The manner in which we engage with stakeholders is governed by our Integrity, Safety and Respect core values, and by our CSR Policy, the Stakeholder Relations section of which states that:
Enbridge will engage stakeholders clearly, honestly and respectfully. Enbridge is committed to timely and meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders, including shareholders, customers, employees, indigenous peoples, governments, regulators and landowners, among others.
For the purposes of this section of Enbridge’s 2015 CSR & Sustainability Report, our stakeholders include the individuals and groups who live and work near, or who are affected by, our pipelines, power lines, operations and facilities. They include landowners, communities, governments and regulators, as well as the individuals and organizations with whom we work to prepare for and respond to emergencies.
While those with whom we engage include Aboriginal and Native American individuals and groups in Canada and the U.S., because these parties have distinct rights, we recognize them as being separate from other stakeholders. For more information, please see the Aboriginal & Native American Rights & Engagement section of this report.
While energy and infrastructure issues are often regional and national in scope, we have learned that they are also local. As such, we maintain an overarching approach to stakeholder engagement, and adapt it based on geographic region, the project in question, local issues, and stakeholders' proximity to our projects and operations.
We also endeavor to meet or exceed the regulatory requirements governing our public engagement and consultation practices.
We engage with stakeholders early on in our planning process so that we can effectively address or resolve issues from the onset, and adjust plans wherever feasible. We also endeavor to engage with stakeholders throughout the entire lifecycle of our projects and, whenever possible, involve them through community investment and economic inclusion opportunities. We know that, in all of our interactions with stakeholders, transparency and accountability are key to developing clear, honest, respectful and mutually beneficial relationships. We also know that stakeholder engagement means more than listening. It means doing something about what we hear.
Public Information Programs and our new Regional Engagement Plans
As soon as we propose a project—whether it be a pipeline, storage tank, power transmission line or renewable energy facility—we create a Public Involvement Program (PIP) for it. A PIP is a proactive, two-way communication and consultation strategy designed to help us understand our stakeholders, obtain their input, answer their questions, learn about community interests and perspectives and, when needed, implement changes. A PIP is a living document that we can amend to reflect strategic changes. It is an integral part of our overall plan for each project we undertake.
To ensure that our PIPs are appropriate for the projects we create them for, we reach out to our stakeholders and their communities to get to know them, the local environment and the potential issues and risks associated with each of our projects. We conduct our outreach through surveys, focus groups and meetings with community leaders, as well as through newsletters, posters, regulatory compliance mailings, telephone calls, emails, advertising, social media updates and community open houses.
In Canada, federal regulations require us to periodically conduct socio-economic baseline studies, which help us align our community investments and economic inclusion opportunities with community interests and needs. With the knowledge we gather through all of these means, we create detailed community profiles.
As our projects become operational, our ongoing engagement is guided by broader Regional Engagement Plans (REPs). Our REPs help us consistently coordinate our stakeholder engagements across our company, and take the entire region in which an operation is situated into account. Our REPs also enable us to be highly accountable for—and responsive to—agreements and opportunities, as well as to grievances, concerns, issues and requests. And they ensure that our engagement is ongoing and meaningful to stakeholders and regulators. For more information, please see 2015 Performance in this section of this report. [provide links]
Public Awareness Programs
As is the case with all pipeline operators in Canada and the U.S., we are legally required to maintain Public Awareness Programs (PAPs) to help keep our stakeholders safe and informed.
Our Public Awareness Programs (PAPs) consist of initiatives that improve stakeholders’ awareness of pipelines in their communities, and that keep them informed about:
- where our pipelines are located,
- what products we are transporting in them,
- how they can work safely near our pipelines,
- how they can recognize the warning signs of a potential pipeline emergency,
- pipeline safety procedures in the event of an emergency, and
- how they can contact us.
Our PAPs also help us ensure that stakeholders know what they need to do before they can safely dig. One element in our PAPs is our participation each April in Safe Digging Month, during which we promote the Call/Click Before You Dig message (at GD through an annual scratch and sniff bill insert) and display the logo on our facilities.
Under our U.S. PAPs, we raise awareness of the National Click Before You Dig website or Ontario One Call message through our annual participation in 811 Day each August 11. Our involvement in 811 Day involves running online advertising in areas that have had digging-related incidents and near misses, sending executive e-mails to our employees, posting intranet articles and sharing information through social media.
Through our PAPs, we meet—and in many cases exceed—all legal requirements. Through our PAPs, we also directly support Enbridge’s emergency preparedness & response efforts. For more information, please see the Emergency Preparedness and Response section of this report and 2015 Performance in this section of this report.
Responding to Stakeholder Grievances, Concerns, Issues and Requests
We recognize that some stakeholders strongly oppose our projects, and respect their desire to voice their concerns. We welcome respectful dialogue, and take all stakeholder grievances, concerns, issues and requests seriously.
We offer stakeholders a variety of methods by which they can reach us, including toll-free telephone lines, meetings and dedicated e-mail addresses. Our PIPs, REPs and PAPs also include opportunities for stakeholders to access us, and for us to listen and respond to them.
We carefully track all grievances, concerns, issues and requests such that we can effectively follow up, and so that we can incorporate them into our PIPs and REPs. To ensure our tracking is effective, in 2014 and 2015, we began updating the systems that support our work in this area.
One of the updates involved the development—by our Liquids Pipelines business segment (LP)—of a new ProStar complaint-tracking system. The ProStar system, which LP implemented in 2014, uses geospatial cloud and mobile software to automate and streamline our tracking of landowner complaints and link them to our REPs (and PIPs) and land management records.
We consider our stakeholders’ support of our projects, operations and business to be the ultimate measure of the effectiveness of our stakeholder engagement. Other measures we use internally to help us gauge our effectiveness include:
- the type and amount of concern or support expressed by elected officials,
- the effectiveness of any conflict mitigation we may have undertaken with stakeholders,
- the general level of support or opposition expressed through any means regarding our projects or operations,
- positive or negative feedback expressed in meetings with community members and other stakeholders,
- media coverage, and
- timely regulatory approvals of our projects.
Our regulators also measure and evaluate the effectiveness of our stakeholder engagement. Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) conducts at least six comprehensive audits of NEB-regulated companies each year. Each audit focuses on one of the six required areas of a company’s management system: Safety, Environmental Protection, Integrity, Pipeline Crossings and Public Awareness, Emergency Management and Security. The NEB publicly releases the audit results.
In Canada, we also commission outside reviews of our PAPs to obtain recommendations for improvement and to ensure that we are continuously improving the program.
In the U.S., federal regulation requires us to review how we implement our PAPs each year, and to evaluate their effectiveness once every four years. We conduct the PAP effectiveness evaluation every two years using an industry survey that incorporates feedback from emergency responders, public officials, excavators and people who live and work near our pipelines. The survey measures stakeholders’ understanding of pipeline safety and their retention of information they would have received as part of our direct mail program. U.S. government officials pair the survey results with statistics and metrics from our annual implementation review to help determine if our program is effective and to identify any changes needed.
In both Canada and the U.S., we use informal measures of media interest (based on our review of news clippings and social media) to gauge stakeholder interest in topics, such as proposed pipeline construction in a particular area, and to help us develop materials that respond to questions that stakeholders raise through the media.