We’re steadily increasing the value to our business and generating mutual efficiencies with suppliers, including addressing the environmental and social impacts of our procurement decisions. The sustainability focus within our supply chain processes and partnerships supports Suncor’s purpose and demonstrates leadership in environmental and social governance.
We continue to partner with suppliers who share our values and align with our strategic objectives — seeking opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, supporting the communities where we work and live, and collectively contributing to economic growth. We engage with our suppliers on their sustainability performance by:
- collecting and assessing sustainability performance as part of prequalification and awarding of work
- data gathering to create a baseline understanding of the impacts of our supply chain, enabling us to make more informed decisions
- monitoring and auditing sustainability performance as part of our supplier performance and due diligence process
- evaluating sustainability risks and opportunities in our supply chain
- building collaborative relationships with like-minded suppliers to accelerate innovation and sustainability performance.
In February 2020, prior to COVID-19 gathering restrictions, we brought together Suncor leaders, suppliers, Indigenous businesses and community members, and other industry partners to participate in an interactive forum called FORGE. The two-day event took place at the Tsuut’ina Nation in Calgary and provided an opportunity to listen, learn, co-create, innovate, and accelerate sustainability outcomes together. Since then, we’ve been working with suppliers to advance more standard processes, predictable performance and continuous improvement. A few themes have emerged such as common scheduling, alignment on COVID-19 protocols, shared certification and aligned apprenticeship programs, staggered peak demand, and regional approaches for equipment and resource use for Suncor and Syncrude in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. We have also kicked off semi-annual executive meetings with engineering, procurement and construction companies with innovation and sustainability built into the agendas.
Sustainable development approach
All contractors must pre-qualify to perform work or to provide services or materials to Suncor by answering a series of questions, including sustainability-related questions, to assess if or how sustainability is embedded within their company. The questions address topics such as safety goals, Indigenous relations/participation, climate change, human rights, inclusion and diversity, community investment, social innovation, and sustainability embedding. This guides our decision-making and supports how we select suppliers.
Our Supply Chain Qualify and Select Supplier process follows the pre-qualification process and helps inform purchasing decisions. In 2020, we rolled out Supplemental* 5, which is a combination of the previously voluntary Sustainability Supplemental and Indigenous Business Supplemental. Supplemental 5 has enhanced pre-qualification questions and a higher weighting in the evaluation process than the previous two supplementals. This further supports a culture of sustainability throughout our supply chain.
To align with our sustainable development approach, all suppliers must comply with Suncor’s Supplier Code of Conduct (COC). While COCs are evolving, we’re proud to be an energy leader in this space as this work matures.
In 2020, we conducted a survey within Suncor’s Supply Chain team to assess their understanding of sustainability and identify opportunities to improve our internal sustainability culture shift. The majority of respondents understood our sustainability goals, saw the translation of our purpose and recognized it as a differentiator in the way we conduct business. The Supply Chain Sustainability team identified opportunities to continue embedding a sustainability mindset through the tools and processes across the company.;
Measuring our progress
Our suppliers are located across Canada in every province, the Northwest Territories and Yukon, and in 18 countries. In 2020, 94 companies were identified as critical suppliers and services, essential to maintain effective operations.
Working with Indigenous businesses is an important part of our supplier base. We grow involvement with Indigenous businesses through mindful supply chain spending and service delivery levels. In 2020, we developed the Indigenous Business Participation Strategy so that teams across Suncor are aligned with our approach to meeting our commitments and supporting meaningful engagement. We continue to ensure agreements are mutually beneficial and build capacity and capability.
To continuously improve the advancement of business activities, we implemented a new self-serve tool to identify current and potential Indigenous suppliers and we hold monthly stewardship meetings across all supply chain categories, outlining spend and updates on information about Indigenous business development and sustainability. This is part of our strong commitment to the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) program; in 2020 we received gold-level certification for the second time.
Since 1999, we’ve spent more than $6.5 billion with Indigenous businesses. Despite a decrease in overall spending in 2020, Suncor’s spend with Indigenous suppliers increased from 8.4% in 2019 to 10.6% in 2020 for a total of $911 million. 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 market cycles. We also track the number of new Indigenous suppliers and communities that we work with and collect the percentage of Indigenous workforce engagement with all suppliers. Beyond quantitative metrics and dollars spent, we also look at the impact business agreements are making. Indigenous business partners and communities have begun to illustrate how business creates value within communities, which further helps Suncor understand the mutual benefit of working with competitive Indigenous suppliers.
In 2020, contracts at our sites in the RMWB, and at the Edmonton and Sarnia refineries for scaffolding and insulation were awarded to BrandSafway Infinity. The funds from these contracts supported BrandSafway Infinity hiring 33 Indigenous students from across northeastern Alberta in McMurray Métis Summer Student Program.