Syncrude aims to earn and maintain public confidence through effective engagement with stakeholders and communities of interest.
$5.9 million invested
in community projects and initiatives.
Consultation continues on proposed
Mildred Lake Extension (MLX) project.
About $1 million donated
towards wildfire response and recovery.
Syncrude aims to earn and maintain public confidence through effective engagement with stakeholders and communities of interest. We seek ideas, input and feedback on our plans in a manner that fosters cooperation and trust. We are committed to ensuring our employees fully understand our goals, plans and performance, and the role they play in our success. We also contribute to projects that promote growth and well-being, and enhance the quality of life where we live and work. Our stakeholder relations policy can be viewed here.
Stakeholders and communities of interest include (in alphabetical order):
The effectiveness of our stakeholder relations is stewarded at the executive level and assessed through internal and external audits. In addition, we adhere to the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) Towards Sustainable Mining protocol for Aboriginal and Community Outreach. This includes an internal assessment of our performance each year, and external third-party verification, including stakeholder interviews, of this assessment every three years. Results are published annually on the MAC website. Refer to the Aboriginal Relations chapter for details on the 2016 assessment.
During 2016, Syncrude engaged with communities of interest about our proposed Mildred Lake Extension (MLX) project. This included community open houses held across the Wood Buffalo region that offered residents the opportunity to learn more about the project, ask questions and provide input.
In addition, several First Nations and Métis locals participated in meetings about Syncrude’s application to renew our approval under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.
Refer to the Aboriginal Relations chapter for further information on both these major consultation activities.
Through our involvement in the Oil Sands Community Alliance, Syncrude continued in 2016 to support this industry-funded group in its work to manage the socio-economic impacts of oil sands development. OSCA focus areas include Aboriginal Community Relations, Community Well-Being and Infrastructure. Work is stewarded by the OSCA Steering Group, and by committees and task groups that focus on community well-being and Aboriginal community relations, as well as various infrastructure matters. Syncrude employees serve at each level.
Commensurate with its belief that the Wood Buffalo region’s success depends on a competitive oil sands industry, OSCA made representations to the Municipal Council and residents expressing concern about proposed increases to industrial taxation rates during a time of industry downturn. OSCA shared comparative tax information and suggested taxation and spending strategies that will help the region cope with the downturn while ensuring the future success of the region. As well, Syncrude actively participates in a joint industry/municipal steering committee working to achieve taxation levels that meet the needs of all stakeholders.
Towards enhancing transparency about our operations, Syncrude welcomed many tour visitors to our sites in 2016. Our visitors represented government, regulators, First Nations and Métis communities, research and education, business and the investment community, environment and labour, and met with employees from across the company.
We also engaged stakeholders through social media channels, such as Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LinkedIn and - Instagram, where we share messages, stories, photographs and videos of our operations and community activities.
Syncrude’s political contributions policy focuses on donations towards fundraising activities or events that are generally open to the public, through ticket purchase or table sponsorship, and fully complies with Alberta law restricting corporate political contributions. Only the Chief Executive Officer can authorize direct donations. In 2016, no donations to political parties were made. Syncrude did purchase tables at the Alberta Political Action Day and Deputy Ministers’ events hosted by the Alberta Chambers of Commerce.
Syncrude made community donations totaling $5.9 million in 2016. The funds supported our objective of enriching the lives of our employees and the communities where we do business. Donations were directed toward organizations and endeavours in the Wood Buffalo region and Edmonton, focused on education, Aboriginal-related initiatives, healthcare, education, sports and recreation, arts and culture, and safety, health & environment. More about our corporate giving guidelines can be found on our website.
Among the donations announced in 2016 were several designed to assist Fort McMurray recover from the effects of the devastating wildfire in May:
Other key donations announced during 2016 included: