Finding common ground – how Suncor’s partnerships with ENGOs benefits both parties – 2013 Report on Sustainability

Suncor’s partnerships with ENGOs – 2013 Report on Sustainability

Suncor works with environmental non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs, ENGOs) to understand and benefit from their research and viewpoints – 2013 Report on Sustainability

Find out how Suncor works with environmental non-profit and non-governmental organizations (NGOs, ENGOs) to understand and benefit from their research and viewpoints – 2013 Report on Sustainability

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Partnerships and initiatives

It strikes some observers as curious that a company like Suncor would seek out relationships with groups and individuals who are openly critical of many aspects of the oil sands industry. The fact is that environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs), like the companies they monitor, are not all the same.

Finding common ground

ENGOs are often involved in a variety of activities on a wide range of issues. On some of those activities and issues, we may have profound disagreements, whereas on others we may find common ground and mutual benefit in working together.

ENGOs have the potential to influence investors, regulators, governments and other stakeholders through research, presentations and direct appeals to the general public. Suncor works hard to understand and learn from their research because we value their diverse perspectives.

Environment of mutual respect

As a starting principle, Suncor seeks to engage with ENGOs in an atmosphere of mutual respect, although this does not mean either side is co-opted by the other. With the exception of specific initiatives on which we have agreed to co-operate, our ENGO partners are free to publicly criticize our company or industry as they see fit. Suncor, in turn, is free to counter statements and research by ENGO partners if we know it to be contrary to established facts. Simply put, both sides can agree to disagree, while continuing to work together for the greater good.

Successful partnerships

Suncor has entered into several successful partnerships with ENGOs in recent years. Those organizations include:

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The Pembina Institute

The Pembina Institute is an Alberta-based ENGO dedicated to seeking sustainable energy solutions through innovation, research, education, consulting and advocacy. Pembina has worked with Suncor on a number of initiatives, including carbon capture and storage, life cycle value assessments for Suncor's renewable energy sector, and consulted on the issue of low carbon fuel standards.

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Alberta Conservation Association (ACA)

The ACA delivers a wide range of projects, programs and services aimed at protecting Alberta's wildlife, fish and habitat. In 2003, the Suncor Energy Foundation entered into a unique partnership with the ACA to conserve habitat in the boreal region of northern Alberta. The initiative is designed to find sustainable ways to offset the land disturbed by Suncor's operations. Some of the conserved land will be transferred to the Alberta park system.

In 2013, this partnership will celebrate its 10-year anniversary. The Suncor Energy Foundation’s current commitment to ACA extends to 2015.

Learn more about the ACA


Ceres mobilizes a network of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Suncor has been a Ceres member company since 2007 and works closely with a diverse group of stakeholders assembled by CERES to discuss Suncor’s overall sustainability strategy, including reporting, risk analysis and issues management. The Ceres stakeholder panel was instrumental in encouraging Suncor to develop its first set of environmental performance goals and will continue to be involved in future goal development.

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Boreal Leadership Council (BLC)

BLC is comprised of leading conservation groups, First Nations, resource companies and financial institutions, all of which have a stake in the future of Canada’s boreal forest. As a committed member of the BLC, Suncor is a signatory to the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework and is committed to implementing this national vision through our own sphere of activity. Suncor has submitted an action plan to the council members outlining our priorities and focus areas.

Visit the Boreal Leadership Council website to learn more

Read more about Suncor’s Boreal Forest Action Plan.

Pollution Probe

Pollution Probe — a national, not-for-profit organization that defines environmental problems through research, promotes understanding through education and presses for practical solutions through advocacy.

Suncor and the Suncor Energy Foundation have been involved with Pollution Probe since 2001, most recently supporting its energy literacy workshops and the proposed Canada Centre for Energy Learning – an entity aimed at taking the national dialogue on Canada’s energy future to the next level.

Learn more about Pollution Probe

Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow (QUEST)

Suncor is partnered with QUEST, a collaborative network of stakeholders who are working to make Canada a leader in the design, development and implementation of Integrated Community Energy Solutions (ICES). ICES are about creating smart energy communities by linking energy across land use, buildings, transportation and other related infrastructure.

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The Natural Step

The Natural Step works with organizations to pioneer sustainable solutions and integrate sustainability principles into their core strategies, decisions and operations. Suncor and the Suncor Energy Foundation have partnered with The Natural Step to offer a series of learning programs that equip businesses, communities, academia, and non-profit organizations with the core skills needed to facilitate deep and effective transformation toward sustainability.

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