerment, allows team members to work out during working hours, at a time that is most convenient for them.
Finally, in 2022, the Rioux group announced that its minimum wage would be increased to $16 per hour, several years ahead of the Quebec government’s initiative. This investment reflects our desire to ensure the well-being of all our employees and their families and is based on our family business values.
All our employees and managers are encouraged to develop in their field of expertise, and we free them from their daily tasks to attend customized training, conferences or webinars in their respective industries.
The Rioux group is committed to increasing the priority given to occupational health and safety training for its employees over the next few years. We are also committed to implementing tools and benefits that promote the health and well-being of all our employees, regardless of their financial situation or location.
For several years now, the Rioux group has welcomed culturally diverse resources from a dozen countries to its teams. Many newcomers have joined our divisions where they have made successful careers.
To facilitate their integration when they arrive in Matanie and to reduce the financial impact of a new departure abroad, we have also acquired several assets that allow us to house our new employees free of charge while they settle in more permanently. The Rioux group also has a strict “zero tolerance” policy on all matters relating to racism, harassment and discrimination.
We have also always welcomed members of the LGBTQ+ community to our teams with the same openness, offering them the same opportunities for growth and the same respect that we expect to receive as teammates.
Finally, women play a key role in the group, with an executive management committee that is 70% female.
The Rioux group has set itself the goal of implementing a mandatory diversity and inclusion training plan for all its employees. Some of our managers have already been professionally trained in that area. We believe that inclusion requires education, awareness and information, and we see an important role for us as leaders in our market and region in this regard.
At Rioux group, everyone has a voice and the opportunity to share their ideas and vision regarding sustainable development and our social impact. Our “open door” policy allows every employee to bring forward ideas to minimize our environmental impact, while improving our social impact. Teams are encouraged to present and get involved in local projects that inspire and motivate them, and to invite colleagues from all teams to join forces for the greater good of all.
In addition, we have a long history of collaborating with our partners, customers and employees through the contribution of time, money, products and services to the causes they support, both socially and environmentally.
The Rioux group is currently working on setting up an ESG Compliance Committee made up of members from the group’s various divisions, from different cultural backgrounds and with a multigenerational approach. The purpose of this committee will be to implement concrete initiatives and actions related to our sustainable and social development objectives in a structured, consistent, measurable and attainable manner.
By implementing these ESG practices, we are convinced that the Rioux group and its various divisions can reduce their impact on the environment while improving their social impact, for the benefit of our employees, our communities and our partners.
1. The Environmental Impact of Traditonal vs. Modular Construction. (2021, July 14). Modular Building Institute. https://www.modular.org/2021/07/14/the-environmental-impact-of-traditonal-vs-modular-construction/