Partnering with Aboriginal businesses - Suncor's 2013 Report on Sustainability
Aboriginal businesses - Suncor's 2013 Report on Sustainability
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Over the years, Suncor has worked closely with Aboriginal communities to create shared value by identifying business opportunities that allow us to tap into local skills and expertise.
For example, since 1992, when we began collecting data on this issue, Suncor has spent more than $2 billion on goods and services from Aboriginal businesses — more than $1 billion of that occurring since 2009. But we recognize supporting Aboriginal businesses and communities is about more than direct purchases of goods and services; it also requires working collaboratively with our Aboriginal partners to build the winning conditions that result in mutually beneficial economic development.
In 2012, Suncor began implementing a new Aboriginal Economic Collaboration Strategy, focused on four key objectives. What follows is a brief discussion of our progress, and plans, in each of those target areas.
Suncor is formalizing a supply chain management process that will more rigorously identify available Aboriginal vendors as well as contractors that work with Aboriginal businesses and communities.
When purchasing goods and services, the goal is to be consistent in asking whether companies are Aboriginal-owned and, if they are not, to find out more about their commitment to Aboriginal relations and supporting Aboriginal economc development.
"In the Wood Buffalo region, a company like Suncor can have a significant impact in partnering directly with Aboriginal businesses," says Anne Harding, senior advisor, stakeholder relations. "But across Canada, the way we are really going to effect positive change is through the secondary supply chain. We want to maximize our potential impact in this area."
Suncor is conducting a business review of all our current and potential Aboriginal partners across Canada to understand:
From this, we are compiling a database that should help us extend our reach.
A good example in 2012 and 2013 is Suncor's support for a community-driven business incubator on the Tsuu T'ina First Nation near Calgary. Suncor was approached by two Tsuu T'ina women who wanted to support local entrepreneurs. The number of entrepreneurs has tripled, and Suncor is funding a faculty member from the Banff Centre Indigenous Leadership program to help build a business plan for the incubator.
Suncor is working with the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) to develop a national database for identifying Aboriginal businesses. This resource will be widely available to companies that want to increase the level of procurement with Aboriginal businesses.
As we continue to implement our four-point strategy, Suncor is measuring and evaluating its progress on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis to ensure we are making a positive impact. We will also report on results to stakeholders.
"The ultimate goal of all these initiatives is creating shared value," says Bonnie Veness, manager of stakeholder and Aboriginal relations. "Aboriginal communities are able to benefit from increased local economic activity, while Suncor is able to improve the sustainability of our operations by expanding the pool of qualified contractors and suppliers in areas important to our business."
Read Gordon Lambert's Q&A on creating shared value
Here are some other examples of economic collaboration in action:
Chip Manufacturing is 100% owned and operated by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in Fort Chipewyan, Alta. The company produces industrial wrist protectors made from synthetic fibre that is fire retardant as well as slash and puncture resistant. Chip Manufacturing is growing rapidly and now services most oil sands producers.
Suncor provided startup financing for Chip Manufacturing — a loan that was repaid within six months of operation. In 2013, we are also providing funding to help the company develop a new business plan and potentially diversify. We are also a major customer. Our spend with Chip Manufacturing has gone from $500,000 in 2003 to more than $1.9 million in 2012.
Mikisew Industrial Supply
Mikisew Industrial Supply began as a way to provide employment for Mikisew Cree First Nation members based in Edmonton, Alta. Through a business development loan from Suncor and effective implementation of a four-way accountability agreement, Mikisew Industrial Supply is a successful producer of load bearing, lifting and tie-down safety products.
First Nations retail gas stations
Suncor, through its Petro-Canada brand, is involved in a growing business partnership with Aboriginal communities to operate retail gas stations on reserve lands. As of April 2013, Suncor had more than 13 on-reserve retail gas stations, most of which are located in Western Canada.
Typically, Suncor partners with independent First Nations business development companies, which actually build and run the retail stations. They manage the sites, while Suncor brings its Petro-Canada brand and works with them on programs such as product supply, customer loyalty and service.
The collaboration is another example of creating shared value. Many of the operations are set up as full-service stations and employ Aboriginal youth as service attendants. So in addition to generating revenues for the band, the business also serves as a training, employment and economic development opportunity. For Suncor, it's a chance to work in communities where we would not likely build our own facilities and to market our products in more areas.
Read more about Aboriginal-corporate collaborations in OSQAR
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