Global economic challenges, heightened stakeholder expectations, and an increasingly complex regulatory environment demand that we conduct our business at a high standard. Trust, transparency and accountability are today's expectations for companies, starting with board members and senior executives.
Corporate governance remains a critical part of the new Suncor's business culture and practice. From the Board of Directors, to the senior management team, to even the most junior of employees, making decisions responsibly and in the best interests of our shareholders and stakeholders is a key focus.
Leadership starts at the top
Suncor's experienced and diverse Board of Directors sets the standard for the company's governance structure—balancing the need for economic growth with environmental stewardship. Its role is to oversee the management of Suncor's business and affairs on behalf of the company's shareholders. It constantly reviews our performance to see we are living up to regulatory requirements as well as the standards of excellence we set for ourselves. The Board’s responsibilities include:
- identifying and managing risk
- strategic planning
- establishing and enforcing Suncor's Standards of Business Conduct,
- communication with investors and other stakeholders, and
- selecting, monitoring and evaluating executive leadership and aligning management’s decision making with long-term shareholder interest.
We see the importance of good governance
Historically, corporate governance was simply about protecting a company's tangible wealth—the capital and human assets that affect our bottom line.
With questions being raised about our industry's environmental commitment, investors and the general public are looking for certainty.
That's where Suncor's commitment to strong governance comes in. We're not only conducting our business responsibly—we're focused on reporting our activities in an honest, transparent fashion. Now, more than ever, we're working to maintain customer confidence and corporate reputation.
Structure and governance
We recognize effective corporate governance comes with leadership combined with good corporate structure. Economic, environmental and social issues can't be considered separately; they have to be integrated as part of our strategic decision-making process. That's helped drive our corporate structure:
- Suncor's Board of Directors and its committees have clearly defined and distinct oversight roles to protect the interests of our shareholders and stakeholders set out in terms of reference. These terms of reference are reviewed and confirmed on an annual basis.
- The Board's Environment, Health, Safety and Sustainable Development Committee monitors management’s performance and emerging trends and issues in the areas of health, environment, safety and sustainable development to ensure we are anticipating future challenges and positioning ourselves to minimize risks.
- Our senior management team integrates key operational and functional accountabilities for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
- Suncor's Sustainability Strategy Committee, which includes the Chief Executive and Chief Operating Officers, stewards the company’s sustainability vision and performance and is charged with developing sustainability strategies, objectives and targets and assessing progress.
- Our Vice President, Sustainability reports directly to Suncor's Senior Vice President, Operations Support.
- Environment, health and safety and sustainability employees have direct access to senior management and our Board of Directors.
A comprehensive description of Suncor's governance practices is available in the company's annual Management Proxy Circular and related governance policies. A print copy of the current 2010 Management Proxy Circular is available by calling 1-800-558-9071.