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Community and Stakeholder Relations

Major Community Opportunities and Risks


  • By understanding stakeholder issues, Suncor can make better business decisions. Identifying stakeholder concerns and responding appropriately helps us develop timely, cost-effective and mutually beneficial solutions. These constructive approaches help us to create stronger, safer and healthier communities for our employees, their families and local residents.
  • Community investments can assist in achieving business/stakeholder strategies (i.e. aboriginal or local employment), enhance stakeholder relationships, build employee engagement, and enhance the company's reputation as a socially responsible corporation.


  • Interruption of operations and delays to regulatory approvals due to stakeholder concerns.
  • Communities that lack adequate infrastructure and "social capacity" can have direct impacts on operations costs - increased taxation, increased costs of recruitment and retention.
  • Stakeholder and Aboriginal Relations Policies and frameworks have been revised as a result of the merger.
  • Suncor's Stakeholder and Aboriginal Relations Policies and Frameworks will continue to reflect our strong and ongoing commitment to collaboration, transparency and respect for all views. These policies recognize that Suncor has a responsibility to engage stakeholders in a timely and appropriate manner, to report objectively on our activities and to provide regular updates about our operations and expansion plans. Suncor is also committed to contributing to the economic and social development of the communities in which we have a presence and to conducting our activities in those communities in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.
Operational Responsibility
  • Each business unit has stakeholder relations staff that work directly with our local stakeholders while supporting the business. These stakeholder relations practitioners report to a director who is responsible for developing the stakeholder management system and ensuring consistent application across the company.
  • The majority of community investment is managed through the Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF). Any funding requests that are more than $50,000 are reviewed by the SEF Board of Directors. Each business unit manages a small community investment budget to support local initiatives.
  • Positive and productive community relations are the responsibility of every Suncor employee.
Key Strategies and Procedures for Implementation
  • Suncor's stakeholder relations management system supports stakeholder relations practitioners and provides a consistent approach for each business unit.
Major Changes to Systems or Structures to Improve Performance
  • Following the 2009 merger, Suncor initiated  a review of it's Stakeholder and Aboriginal Policies to ensure consistency across Suncor’s expanded operations. Implementation of the revised policies will be supported by a management system or framework that aligns standards, processes and tools across the organization. This comprehensive management system is intended to guide Suncor’s stakeholder engagement activities through the life cycle of our activities    
  • For the past year the Suncor Energy Foundation has initiated a review of our community investment strategy.  The new strategy will be supported by management systems that will align processes across the organization. Suncor continues to be a member of London Benchmarking Group (LBG) Canada, which provides us with a means of benchmarking ourselves against peer companies and assessing our performance.
Training and Awareness
  • The new stakeholder and aboriginal affairs management systems clarifies employee roles and responsibilities, provides mechanisms for training and development, and overall guidelines for implementation of the policies. The company is also in the process of reviewing company-wide training and awareness programs to ensure employees understand our approach to aboriginal relations.
Monitoring and Follow-up
  • Suncor conducts regular surveys of stakeholders across operating areas every two years, providing outcome based measure of performance and stakeholder perceptions. Inward-looking measures (periodic audits and assessments) of the stakeholder management system are under development. 
  • Plans are developed to address stakeholder issues raised in the survey.
  • The Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF) is a registered Canadian charity and is audited and prepares financial statements on an annual basis.
  • As a member of LBG Canada Suncor participates annually in the benchmarking process.
Goals and Performance
  • As well as stakeholder support for ongoing operations and growth initiatives, 2011 goals include implementation of the Stakeholder policies and framework, as well implementation of the new Community Investment (CI) strategy.
  • All performance data can be found at
Key Successes and Shortcomings
  • An effective consultation and engagement strategy has resulted in First Nation and ENGO support for Suncor's Tailings Reduction Operations and regulatory application.
  • Aboriginal business development, Stakeholder support for TRO, are working to develop new good neighbour agreements with First Nations.
  • Research with external stakeholders was conducted in 2010 providing a baseline measure of our performance and stakeholder perceptions.

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