Sustainability at Enbridge

How we define sustainability in what we do

At Enbridge, we are driven by our purpose: delivering the energy that fuels our quality of life.

Over decades, we’ve held ourselves to high standards of corporate social responsibility and that continues to be how we define sustainability today, as set out in our CSR Policy: 

“conducting business in a socially-responsible and ethical manner; protecting the environment and the safety of people; supporting human rights; and engaging, learning from, respecting and supporting the communities and cultures with which we work.”

Our long-term vision is clear: to be the leading energy infrastructure company in North America. To us, that means we’re delivering the energy people need and want safely and reliably, and we’re making the transition with society to a lower carbon energy future. We’re the first choice of our customers and we’ve earned the trust of the people, communities and Indigenous communities touched by our operations and projects. Our team is energized and proud. Enbridge employees approach the business as owners, with genuine care for the impact we have in our communities, the environment and with each other.

While we focus on creating long-term value for our shareholders, we recognize we do that best by living up to the responsibility we have to all of our stakeholders—within and outside of our company – to ensure our strategies, decisions and actions take everyone’s interests into account.

We know our stakeholders and the general public are seeking greater transparency and accountability from us on our approach to sustainability and how we address the environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues most relevant to our business. Through our sustainability reporting, of which this report forms the core, we strive to respond to our stakeholders’ information needs and to hold ourselves accountable for our performance and commitment to continually getting better at what we do.

How we commit to sustainability – Our core values and policies

Our core values, along with our CSR and sustainability policies, help us integrate environmental, social and governance considerations into all aspects of our business decision making and performance.

Our value statement - Enbridge employees demonstrate Integrity, Safety and Respect in support of our communities, the environment and each other -- serves as a foundation, and a constant guide by which we make our decisions, as a company and as individual employees, every day.

Our CSR Policy, which has governed CSR and sustainability at Enbridge since 2004, covers business ethics and transparency; environment, health and safety; stakeholder, Indigenous and Native American engagement; employee relations; human rights; and community investment. This policy applies to the activities we undertake anywhere in the world by, or on behalf of, Enbridge and our subsidiaries and affiliates whose operations we manage.

Our CSR Policy is further supported by other company-wide policies and programs that strengthen our commitment to sustainability at Enbridge. These complementary policies include our Indigenous Peoples Policy, our Climate Policy, and our Community Investment Program Criteria and Guidelines.

How we integrate sustainability into our strategy – Our core activities

2017 was a transformational year for Enbridge, highlighted by our combination with Spectra Energy in February which diversified our asset mix, expanded our geographic reach and increased the size of the Enbridge team. Despite significant change for our company, the legacy companies shared a common approach and deep commitment to sustainability and we continue to focus on the following six core activities:

  • Integrate: embed environmental, social and governance considerations into key business decisions and systems
  • Engage: build shared value, trust and confidence with stakeholders and Indigenous communities
  • Innovate: develop new collaborative approaches to sustainability challenges.
  • Governance: ensure accountability and oversight of our operations and performance.
  • Transparency and disclosures: measure, report and evaluate our performance on ESG issues at an enterprise level.

Our strategic sustainability priorities are integrated into our decisions and activities, and our Sustainability Team provides subject matter expertise and cross-functional support to all of our business segments and functions in staying focused on these priorities. Specific strategic initiatives are reviewed regularly by our senior management team, with oversight from our Board of Directors.

How we maintain accountability – Our governance of sustainability

Sound governance means sound business. We believe that good governance is important for our shareholders, our employees and our company. We have a comprehensive system of stewardship and accountability that meets the requirements of all rules, regulations, standards and internal and external policies that apply. We continuously assess our governance practices to build on our strengths and improve our effectiveness.

Board and management believe that integration of environmental and social risks and opportunities into our strategic and financial plans is critical to the long-term sustainability of our business, and that our performance in this area is critical to differentiating our company.

The role of our Board of Directors

Enbridge benefits from a diverse and highly engaged board of directors who bring a range of viewpoints, deep expertise and strong energy sector knowledge that helps ensure effective oversight of our strategic priorities and operations. Our formal diversity policy highlights the importance we place on differences in skills, experience, gender, ethnicity and geographic background; three of twelve directors standing for re-election are women. We provide full details on our governance structure and practices in our 2018 Management Information Circular, available on

With respect to Board-level engagement and governance of topics pertaining to CSR and sustainability, our Board has five standing committees that help it carry out its duties and responsibilities:

Board Committee Key Sustainability Accountabilities
  • Local/regional stakeholder engagement, community relations and investment
  • Indigenous consultation and engagement
  • Government regulations and policies
  • Environment and climate change
  • Public and employee communications
  • Measurement, reporting and disclosure
Audit, Finance and Risk
  • Annual Corporate Risk Assessment
  • Cybersecurity
  • Board recruitment
  • Board education
Safety & Reliability
  • Spills and releases
  • Public safety and emergency response
  • Incident response and investigation
Human Resources and Compensation
  • Employee relations
  • Diversity and inclusion; compensation

The Role of Management:

In the governance of sustainability matters, risks and opportunities, Management’s role is to establish, oversee and ensure adherence to corporate policies and programs. We have an established set of business standards and policies that outline our expectations for our people and for those who work on our behalf. Key sustainability policy and program areas include: Occupational Safety and Health, Integrity and Reliability (pipelines and facilities), Environmental Management, Emergency Response, Ethics and Compliance, Risk Management, CSR, Indigenous Peoples, Human Resources and Workforce, Diversity and Inclusion and Climate and Energy.

We have established a number of checks and balances to ensure that the high standards we set at Enbridge are adhered to, including our comprehensive audit program, our compliance investigations and reporting program, and our Ethics & Conduct Hotline. We regularly communicate our expectations, commitments, and performance to our stakeholders through our Annual Report to Shareholders, our annual Sustainability Report, and ongoing news releases, social media posts and community engagement initiatives.

With respect to governance of Safety & Environmental Protection, in April 2018 we announced the centralization of safety and reliability functions to build on our already strong track record in Safety, Environment and Lands & Right-of-Way and to drive sustainable improvements in our safety and reliability performance across Enbridge. Each of these functional areas is key to supporting our Business Units to deliver safe and reliable operations and projects.

As an organization Enbridge has been moving towards a more centralized approach to safety and reliability for many years including implementation in 2017 of a company-wide management system structure in 2017 to ensure that all parts of the business are tackling safety and reliability the same way.

The organizational chart below reflects our new governance and management structure for Safety & Environmental Protection, effective May 2018.

Organization Chart

Governance on Stakeholder & Indigenous Inclusion and Climate & Energy Solutions is organized as follows:

Governance on Stakeholder and Indigenous Inclusion

Where we are headed – Our sustainability reporting evolution

At Enbridge, we continually and incrementally improve by building on our past successes and learning from our mistakes. We are committed to improving the methods, measurement and reporting of our sustainability performance. We will continue to evaluate how we collect and communicate environmental, social and governance data, and we will seek meaningful and relevant ways of sharing this data with our stakeholders. We will remain accountable through regular and transparent reporting and disclosure, by making sure that the ways we measure and report are aligned with our business and sustainability goals, and by engaging our stakeholders.

What we have learned over the past year is that stakeholders are interested in enhanced disclosure in particular areas. At our annual meeting of shareholders in 2017, we were asked to enhance our disclosure around how we implement our Indigenous Peoples’ policy, and in particular, how we consider Indigenous issues in our investment decision-making. We responded with a special report in June 2018 on Indigenous Rights and Relationships in North American Energy Infrastructure . We’ve also heard from investors growing interest in how we’re incorporating the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD). We expect to publish a report later this year that will discuss how we are addressing climate change-related risks and opportunities and the resilience of our business in the transition to a low-carbon future.

Basis of Reporting

Who is our report intended for?

This Sustainability Report is part of Enbridge’s commitment to timely and transparent disclosure to our shareholders and stakeholders.

The report communicates our approach and performance over the past year against our sustainability goals and priorities, as well as the key sustainability factors influencing our strategy, policies and operations going forward. Our Report is written with the following stakeholders in mind and to whom we hold ourselves accountable:

  • associations and civil society groups;
  • communities;
  • customers;
  • employees, contractors, unions, Board of Directors;
  • environmental and other non-governmental organizations;
  • governments and government regulatory bodies in Canada and the U.S.;
  • individuals and organizations with whom we work to prepare for and respond to emergencies;
  • investors;
  • landowners;
  • local businesses and industry;
  • media;
  • regulators;
  • right-of-way communities; and
  • suppliers.

Due to their distinct rights, we consider Indigenous groups to be separate from other stakeholder groups.

We prioritize, engage with and incorporate feedback from individuals and groups who live and work near, or who can affect or are affected by, our pipelines, power lines, operations and facilities. We also use criteria outlined in our integrated management system to ensure a consistent and rigorous approach to engagement across all of our projects and operations. For more information, please see the Stakeholder Engagement and Indigenous Engagement sections of this report.

We strive to be a trusted and respected member of the business community and the communities in which we operate. Throughout the year, we proactively engage with our diverse stakeholders in order to foster dialogue and support our sustainability goals and priorities. These ongoing engagements enable us to understand the issues most important to our stakeholders, and what and how we should report in order to align with their interests, needs and expectations.

What is the scope and boundary of our reporting?

Our 2017 Sustainability Report includes performance data from, and events that took place in, 2017. Notable among those events was the closing of Enbridge’s acquisition of Spectra Energy on February 27, 2017. Where possible, we have included data integrated across the assets and operations of the combined company. For years prior to 2017, data reflects Enbridge’s performance. Information on Spectra Energy’s sustainability performance for 2016 and prior is available at

Our 2017 Sustainability Report covers only information on the assets that Enbridge operates and as noted, includes for 2017 those assets and operations acquired from Spectra Energy. The name “Enbridge” refers to our entire company (Enbridge Inc.), including our subsidiaries and affiliates. The terms "company," "we," "us," and "our" refer to Enbridge Inc. collectively. Where possible, the data we provide applies to Enbridge Inc. as a whole. However, instances where we report information pertaining to a specific business segment (for example, Liquids Pipelines) are noted.

Unless otherwise indicated, we express monetary amounts in Canadian dollars, and units of measure are metric.

How did we determine what to report?

In this report, we focus on the sustainability topics that matter most to our stakeholders, our employees and our business. They are the topics that could substantively influence stakeholders’ assessments and decisions regarding Enbridge.

To determine these topics, in previous years, we conducted materiality assessments based on the GRI’s G4 guidelines. In 2016, we validated these topics based on what we know to be important to us and on what we heard during our ongoing engagement with stakeholder and Indigenous groups. We categorized these topics into two groups:

  • Priority areas, which are topics that are of high importance to Enbridge and our stakeholders; and
  • Areas that enable continuous improvement, which enable us to continually improve our priority areas, and that, therefore require our ongoing focus.

Following our combination with Spectra Energy in 2017, we re-evaluated our priority areas and areas that enable continuous improvement. We determined that, despite the increased size, diversity and geographic scope of our company, they are still accurate and should continue to be the subject of our strategic focus.

Our priority areas are:

  • Safety and environmental protection, including:
    • Health and Safety,
    • Maintaining the fitness of Enbridge’s systems and detecting leaks, and
    • Emergency preparedness and response;
  • Stakeholder and Indigenous inclusion, including:
    • Stakeholder engagement, and
    • Indigenous engagement;
  • Climate and energy solutions, including:
    • Climate change, emissions reduction and energy efficiency, and
    • Renewable and low carbon energy.

Our areas that enable continuous improvement are:

  • employee relations;
  • environmental management systems;
  • supply chain management systems;
  • customer relations;
  • research, development and innovation;
  • community investments; and
  • economic performance and benefits.

Each of the above priority areas and key sustainability issues are discussed in detail in this Sustainability Report.

What reporting standard have we used?

We prepared our 2017 Sustainability Report using the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) sustainability reporting guidelines, which are intended to serve as a generally-accepted framework for reporting on an organization’s sustainability performance. The GRI Standards were designed for use by organizations of any size, sector or location, and take into account the practical considerations faced by organizations ranging from small companies to those with extensive and geographically dispersed operations. The guidelines contain general and sector-specific content that has been agreed on by a wide range of stakeholders around the world to be generally applicable for reporting an organization’s sustainability performance. Under the GRI Standards, our 2017 Sustainability Report is classified as “Core”.

Assurance of our report

We have not obtained third-party assurance of the data in our 2017 Sustainability Report. Although we understand the value of externally assuring our data, we have elected to complete our integration activities to ensure that we have consistent methodologies for data compilation and a sound basis for presenting integrated data. With this in mind, we have set a corporate goal of obtaining third-party assurance on data associated with the following key performance indicators (KPIs) in the near future:

  • greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • energy consumption;
  • health and safety performance;
  • water usage;
  • waste disposal;
  • land and species data; and
  • spills and releases.

We anticipate that meeting this goal will take between two to four years. In 2018, we plan to continue working toward achieving third-party assurance of our GHG and energy consumption data, and in early 2018 we engaged an external service provider to assist us with data compilation, integration and pre-assurance.

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