IEA: room for improvement on climate change
A new report by the International Energy Agency has found that the oil and gas industry needs to step up its efforts to properly address the climate crisis.
“No energy company will be unaffected by clean energy transitions,” commented Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA. “Every part of the industry needs to consider how to respond. Doing nothing is simply not an option.”
The difficulty being faced by energy companies is the concurrent rise of two competing goals: 1) Generating enough power to meet the energy requirements of the modern world; 2) Lowering carbon emissions sufficiently within the parameters of eco targets, such as those set in the Paris Agreement.
Canada is part of the solution
With the report estimating that 66% of the global emissions growth is due to the energy sector, the Canadian industry has been quick to respond with the positive steps it is taking to address the issue.
In a recent article, Terry Abel, executive VP for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), stated that “Canada’s oil and natural gas industry is already at the forefront of developing and implementing the technology necessary.”
Calling the country an international leader in the fight against climate change, he said that “the Canadian industry is part of the solution,” and would take the report seriously.
Responses of the top three Canadian energy companies
Enbridge: The largest energy company in Canada with a market cap of CA$98.06bn, Enbridge makes a clear pledge to integrate sustainability on its website, “we take seriously our responsibility to deliver it to where it’s needed, safely and reliably, today and well into the future. Sustainability is—and has to be—core to how we do business.”
The company’s climate policy focuses on reducing its carbon footprint, increasing energy efficiency, and developing frameworks to help measure and track sustainability goals.
Suncor: The President and CEO of Suncor, Mark Little, states that the sustainability practices within the company are already well under way. “Globally, we are beginning to transform our energy system towards a low-carbon economy. We believe Suncor has an important role to play in that transition and that innovation will be critical to our success.”
In addition to strengthening relationships with indigenous communities, Suncor has also pledged to reduce 30% of its emissions by 2030.
TC Energy Corporation: Seeing the challenge before the industry as a quest to meet the world’s energy needs in an “economically, environmentally and socially responsible manner,” TC Energy has stated that it is not content to merely be part of the solution; it wants to lead the change.
“We believe that North America should be the world’s energy supplier of choice,” said Russ Girling, President and CEO. “We are leaders when it comes to stringent regulatory standards, deep respect for environmental stewardship, human rights and responsible development.”
The company claims that 47% of its generated power comes from emission-free sources. TC Energy has also made a commitment to protecting water supplies, land and wildlife throughout its operations.
For more information on business topics in Canada, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Canada.
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Marketing matters: from IBM to Kyndryl
Prior to joining Kyndryl as Chief Marketing Officer, Maria had a 25-year career at IBM, most recently as the tech giant’s CMO where she oversaw all marketing professionals and activities across North America, Canada and Latin America. She has held senior global marketing positions in a variety of disciplines and business units across IBM, most notably strategic initiatives in Smarter Cities and Watson Customer Engagement, as well as leading teams in services, business analytics, and mobile and industry solutions. She is known for her work with teams to leverage data, analytics and cloud technologies to build deeper engagements with customers and partners.
With a passion for marketing, business and people, and a recognized expert in data-driven marketing and brand engagement, Maria talks to Business Chief about her new role, her leadership style and what success means to her.
You've recently moved from IBM to Kyndryl, joining as CMO. Tell us about this exciting new role?
I’m Chief Marketing Officer for Kyndryl, the independent company that will be created following the separation from IBM of its Managed Infrastructure Services business, expected to occur by the end of 2021. My role is to plan, develop, and execute Kyndryl's marketing and advertising initiatives. This includes building a company culture and brand identity on which we base our marketing and advertising strategy.
We have an amazing opportunity ahead at Kyndryl to create a company brand that will stand apart in the market by leading with our people first. Once we are an independent company, each Kyndryl employee will advance the vital systems that power human progress. Our people are devoted, restless, empathetic, and anticipatory – key qualities needed as we build on existing customer relationships and cultivate new ones. Our people are at the heart of this business and I am deeply hopeful and excited for our future.
What experiences have helped prepare you for this new opportunity?
I’ve had a very rich and diverse career history at IBM that has lasted 25+ years. I started out in sales but landed explored opportunities at IBM in different roles, business units, geographies, and functions. Marketing and business are my passions and I landed on Marketing because it allowed me to utilize both my left and right brain, bringing together art and science. In college, I was no tonly a business major, but an art major. I love marketing because I can leverage my extensive knowledge of business, while also being able to think openly and creatively.
The opportunities I was given during my time at IBM and my natural curiosity have led me to the path I’m on now and there’s no better next career step than a once-in-a-lifetime-opportunity to help launch a company. The core of my role at Kyndryl is to create a culture centered on our people and growing up in my career at IBM has allowed me to see first-hand how to prioritize people and ensure they are at the heart of progress in everything Kyndryl will do.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I believe that people aren't your greatest assets, they are your only assets. My platform and background for leadership has always been grounded in authenticity to who I am and centered on diversity and inclusion. I immigrated to the US from Chile when I was 10 years old and so I know the power and beauty that comes from leaning into what makes you different from other people, and that's what I want every person in my marketing organization to feel – the value in bringing their most authentic self to work every day. The way our employees feel when they show up for themselves authentically is how they will also show up for our customers, and strong relationships drive growth.
I think this is especially true in light of a world forever changed by the pandemic. Living through such an unprecedented time has reinforced that we are all humans. We can't lead or care for one another without empathy and I think leaders everywhere have been reminded of this.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
When I was growing up as an immigrant in North Carolina, I often wanted to be just like everyone else. But my mother always told me: Be unique, be memorable – you have an authentic view and experience of the world that no one else will ever have, so don't try to be anyone else but you.
What does success look like to you?
I think the concept of success is multi-faceted. From a career perspective, being in a job where you're respected and appreciated, and where you can see how your contributions are providing value by motivating your teams to be better – that's success! From a personal perspective, there is no greater accomplishment than investing in the next generation. I love mentoring younger professionals – they are the future. I want my legacy as a leader to include providing value in work culture, but also in leaving a personal impact on the lives of professionals who will carry the workforce forward. Finding a position in life with a job and company that offers me a chance at all of that is what success looks like to me.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
I've always been a naturally curious person and it's easy for me to over-commit to projects that pique my interest. I've learned over years of practice how to manage that, so to my younger self I’d say… prioritize the things that are most important, and then become amazing at those things.