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Performance Area: Increase revenue to Aboriginal businesses and communities
Increasing marketing arrangements
Over the last several years, we have successfully grown relationships and expanded business development opportunities with Aboriginal communities through Suncor’s downstream business. These mutually beneficial business relationships between Suncor and Aboriginal communities leverage our Petro-Canada brand and communities’ goals for economic development.
In the next 10 years, we want to expand these efforts and increase our business with Aboriginal communities because it makes good economic sense – for Suncor and for Aboriginal Peoples across Canada.
Increase Aboriginal supplier-spend
Suncor has a long history of working with Aboriginal suppliers, particularly in the Wood Buffalo region. We want to apply what we’ve learned over the last 20 years more consistently across our businesses, so that more Aboriginal entrepreneurs and communities have the opportunity to participate in and benefit from our operations.
Siksika Nation celebrates Petro-Canada grand opening
January 30 was a cold and blustery day an hour east of Calgary, but that didn’t dampen the warm welcome of the Siksika Nation, along with 10 Suncor employees, to celebrate the grand opening of their new Petro-Canada station. The station has been in the works for a few years, with the support, vision and leadership of current and former Chief and council members. Chief Joe Weasel Child spoke at the ceremony and recognized the efforts of previous council and the vision of the community for the project. He thanked all partners and congratulated the team on the project. A prayer was offered by a community Elder and, following the ribbon cutting, a feast was had as part of the celebration.
Manager Corey White has a lot to be proud of. He and Petro-Canada territory manager Dylan Kristofic worked together to ensure training and support was available to the team for the site opening. Ten community members are employed at the site, further supporting the Nation’s employment and development goals. Siksika Resource Development Ltd. stewarded the project. It is the first business to open at the new Business Centre, which will also house other retail tenants in the near future.
The Siksika Nation Petro-Canada joins 20 other Aboriginal owned and operated stations in Western Canada. Petro-Canada is very proud and honoured to be Siksika’s branded fuel partner. We look forward to a long, mutually beneficial relationship in which we learn and grow together.
In 2016, Petro-Canada partnered with Aboriginal Marketplace Events to lead an information session at the RezGas conference held in Richmond, B.C. This event was North America’s only conference and trade show dedicated to Aboriginal communities focused on gas station development. It provided Aboriginal communities with a forum to network, learn and share knowledge on what makes a successful retail fuel operation.
Planning for long term relationships
We are working with key communities in Wood Buffalo to develop Joint Business Development Plans (JBDP). JBDPs provide structure on how we work together and collectively focus on key objectives. These plans often include annual workplans that help Aboriginal communities to direct efforts where there is a possibility to increase business and help Suncor to track suppliers’ capabilities.
Given the economic environment, our project spending for the coming years may be significantly reduced. As a result, there may be fewer contracting opportunities. We know that project spending fluctuates and we’re working hard to define sustained opportunities for Aboriginal vendors in the years ahead. We’re focusing on a few areas:
- Internally, we’re changing our approach by integrating Aboriginal vendor inclusion into each of our supply chain categories to create more opportunities across a broader group of categories.
- We’re also working to embed this approach with our suppliers and contractors. Aboriginal vendor inclusion is a key component we use to evaluate our contractors and suppliers, ensuring they’re also focused on advancing Aboriginal subcontracting strategies.
- We’re finding ways to broaden and diversify the scope of our overall spend that’s available to Aboriginal vendors, and we’re working directly with select businesses to build their capability.
- Historically, we’ve been focused on the Wood Buffalo region. By continuing our partnerships with Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association (NAABA) and the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), we’re looking beyond Wood Buffalo for opportunities to build relationships and to partner with Aboriginal vendors in some of the other communities where we operate across Canada.