As stewards of valuable natural resources, we have the opportunity – and responsibility – to help build a better future. By supporting resilience, skill development and social well-being in the communities around us, we strive to create shared value and benefit for all involved.
We are here to connect and support, as well as learn with our community partners. By working with others, we increase our body of knowledge and make progress toward resolving complex social challenges.
Collaboration is at the heart of our community investment strategy. By working collaboratively, we can find and realize opportunities for long-term solutions that can positively impact communities, future generations and our company. It also ensures we continue to understand each other’s interests, issues, needs and concerns.
Our community investment strategy
Suncor and our private, non-profit, charitable organization, the Suncor Energy Foundation (SEF), are guided by a strategy focused on targeted investments intended to help communities near our operations grow, thrive and become sustainable and resilient.
By leveraging our strengths as an integrated energy company, we believe we can be an effective partner in supporting sustainable, resilient communities. That’s why we focus our investments in five key areas to support integrated initiatives that:
- strengthen communities by cultivating community leaders
- support building skills and knowledge for the current and future workforce
- foster the ability to think creatively through inspiring innovation
- build employee and volunteer capability by engaging citizens in community activities
- engage employees and communities in collaborating on our energy future
“Our collaborative approach allows us to work in partnership with communities to understand the big issues that impact both society and Suncor,” says Cathy Glover, director, community investment and the SEF. “Whether it’s supporting Aboriginal youth, addressing community capacity or facilitating a dialogue on energy future, our investments have the potential to be transformative both internally and in community.”
For most energy companies, 2015 was a difficult year to navigate how best to support community organizations in time of economic downturn and budget constraints. Through the corporate foundation model, SEF was able to utilize their reserve fund to honour commitments and maintain support to our community partners. Our Foundation is an example of sustainability in action by allowing us to be resilient in times of economic uncertainty. While SEF could not consider new funding, we were able to maintain support to our strategic initiatives and partners through dollars, in-kind contributions and volunteerism.
Read more about our Community Investment strategy and the Suncor Energy Foundation
Community investment: Our support in community
Suncor is part of our communities so we need to be a contributor towards strengthening their resilience and sustainability.
“For many years, we were doing what we thought was right, being reactive and doing things ‘to’ community. Now we’ve started to move into that ‘with’ and ‘of’ space: how do we work together in partnership for the common good?” reflects Glover. “One key learning we’ve had is that we can’t force outcomes and we have to be prepared to allow ourselves and our organization to be changed by what we’re seeing and hearing.”
This approach was strengthened from the SEF Gathering events and can be seen in some emerging collaborations such as the Alberta Social Innovation fellows, Alberta Ecotrust’s Climate Gathering and the creation of the social goal.
Examples of our strategy in action
Here are some examples of the community investment strategy in action in 2015, and what we’ve learned:
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