In 2019, we further integrated sustainability into our supply chain and field logistics business. Progress was made in order to affect environmental and social impacts of procurement decisions while improving business value. The focus on sustainability within our end-to-end processes and the partnerships we developed supports Suncor’s purpose and demonstrates leadership in environmental and social governance.
All suppliers sign-off on Suncor’s Supplier Code of Conduct to align to our sustainable development approach. Together, we seek opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, support the communities in which we work and collectively contribute to economic growth. We have also taken further steps towards engaging with our suppliers on their sustainability performance throughout the life-cycle of our engagement with them.
In early 2020, we brought together leaders from across Suncor and representatives from 40 of our suppliers and industry partners to participate in an interactive forum called FORGE. The two-day event took place at the Tsuut’ina Nation in Calgary and enabled Suncor and our key suppliers to listen, learn, transform, co-create, innovate and accelerate sustainability outcomes together. We’re taking a long-term view when it comes to creating new solutions and new partnerships.
Measuring our progress
To integrate sustainability in our supply chain, we look across our business. Our total supplier base spans across Canada in all 10 provinces as well as the Northwest Territories and Yukon. We also purchase products and services from nearly 40 countries.
We monitor our supply chain spending and service delivery levels and strive to grow our involvement with Indigenous businesses. We continue to ensure agreements are mutually beneficial and build capacity and capability. In 2019, Suncor assigned an Indigenous business development representative to the cross-functional teams that oversee requests for proposals. This participation ensures that Indigenous commitments are met and creates awareness of Indigenous business capabilities.
Our spend with Indigenous suppliers is approximately $836 million or 8% of our total. Since 1999, Suncor has spent more than $6 billion with Indigenous businesses. We are now reflecting on our progress to date to refine our approach and future targets.
New technology for mutual gain
One way that we are forging new partnerships with Indigenous businesses is through our collaboration with Acden Tech Sonic – ultrasonic industrial cleaning specialists. Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, owner of Acden, has partnered with Suncor since 1995. We work closely together to align Suncor’s needs, build upon Indigenous supplier capability, expand scope and spend, and think differently about work execution.
The combination of Acden Tech Sonic’s industry-leading patented technology and their highly dedicated, skilled and innovative team members has created significant operational efficiencies. Results include an increased service level at a reduced cost for exchanger cleaning at Suncor’s Base Plant.
In 2019, we transitioned to tracking the percentage of Indigenous spend compared to our overall spend, as it better reflects the advancement of Indigenous business in high and low markets. We also track the number of new Indigenous suppliers and communities we work with and collect the percentage of Indigenous workforce engagement with all suppliers. Community partners have begun to illustrate business benefits within communities, which further helps Suncor to understand the value of working with competitive Indigenous suppliers.