A conscientious leader who inspires by setting the example
They say virtue is its own reward. So is excellence. Even so, recognition from one’s peers for outstanding leadership in the resource sector is icing on the cake for Pat Daniel, named the 2009 Alberta Chamber of Resources Resource Person of the Year.
Pat Daniel’s name is on the award, but he is quick to share the credit with his colleagues at Enbridge.
“Any of my success and the success of Enbridge”, Mr. Daniel, President and CEO of Enbridge Inc., said upon accepting the award, “is dependent on the more than 6,000 talented Enbridge employees who work across North America.”
Over a very difficult year for most, that talent and leadership produced record corporate performance. Enbridge’s annual earnings in 2009 were up 26 percent, for example, and that strong base is expected to help give focus and momentum to plans for growth for this year and in the years ahead. That’s great news for a lot of other resource industries and companies that depend on and, in many ways, are literally tied into Enbridge’s pipeline network, extending across North America and including the longest crude oil pipeline system in the world.
Committed to progress on all fronts
“We chose Pat Daniel as Resource Person of the Year in recognition of his tenacity, creativity and leadership,” said ACR Executive Director Brad Anderson. “Pat’s efforts have guided Enbridge to outstanding success for many years, including the company’s best year ever in 2009.”
Significant weight was also given to Enbridge’s commitment to corporate social responsibility. The company’s list of achievements is a long one and the external recognition Enbridge has received for its outstanding corporate social responsibility is proof positive of not only doing things right, but doing the right things. Corporate Knights recently named Enbridge one of the world’s 100 most sustainable corporations, and the top Canadian company on its list of world rankings. Enbridge has also been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index for three years in a row and listed as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for the last four years.
“His community service and his advocacy and vision for resource development have contributed greatly to the province,” Mr. Anderson added. “Pat treats his activities – business and community – with an equal measure of dedication, quiet confidence, and inspiring leadership.”
Getting the good word out
As it is custom, Mr. Daniel shared some thoughts upon accepting the ACR Resource Person of the Year Award and, with all the hard-earned credibility of one who practices what he preaches, he spoke of the need to “better balance the public discussion around energy development.”
In particular, he suggested that opponents of resource development, oil sands development especially, were dominating public discourse and that industry needed to balance the discussion. For the sake of argument, he imagined what the effect might be if opponents succeeded in thwarting oil sands development. In this scenario the environmental impacts of oil sands development would be reduced to zero, but at a tremendous cost: more oil imports into Canada at a higher price; the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, both current and future; hundreds of billions of dollars in government revenue gone; and no impact on global oil consumption, which by most estimates is expected to go nowhere but up in the coming years.
“If there’s anyone who can tell me how we’re going to meet a significant increase in global demand by mothballing the 170 billion barrels of recoverable oil in Canada, then I’d really like to know how we’re going to do it,” Mr. Daniel said. “But if we do concede defeat, the energy reserves in other countries – many of which, frankly, are not interested in sustainable development, human rights and the environment – their reserves would become more lucrative. That’s not good. Actually, more than simply not good. It’s irresponsible, and an abdication of business’ fundamental obligation to build the overall capacity of society.”
He expressed his own pride in the accomplishments of the natural resources industry and said we need to stand up to our opponents – “the vast majority of whom are prolific energy consumers and direct beneficiaries of our industry’s economic and social impact – and point out their appalling hypocrisy.”
“I want to take this opportunity to really push you,” he concluded, “And to ask you to push your organizations, to work together to better balance the discussion so that the general public understands and remembers the benefits of the energy resources.”
A long record of achievement
Pat Daniel becomes the 27th resource industry leader to receive the ACR Resource Person of the Year award since 1977. Prior to his current appointment, he was CEO of IPL Inc. (now Enbridge Pipelines) and President of IPL Energy (USA) (now Enbridge US Inc.). The Alberta Chamber of Resources wasn’t alone in acknowledging Mr. Daniel’s accomplishments in business and in the community. In 2007 he was also named Canadian Energy Person of the Year by the Energy Council of Canada, and in 2009 he received the Distinguished Business Leader Award from the University of Calgary, Haskayne School of Business and the Calgary Chamber of Commerce.