As CEO of TransCanada, I have the privilege of writing the first entry for our new blog. This blog, through contributions from TransCanada’s staff, will be essential in opening up a new avenue of communication as our industry faces new challenges and greater public scrutiny than ever before. It will be another tool for us to use in building upon the good reputation and trusted relationships our company has developed over the last 60 years.
Trust is built through relationships based on open, honest and transparent communication. People need to know who we are and what we’re all about. They need to know what makes us tick. Like any relationship, if you can’t open up you will never build that trust.
We need to be able to have an honest discussion about ourselves as a company in order to show that we are responsible, we take what we do extremely seriously, and that we’re looking out for society’s best interests.
We are not perfect every day, but when we acknowledge our faults and demonstrate that we learn from them, that’s when people will feel we are being honest with them. We need this trust if we want to maintain our social licence to continue providing people with the energy they need.
A big part of this communication comes from our employees who are truly members of the communities in which they work. We are not a fly-in company, we are a company that permanently puts our assets in place for decades and decades and our ambassadors are our employees on the ground who understand the expectations and concerns of their communities.
They’re part of the 4H Club, they’re coaching the soccer team — they’re part of the fabric of what goes on. As members of the community, our 4,400-plus employees’ lives are affected as much as anyone else’s by what we do and we expect them to make decisions based on that knowledge. Nearly half of our team lives and works in 33 states in America, a small but growing number live in Mexico and the remaining have a presence in seven Canadian provinces.
Our goal is to be the leading energy infrastructure company in North America. To me, “leading” doesn’t mean being the biggest. It means being the best at what we do and delivering on everything that we say we’re going to do.
If we say we’re going to clean up your field after we’re done, that’s what we’re going to do. If we say we’re going to support the communities we work in, that’s what we’re going to do. If we say we’re going to buy locally, that’s what we do. Whatever it is we commit to, we need to follow through and make sure we do it extremely well – that’s what leading means.
As leaders, we don’t follow rhetoric. We do what we think is right and we build trust by acting consistently and within our values.
In the coming months, through this blog, we will highlight and explain the facts about our company and the infrastructure we build and operate to deliver the energy that millions of families, public organizations and businesses rely on every day.
We understand the need to lower the amount of carbon society produces. I get that personally, and we get that as a company. We’re investing in solar power, hydro power, nuclear power and gas-fired generation. We are going to migrate away from fossil fuels eventually, but doing it at the expense of our economic well-being would not be responsible. The transition needs to be deliberate and thoughtful. Fundamentally, I believe we are doing the right thing. If I didn’t think it was right, I wouldn’t be doing this job.
To achieve our goals, honest communication is absolutely essential. Going forward, this blog will serve as an important tool for demonstrating TransCanada’s leadership in the communities where we operate. It will be a place where we can tell our stories, share our successes, and address the important questions relating to our industry in an open and forthright manner.
Thanks for reading. I encourage you to stay in touch.