2013 Cenovus Corporate Responsibility Report


It is our belief that a company’s long-term success is dependent on three things: having smart, dedicated people, having a strong culture and having a high-quality asset base. We have all three. Managing how we will continue to attract and retain smart, dedicated people and keep our culture strong is a critical part of our growth strategy.

  • Our long-term workforce strategy addresses issues such as potential labour shortages
  • Our strong student and new graduate programs help us attract the top minds coming out of educational institutions
  • Our emphasis on being a healthy organization – having a work environment that is committed to safety, that supports development, and that provides interesting work, exciting opportunities and recognition for a job done well – helps us be a great company to work for

Our purpose, promise and value statements not only drive our culture, they help employees understand the importance of working safely and the need to continually find new and better ways to develop our oil sands projects. We want everyone who works here to be proud of what they do. And we want them to be inspired by being part of a company that produces a product that drives the global economy, raises the standard of living around the world, improves quality of life and helps fuel world progress.

More than 1,500 employees attended our 2013 Innovation Summit, sharing ideas and learning from each other.More than 1,500 employees attended our 2013 Innovation Summit, sharing ideas and learning from each other.More than 1,500 employees attended our 2013 Innovation Summit, sharing ideas and learning from each other.

More than 1,500 employees attended our 2013 Innovation Summit, sharing ideas and learning from each other.


Keeping people safe

Safety is a key part of our culture because nothing is more important than the safety of our people. In addition to the company’s responsibility to create a safe workplace, we emphasize the personal responsibility all our workers have both for their own safety and that of their co-workers. Only by changing behaviours and keeping safety top of mind, will we reach our goal of having an incident-free workplace.

In 2013, we:

  • Continued to enhance our contractor orientation and training portal, which provides health and safety information and educational materials
  • Expanded our annual Cenovus Health & Safety Stewardship Awards to contractor companies across our entire operations who perform work and have a culture that values safety
  • Set annual safety performance objectives and benchmarks
  • Established specific safety-related accountabilities and responsibilities within employee performance agreements


This video, which was produced as part of our 2013 Start Safe campaign, shows how Cenovus is committed to working safely, every day. [Time: 8:34]
Our safety commitments reinforce the behaviour and attitude we want to see from our employees and contractors.

Learn more about our approach to safety.


Increasing our focus on workplace safety

Our increased focus on workplace safety in 2013 saw our total recordable injury frequency (a measure that includes incidents requiring medical treatment) only improve slightly from 2012. We recognize we still have work to do, especially with our contractors. They have a huge presence on our project sites, and accounted for over 90 percent of the recordable injuries in 2013.

Having an injury-free worksite is possible. In 2013, there were no injuries at our Nisku Module Yard near Edmonton. This outdoor construction yard employs more than 300 people throughout the year. And the team at our Weyburn, Saskatchewan CO2 enhanced oil production project also reached a significant safety milestone this year. “It takes teamwork to achieve 20 years without an employee lost-time injury,” says Darcy Cretin, Superintendent, Saskatchewan Operations, where more than 85 people now work. “I’m very proud of the team and their continued commitment to working safely.”

One of the ways we measure safety performance is by the frequency of total recordable injuries. This measure includes incidents that require medical treatment. Our 2013 total recordable incident rate was down 12 percent from 2012.

Healthy organization

Valuing a job done well

Our voluntary turnover rate in 2013 was 3.3 percent, which was below industry average and among the lowest we have experienced at Cenovus.

While there are many factors that go into attracting and retaining top talent, having a competitive compensation package and valuing a job done well are key. We pay for performance. In 2013, we modified our Annual Performance Bonus Program, removing the team award component, so we could put more emphasis on corporate and individual performance.

Our compensation package also includes competitive flexible benefits, earned days off, company-paid pension contributions, vacation time based on life experience rather than the number of years at the company, and an annual allowance that can be used for expenses such as parking, transportation and fitness.

Growing talent from within

We recruit new staff from outside the company to fill skill gap requirements and meet our growth needs. However, we also place importance on developing our employees to enhance their skills, providing them with opportunities to take on different roles and helping them define what they want from their careers at Cenovus.

In 2013, we took the process one step further. We identified skill gaps and learning paths for various areas of our organization to help us understand what skills our employees have and what skills we need to develop or acquire as our company matures.

We also tested and piloted our newly created state-of-the-art virtual learning centre in 2013, which we launched in April, 2014. Called the Cenovus Learning Institute, it provides the tools, resources and support employees need to continually discover, learn and grow in their careers.

In 2013, we hired 423 employees and contractors, bringing our total workforce to 5,323. Our workforce has grown by 70 percent since 2009.

Most of our employees are located at our head office in Calgary. Over 40 percent of our employees work at our operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan.

In 2013, employees at our office locations in Calgary were 55 percent male and 45 percent female. At our field operations in Alberta and Saskatchewan, employees were 90 percent male and 10 percent female.

Having a wide range of ages across the company provides a diversity of thinking and experience, which helps to build a healthy organization.

We continue to maintain a very low turnover rate. The fact that very few people leave the company voluntarily is a reflection of our efforts in building a healthy work environment.

Health & Wellness

Promoting health and wellness

We foster a healthy organization through our health and wellness programs by:

  • Focusing on prevention and supportive practices such as our flu shot program and ergonomic assessments
  • Supporting the care and rehabilitation of employees returning from an injury or illness to ensure they remain engaged and return to work safely when they're ready

In 2013 we approved a strategy for a proactive approach to wellness at Cenovus. We now have:

  • A wellness specialist on staff
  • A Cenovus Wellness Centre for fitness classes, wellness assessments, health education and programs
  • Tools, resources and programs to support the physical and mental well-being of our employees


Walking, running or biking to become a healthier organization

In our second year participating in the Global Corporate Challenge, Cenovus took a top prize by being named Canada’s most active organization. The Cenovus program is led by employee volunteers who enthusiastically keep their colleagues motivated to walk, run or bike. The challenge is embraced by employees across the company – from front-line workers to the Executive Team. In fact, 81 percent of participating employees exceeded the 10,000 steps per day benchmark, and as a result, took enough steps to circumnavigate the world 37 times.

"We're proud of all the employees who walked their socks off in the 2013 Global Corporate Challenge competition," says Jacqui McGillivray, Senior Vice-President & Chief People Officer at Cenovus. "It's an honour to be recognized as Canada’s most active organization and it certainly makes any blisters worth it."


Measurement abbreviations used throughout the report


bbls barrels
BOE/d barrel of oil equivalent per day
CO2 carbon dioxide
CO2E carbon dioxide equivalent
GJ gigajoules
GHG greenhouse gas
m³OE cubic metres of oil equivalent
mg/L milligrams per litre
MMcf/d million cubic feet per day
SOR steam to oil ratio