Wafa Kadri: Inspiring action, elevating impact
The "Us" in Cenovus
April 2022 - Wafa Kadri didn’t set out to work specifically in social investment. Over the years she’s been involved in financial services, data analytics, marketing, communications and more – but social purpose has always driven her career.
“I have always been passionate about social causes and issues from a young age and found I could take that passion and turn it into a fulfilling career – one that makes a positive impact on people’s lives and society,” says Wafa, Manager, Social Investment at Cenovus Energy. “Over the years I have witnessed social investment evolve from an area of interest for companies to a core business strategy – and that’s really exciting.”
Wafa’s experience in corporate social responsibility has enabled her to help launch and shape Cenovus’s new Social Investment Strategy to become a champion for the “S” in our environmental, social and governance (ESG) initiatives.
“By inspiring and mobilizing our people, and partners, we can make a difference on issues that are important to society and Cenovus,” explains Wafa. “The new strategy is the result of internal and external collaboration, partnership engagement and research that identifies social issues where we believe we can make meaningful and measurable impacts.”
As part of Cenovus’s ambition to continue to be a top-tier sustainability performer, the new approach focuses on key issues within four priority areas: Indigenous Reconciliation, Protected Planet, Future-ready Youth, and Resilient Communities. These priority areas are underpinned with a commitment to ensuring people and communities with diverse identities and experiences are included. Additionally, the strategy motivates and mobilizes our employees to support the causes important to them and Cenovus through Cenovus Cares, our global employee giving and volunteering program.
Our new approach aligns with our purpose and values, commitment to inclusion and diversity, ESG and business priorities, and creates positive impacts in the communities where we live and work and beyond.
“I’m energized by the boldness of this program and the varied partnership opportunities,” says Wafa. “I am looking forward to seeing the kinds of impacts we will have collectively on important social issues, in communities and in people’s lives.”
Wafa’s strong desire to help others reach their full potential also motivates her to serve as a board member with CUPS and MindFuel, act as a mentor at the University of Calgary’s Scholars Academy, and volunteer with her family throughout the year for various causes. When she’s not working or volunteering, Wafa is off exploring the world – she’s visited more than 50 countries around the globe.
At Cenovus, she sees immense opportunity to continue to make a difference, too.
In 2021, Cenovus set targets for each of our five ESG focus areas, including reducing our absolute emissions by 35% by year-end 2035 as we build towards our long-term ambition of net zero by 2050. In the transition to a lower-carbon future, a key challenge for the energy industry is to ensure addressing social-related impacts remains part of those efforts.
“As we move towards energy diverse systems and a lower carbon economy, the oil and gas industry, among other industries and sectors, must be committed to ensuring the change is just, fair and inclusive,” says Wafa. “Collectively, with communities, partners and others, new and innovative solutions are required to ensure everyone continues to prosper in the new economy and to make sure we are training the workforce of the future. And that no one is left behind.”