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Enbridge Board on Balancing Climate Goals and Shareholder Value

A Q&A with Enbridge's CSO & Committee Chair

Enbridge Board on Balancing Climate Goals and Shareholder Value

A Q&A with Enbridge's CSO & Committee Chair

Published 06-21-24

Submitted by Enbridge Inc.

Pete Sheffield and Susan M. Cunningham

Originally published in Enbridge's 2023 Sustainability Report

Q (Pete): While the practical necessity of a balanced approach to energy, environmental and economic policies has been reinforced in recent years, so too has the urgency of addressing our global climate challenge. How does the Board think about navigating this terrain, advancing resilient solutions and preserving shareholder value? 

A (Susan): Well that’s a big question, and given the Company’s role in the energy infrastructure business, one that the Board is quite focused on from a governance and strategy perspective. This is a capital-intensive business with investments made in long-lived assets—this requires a keen focus on the fundamentals, looking out over multiple time horizons. Some of this analysis is ultimately reflected in our sustainability reporting, specifically the TCFD scenario planning that helps to stress test the Company’s strategy.

In the context of the Sustainability Committee, we focus on time horizons as well. We’re asking: What actions can the Company take today to position for long-term success, de-risk challenges and advance growth opportunities? What are the expectations of various stakeholders and how is the Company evolving to meet and exceed those expectations? In many ways, the 2020 ESG goals and the 2022 Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan have provided a scorecard to gauge progress and highlight opportunities for further improvement.

On the question of balancing climate progress, energy access and affordability, there are solutions found at the intersection of all three— that’s where the Company and the Board remain focused.

Q (Pete): The language of sustainability and some of the metrics and methodologies of evaluating performance has become a Rorschach test of sorts among various stakeholders—with differing interpretations and expectations. How does the Board think about this current dynamic? 

A (Susan): This is the Company’s 23rd Sustainability Report. And while behaviors and work practices have been aligned to the Company’s core values and high standards of corporate social responsibility for far longer, our ESG framework and consistent reporting has proven a useful tool to track, manage and share progress against key elements of potential business risks and opportunities. We continue to focus on priorities in the areas of GHG emissions, diversity, equity and inclusion, and safety, as well as increased reporting transparency and good governance practices.

Setting goals in areas core to our business and important to our stakeholders is just one of the ways we are further integrating sustainability and ESG into strategy, operations and decision-making. These goals are designed to build on our progress and broaden our efforts in a way that responds to the changing energy landscape and societal needs.

Q (Pete): When you look back at 2023, what actions or events might the Board look upon as most consequential or supportive of Enbridge’s sustainable business strategy over time?

A (Susan): As reflected throughout this Report, there are many examples of sustainability practices and policies in action, demonstrated progress against our ESG goals, and an enduring commitment to continuous improvement that evoke pride and confidence in the Company’s trajectory. A few specific markers from 2023 that should leave a lasting, positive imprint:

  • With an eye towards the future, the Company adopted a new vision: to provide energy in a planet-friendly way, everywhere people need it. The direction of travel is clear, and this restated ambition should help shape strategies and galvanize employees to action.
  • We continued making strides towards our ESG goals that will enable further progress, on safety performance, operational emissions intensity, and the diversity of our Board and workforce—all of which drives better business outcomes.
  • While continuing to invest in renewables and lower-carbon opportunities throughout the business, our announced acquisitions of three U.S. natural gas utilities, when complete, will establish an even stronger foundation to deliver the energy people need—in an affordable, reliable and sustainable manner—for years to come.
  • Our ongoing commitment to Indigenous engagement, partnership and understanding is shaping decision-making across the organization and reinforces our lifecycle approach to operations and relationships with host communities. By the end of 2023, we had met 10 of the 22 commitments outlined in Enbridge’s Indigenous Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • Among the most meaningful to me personally, was the opportunity to visit with our newly established Indigenous Advisory Group. As I’ve noted before, and witnessed in action, by listening and learning together we can do better.

Pete Sheffield Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President, External Affairs U.S.

Susan M. Cunningham Chair, Sustainability Committee

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Enbridge Inc.

Enbridge Inc.

About Enbridge

At Enbridge, our name spells out our mission: a bridge to a sustainable energy future. That bridge safely connects millions of people around the world to the energy they rely on every day, fueling quality of life. Whether it’s natural gas, oil or renewable power, the energy we deliver through networks spanning North America and our growing European offshore wind portfolio helps to heat homes, feed families, fuel vehicles and power industry. We’re investing in modern energy infrastructure to sustain access to secure, affordable energy. We’re also building on two decades of experience in renewable energy to advance new low-carbon energy technologies including hydrogen, renewable natural gas and carbon capture and storage. We’re committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the energy we deliver, and to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Enbridge’s common shares trade under the symbol ENB on the Toronto (TSX) and New York (NYSE) stock exchanges. To learn more, visit us at

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