In 2015, we invested over $19 million in more than 750 organizations across North America in community-strengthening initiatives aligned to our three focus areas (well-being, community and the environment).
Approximately 900 of our employees participated in our Volunteers in Partnership program in 2015 by volunteering over 31,000 hours for causes they value. In recognition of their efforts, under the program, we contributed over $290,000 to communities in Canada and the U.S.
Under our Safe Community program, we have awarded grants to U.S. emergency responder organizations since 2002 and to Canadian emergency responder organizations since 2009. In 2015, we invested over $1.3 million in the program.
In 2015, we donated $6.5 million to the United Way through our fund raising events, employee pledges and matching corporate contribution, surpassing the amount we donated in 2014.
In 2015, we worked closely with community organizations to focus our resources and support. In the course of our work, we acquired an understanding of their concerns, needs and aspirations through:
- on-going conversations with them,
- information gathered by Enbridge representatives who live and work in our communities, and who regularly meet with community leaders, and
- direct requests from employees and community organizations.
In response to what we heard, we invested over $19 million in 2015 in more than 750 organizations aligned with our three focus areas.
Community Investment Highlights
In 2015 we invested more than $4.2 million in our Everyone’s Well-being focus area. Highlights included:
Project Zero - Each year, we team up with the Fire Marshal’s Public Fire Safety Council in Ontario to help fire departments reduce the number of fire and carbon monoxide-related deaths in the province through Project Zero, a public education campaign that provides combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to residents in Ontario. The goal of the annual Project Zero campaign is to reduce the number of residential fire- and carbon monoxide-related deaths to zero.
In 2015, an alarm that had been installed under Project Zero in a family home in Thorold, Ontario, activated. Thorold firefighters responded to the alarm and, using testing equipment, found a high level of potentially deadly carbon monoxide. The firefighters ventilated the house so that we could assess the situation and repair what turned out to be a gas leak. The alarm has been credited with saving the family’s life.
Recently, the Ontario government passed the Hawkins-Gignac Act, which requires all dwellings with a fuel-burning appliance, fireplace or attached garage to be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors.
Heart and Stroke Foundation – We help keep community members safe by ensuring they have access to technology and training related to cardiac arrest.
Every year, approximately 40,000 Canadians experience a cardiac arrest, usually—in about 85 per cent of cases—outside of a hospital. In these cases, the survival odds are doubled when early cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is used in combination with an AED.
Through our partnership with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, we recognized the need for these devices and are working to make AEDs available to Albertans. In 2015 we contributed $346,000 to install 33 AEDs in 26 Alberta schools, and to deliver AED and CPR training to approximately 2,000 students along or near our Mainline right-of-way, specifically from the Edmonton area to the Saskatchewan border. As part of the initiative, students receive CPR take-home kits, which they can share with their families, creating even more heart heroes.
Because many of the schools double as community centres, the AEDs are on hand for both school-related and community events. We plan to continue this initiative in 2016, and to expand it into schools in Saskatchewan.
Safe Community Program – One of our flagship community investment programs is our Safe Community program, under which we provide grants to law enforcement agencies, firefighters, emergency medical services, emergency management, 9-1-1 and other related health providers who would respond to emergency situations in or near communities where we have operations. The grants help eligible organizations acquire new safety-related equipment, obtain professional training and deliver safety education programs in their communities.
For example, in October we sponsored a basic entry course for patrol officers in five units of the police department in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. To meet the needs of the course—which required that officers break down doors such that they could practice reaching people in distress—the department was able to use our funding to lease the old portion of the local hospital, which has been slated for demolition.
In 2015, we invested over $1.3 million in the Safe Community program. Since the program’s inception in 2002 through to the end of 2015, we have invested approximately $8.5 million in it.
In 2015 we invested approximately $9.8 million in our Everyone’s Community focus area. Highlights included:
Habitat for Humanity - We donated over $360,000 in support of numerous Habitat for Humanity (HFH) projects in Canada and the U.S. Two of the projects took place in Minnesota where, in Aitkin County, HFH built a house for a family of three, and in the Lakes Area a house for a family of five, providing safe, affordable and energy-efficient housing for these families.
We also supported HFH to build a10-unit elders lodge in Saskatchewan as part of our Enbridge Aboriginal Home Program at the Flying Dust First Nation in Saskatchewan. The lodge will provide safe, affordable and sustainable housing for 10 of the community’s elders. It will also free up the houses that the elders had been living in for young families. For more information, please see the Aboriginal and Native American Rights & Engagement section of this report. [provide link ]
Recently, HFH chapters in Toronto, Brampton, Caledon and York Region in Ontario amalgamated to form HFH Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The amalgamation identified inconsistent safety practices across HFHGTA and created an opportunity for us to share our safety experience. As a result, along with another organization, we are helping HFHGTA improve its safety practices. Whether it is at the construction site, in the office, or at its ReStores, we are working with HFH to create a safer environment for everyone concerned.
United Way – Employee volunteer teams led our United Way campaigns in several locations, including Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Houston. In 2015, we donated $6.5 million through our fund raising events, employee pledges and matching corporate contribution, surpassing the amount we donated in 2014.
As part of our United Way campaigns, employees in some of our centers participated in a poverty simulation exercise called, “Living on the Edge.” The exercise gave employees an appreciation for the realities associated with living on a low income, and helped them understand the support that the United Way provides to people in need.
In 2015, we invested approximately $1.7 million in our Everyone’s Environment focus area. Highlights included:
U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation – We continued our support of a range of projects along our U.S. pipeline systems through our $125,000 donation to the U.S. National Fish & Wildlife Foundation’s (NFWF) National Wildlife Refuge Friends Program. Our donation enables the program to award grants to organizations involved in projects that help steward the natural resources in the National Wildlife Refuge System.
One such project involves planting a garden in Austwell, Texas, for pollinators, such as bees, humming birds and monarch butterflies, whose populations have been steadily decreasing due to critical habitat loss. The garden, which is scheduled to be completed in the spring of 2016, will include labelled native plants, an irrigation system, a pathway and a large interpretive site for visitors.
Volunteers in Partnership (VIP)
We fulfill our purpose of fueling people’s quality of life, not only through the energy we deliver, but through the energy that our employee volunteers donate to help strengthen their communities every day. And, through Volunteers in Partnership (VIP), our employee giving and volunteering program,we support our employees as they donate their time, abilities and money to the charitable causes they care about. Our support takes the following forms:
- We provide grants of $500 in Canada and $250 in the U.S. to non-profit organizations at which employees have volunteered 40 hours or more of volunteer service per year outside of business hours in countries where we have operations; OR we provide grants up to a maximum of $500 to match employees’ own fundraising efforts (one event per year).
- We provide employees the opportunity to take one paid day (or eight hours) off per year to volunteer at the non-profit organization of their choice in countries where we have operations.
- We also provide one paid day (or eight hours) off per year for supervisor-led, team-building volunteer activities in countries where we have operations. This support allows us to gain a better understanding of the communities in which we operate, the challenges they face and the ways we can best contribute.
In 2015, approximately 900 employees participated in the VIP program, volunteering over 31,000 hours for causes they care about. In recognition of our employees’ efforts, under the program, we contributed over $290,000 to communities in Canada and the U.S.
Since we established the program in 2010, our employees have contributed nearly 75,000 hours—and Enbridge has donated over $1.6 million to hundreds of organizations in Canada and the U.S.
The energy4everyone Foundation (e4e), which we support, has been committed to tackling energy poverty in the developing world since we established it in 2009. Working with companies in the energy industry in Canada and the U.S. and other organizations, e4e helps to improve access to affordable, sustainable and reliable energy for those who need it most.
In 2015, e4e helped fund the International Year of Light, a global initiative that highlights to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives. In addition, through a number of projects, e4e improved access to energy for communities in Peru, Nicaragua and Ghana through water well electrifications, solar stoves, eco stoves and solar lighting.