Engaging With Stakeholders
Canadian Natural values the relationships we have built through open communication with the stakeholders and communities near our operations. We have strategies and action plans in place to assist in strategic decisions, measure our work and support priority needs identified by stakeholders.
Our stakeholders are the individuals and groups we work with who have a broad interest in our operations, as well as those who live and work near, and are affected by, our operations and business. We engage with stakeholders on a regular basis and their input is important when making decisions related to our project design and implementation, and for our public reporting. We communicate and engage with stakeholders in a variety of ways, such as one-on-one meetings, open houses, participation in Community Advisory Group meetings and community or cultural events, as well as other formalized processes. We continually work to improve our consultation and communications efforts in order to maximize opportunities.
Canadian Natural approaches stakeholder engagement as an open, flexible and ongoing process. When working with landowners, municipalities, interest groups and Indigenous communities, we recognize each group has its unique culture and circumstances, and therefore, its own process preferences. Our engagement efforts are steered by our commitment to our Code of Conduct and Human Rights, guiding employees and contractors in maintaining the highest level of business ethics and principles.
Living and Working in our Operating Areas
Our teams work hard to build and maintain positive relationships with all our stakeholders. Fundamental to this approach are our dedicated, and mostly field-based, stakeholder and community relations advisors, area landmen, superintendents, and operations people who live and work in the communities where we operate.
Our local field-based staff connects regularly with stakeholders to provide updates and seek input regarding development plans, as well as to help identify opportunities and find solutions to address potential environmental or social concerns and grievances, which are captured and responded to. All activities are monitored, tracked and incorporated into our annual plans in support of strategic priorities identified in each operating area so that the communities where we operate also benefit from oil and natural gas development.
ConfidenceLine: Canadian Natural’s Integrity Hotline
For people seeking advice on ethical/unlawful behavior, human rights matters, or for those who have questions in relation to Canadian Natural’s Code of Conduct and Human Rights or are aware of any irregularities, we encourage open dialogue through a variety of pathways, including Human Resources, supervisors, and members of the management team, and reporting via Canadian Natural’s third-party managed integrity hotline, ConfidenceLine.
ConfidenceLine is a confidential and anonymous workplace and business ethics hotline available to employees, contractors and service providers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Reports or concerns of violations of our Code can be submitted either by web based reporting, or telephone through ConfidenceLine. Community concerns or grievances can also be submitted through this line. A summary of ConfidenceLine can be found here. If we become aware of any violation of the Code or any applicable government laws, rules or regulations, or believe that a violation may take place in the future, we take appropriate action.
Lobbying and Engaging with Governments and Regulators
Strong environmental policy, regulation and performance standards, together with innovation and technology, are necessary for an effective approach to environmental management
Legal and Regulatory Engagement
Canadian Natural works with stakeholders, including legislators and regulators, to ensure any new or revised policies, legislation or regulations properly reflect a balanced approach to sustainable development. Specific measures we take in response to existing or new policies and legislation focus on our energy efficiency, GHG emissions management, water management, tailings management and the minimization of impact on the landscape to conserve high-value biodiversity.
Our operations have been, and in the future may be, affected by political developments and by national, federal, provincial and local laws and regulations. These include restrictions on production, changes in taxes, royalties and other amounts payable to governments or governmental agencies, price or gathering rate controls and environmental protection regulations. These risks and mitigation strategies are further described in our Annual Information Form, and opportunities, including resource efficiency and advancing technology, are described in our latest CDP Climate Change submission.
We engage proactively in policy and regulation development work to address climate risks and opportunities, such as new GHG and air emissions policies, including provincial and federal methane policy development. We advocate to support an adequate level of competitiveness protection for Energy Intensive Trade Exposed (EITE) industries, including the oil and natural gas sector, and a framework for international credits.
Canadian Natural works with government and industry associations through effective and constructive engagement in public policy. We support involvement in activities that advance Canadian Natural’s goals and enhance the communities where we work and live.
We comply with all lobbying legislation, including disclosures on public lobbyist registries and political spending for the federal, Alberta (AB), British Columbia (BC) and Saskatchewan (SK) governments, and our internal lobbying processes and guidelines. Corporate donations are not permitted to federal, AB or BC governments. Information on corporate donations over $250 to political parties in SK is publicly available from the elections office.
- Policy engagement – Canadian Natural participates in public policy discussions on a variety of issues relevant to our business and regularly communicates with governments in jurisdictions where we operate. We work with governments to ensure that new and leading climate policy encourages technological innovation and deployment to achieve cost-effective GHG emissions reductions and energy efficiency, while maintaining competitiveness of Canada’s oil and natural gas sector. We are not engaged on aspects of broader climate policy beyond the oil and natural gas industry, including broad-based carbon tax.
To ensure consistency in policy advocacy with our climate change strategy, company representatives from the business units, including the Public Affairs, Government Relations department, take direction and guidance from our Management Committee. This direction is reflected in our public policy engagement activities, which include company representatives providing input, advice and analysis on potential regulations to policy makers and regulators directly and through participation on industry association working groups/committees.
- Industry associations – We work with the Pathways Alliance, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), the Explorers and Producers Association of Canada (EPAC), the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) and Oil & Gas UK, to ensure that new policies encourage technological innovation, energy efficiency, and targeted research and development while not impacting competitiveness. Our participation as a member of these organizations comes with the understanding that we may not always support every position taken by these organizations or their members. In these situations, we work together to establish common ground.
- Payments transparency – We also disclose payments to governments (including municipal, provincial, federal, and Indigenous payments) through the annual ESTMA report, as well as EITI. For more information, visit Payments to Governments.
Further details on environmental risks, GHG emissions management strategies and climate change policies and regulations can be found in our Annual Information Form and Management Information Circular, as well as in our CDP Climate Change Submission.
Working With Contractors
Working regularly to enhance safety practices and communicate expectations to contractor partners.
Our Worksite Safety Observation (WSO) program and Contractor Safety Excellence Meetings continue to improve contractor safety performance Company-wide every year, reducing our overall corporate TRIF. Key to driving overall corporate performance improvement is the identification of trends through analysis of employee and contractor safety data that is reported.
All contractors must pass a pre-qualification process that ensures all contractors are compliant with Canadian Natural’s safety procedures and operational requirements. These screening tools (ComplyWorks at our Canadian operations and Achilles FPAL at our International operations) provide an enhanced view of compliance, communication and performance for contractors and suppliers, allowing us to manage compliance at multiple levels.
Contractors and service providers must meet or exceed Canadian Natural’s approach to business. We engage with top-tier suppliers and contractors with regards to environmental policies and procedures, and expect that suppliers and partners will manage emissions performance and other environmental parameters using sound business practices.
For every employee and contractor on site, safety expectations are the same. All of our agreements have Health and Safety components in terms of expectations, including Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), safety meetings/toolbox talks, participation in inspections, incident investigation and reporting, training, right to refuse unsafe work, etc. Health and safety topics are also reviewed routinely and regularly with employees and contractors who work on site in an operational environment.
In addition, our Code of Integrity, Business Ethics and Conduct and Statement of Human Rights is integrated into our contracts for service providers, operators and management in all activities. Our Supply Management employees receive training on our Code, and review all aspects of the supplier management process, including contracts, as part of their job requirements.