Which of the 17 SDGs is your organization working towards and actively promoting?

Please describe the actions/objectives towards achieving the SDGs that you have selected above.

SDG 3: For more than 10 years TELUS has been helping doctors, pharmacists, healthcare professionals and organizations leverage technology to deliver better health outcomes for Canadians. TELUS’ Health for Good program enables partnerships with regional health authorities and non-profit organizations to bring primary health care to underserved Canadians with complex care needs through innovative mobile outreach clinics. In 2017, we launched the TELUS Baby Health app and partnered with the Baby Box Co. to support future generations from day one by educating parents about safe sleep practices and providing a safe sleep space for newborns.

SDG 4: At TELUS, we believe educating future leaders will make the future more friendly for everyone. Through our long-standing partnership with WE and our #EndBullying campaign, TELUS is taking action, not only to help kids rise above bullying, but also to put an end to this damaging behaviour. Additionally, TELUS’ Internet for Good program is enabling students to reach their full potential by connecting eligible low-income families to high-speed internet.

SDG 9: In 2017, TELUS further expanded and enhanced our wireline broadband network, including connecting more homes and businesses to fibre-optic cable and delivering faster broadband Internet speeds. Nearly 50% or 1.44 million homes and business in British Columbia, Alberta and Eastern Quebec are covered by fibre-optic cable which provides them with immediate access to our gigabit-capable fibre-optic network, TELUS PureFibre. Additionally, we were the first major carrier to offer symmetrical upload and download speeds of up to 250 Mbps.

SDG 11: We are committed to giving back to the communities in which we live to make the future friendlier for all Canadians. This giving of our hearts and hands is at the foundation of our community engagement approach. TELUS has a number of programs that bring to life our culture of giving: Team TELUS Cares, TELUS Days of Giving, TELUS Match, Volunteer Rewards, TELUS Community Ambassadors and TELUS Community Boards. Our innovative Community Boards, steered by local community leaders, provide grants to grassroots initiatives that support local youth, with preference given to projects that demonstrate technological or social innovation.

SDG 13: We believe it is our responsibility to minimize the impact we have on the Environment. In 2017, we focused on: reductions in our occupancy of leased office space; energy efficiency initiatives in Alberta; technology evolution in our mobility network in Western Canada; and HVAC equipment and lighting upgrades in some of our owned buildings. TELUS also invests in renewable energy through the purchase of EcoLogo certified Renewable Energy Credits generated from Alberta renewable resources, including the procurement of a 25-year power purchase agreement for a new 15MW nameplate solar farm in Brooks, AB.

SDG 17: Offered free-of-charge, TELUS Wise is a national education program that empowers Canadians of all ages to stay safe in our digital world. TELUS Wise workshops are delivered through trained Ambassadors who volunteer their time to present to students, adults and seniors in their local communities. We have over 600 Ambassadors consisting of TELUS employees, retirees, and members of the community at large, including 100 Police School Resource Officers and 100 Youth Ambassadors. We also have a number of partners that have been key to expanding the reach of the program:  Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police, MediaSmarts, PREVNet, WE, Amanda Todd Legacy and Hockey Canada.

Please specify the impact of your organization’s actions on the SDGs that you have selected above.

SDG 3: TELUS Health solutions allow health authorities, providers, physicians, patients and consumers to leverage information and together, provide better health outcomes for Canadians. We are combining our world-class broadband networks, technology and innovation to deliver stronger health solutions. It is estimated that more than 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness each year and, as a result, encounter significant barriers in accessing traditional medical care. That’s why we enabled Mobile Health Clinics, powered by TELUS Health to ensure people who face high levels of marginalization have access to healthcare that meets their unique needs.

SDG 4: Since 2007, we have been working with WE to empower youth to make positive change in our world and become community leaders. A recent study showed that more than 40% of Canadian youth surveyed have been cyberbullied and 60% of Canadian youth have witnessed cyberbulling. Cyberbullying can have significant impacts on wellbeing, which is why TELUS puts its focus in this area. During the 2017 WE Day events, we encouraged 250,000 youth to recognize their limitless potential to help themselves and others #RiseAbove online negativity. The Internet for Good program is helping bridge the digital divide for 4,000 families and providing equal opportunities for our future leaders.

SDG 9: We continue to enhance the connectivity of Canadians by extending the speed, reach and capabilities of our advanced wireless and wireline broadband networks. The TELUS PureFibre network provides a distinct advantage to communities and their residents by potentially stimulating employment and economic growth. It also allows healthcare providers, educators and technology companies to reimagine how they deliver services, and develop entirely new solutions.

SDG 11: In 2017, TELUS, our team members and retirees contributed over $45 million to more than 4,000 charities and community organizations. Collectively, we volunteered over 1 million hours through our employee and retiree giving programs, and we engaged over 32,000 employees, retirees, family and friends globally through our annual TELUS Days of Giving. We believe that positive change happens when we harness our unique assets to build the cornerstones of our social impact model. TELUS Community Boards have funded $70 million in grants to 6,500 local charitable organizations since 2005.

SDG 13: We are caring for the planet by focusing on the responsible use of materials and resources, protecting our natural environment and through our commitment to conservation and sustainable practices. In 2017, we reduced our absolute energy consumption in comparison to 2016 while realizing growth in customer connections, and achieved a 1.6 per cent reduction in net GHG emissions. Since 2010, we have made a 7.1% reduction in energy consumption and a 19% reduction in GHG emissions. Our solar power purchase agreement will allow us to purchase about 8% of our power needs in Alberta from renewable resources for the next 25 years.

SDG 17: Since the inception of TELUS Wise we have achieved 4.5 million touchpoints with Canadians across the country. Our Ambassadors and our valued partners have been instrumental in this achievement. The rising integration of technology into both our personal and professional lives is changing the way we communicate and share information about ourselves. As a leading provider of Internet services and smartphones, we believe it is our social responsibility to help Canadians stay safe as they navigate our increasingly connected world.

Please describe your goals/action plans to advance the SDGs that you have selected above in the next 5 years. 

TELUS is committed to advancing the SDGs and has set the following targets for 2020:

SDG 3: 85,000 primary and extended healthcare providers using TELUS technology to connect to each other and their patients

We have identified five key issues where health information and our communications technology can make a positive difference: 1. Chronic disease management, 2. Medication errors and non-compliance, 3. Long wait times and poor access, 4. Lack of focus on prevention and patient self-management, and 5. The need for performance improvement.


SDG 4: 200,000 students engaged through the We Give Where We Live school tour

As part of our strategy for 2018, we will continue to advance educational opportunities for our future leaders. We will focus on introducing new community programs with key partners, targeted at youth. National expansion of the Internet for Good program is planned for Q4 2018 in partnership with ISED Canada.


SDG 9: 140 communities connected through the TELUS PureFibre build

In 2018, TELUS plans to continue making significant investments in our wireless and wireline broadband infrastructure, with targeted capital investments of approximately $2.85 billion to support customer growth, technology evolution and reliability.


SDG 11: $600 million donated to local charities

We have been designated an Imagine Canada Caring Company since 1995. As a company with this designation, TELUS gives more than 1% of our pre-tax profits to charitable organizations each year. In 2017, we surpassed this goal and contributed 2% of our pre-tax profits. For 2018, we plan to maintain our status as a Caring Company.


SDG 13: 25% reduction from 2010 in absolute GHG emissions

We will continue to work together across multiple business units to reduce our GHG emissions by: Turning down redundant networks and equipment, converting lighting to more efficient LED solutions with appropriate lighting controls, investing in smart digital building technologies, and expanding programs to reduce unnecessary idling time in our fleet operations. To further reduce our overall GHG emissions, TELUS continues to assess investments in renewable energy and low-carbon options for our fleet vehicles. We are also assessing Science Based Targets methodologies as we consider our objectives beyond 2020.


SDG 17: 7.5 million Canadians reached through TELUS Wise

Throughout 2018 we will focus on integrating our cyberbullying intervention programs with TELUS Wise. This includes the recently launched TELUS Wise Digital Pledge – a call to Canadians to stand with us and their fellow Canadians to help make our digital space safer by committing to being safe and responsible while online. Plus, for every Pledge taken, TELUS will give $1 to support #EndBullying programs across Canada.

Does your organization engage in any partnerships to advance the SDGs?

SDG 3: TELUS’ primary vehicle for building partnerships with health innovators is the TELUS Health Exchange platform. The TELUS Health Exchange is a national, standards-based, open electronic healthcare communication platform that connects both TELUS and third-party systems, often start-ups, to deliver a series of solutions to health providers, public and private insurers and patients.

SDG 4: We believe in partnering today for a better tomorrow. TELUS strategically invests in social projects and partnerships that deliver positive impacts in health, education and the environment. The TELUS Community Boards, which provide grants to grassroots charities that support local youth, are comprised of 60% non-TELUS representatives, bringing expertise of the community into decision-making.

SDG 9: We deliver on our brand promise by offering customers the best technology and an amazing experience. In order to do so, we collaborate with many partners in research and development (R&D) opportunities. In 2017, TELUS invested $240 million in R&D that will improve lives in the communities where we live, work and serve. Additionally, we partner with start-up companies in the technology sector, post-secondary institutions and industry partners to commercialize solutions that address some of the biggest technology challenges facing Canada and the world today.

SDG 11: TELUS collaborates with all levels of government in preparing for emergencies and disasters, partnering in risk assessments, exercises and other planning initiatives. We have played a significant role in the development of business continuity organizations, standards, and practices. We provided input into the Disaster Recovery Institute (DRI) Canada and the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) z1600 Emergency and Continuity Management standard. TELUS is also a founding member of a national group of telecommunications carriers dedicated to building resilience within Canadian telecommunications networks.

SDG 13: TELUS is committed to thoughtfully selecting partners in alignment with our environmental and social values. Our Supplier Code of Conduct sets out social and environmental practices that our business partners must adhere to.

SDG 17: TELUS is a Visionary Supporter of the UN Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC). Participating in the GCNC offers the opportunity to learn and exchange best practices in corporate responsibility within the network and amongst global peers. In doing so, we build the capacity of the Canadian corporate sector, empowering companies to embrace the UNGC’s principles within their national and global operations. In 2017, TELUS presented during several webinars hosted by the GCNC, on topics such as sustainability reporting, gender equality and private and public partnerships for supporting the SDGs. This year we’re pleased to be participating in a Gender Equality Project (SDG 5), which is facilitated by the GCNC in conjunction with the Government of Canada’s Minister of Status of Women.

How are you communicating and measuring your impact towards the SDGs? 

We are committed to sharing our progress on the SDGs through our annual Sustainability Report. TELUS has been producing a Sustainability Report since 2000. Our latest report, along with all previous editions, can be found online.

Additionally, as a member of the Global Compact Network Canada, TELUS continues to demonstrate our commitment to the Principles of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC). We produce an annual Communication of Progress (link below).

Additional Information:

2017 TELUS Sustainability Report: Stronger Together

SDG 3: Good Health & Well being

SDG 4: Quality Education

SDG 9: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities

SDG 13: Climate change

SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals