At Enbridge, we work to ensure our relationships with communities and Indigenous groups are mutually beneficial—environmentally, socially, culturally and economically.
We work hard to earn and maintain the trust of the people and communities who live near our assets and operations.
Business Context and our Strategic Response
We believe our long-term success depends on our ability to build effective, mutually beneficial relationships with the people and communities near our operations 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 foster open, transparent and meaningful dialogue with our neighbors.
We strive to ensure both the consistency and flexibility of our community outreach efforts. Initiatives we undertake must adhere steadfastly to our values and be customized to local needs and issues. Our CSR Policy and Indigenous Peoples Policy commit us to timely and meaningful engagement with all stakeholders through clear, honest and respectful interactions.
Integrated Management System
We have an integrated management system for engagement that supports our multi-disciplinary and strategic, relationship-based approach to managing engagement, inclusion and communication activities.
The system is coordinated, scalable, and incorporates standardized processes, procedures, tools and templates to enhance its effectiveness and provide consistency in our approach across all Enbridge projects and operations. It is based on leading industry practices and global benchmarking systems, and further advances accountability, documented reporting and continuous improvement.
As shown on the following page, the system involves four stages, each with its own requirements.
Every community is unique—and so is every Enbridge project. That’s why we execute specific engagement plans for all new projects requiring regulatory approvals. That being said, we do follow a systematic process to identify those unique stakeholders, circumstances and engagement plans for each project, and maintain guidelines or standards to ensure consistent and respectful engagement.
We also have engagement plans at the regional level for our liquids and natural gas pipelines operations to ensure stakeholder engagement and communication is consistent and ongoing over the lifecycle of our assets, as well as across our different operating regions.
Regional Engagement Plans
Through our Regional Engagement Plans (REPs), we work to develop and maintain constructive, meaningful and long-term stakeholder relationships.
Our REPs are based on a solid understanding of the regional environment and an effort to learn what matters most—the priorities, interests and concerns of our communities and stakeholders. These plans ensure that our engagement is ongoing and that we build meaningful relationships with stakeholders. The REPs also serve as a foundation of stakeholder information when new projects are initiated within a region. Plans are developed and measured using best practices.
Our REPs help us build and maintain stakeholder relationships in each region and ensure coordination between project planning, operations and community engagement. Multidisciplinary teams execute the operational engagement plans in an integrated manner, incorporating experience and learnings from community engagement.
Project engagement plans
As each of our new projects enters the planning stage, we create customized engagement plans for them. These engagement plans are designed to understand stakeholder issues; answer questions and obtain input on our project plans; improve awareness of community interests and perspectives; and adapt our plans based on what we learn.
Our project engagement plans involve identifying and prioritizing stakeholders, tailoring engagement methods according to stakeholder priorities, identifying and analyzing issues and risks, and developing mitigation plans and processes to respond to issues and risks that might occur.
To ensure that these plans are effective and appropriate, we reach out to stakeholders and their communities to get to know them, the local environment and the relevant issues. Outreach includes surveys, focus groups and meetings with community members, and we engage and communicate through newsletters, fact sheets, presentations, project update letters, telephone calls, emails, advertising, social media and community events and open houses.
Addressing Stakeholder Input
We recognize that some stakeholders may have concerns about our projects and operations, and we respect their desire to voice them. Enbridge welcomes and encourages respectful, two-way dialogue and problem solving, and we take all stakeholder concerns and requests seriously. We carefully track issues raised to ensure effective follow-up and capture within our REPs.
We have created processes to proactively manage stakeholder concerns and questions or complaints related to projects and operations in each region. We log issues as they emerge, identify and prioritize potential issues, and develop appropriate engagement or communication actions to resolve them.
We offer stakeholders a variety of methods by which they can reach us, including toll-free telephone lines, in-person meetings and dedicated e-mail addresses. Our REPs also include opportunities for stakeholders to connect with us, and for us to listen and respond to them.
Ways We Engage
Landowners and Tenants
Government and Regulators
|Newsletters, brochures and other collateral mailouts||◉||◉||◉||◉|
|Town halls and open houses||◉||◉|
|Landowner advocacy group workshops and presentations||◉|
|Community events (such as BBQs)||◉||◉||◉|
|Employee volunteer projects||◉|
|Partnerships with local and regional organizations||◉|
|Community investment programs||◉||◉|
|Online emergency responder training||◉|
|Facility and rights-of-way tours||◉||◉||◉||◉|
|Emergency response tabletop exercises||◉||◉|
Public Awareness Programs
As the owner and operator of 43,000 miles (69,000 kilometers) of pipelines transporting oil and natural gas, our highest priority is operating our assets safely and reliably to protect the people, communities and environments located nearby.
In Canada and the U.S., we adhere to regulatory requirements to maintain and deliver a Public Awareness Program. This safety communication program is dedicated to informing and educating our neighbors—landowners, tenants, business owners, communities, elected officials, excavators and emergency responders—about the presence of pipelines and associated facilities in their communities, and how to continue living and working safely around them. While specific outreach requirements for this program vary across Canada and the U.S., it's governed by an enterprise-wide Public Awareness plan which helps ensure quality, consistency and the integration of best practices, while ensuring compliance with regulations specific to each jurisdiction.
Our Public Awareness Program meets, and in many cases exceeds, regulatory requirements. We strive to demonstrate our commitment to safety by:
- Providing a standard for safety engagement and communication, including face-to-face meetings, information mailings and online content.
- Educating on damage prevention best practices to safeguard underground infrastructure assets.
- Contributing to local emergency response readiness.
- Aligning communication around emergency management and community investment.
- Leveraging best practices to continuously improve our Public Awareness Program.
The following examples illustrate how we demonstrated accountability and responsiveness to stakeholders through the initiatives in our major project engagements and REPs.
Emergency Responder Education and Engagement
Since 2013, Enbridge has hosted and operated a free Emergency Responder Education Program, as a way to continue educating emergency responders of their role in the event of a pipeline emergency. This Enbridge-owned training program was the first of its kind among U.S. and Canadian pipeline companies.
In late 2018, we moved away from a self-hosted program and now participate in industry-aligned training offered by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the Association of Oil Pipe Lines (AOPL). This training is a free online portal that continues to assist in educating first responders on the techniques and skills necessary to address liquids or natural gas pipeline emergencies. Featuring content from the National Association of State Fire Marshals, this program is considered best-in-class and has been promoted to all first responders along Enbridge's system.
Hear the perspective of an irrigation farmer on how Enbridge worked with landowners and the Canadian Association of Energy and Pipeline Landowner Association (CAEPLA) to ensure a vital supply of water for their crops.
“Respectfully and caringly are the two words that I can express.”
Ken Habermehl, irrigation farmer and rancher