Recognized as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021) and Alberta's Top Employers (2021):
By Richard Yerema and Kristina Leung, Mediacorp Canada Inc. staff editors (Nov 12, 2020)
Here are some of the reasons why Pembina Pipeline Corporation was selected as one of Canada's Top 100 Employers (2021) and Alberta's Top Employers (2021):
- In addition to the company's regular health benefits plan, Pembina offers a health and wellness spending account of $1,000, allowing employees to adjust levels of coverage to suit their personal needs -- the company also promotes wellness through a dedicated "Take a Pembina Wellness Break" campaign that features monthly themes to address physical, mental, financial and workplace health
- Pembina invests in the education of current and future generations, offering tuition subsidies for employees pursuing job-related courses as well as generous academic scholarships for children of employees (to $5,000 per child)
- Pembina's new employees are enrolled in the defined contribution plan and, depending on age and years of service, experienced employees are eligible to move into the defined benefit pension plan -- the company also encourages employees to share in the company's successes through share purchase and year-end bonus programs
Pembina pivots quickly to meet community needs
As a leading energy transportation and midstream service provider, Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation has a long tradition of investing in the well-being of the dozens of communities where it operates. But when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the scale and nature of those needs shifted dramatically. So, too, did Pembina’s response.
“We learned immediately from our community partners how their priorities had changed,” says Erica Parker, supervisor, Aboriginal & community affairs. “We adapted quickly to launch some very specific pandemic-related initiatives.”
In addition to existing community investments, Pembina provided nearly $600,000 in COVID-19 relief to non-profit and charitable partners. The initiatives targeted five key areas: food security; frontline healthcare and first responders; social service continuity; mental health services and well-being; and other educational supports.
As a leading energy transportation and midsAmong other things, this translated into support for food banks, personal protection equipment (PPE) for local hospitals and subsidized access to mental health counselling for community members.
Targeted funding was also provided to more than 25 Aboriginal communities for everything from food hampers for elders to the delivery of cleaning and medical supplies for those in need.
While strictly following all public health protocols, Pembina also mobilized employees as volunteers.
“We had a lot of employees eager to know how they could help,” says Parker. “Following public health orders, employees were able to get out in the community and deliver masks to community hospitals and food to seniors.”
The company also maintained its longstanding commitment to the United Way (Pembina was the top corporate donor in Calgary in 2019). This November’s pandemic-era campaign, dubbed United Apart, focused on employee engagement through mostly virtual events.
At all times, says Parker, giving back is a core value for Pembina.
“Communities put their trust in us by allowing us to operate in their backyards and we want to honour that relationship by investing in them,” she says. “What we’ve learned through this pandemic is that we can be very agile and adaptable in how we do that.”
Adaptability has also been the watchword for Pembina’s internal operations, says Paul Murphy, senior vice-president & corporate services officer.
When the lockdown took effect, the roughly 40 per cent of Pembina employees who work at the Calgary headquarters or in regional offices began to work from home. The other 60 per cent, who work in field operations, continued to do so, while following social distancing and other jurisdictional and company safety and health protocols.
Starting in June, senior executives and managers gradually returned to the downtown Calgary office, though the majority continued to work remotely.
“We are an energy infrastructure company, so we have detailed emergency management plans for dealing with incidents, whether it’s floods, wildfires or operational outages,” says Murphy. “We’ve long equipped our people to be mobile and we’re able to respond quickly and effectively to emergency situations.”
As an essential service, Pembina maintained normal operations throughout.
“It’s reinforced our ‘safety first’ culture and demonstrated our resilience and agility in an unstructured situation,” says Murphy. “We’ve kept the company running well and continued to serve our customers who depend on us to provide essential energy to fuel people’s lives everyday, including during a pandemic.”
It has also revealed the inner strength of the Pembina team, he adds.
“What’s made me most proud is the way our employees have responded and our commitment to keeping each other and our communities safe. They’ve driven our continued success through challenging times.”
Pembina acts as a good corporate neighbour
Mike Edgar understands the importance of being a good corporate neighbour. As manager, East NGL, for Calgary-based Pembina Pipeline Corporation, Edgar lives and works in Corunna, Ont., part of St. Clair Township, near Sarnia. During normal times, the Corunna office is active working with several local agencies to help meet community needs. Since the COVID-19 pandemic struck, those efforts have taken on a new sense of urgency.
“This pandemic has impacted the entire world, including local communities like ours,” says Edgar. “One thing I’m most proud of is that Pembina realized that and really stepped up to the plate.”
Canada-wide, Pembina has provided nearly $600,000 in COVID-19 relief to non-profits, charitable partners and Indigenous communities. The initiatives targeted five key areas: food security; frontline healthcare and first responders; social service continuity; mental health services and well-being; and other educational supports. In the Sarnia region’s Lambton County, Pembina provided the local hospital with masks and gloves as well as financial support.
The company also worked closely with community partners to help offset losses in donations because of the pandemic and to ensure that existing programs continued to operate.
One of those partners is Inn of the Good Shepherd, which runs a local food bank and homeless shelters. Pembina worked with the organization’s people on safety protocols for their Mobile Market, which picks up fresh produce from local farmers and delivers it to people in need. Pembina employees showed their support by volunteering at the market throughout the summer and fall.
The company also worked with two local elementary schools to keep their hot breakfast programs running, while Pembina employees continued to raise funds for the United Way and participate in a local Habitat for Humanity build.
Pembina has supported similar community engagement across its operations, including targeted funding to more than 25 Indigenous communities for everything from food hampers for elders to the delivery of cleaning and medical supplies.
At the same time, Pembina has maintained normal operations, safely and efficiently, as an essential energy transportation and midstream service provider. While most of the Calgary headquarters and regional office staff work from home, the 60 per cent of Pembina employees who work in the field continue to do so, following all the necessary health and safety protocols.
“It’s shown our resilience and our ability to be agile,” says Paul Murphy, senior vice-president & corporate services officer. “What’s made me most proud is the way our employees have responded. They’ve more than risen to the challenge.”