Stakeholder Engagement


We work hard to earn and maintain the trust of our stakeholders

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:

  • Enhancing our level of engagement with our stakeholders through our Major Project and Regional Engagement Plans
  • Keeping local stakeholders informed on pipeline safety through our Public Awareness Programs
  • Investing in communities where we live and operate

2017 Highlights

Stakeholder Engagement Highlights
2017 Highlights

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.

Public Awareness Performance Highlights


first responder agencies engaged with and trained regarding the roles/responsibilities of pipeline operators and first responders


employees trained to conduct in-person outreach with emergency responders in the U.S.

Management Approach


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.

Integrated Management System

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.

Integrity Management
Who are our stakeholders?

Major Project and Regional Engagement Plans

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.

Regional Engagement Plans
Major Project Engagement Plans

Responding to Our Stakeholders’ Input, Grievances, Concerns and Requests

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.

Public Awareness Programs

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:

  • providing a minimum standard for safety engagement and communication, including face-to-face meetings, information mailings and online content;
  • contributing to local emergency response readiness;
  • aligning communication regarding damage prevention, emergency management, community investment; and
  • leveraging leading practices to continuously improve our Public Awareness Programs.
Some of the ways we engage our stakeholders

2017 Performance

Enhancing Our Level of Engagement with Our Stakeholders through our Major Projects and Regional Engagement Plans

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.

The NEXUS Drain-tile Program

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.

Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project Canada: Construction Right-of-way Tours for Local Leaders
Enbridge’s Line 3 Replacement Project U.S.: Listening to 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.

Sabal Trail Named Construction Project of the Year

Line 10 Westover Segment Replacement Project

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.

Keeping Local Stakeholders Informed through Our Public Awareness Programs

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.

Public Awareness Communications

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.

Public Awareness at our Utilities

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
Safe Community Program

Investing in Communities Where We Live and Operate

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


Stakeholder Engagement Performance Data Summary

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


A Conversation with Steve Panger, Fire Chief, Superior Fire Department in Superior, Wisconsin

Steve Panger

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.

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