This year, Fluor celebrates a remarkable 70 years in Canada.
Since first establishing a Canadian presence in 1949, Fluor has been involved in engineering, procurement, fabrication and construction services for clients throughout Canada and around the world. Today, Fluor Canada is proud to be a national leader in the delivery of client-focused solutions. From its first project in Canada in the 1940s (a refinery in British Columbia), to some of its latest projects (including a joint venture to provide EPFC services for a liquefied natural gas export facility in British Columbia, and the construction of an international bridge between Ontario and Michigan), Fluor continues to be at the forefront of some of this country’s most prominent developments.
While Fluor has built some of the country’s most complex projects over the last 70 years, another significant piece of this legacy is an ongoing commitment to build strong communities. As virtually any player in the energy space will attest, building a thoughtful community relations strategy that focuses on engaging with communities is key to fostering a strong and positive presence.
This unwavering focus is a considerable building block in Fluor’s 70 year legacy in Canada.
Building Strong Communities
In combination with delivering innovative project solutions, Fluor is deeply committed to meaningful community engagement and investing in organizations where there is alignment on the core values of safety, integrity, teamwork, and excellence. There is much more than dollars and time committed to community investment efforts, it’s also tangible resources, business connections, fostered partnerships between organizations, and the skilled expertise of Fluor volunteers. The organization is guided by a clear strategic direction for community engagement which aids the prioritization of those resources.
These strategic relationships in community engagement can also be imperative for successful business development. Fluor has cultivated strong partnerships with organizations like United Way of Calgary and Area, Hull Services, the Calgary Food Bank, and the Calgary Stampede which run deep into the organizations’ history. From over 20 years of hosting an Employee Giving Campaign in Canada, to a new venture of foundational support for an urban Indigenous youth hub – the Diamond Willow Youth Lodge, Fluor is committed to making sustainable contributions to the communities where employees live and work.
Strategic community partnerships also benefit from the leadership of an experienced and dedicated professional who understands the nuances of working with communities and organizations. Kristen Brown, Fluor’s manager of community affairs, has helped to build a prominent position for Fluor with reputable initiatives and organizations that fit with the Fluor community giving strategy.
“Being a good corporate citizen has become a requirement for corporate success. It’s no longer about just signing a cheque, it’s a strategic practice meant to support business development goals while creating social impact, and investing in areas that not only benefit Fluor’s business lines, but also the communities where we work,” says Brown.
Importance of a Guiding Strategy
Truly effective community investment decisions are not made in a vacuum; to have real impact, those decisions must be informed and made with intent – two things that come from a well-researched strategy that is rooted in the needs of a community and its organizations.
To that end, Fluor refers to a comprehensive list of criteria when evaluating community partnerships. This helps to determine where and how to invest certain resources, and it also helps to measure the value and the impact.
However, having a community investment strategy is not as cut and dry as it may sound; just because something aligns with a piece of the strategy may not necessarily mean that it is a fit. Sometimes the strongest partnerships are ones that blend multiple pieces of the community investment strategy together for a deeper reach into the community, or a more sustainable outcome for the organization or community members in the years to come.
For instance, in 2017, Fluor assisted in the design and construction of a hyper insulated passive solar greenhouse at Hull Services. This particular project aligned with all four pillars of Fluor’s community investment model and will benefit the community, students, and faculty at Hull Services for years to come.
Meaningful Engagement with Indigenous Peoples of Canada
In many respects, the concept of building strong communities speaks to more than working with organizations in the charitable sector. It also points to purposeful and meaningful engagement with community groups and members, including Indigenous Peoples of Canada.
Fluor is a member of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), currently pursuing the Progressive Aboriginal Relations (PAR) certification. The PAR certification program confirms corporate performance in Indigenous Relations. Establishing a foundation of progressive relationships and setting the benchmark for thoughtful engagement, cultural understanding, and shared success is paramount in this journey. Fluor has communicated an ongoing commitment to Indigenous culture, rights, and communities; through these relationships, employees and contractors are gaining a greater understanding and awareness of what it means to be Indigenous in Canada.
Fluor’s Indigenous Relations Strategy is designed to be transparent, with the intent to instill a deep sense of respect for the individuals, communities, and businesses that the organization works with. In cases where Fluor operations are on or adjacent to Indigenous communities, the company actively seeks to authentically engage with these groups.
“Building up and supporting the communities we inhabit and where our clients do business has always been a part of Fluor’s core beliefs. The more these communities and businesses know us, the more welcomed we are to continue to work in these regions. It’s also important not only for business, but as Canadians, that we get to know Indigenous Peoples, their communities, and their cultures,” says Myrtle Engram, Fluor’s Indigenous strategy lead.
Continuing the Legacy
Community engagement is no longer viewed as simply a means of meeting corporate social responsibility standards; more and more we see communities across the country settling for nothing less than thoughtful and informative engagement from the organizations in their back yard. Not only is the community investment sector being recognized for its crucial role in successful business development, current generations of employees and community members alike are searching for sustainable community investment strategies that will promote the longevity and best interests of everyone involved.
Guided by a community investment strategy that identifies key areas of focus and alignment with a core value structure, Fluor is continuing to build on its legacy and grow a strong community presence in Canada. Active and meaningful engagement with organizations and individuals in the community is a fundamental part of that; it is also how the company plans to succeed in leaving a positive impact on the communities and businesses it encounters.