Our community investment program helps us build meaningful relationships with local communities. It’s not just about financial donations. We strategically concentrate our community investment efforts in areas that complement business goals, while supporting the needs of our communities and building positive relationships. Our three focus areas are learning, safety and well-being and sustainable communities.

We also have a number of programs that support and encourage our staff to volunteer and participate in charitable giving. Our hope is that through these programs, we create a culture of engagement and a sense of pride among our employees while strengthening the community.

Over the past six years, our donations totaled over $76 million. To maximize the long-term benefits of our efforts, we continue to focus on measuring and understanding the impacts and effectiveness of our community investment program.

We encourage charitable giving through our annual employee giving campaign, Thanks & Giving, and the Matching Gifts Program. Through these programs, we match employee donations up to a total of $25,000 per employee per year. Not only can employees double the impact of their charitable donations, they’re able to give to the organizations of their choice. By supporting employees to donate to the causes that are important to them, we’re able to make a positive difference in the community while at the same time helping ensure that Cenovus is a great place to work.

In 2015, our employees donated over $1.6 million through our Thanks & Giving and Matching Gifts programs. When combined with the Cenovus matching funds and including our volunteer grant program match, that’s over $3.6 million. Since 2010, employees have donated over $11 million – over $23 million with the company match.

Our Volunteer Program provides grants to the charitable organizations where our employees and their immediate family members volunteer. We also coordinate opportunities for staff members to volunteer together with their teams or their families. The Volunteer Program is a meaningful way for our staff to use and expand their skills, work together in teams and learn about community issues and needs.

The volunteer events we hold throughout the year help our community partners deliver programs and services. They’re also a fun way for staff to connect with one another, meet new colleagues and spend time with their families. This year, Cenovus held 65 company-sponsored and team-volunteer events ranging from cooking dinners and reading to children to packing food hampers.

We remain committed to giving back and getting involved in our communities despite the low oil price environment. The challenging economic times for the oil and gas industry mean our communities need our support even more now since they’re also feeling the impact. We donated over $8.4 million to 1,133 organizations in 2015.

The same way we’re adapting our business to the current economic conditions, we’re also responding to the communities’ changing and evolving needs. In 2015, Alberta food banks had a 23 percent increase in usage over the prior year1. In order to respond to this need, we developed a framework for the downturn to ensure our investments went to the organizations that were most impacted by the increase in demand. Many of our donations went towards organizations that provide support for basic needs and front line response – like food banks, shelters and mental health programs. For example:

  • We supported 18 organizations across Alberta providing shelter services, directing nearly $300,000 to housing needs
  • We made donations to 27 organizations such as food banks, breakfast, lunch and nutrition programs and community kitchens across our operating communities, committing $325,000 to various organizations like these 

We’ve been a member of London Benchmarking Group (LBG) Canada since 2011. Our participation in LBG Canada helps us maximize impact and identify best practices in order to continually improve our community investment program. Each year, we participate in a detailed, line-by-line audit of our entire community investment portfolio. The audit helps us understand the total value our cash, in-kind, employee volunteering and giving and program management costs bring to the local community.

2015 community investment spend by focus area

2015 community investment spend by focus area

We strategically concentrate our community investment efforts in three focus areas: learning, safety and well-being, and sustainable communities.

Total value of investments to the community in 2015

Total value of investments to the community in 2015

In 2015, the total value of our investments in the community, as audited by London Benchmarking Group (LBG) Canada, was nearly $14 million.