A Commitment to Corporate Responsibility: Pipeworx Builds Relationships
At Pipeworx, a PLH Group Company, Corporate Responsibility is more than just a buzzword. We recently sat down with Chad Wagner, Human Resources and Indigenous Relations Manager at Pipeworx, to learn more about how Corporate Responsibility is built into the day-to-day operations at Pipeworx.
Interviewer: What does corporate responsibility mean to you and Pipeworx?
Chad: Corporate responsibility ensures that we are accountable for the impacts that we have on our stakeholders, the public, and the environment for all of our pipeline construction projects. At Pipeworx Ltd, we want to positively influence the communities that we work in so that we will not only win bids for future projects but so that we are invited back into the communities for future projects.
We focus on reducing our environmental footprint by having a more efficient supply chain and recycling programs to ensure we eliminate waste wherever possible.
Pipeworx believes in supporting the local charities to have the best impact on the communities we work with. We don’t just hire and subcontract locally, we re-invest in our local communities to leave them healthier than when we arrived.
Interviewer: Pipeworx is really interested in investing in local communities, can you talk more about local investment and its impact on economic development?
Chad: Local investment and economic development are very important not just to Pipeworx, but to me personally. We are starting to lose the small towns in western Canada because the community’s members are moving away because there is no work offered. If we actively involve the towns that we are working in and invest in their community, it will allow the towns to grow and diversify their services that they can offer over time. These small towns are really the heart of Canada. There are many small towns in Saskatchewan where my family farmed; many of them are dying out because they have no work to support themselves, losing a piece of our heritage. If Pipeworx can invest in these communities and help put more Canadians back to work, we’re leaving the world just a little bit better each time.
Interviewer: When you’re building relationships, what’s your approach?
Chad: The process for relationship building is by doing it old school. We get in front of our audience and have real conversations; breathe the same air they breathe. We want to learn what is important to the communities and the local Indigenous communities. What troubles have they had in the past? Even in these times where it’s hard to actually meet face-to-face, we always make an effort to build relationships organically. In today’s world, it is so quick to shoot a text, an email, but they can be misinterpreted and cause hard feelings before you have a chance to lay down the foundation of a relationship. Relationships are the foundation of everything we do in Pipeworx daily.
Pipeworx makes great efforts to identify the local companies, workforce and suppliers, local restaurants, and local accommodations. When we are in an RFP stage, we do a lot of homework to identify and create the most opportunities for a project. We make great efforts to keep as much money in the impacted communities and towns.
Interviewer: It sounds like Pipeworx’s approach to relationship building is really personal. What experience of relationship building was most impactful to you on a personal level?
Chad: The most impactful experience I have had on a personal level is going into the communities and meeting the community members. Learning the history of the Indigenous community, their ancestors, and listening to the elders’ stories is my favorite part. When you walk into the community, you learn about what the community needs support with. Then together you can look at how you are going to be able to support them. Over the years that I have been involved with local communities, you fall in love with the culture and the stories from their ancestors that are passed down through the generations. I feel that my legacy in my life is to help other people get opportunities to change their path and destiny. It is a great feeling when you see the change happen and know that you had a small part in supporting that change.
Interviewer: Can you describe the programs you have for creating economic opportunities for Indigenous communities?
Chad: We have quite a few mentorships and sponsored apprenticeships that Pipeworx offers. We look to train and support new people in our industry, but we like to train experienced people on the management duties that are working in the background to support a successful project. When we have been awarded a job, Pipeworx will sit down and have discussions with the Indigenous and local communities to see what scopes they can complete; Pipeworx will then work hand in hand to grow and support the communities for the given scope on the project.
The Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) and the Northeastern Alberta Aboriginal Business Association NAABA have always been fantastic resources to identify Indigenous companies looking for opportunities. We work closely with them and the other member companies that share the same vision of supporting community-owned businesses.
Pipeworx is a leading Pipeline, Facility, Integrity & Maintenance contractor with shops and offices located in Grande Prairie, Dawson Creek, Hinton, and Acheson, Alberta.