We use leading construction practices, and are committed to identifying, mitigating and proactively managing potential construction project impacts on the environment. We pay close attention to environmentally sensitive areas and species-at-risk habitat, and recognize that effective biodiversity conservation and management of land, water, waste and air emissions are among the keys to a sustainable environment.
While we are required to meet all relevant environmental regulations within our operational jurisdictions, we also comply with our own long-standing corporate policies and objectives in order to achieve sound environmental management during both construction and operation of our energy delivery assets.
This approach includes ongoing engagement with, and responsiveness to, a range of external stakeholders to ensure our processes remain at the forefront of best industry practices. In addition, through our community investment program we support initiatives that promote environmental stewardship, conservation, habitat remediation and environmental education. For more information, please see the Community Investment section of this report.
Principles, Policies and Guidelines
We have established the following enterprise-wide and business segment-specific principles, policies, guidelines and systems to ensure that we meet the highest environmental standards:
- Core values: Integrity, Safety and Respect,
- Statement on Business Conduct,
- Operational Risk Management (ORM) program (which includes pipeline integrity management, leak detection and control systems, damage avoidance and detection, occupational safety, public safety and environmental protection, and incident response),
- Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) Framework,
- Safety Management System Framework,
- Corporate Social Responsibility Policy, and
- Climate Policy.
- safety and environmental guidelines for contractors,
- environmental guidelines for construction,
- environmental policies,
- emergency management system, and
- Integrated Management and Environmental Management Systems (see below).
These principles, policies, guidelines and systems inform our ongoing efforts to enhance our environmental performance. Our employees, contractors and consultants are expected to recognize and mitigate the impact of their daily activities on the environment. We also partner with key stakeholders to ensure environmentally friendly technologies are adopted and broadly implemented.
For more information, please see Strategy & Priorities section of this report, and the Risk Management section of this report.
Integrated Management and Environmental Management System
Our Liquid Pipelines business segment (LP) and Major Projects business unit (MP) continue to develop a comprehensive Integrated Management System (IMS), which sets out a governance framework that integrates and documents organizational structure, resources, accountabilities, policies and processes. The IMS encompasses several individual management systems, one of which is the Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS is based on the criteria established by the ISO 14001 to ensure it includes all the appropriate elements.
Elements of LP’s and MP’s EMS include:
- explicit governance structures, with accountability to the executive team and/or the Board of Directors,
- identification of products, activities and services that have significant impacts on the environment,
- compliance with environmental regulations,
- objectives, targets and deadlines,
- environmental programs,
- assigned roles and responsibilities,
- environmental training and awareness programs for employees,
- internal and external communication on environmental management issues,
- monitoring and measurement,
- environmental performance records,
- external and internal environmental reviews, and
- corrective actions to stimulate continual improvement.
A key feature of the overall LP and MP IMS is the governing processes, which include the high-level accountabilities for and components of risk, safety management and strategy, including the EMS. Within the IMS is a detailed Assurance Process that outlines the governance related to internal/external audits, internal reviews and self-assessments. It also includes other assurance processes, such as Corrective Action Plans, Event Investigations and Management Reviews, each of which apply to the individual management systems and programs.
Enbridge’s Gas Distribution business segment (GD) has also developed a comprehensive Integrated Management System (Int-MS), which sets out a governance framework that integrates and documents core processes, resources, policies, and organizational structures. GD's Int-MS encompasses six individual management programs, one of which is the Environmental Management Program. This program is based on a requirements list, which was developed using Enbridge’s Safety Management System Framework, ISO 14001, and multiple other corporate and regulatory requirements to ensure all appropriate elements are included.
GD’s Environmental Management Program provides the governance and direction for GD’s activities to be conducted in an environmentally sound manner, where the following is achieved:
- environmental aspects are identified, and resulting risk evaluated on a continual basis,
- operational controls, inspection and monitoring programs are developed and implemented to address environmental concerns,
- environmental management and performance is continually evaluated and improved,
- management commitment and leadership, and a high level of employee participation,
- measurement, monitoring and reporting on environmental performance and metrics,
- compliance with all applicable company requirements and environmental regulations, including obtaining all necessary environmental permits, and
- the potential for adverse environmental effects is prevented, mitigated and/or minimized.
We have also implemented a number of programs and objectives intended to reduce the environmental impact of projects and operations. These include:
- using environmentally sound construction techniques,
- avoiding impacts on sensitive habitats,
- implementing rigorous preventive maintenance programs (e.g. pipeline integrity digs) with the target of zero releases,
- pursuing and supporting technology research,
- developing comprehensive spill response and environmental mitigation plans in the unlikely event of a release,
- contributing to the development of national pipeline safety standards and industry-recommended practices,
- designing facilities to ensure air emissions from our operations are below regulated limits,
- meeting or exceeding all regulatory requirements pertaining to water withdrawal and disposal, and
- helping our GD customers adopt energy-savings equipment and operating practices to reduce natural gas consumption.
Environmental Protection Expenditures and Investments
We spend millions of dollars each year on activities associated with environmental protection and management. We perform most of these activities—environmental impact assessments, and emissions monitoring, management and reporting, for example—to comply with regulatory requirements. We perform some of these activities—habitat conservation, for example—voluntarily.
A partial list of the environmental protection and management activities that we undertake is as follows:
- aquatic assessments,
- contaminated site management,
- emissions monitoring, management and reporting,
- environmental health checks and internal reviews,
- environmental surveys,
- environmental planning and performance management,
- environmental training for staff and contractors,
- groundwater monitoring,
- habitat conservation and mitigation,
- risk identification and assessment,
- site containment and drainage,
- sponsorship of environmental organizations,
- tree planting, and
- waste management (waste handling and disposal).
We do not currently have the processes in place to track the exact amounts of our expenditures and investments in these areas.