Stakeholder and Indigenous Engagement

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With energy infrastructure spanning North America, constructive, meaningful engagement with those who are affected by, or who can affect, our activities and operations is fundamental to how we do business.

We focus on collaborating with stakeholders to build long-term relationships, create shared value, reduce our environmental impact, improve safety and innovate for the future. We recognize and respect Indigenous rights and culture. We work to engage Indigenous communities early in planning and implementing our projects, and over the lifecycle of our operations in implementing strategies for safety, cultural protection and environmental stewardship.

Building sustainable relationships connects directly to each of our core values—Integrity, Safety and Respect. Engaging with stakeholders and Indigenous Peoples in ways that create value for them and for us improves social and environmental outcomes, makes our projects and operations better, and enhances our ability to execute on our strategic priorities.

Stakeholder Engagement

We work hard to earn and maintain the trust of our stakeholders.

We believe that our long-term success depends on our ability to build effective, mutually beneficial relationships with the people and communities living near our operations, including more than 92,000 landowners in Canada and the U.S. Coordinated, comprehensive management systems guide our approach, which is grounded in respect for our stakeholders and our commitment to work hard to foster open, transparent and meaningful dialogue.

2017 Highlights


~26,000

total direct and indirect engagements with stakeholders and other groups in Canada on our Line 3 Replacement Program (2014-2017).

~23,000

in the U.S. (2015-2017).

~$5.4 M

invested in nearly 450 initiatives to support communities surrounding all of our projects in 2017.

A comprehensive, coordinated and consistent approach.

L3RP June 2017 Canada Open Houses

We have an integrated management system for stakeholder engagement that supports a multi-disciplinary and risk-based approach. The system is coordinated and scalable with common processes and tools that work to enhance effectiveness and provide consistency across all of our projects and operations. It’s based on leading industry practices and global benchmarking systems, and further advances accountability, reporting and continuous improvement.

Through our Regional Engagement Plans (REPs), we work to develop and maintain constructive, meaningful and long-term stakeholder relationships based on a solid understanding of the regional environment and an effort to learn the priorities, interests and concerns of our communities and stakeholders.

Customized engagement plans are developed for each new project as it enters the planning stage. These Major Project Engagement Plans (MPEPs) are proactive, two-way communication and consultation strategies designed to help us:

  • understand stakeholder issues; answer their questions and obtain their input on our project plans;
  • improve our awareness of more broadly based community interests and perspectives; and
  • make changes to our plans based on what we learn.

We recognize that some stakeholders have concerns about our projects and operations, and we respect their desire to voice them. We welcome and encourage respectful, two-way dialogue, and take all stakeholder grievances, concerns, issues and requests seriously. We carefully track issues raised so that we can effectively follow up and incorporate them into our REPs and MPEPs.


Who are our stakeholders?

Stakeholders

Our stakeholders include the individuals and groups who live and work near—or who can affect or are affected by—our pipelines, power lines, operations and facilities. They include landowners, communities, governments, businesses, industry, non-government organizations, and regulators, as well as the individuals and organizations with whom we work to prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Because Indigenous Peoples in Canada and the U.S. have distinct rights, Enbridge acknowledges that Indigenous Peoples are more than stakeholders and has adopted a separate corporate policy to ensure that our activities respect those rights.


First Responders

We engaged and trained 543 first responder agencies regarding the roles and responsibilities of pipeline operators and first responders.

The NEXUS Drain-tile Program

Through proactive outreach early in the NEXUS Gas Transmission project, the project team identified the importance of drain-tile systems to local farmers in Ohio and Michigan. More than 200 miles of the project—60% of the project’s total tracts—required work to existing drain-tile systems. Drainage systems are unique to each individual piece of land and play an integral part in a farm’s productivity. Understanding that even the slightest disturbance to these systems could have a significant impact on agricultural operations, NEXUS worked collaboratively with local farmers to select preferred drain-tile experts in the community for all pre- and post-construction drain-tile work, and extended monitoring.


Public Awareness Programs

Our Public Awareness Programs equip our neighbors—landowners, business owners, tenants, communities, elected officials, Indigenous groups, excavators and emergency responders—with the information they need on how to live and work safely near pipelines and associated facilities. Although the requirements for public awareness outreach vary between Canada and the U.S., beginning in 2018, our programs will be governed by our integrated enterprise-wide Public Awareness Plan to ensure quality and consistency of performance. We design our Public Awareness Programs to meet—and in many cases exceed—regulatory requirements..


Learn more about Enbridge’s Public Awareness Programs.

Indigenous Engagement

We are committed to forthright and sincere consultation with Indigenous people.

We recognize the history, uniqueness and diversity of Indigenous peoples and strive to build trust and lasting relationships. In the course of our projects and operations, we are regularly in contact with many Indigenous communities in Canada and Native American tribes in the U.S. In both countries, legal requirements and good business practice mandate consultation and engagement with Indigenous communities on energy infrastructure projects and operations.

2017 Highlights


More than $200 million spent
on materials and services sourced from Indigenous suppliers in Canada and the U.S.

More than $1.7 million invested
to support educational, safety and cultural initiatives with Indigenous Communities.

55

agreements through our engagement on the Line 3 Replacement Program with the majority of Indigenous groups along the pipeline route in Canada.

457

employees & contractors received Indigenous awareness training.

Enbridge’s Indigenous Peoples Policy

Our Indigenous Peoples Policy outlines the key principles that guide our engagement with Indigenous Nations and groups in areas in North America where our pipelines cross their lands.

We are focused on proactive engagement with Indigenous communities across the life cycle of our projects and operations in order to meet the requirements and expectations for Indigenous consultation and involvement, and to establish more enduring relationships with Indigenous communities. We recognize that legal, regulatory and historical differences exist between the Indigenous peoples in Canada and those in the U.S. As a result, we tailor our approach to accommodate the differences.

We undertake transparent and meaningful consultations with Indigenous peoples and communities near our projects and operations, engaging early and often. Our goal is to learn as much as possible about the underlying social, economic, political and environmental conditions of the individuals and communities in question, and to understand their expectations, interests and concerns.

Wennell Swampy, Samson Cree Nation near Edmonton, Alberta

Wennell Swampy
"By applying for Enbridge’s Aboriginal Construction Monitoring Program, I was able to challenge myself and obtain more skills, experience and knowledge from a higher, managerial position in the energy industry in hopes to maintain that career level in the near future. I also hope that the experience and skills I’ve obtained through the monitoring program will benefit me for any other future opportunities!"

Read more from Wennell Swampy in our 2017 Corporate Sustainability Report


Indigenous Rights and Relationships in North American Energy Infrastructure

Indigenous relations are evolving in North America. This is a positive development and one we are pleased to participate in. To that end, we’ve published a discussion paper that outlines our approach and we welcome feedback that can help us strengthen our performance.

Read the paper.