Community Relations

Syncrude aims to earn and maintain public confidence through effective engagement with stakeholders and communities of interest. We seek ideas, input and feedback on our plans in a manner that fosters cooperation and trust. We are committed to ensuring our employees fully understand our goals, plans and performance, and the role they play in our success. We also contribute to projects that promote growth and well-being, and enhance the quality of life where we live and work. Our Community Relations Policy can be viewed here.

Stakeholders and communities of interest include (in alphabetical order):

  • Academia
  • Employees
  • First Nations – Local
  • Governments – Local, Provincial and Federal
  • Industry Associations
  • Métis Locals
  • Syncrude Project Joint Venture Participants
  • Suppliers and contractors
  • Wood Buffalo residents and other Albertans

Gauging effectiveness

The effectiveness of our stakeholder relations is stewarded at the executive level and assessed through internal and external audits. In addition, we are informed by the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) Towards Sustainable Mining protocol for Indigenous and Community Relations. This includes an internal assessment of our performance each year, and external third-party verification, including stakeholder interviews, of this assessment every three years. Results are published annually on the MAC website.

Oil sands community alliance

As an active member of the Oil Sands Community Alliance, Syncrude continued in 2019 to support this industry-funded group in its work to manage the socio-economic impacts of oil sands development. OSCA focus areas include Indigenous Community Relations, Community Well-Being, Infrastructure and Workforce. Work is stewarded by the OSCA Steering Group, and by committees and task groups that focus on community well-being and Indigenous community relations, as well as various infrastructure matters. Syncrude employees serve at each level.

Over $6 million in community investment

Syncrude made community donations totaling $6.4 million in 2019. These funds supported our objective of enriching the lives of our employees and the communities where we do business. Donations were directed toward organizations and endeavours in the Wood Buffalo region and Edmonton, focused on education, Indigenous-related initiatives, healthcare, education, sports and recreation, arts and culture, and safety, health & environment. More about our corporate giving guidelines can be found on our website.

Includes donations made under the Community Investment Program, Indigenous Community Investment Program, sponsorships and gifts-in-kind.

Among the organizations which received funding from Syncrude in 2019:

  • Alberta Conservation Association
  • Alberta Emerald Foundation
  • Compassion House Foundation
  • Hub Family Resource Centre
  • Northern Lights Regional Health Foundation
  • Safe Community Wood Buffalo
  • Skills Canada
  • United Way of Fort McMurray, Edmonton and Calgary
  • Waypoints Emergency Shelter
  • Wood Buffalo Community Fund
  • Wood Buffalo Food Bank
  • Wood Buffalo Regional Library
  • YMCA Northern Alberta (daycare programming)

Recognizing employee volunteers

Our Good Neighbours Program encourages employees and retirees to give and volunteer for the organizations that matter the most to them. Over $440,000 was donated to 99 various registered non-profit or charitable organizations and projects in 2019 alone, recognizing about 12,000 volunteer hours.

Organizations are eligible to receive up to $750 once an employee or retiree volunteers a minimum of 40 hours within the calendar year. Employees who volunteer for local sports or recreation teams may also apply to receive a busing grant of $2,500 to help offset the cost of travel outside of the community for tournaments or competitions.

Syncrude will also match contributions made to eligible educational institutions, to a maximum of $500 per calendar year per employee or retiree.

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