Editor’s note: We’ll be running all Rising Stars Class of 2021 profiles over the next two weeks. Today, we profile Brad Densmore.
In British Columbia, the Coastal GasLink pipeline and the LNG Canada export project have brought challenges and opportunity for energy companies as they build relationships in rural, northern and Indigenous communities.
As project manager with Landmark Resource Management Ltd., a Victoria-based natural resource management consulting firm, Brad Densmore helps both Indigenous and non-Indigenous clients navigate the evolving area of ESG (environmental, social and governance). Helping to bridge the gap between communities and industry proponents enables each to “focus on achieving shared value and generating wealth more sustainably from our natural resources,” he says.
“The rights and title of Indigenous people is being recognized by all levels of government and UNDRIP (United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples),” says Densmore. “So it’s not the question of whether Indigenous communities need to be engaged. It’s more of a question of how it’s going to happen and trying to do it in the right way.”
While environmental responsibility has also always been a priority, “much like safety,” he says, “it’s now becoming a fact of doing business.”
Since joining the company in 2019, Densmore, 34, has worked primarily in ESG, community relations and business development and has been instrumental in making the company a leader in the ESG space, according to his Rising Star nominator, Landmark general manager Alexander Fanni.
Densmore, who has a degree in communications and political science from the University of Victoria, is working with Kyah Resources, an Indigenous construction/forestry company, on a comprehensive training, employment and communications strategy for the Coastal GasLink project.
The Witset First Nation, the largest community along the CGL pipeline route, has a 50 per cent stake in Kyah and so far Densmore has helped train and employ nearly 20 Witset members in clearing work for the pipeline that will deliver natural gas from northeast B.C. to the LNG Canada export terminal in Kitimat.
“This definitely is bringing revenue and equity into the community and the idea is to have capacity after this project and to continue on,” he says. As a result of the program, 68 per cent of Kyah’s workforce is now Indigenous, bringing local energy to CGL while enhancing its overall ESG profile.
Densmore, who recently completed an MBA program at Royal Roads University in Victoria, specializing in management consulting, is excited by ESG. “It’s all about quantifying all the factors that are most material to the long-term success of a company,” he says.
“It’s not just about gaining a social license or even corporate social responsibility. With ESG you are looking at the inputs and outputs of a company, putting a strategic thinking cap on, and identifying the levers you need to pull to get to the place you want to be,” says Densmore. “So it’s not just about being responsible. It’s about bringing that responsibility, and then seeing how you can get to the end goal.”
The investment community, he says, expects oil and gas companies to address ESG issues. “It’s something that even the minor players are either aware of it, or they’re seeing these reporting requirements that seem to be confounding, and they’re wondering what’s going on,” says Densmore. “They might reach out to us to try to make heads or tails of it to kind of predict where the things might go in and how they can pre-empt some of the risks that they see on the road out.”
Initially, most of Landmark’s clients were First Nations, he says. “And now with ESG I’ve been trying … to link First Nation values with ESG values and it’s an exciting opportunity.” Densmore has been working with a First Nations development corporation in northeast B.C. to design and implement a comprehensive ESG strategy and reporting framework to be rolled out in the first quarter of 2022.
Rising Stars: Sponsors
Fluor has provided engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction, and project management services to Canada’s energy industry for 72 years. Its 43,000 employees globally (and 3,000+ across Canada) deliver comprehensive services — from conceptual design through to commissioning and maintenance — for all types and sizes of facilities. Fluor applies its broad expertise, extensive experience, and proven technology to benefit Canada’s energy transition in areas such as liquefied natural gas, carbon capture, hydrogen, renewable fuels, small modular reactors, and minerals mining. Fluor is committed to positively contributing to Canada’s energy tomorrow by focusing on safe and sustainable solutions today. This commitment includes focusing on diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure opportunities represent the diversity of Canada’s population and support reconciliation, partnerships, and benefit-sharing with Indigenous peoples.
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