In an interview with Insights Success, Christine Crowe, who works in Boréalis’ Business Development Office, shares insights on the company’s journey and its valuable contributions to organizations through its stakeholder engagement software. Boréalis helps organizations build enduring and trusted relationships with their most important stakeholder groups. Its field-proven software reduces social risks and increases positive outcomes based on shared value creation.
Below are the highlights of the interview between Christine Crowe and Insights Success.
Brief overview of Boréalis, its solutions and services.
Boréalis helps organizations around the world build trusted relationships with their key stakeholders – primarily through its stakeholder engagement software that provides organizations a single platform for planning, engaging and measuring the success of their stakeholder engagement strategy. We also lend our expertise in stakeholder engagement to clients needing help in identifying needs, building and training teams, etc. We’re the only company in the world that combines sophisticated stakeholder engagement management software with extensive on-the-ground experience. As result, we are able to help organizations globally turn social risks into stakeholder acceptance. Our website, www.boreal-is.com, includes a number of client success stories resulting from the implementation of Boréalis software.
Boréalis is based in southern Quebec, but its team routinely travels to customers worldwide, working on-site with them to configure and implement the software as well as to provide any training and strategic expertise that may be needed. The company was created in 1998 and has 70 employees and a strong network of global partners. Over 50 percent of Boréalis’ employees are software developers.
Ways in which Boréalis software solutions are focused on being customer centric.
Boréalis stakeholder engagement software was developed from the ground up to meet specific customer needs in the mining industry. Once organizations in other sectors caught wind of what mining companies were able to do with our online platform, they came knocking on our door. The crossover to other industries was quite seamless. Most issues related to stakeholder relations apply to any sector where securing a social license to operate is essential to corporate and project sustainability. I’m talking about issues like community engagement, land access and management, social and environmental performance, public affairs and government relations, etc. Our software is now used by major organizations working in utilities, oil & gas, consumer goods, real estate, government, healthcare and more. (Interesting case studies available at: www.boreal-is.com/resources)
We are closely involved with our clients and constantly improve our software based on their direct feedback to ensure they’re reaching their corporate objectives – whether it’s implementing a proactive stakeholder engagement plan, managing grievances or monitoring regulatory compliance. We permanently invest in R&D and release about four software updates each year. Our clients are always working with the most advanced software out there. (Learn more about Borealis Technologies: www.boreal-is.com/technology)
Experiences, achievements or lessons learnt that have shaped Boréalis’ journey.
Boréalis’ CEO and founder, Patrick Grégoire was working on a major pipeline in 1998 when he had the creative epiphany that led to the development of Boréalis software. Companies were just starting to consider community and social risk as part of the execution of their projects – and the implementation of international social impact programs was still in its nascent stage. We implemented Boréalis software with global players in natural resources, which quickly validated its ability to drive results. The company has continued to play a leadership role in major infrastructure initiatives around the world, including pipelines, renewables, hydroelectric, mining, oil & gas, wind power, ports, and railways.
Challenges in public participation and stakeholder engagement and Boréalis’ strategy for tackling them
Being proactive so that you can create productive stakeholder relationships built on mutual respect, transparency and trust. But being proactive requires real-time access to meaningful data. You need to know who your key stakeholder groups are, how their expectations, opinions and level of influence are changing over time, what regulations and standards you need to comply with, what commitments have been made – the list goes on and on.
Most organizations now recognize the need to systematically collect stakeholder data. But herein lies yet another challenge. As this pile of vital data grows, it takes the right tools to be able to easily access the pertinent information, analyze and track it, and report it in a meaningful way. Boréalis software is the only platform that can turn endless piles of data into clear, actionable steps for guiding strategy and high-level decision making.
How social media and public expectations changing the landscape of stakeholder engagement and corporate social responsibility
Today’s interconnected world means that people are now aware of corporations’ activities even thousands of kilometers away. Anyone from directly impacted households to national governments and lenders can influence the course of a project to varying degrees – at a speed unheard of just a decade or two ago.
As a result, organizations are no longer treating stakeholder engagement and CSR as an afterthought, but as essential business functions that need to be optimized. They’re now putting much more effort into building productive relationships with stakeholders. They’re also turning to AI-driven technological tools like Boréalis software to streamline processes so that they can engage with more stakeholders more often, without having to add more staff.
Where does Boréalis see itself in the long run?
We have helped to usher in the modern era of stakeholder engagement and our global community of practice means we’re at the forefront of where the field is headed. We’re now incorporating AI learning into our software so that it actually lessens the workload of teams, freeing them to spend more time engaging with stakeholders rather than manipulating data. In the long run we’re committed to leading this space to support purpose-driven communication strategies.
“You have really shown me how the IT-solutions of the future look like and how a very well thought through solution service can revolutionize and speed up implementation and change management.” – Daniel Ördén, Solution Owner, Business Solutions/Solution Area DPOP, IKEA Range & Supply, IKEA of Sweden AB (Consumer Goods)
About the Leader
Christine Crowe works in Boréalis’ business development office, where she focuses on helping companies in the energy and environment industries across the Americas meet their environmental, social and governance (ESG) objectives. Her technical background and international experience performing field census work and developing advanced fuels from waste for utilities gives her a comprehensive view on stakeholder engagement. This expertise is extremely valuable to organizations implementing a proactive stakeholder engagement planning and management tool like Boréalis to ensure sustainable infrastructure modernization.