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.
3 performance objectives:
Sabal Trail Transmission involved engagements with 2,300 landowners, 77 public meetings, and 182 reroutes.
~20,000 direct and indirect engagements with stakeholders and Indigenous communities in Canada and ~23,000 in the U.S. for our Line 3 Replacement Program from 2015-2017.
Obtained 100% of the 67 private landowners along our Line 10 Westover Segment Replacement Project.
~$5.4 million invested in nearly 450 initiatives to support communities surrounding our projects.
Our activities with our stakeholders are governed by our core values of Integrity, Safety and Respect. Our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Policy commits us to timely and meaningful engagement with all stakeholders through clear, honest and respectful interactions.
We have an integrated management system for stakeholder engagement that supports our multi-disciplinary and risk-based approach to managing the planning and execution of all of our stakeholder and Indigenous engagement, inclusion and communication activities.
The system is coordinated, systematized and scalable, and incorporates standardized processes, procedures, tools and templates to enhance the effectiveness and provide consistency in our approach across all of our 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 in the diagram below, the system involves four stages—Analyze & Plan; Execute; Corrective Action; and Manage Performance—each of which has its own requirements and enablers.
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.
We also engage with Indigenous individuals and groups living near our projects and operations in Canada and the U.S. However, because, in both countries, Indigenous Peoples have distinct rights, we acknowledge that they are more than stakeholders and have adopted separate corporate policies and management systems and accountabilities for addressing Indigenous rights. We have distinct policies and management systems and accountabilities for addressing Indigenous rights and building community based relationships. We provide more information on our relationships with Indigenous Peoples in a Disclosure Paper, available here.
We execute project-specific engagement plans to ensure that our communication and engagement with local stakeholders on new projects for which we are seeking regulatory approval meets or exceeds expectations and supports project advancement.
We have engagement plans at the regional level for our liquids and natural gas pipelines operations in North America to ensure that our performance on stakeholder engagement and communication is consistent and ongoing over the life cycle of our assets, as well as across our different operating regions.
Since the merger of Enbridge and Spectra Energy in February 2017, our stakeholder engagement teams have been working on integrating Spectra Energy projects and legacy assets into our project-specific and Regional Engagement Plans (REPs) and programs. The teams are sharing best practices to create the “best of” stakeholder outreach program.
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. Our REPs not only ensure that our engagement is ongoing and meaningful to stakeholders and regulators, but also serve as a foundation of stakeholder information when new projects are initiated in a region.
The REPs are operational documents that we review and update annually. Plans are developed and measured using a number of best practice processes, including: stakeholder identification, analysis and prioritization; issues, risk and reputation management; integrated governance; objective and target setting; and outcome reporting. In each REP, we identify stakeholder issues associated with our operations such that we can be highly accountable for—and responsive to—grievances, concerns, issues and requests, and can address stakeholder concerns in a proactive way.
Our REPs help us to manage our stakeholder relationships in each region and ensure coordination between our project planning and operations. They also help us consistently coordinate our stakeholder engagements across our company. Our multidisciplinary teams execute REPs in an integrated manner, incorporating their experience and learnings from community engagement.
As each of our new projects enters the planning stage, we create customized engagement plans for them. 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.
Our MPEPs involve identifying and prioritizing stakeholders, tailoring engagement methods according to stakeholder priority levels, identifying and analyzing issues and risks, and developing mitigation plans and processes to respond to issues and risks that might occur.
To ensure that our MPEP is effective and appropriate, we reach out to stakeholders and their communities to get to know them, the local environment, and the potential issues that currently exist. We conduct our outreach through surveys, focus groups and meetings with community members who represent the potentially affected region. We engage and communicate through newsletters, fact sheets, presentations, project update letters, telephone calls, emails, advertising, social media updates, and community events and open houses.
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 problem solving, 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.
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 regional engagement plans also include opportunities for stakeholders to access us, and for us to listen and respond to them.
We have created processes to proactively manage stakeholder concerns and questions or complaints related to projects and in each region. We log issues as they emerge, identify and prioritize potential issues, and develop appropriate engagement or communication actions to resolve them.
In Canada and the U.S. we are required to maintain and deliver Public Awareness Programs to 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, while still ensuring compliance with regulations specific to each jurisdiction.
We design our Public Awareness Programs to meet—and in many cases exceed—regulatory requirements. We strive to demonstrate our commitment to safety by:
|Landowners and Tenants||Community Members||Emergency Responders||Government and Regulators|
|Town halls and open houses
Home and site visits
Project newsletters and websites
Public awareness communications
|Town halls and open houses
Project newsletters and websites
Employee volunteer projects
Partnerships with local and regional organizations
Community investment and grant programs
Online emergency responder training
Safe Community Grant Program
Emergency response tabletops and exercises
|Delivering and managing regulatory compliance
Engagement on key public policy and legislative issues
Involvement through industry groups
The following examples illustrate how we demonstrated accountability and responsiveness to our stakeholders through the initiatives in our Major Projects and Regional Engagement Plans.
NEXUS Gas Transmission: During project planning on our NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline, we considered many alternatives and variations to the route as originally planned. In total, NEXUS adopted 239 route changes totaling about 231 miles (372 kilometers), which represents 91 percent of the pipeline route. We made these changes for a variety of reasons, including landowner requests, avoidance of sensitive resources or engineering considerations.
We received feedback through more than 20 public landowner information and open-house meetings, as well as thousands of public comments on the draft environmental assessment. The project team reviewed the feedback and developed a route that balanced landowner, environmental and engineering considerations.
Through proactive outreach early in the lifecycle of the NEXUS Gas Transmission pipeline project, the project team implemented a stakeholder outreach plan that was responsive to landowners and community members. For example, through more than 20 public meetings, the project team identified the importance of drain-tile systems to local farmers in Ohio and Michigan. In fact, more than 200 miles of the project—or approximately 60 percent 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 with local farmers to select preferred drain-tile experts in the community. Through the collaborative process, NEXUS was able to implement a mutually beneficial solution that enabled landowners to use familiar, local experts for all pre- and post-construction drain-tile work. NEXUS also committed to extended monitoring to ensure that drain-tile systems continue to function properly.
Line 3 Replacement Program: Line 3 is one of our primary Mainline pipelines running from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. Our Line 3 Replacement Program (L3RP) involves replacing the majority of our existing Line 3 with new pipe.
By the end of 2017, we had recorded approximately 20,000 direct and indirect engagements with stakeholders and Indigenous communities in Canada regarding L3RP and 20,000 in the U.S.
We began construction on the Canadian portion of the L3RP in August 2017. Before the start of construction, we hosted open houses in Rosetown and Outlook, Saskatchewan and Provost, Alberta. The primary objective of these events was to promote the inclusion of communities in the vicinity of the construction.
For the U.S. portion of L3RP, we hosted meetings with landowners and stakeholders along our existing right-of-way to discuss the decommissioning of the existing Line 3, and engaged separately along our preferred route to answer questions and gain feedback on L3RP.
Enbridge has regulatory permitting for L3RP in place in North Dakota, as well as in Wisconsin, where construction is substantially complete. In March 2018, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) ruled that the Final Environmental Impact Statement that was developed for L3RP is adequate. The MPUC approved the project in June 2018 subject to conditions and permitting, and we continue to anticipate construction getting underway in 2019.
As part of our L3RP, we conducted tours for local dignitaries and Indigenous leaders to showcase our rigorous construction process. “The tours are a great opportunity to showcase what we do and the pride we take in a job well done,” says Joel McKim, a Senior Construction Specialist in Enbridge’s Major Projects unit. “The detailed nature of the work is a real eye-opener for those who haven’t witnessed it firsthand.”
Enbridge strives to be a good neighbor in the communities where we operate, and that includes actively engaging with and listening to our right-of-way landowners.
Sabal Trail Transmission: The Sabal Trail Transmission Project is a joint venture of NextEra Energy, Inc., Duke Energy and Enbridge’s Spectra Energy Partners. The company completed more than three years of community engagement, routing considerations and permit proceedings before beginning construction in August 2016.
While the route primarily ran in rural areas, Sabal Trail also crossed densely developed and economic growth areas near Orlando, Florida. Roughly 60 percent of the route followed existing rights-of-way, thereby minimizing new impacts. Sabal Trail crossed more than 2,300 landowner properties, 500 roads or railroads and 372 waterbodies. All told, 283 route changes were considered and of that total, 182 were made based on information gathered during extensive outreach efforts and surveys that began in 2013. Our project team built relationships with landowners, government agencies, organizations and businesses, holding more than 75 public meetings and hundreds of one-on-one visits with local organizations and public officials. Twenty-five environmental entities were consulted federally and in three states, which issued 40 environmental approvals.
Community engagement was paramount throughout the project’s life-cycle, and Sabal Trail’s stakeholder outreach program ensured focus on social needs. Stakeholder mapping identified community influencers, opposition, special-interest groups, and first responders beyond affected landowners and public officials. Communication strategies addressed education and transparency around economic and environmental impacts. Social-risk assessments defined community giving, which resulted in donations to 17 technical and community colleges, technology funding for libraries and schools, funding of youth programs that promote responsibility and community vitality, and funding of upgrades to first-responder communication. In addition, Sabal Trail provided more than $140 million of local construction economic benefits.
Project credibility was underpinned by public town-hall meetings and engagement with elected officials, non-government organizations, the media and key stakeholders. Sabal Trail’s ability to successfully complete this mega project on schedule and within budget reflects the team’s expertise in anticipating and navigating risks, experience in designing and executing complex projects, recognition of the importance of community engagement, and a commitment to deliver on our promises to customers.
In 2017, the Sabal Trail Transmission Project was named Construction Project of the Year by S&P Global Platts. This international award recognizes excellence in project execution and management.
Judges remarked on Sabal Trail Transmission's “resilience and long-term commitment” to the project. The company completed more than three years of community and political engagement, routing considerations and permit proceedings before beginning construction in August 2016, according to S&P Global Platts.
Award judges also noted the project's "large financial impact on the local economy" in the communities along the pipeline route.
During peak construction, the project employed more than 6,000 workers. Sabal Trail is estimated to provide permanent economic impacts of $22 million in annual wages and $74 million in total economic output. Approved expansions of Sabal Trail will add 270 million cubic feet per day of capacity by 2021, supporting regional growth and conversions from fuel oil and coal.
Under our Line 10 Westover Segment Replacement project, we are replacing 35 kilometers of existing 12-inch diameter pipe with new 20-inch pipe, from our Westover Station in Ontario to the Binbrook area near Hamilton, Ontario. By replacing this segment, rather than conducting preventative maintenance on it, we will minimize the degree to which we disturb landowners and the environment along the right-of-way.
In developing the project, we identified and prioritized our stakeholders, analyzed and understood local issues, put mitigation plans in place, and developed a process for quick responses to stakeholder risks and concerns. Proactive engagement with regional and local elected officials and their staff was effective in keeping decision makers informed about the project. Our advanced risk and issue identification also enabled us to respond to municipal government questions about the scope and need for the project.
Our strategy resulted in thousands of direct and indirect engagements with stakeholders, including a number of open houses, over 400 engagement activities with local leaders and over 1,000 face-to-face meetings with landowners. Our early proactive engagement with landowners, conservation authorities, and municipal authorities allowed sufficient time during the project development to finalize the best route for the project to avoid residential and other sensitive areas. We were ultimately able to enter into agreements with all of the 115 private landowners along the project’s right-of-way.
The federal government approved the project in early 2017. In their decision, the three Hearing Panel members noted that we had revised the project based on consultation from stakeholders. Our engagement activities on project conditions and other stakeholder issues continued in 2017. The project is expected to be completed in 2018.
Over the course of 2017, we made significant progress towards the development of a consistent Enbridge-wide approach to our Public Awareness Programs, including the integration of learnings and best practices from Spectra Energy’s programs. Following are highlights of our performance in delivering programs over the year.
Emergency Responder Education Program: In the U.S., we have operated our Emergency Responder Education Program since 2013 as a way to build meaningful and lasting relationships with emergency officials near our pipelines and facilities. By the end of 2017, we had trained more than 200 employees to conduct in-person outreach with emergency responders using a variety of methods, including (but not limited to) emergency response presentations, facility tours and tabletop exercises. During these visits, we shared information about our pipelines, including how to initiate a safe and effective response in the unlikely event of an emergency.
Employees in Canada deliver a similar outreach program. In 2017, they carried out more than 240 visits with municipal officials, first responders and 9-1-1 dispatchers near our liquids pipelines.
We maintain contact with several key groups who are near our pipelines and facilities across North America—including communities, elected officials, landowners, Indigenous groups, excavators and emergency responders—on an ongoing basis. It's an opportunity to share important information, hear about experiences, respond to questions and provide updates on Enbridge’s safety, prevention and maintenance programs.
Annual mailings are sent to key stakeholder audiences along the approximately 17,000 miles of pipeline operated by Enbridge in the U.S and in Canada. The various mailings communicate important pipeline safety and damage prevention messages.
Our Utilities businesses are also committed to public awareness.
Union Gas Public Awareness and Continuing Education: In 2017, Union Gas delivered the Canadian Gas Association Fire Fighter and First Responder Natural Gas Awareness presentation to 240 fire departments throughout Ontario, and delivered the Municipal Education and Advocacy presentation to 11 municipalities in the province. In addition, Union Gas mailed a brochure titled “Safety and Emergency Information for Residents within Emergency Planning Zones” to more than 9,400 Ontario residents. The brochure covers topics such as pipeline operations and maintenance, our emergency preparedness and response program, how to detect and report a leak, and “Call Before You Dig”.
Enbridge Gas Distribution (EGD) Public Awareness: In 2017, EGD’s proactive communication focused on key risks—gas leaks/smell of gas; Call Before You Dig/safe digging; and carbon monoxide/appliance safety. When needed, EGD also informed customers about seasonal topics, such as flooding, barbecue safety, and meter safety. EGD communicates this information through bill inserts, the EGD website, videos and digital channels (Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). EGD set up its ‘Smellfie Booth’ throughout Ontario, which gave us the opportunity to have more than 100,000 meaningful conversations with our customers and the public about the smell of natural gas and the steps they should take if they suspect a natural gas leak. EGD’s targeted social media campaign during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week resulted in more than 44,000 visits to our carbon monoxide safety webpage, an increase of 36,000 from 2016. EGD continued to support Project Zero through a donation of $100,000, which was used to purchase more than 3,000 combination smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for residents in 15 municipalities in Ontario.
EGD also completed an annual mail-out—containing information about natural gas pipeline safety, damage prevention and emergency response—to landowners, tenants and businesses who live or own property within 200 meters on each side of NEB regulated pipelines.
Union Gas provides grants to fire departments for educational materials and lifesaving smoke and carbon monoxide alarms:
In 2017, Union Gas continued to support public education delivered by fire departments so customers can acquire fire-safety knowledge that helps protect their families and communities. For example, Union Gas provided funding that allowed fire departments to buy education materials that teach children about fire safety and burn prevention. Union Gas's dedication to fire departments also includes helping ensure that community members have lifesaving early-detection smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Union Gas donated about $30,000 to 20 fire departments in 2017, and strongly believes that working with fire departments helps keep our communities informed and safe.
Safety is at the heart of everything we do at Enbridge. Launched in 2002 in the United States and in 2009 in Canada, our Safe Community Program has helped support everything from new firehoses and professional training and educational programs, to “jaws of life” extrication tools for fire departments and automated external defibrillators. Through the program, we have even provided major financial support to air ambulance services.
To date, we have invested more than $12 million in first responder organizations near our pipelines and facilities through our Safe Community Program. Some recent examples:
You can learn more about our Safe Community Program here.
We extend benefits to the communities where we live and operate by investing in community-based projects or initiatives of shared interest and priority that we have identified through our Major Project Plans and Regional Engagement Plans.
We use a standardized approach to ensure that our community investments align with our corporate strategies, address key stakeholder feedback and project-specific community needs, and benefit both local communities and our company.
More than $5.4 million invested in nearly 450 initiatives to support communities surrounding our projects
To learn about Enbridge’s partnerships with communities and organizations in relation to water/biodiversity, please see the Environmental Management Systems section of this report.
In recent years, Alexander City in Tallapoosa County, Alabama has struggled with the same economic challenges as many other small towns and cities in the U.S. When a major industry that employed nearly 7,500 people moved out of the area, the Chamber of Commerce and city government needed something substantial to keep community members and their businesses from moving to larger nearby cities. Sabal Trail Transmission’s interstate natural gas pipeline* originates in Tallapoosa County, and during the early stages of the pipeline’s design and development, Sabal Trail staff became aware of the Chamber’s and city’s efforts to develop a business incubation and innovation center, which would encourage organic business growth and provide a location for the Chamber to showcase the economic-development potential and opportunities of the Alexander City area.
As a result, Sabal Trail donated almost $165,000 for the development of the Lake Martin Innovation Center in Alexander City, a model of community enterprise and corporate partnership. The center features more than 17,000 square feet of productive work space, including offices, meeting rooms, high-speed internet and video conferencing facilities. The center immediately acquired tenants that would otherwise have moved away from Alexander City. In less than a year, the center had hosted seven full-time tenants and more than 20 co-working members. New businesses within the facility have created more than 40 new jobs, and the Chamber of Commerce and their members have hosted more than 130 events, meetings and workshops in the building.
“The financial support of Sabal Trail made the Innovation Center a reality,” said Ed Collari, President and CEO of the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce. “Sabal Trail has proven that they are committed to our community and its long-term growth and development.” Since placing Sabal Trail’s Alexander City Compressor Station in service in June 2017, the town is now home to five full-time Enbridge employees.
* Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC (Sabal Trail) is a joint venture of Spectra Energy Partners, an Enbridge company; NextEra Energy, Inc.; and Duke Energy. Sabal Trail’s 515-mile (829-kilometer) pipeline, which entered service in 2017, is transporting natural gas for power generation to Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy of Florida.
As part of its commitment to supporting communities where we work and operate, NEXUS Gas Transmission, a 257-mile (414-kilometer) natural gas transmission pipeline project in Ohio and Michigan, awarded a total of $250,000 in education and workforce development grants to five community colleges. For example, NEXUS partnered with Eastern Michigan University to provide a $50,000 grant to purchase much needed construction safety training equipment. The NEXUS project team believes in supporting educational programs that can lead to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and other energy infrastructure careers, or programs that will aid in growing community vitality.
Since 2007, Enbridge has contributed over $100,000 to the Fort St. John Hospital Foundation in British Columbia in support of the acquisition of critical and substantial pieces of medical equipment. The Foundation works closely with the hospital authorities to identify and prioritize the needs of the Fort St. John Hospital and Peace Villa Residential Care Facility to ensure that the Fort St. John community has access to the best medical care possible.
|Stakeholder Engagement Performance Data Summary|
|Investing in Communities|
|Dollars invested in communities||~$5.4 million|
|Number of initiatives supported by these investments||450|
|Public Awareness Program|
|First responder agencies engaged with and trained||543|
|Employees trained to conduct in-person outreach||231|
1) From your perspective, how important is the partnership between Enbridge and our Superior Terminal and the Superior Fire Department, as well as with the Superior Petroleum Partners (SPP) group?
Both are very important. For Enbridge, we provide primary emergency response to their Superior Terminal; and through our partnership with them, Superior Fire Department receives the training and equipment necessary to respond adequately to protect the city’s and Enbridge’s assets. Since 2012, Enbridge has provided Superior Fire Department with about $600,000 in training and equipment.
The SPP group is a public-private partnership comprised of Enbridge, Husky Energy and Plains Midstream, as well a Superior Fire Department. It is a mutual aid group designed to respond to any industrial-sector emergency that may arise in Superior. The SPP works together to share resources, as well as train and plan together for emergencies so that we can provide a more effective and coordinated response.
2) How have these partnerships benefited Superior Fire Department and others?
With the training and equipment we’ve received from Enbridge, and through the work we’re doing jointly with the SPP, Superior Fire Department is in a stronger position to respond to the type of emergencies that could occur in these industrial facilities. And by doing that, we’re providing greater safety to residents, workers and our firefighters. These industries are also extremely important assets to our community, and it is critical that we’re prepared to protect them. Also, as a municipal fire department with an industrial firefighting component, we’re a greater resource to surrounding communities that don’t have these types of capabilities.
3) How have the joint training exercises with the Superior Terminal and the SPP group increased the capability within the Superior Fire Department?
Training exercises are vital to proper emergency-response training. These partnerships have offered unique opportunities for our teams to work together and our firefighters to become more familiar with equipment and the facilities. The SPP held its first fully-fledged training exercise at Enbridge’s Superior Terminal in the summer of 2017; and in 2018, Superior Fire Department and Husky Energy’s emergency response team will hold their first joint training exercise, also at Enbridge’s Superior Terminal. Exposure to training exercises within the terminal aids our department in developing an efficient and effective response. The SPP also holds monthly refinery safety meetings, through which Superior Fire Department firefighters receive updates on facilities, equipment and resources.
4) What are some of Superior Fire Department’s future initiatives/plans for your Enbridge and SPP partnerships?
Administratively, the SPP is drawing up a formal mutual-aid agreement so the path will be clear on how best to deploy resources to participating parties. SPP members will also visit Husky’s refinery in Lima, Ohio to learn more about their response planning and capabilities. And last but not least, in the spring of 2018, Superior Fire Department began construction of a new headquarters station, which will include space to store Enbridge-purchased industrial firefighting equipment, making this equipment readily available for our firefighters to maintain and deploy. All of these are excellent steps forward. We must work together and train together if we’re going to function together. When it comes to responding to emergencies, it’s essential that all of us are on the same page.