Birchcliff is committed to constantly evolving and improving its health, safety and environmental management program and conducting its activities in a manner that safeguards its employees, contractors, representatives, the environment and the public at large. We have an active program to monitor and comply with health, safety and environmental laws, rules and regulations applicable to its operations.
Birchcliff’s corporate policies require operational activities to be conducted in a manner which meets or exceeds regulatory requirements and industry standards to safeguard the environment and protect employees, contractors and the public at large. Employees receive pertinent health, safety and environmental training for their role. Birchcliff conducts operational audits and assessments to identify risks and takes steps to reduce or prevent incidents. In addition, we have developed emergency response plans in conjunction with local authorities, emergency services and the communities in which we operate in order to be prepared to effectively respond to an environmental incident should it arise and rigorously conducts exercises and training for our staff.
Birchcliff participates in Alberta’s Certificate of Recognition (COR) Safety Program and has received and maintained a COR certification since 2011. A COR certification demonstrates that the employer’s health and safety management system has been evaluated by a certified auditor and meets provincial standards, as established by Occupational Health and Safety (Alberta). The COR Health and Safety Auditing and the COR Safety Program requires a commitment to continuous improvement in the health, safety and environment management practices, including sound planning and implementation. The program is audited externally every 3 years and internally every other year.
Birchcliff works hard to maintain the safety and integrity of its facility and pipeline infrastructure. Our Asset Integrity staff manages our Pressure Equipment Integrity Program in compliance with the Alberta Boilers Safety Association (ABSA) requirements and our Pipeline Integrity Program in compliance with AER requirements. These programs are audited internally on an annual basis and externally on a periodic basis to evaluate their effectiveness and are updated based on the findings from such audits. Birchcliff has received high audit scores from ABSA on two recent audits of its program. Our Chief Inspector and pipeline Asset Integrity Coordinator make use of databases and associated work tracking systems to ensure that all integrity tasks (inspections, pigging, etc.) are scheduled and completed according to our programs.
As part of our fundamental values, we recognize the importance of and our responsibility for environmental stewardship. Birchcliff endeavors to maintain excellence in environmental reporting and response and to take proactive steps to eliminate or reduce our environmental impact. As an organization which strives for continuous improvement, Birchcliff continues to look for and develop new technology, systems and processes that will help improve efficiency, reduce our environmental footprint and create a safer work environment. For example, Birchcliff utilizes multi-well pads in many of our drilling operations and we try to use recycled water for fracing operations.
Environmental assessments are undertaken for new projects or when acquiring new properties or facilities in order to identify, assess and minimize environmental risks and operational exposures. Birchcliff conducts audits of operations to confirm compliance with internal standards and to stimulate improvement in practices where needed. Documentation is maintained to support internal accountability and measure operational performance against recognized industry indicators to assist in achieving the objectives of the described policies and programs.
Birchcliff recognizes the role that communities play in our success and looks for opportunities to “give back”. We are a staunch supporter of the community and the business and educational initiatives of the First Nations who live in areas in which we operate. Every year, we participate in a number of community support endeavours in the areas surrounding our field operations and in Calgary. In 2016, Birchcliff contributed to a number of local community initiatives that elevate and enhance quality of life at the local level, including minor hockey and other amateur sports, local schools, agricultural societies and fire departments. To date, we have helped raise approximately $930,000 to support STARS Air Ambulance in the Grande Prairie area, which is an important partner in trauma care for the Grande Prairie region. Each year, Birchcliff raises funds for the United Way and the YWCA. We make an annual contribution to Home Front Calgary, a community-justice response team dedicated to helping families experiencing domestic violence. Through our support of Momentum, Calgarians living in poverty learn how to achieve a sustainable livelihood. We donate to the OneSight program and support the Canadian Cancer Society daffodil campaign. Birchcliff volunteers with Feed the Hungry, providing healthy meals in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. During the holiday season, Birchcliff employees “adopt” a number of families in need and donate gifts, food and decorations to help make the holidays special. We also fill backpacks with living essentials and gifts for the Mustard Seed and prepare sandwiches for the homeless for the Calgary Drop-In Centre.
Through these activities and numerous others, Birchcliff creates and maintains long-term, positive partnerships and relationships, while promoting employee engagement in the communities where we operate.