Greeting from the Board Chair
As we look back on the past year and into 2021, communities around the globe are still managing through the effects of the pandemic. It has been a time for commitment, a time for care and a time for adapting the way we operate.
It was at this point last year that EPCOR needed to adapt our annual general meeting process and provide the report online. It was a first for our organization, but an essential one to ensure we kept the health and safety of our leaders, workers and community members in mind.
Since then, we have seen many demonstrations of how committed and caring this organization is, and how the critical services it delivers and contributions it makes to communities matter.
With this in mind, on behalf of our Board of Directors, I am pleased to share with you EPCOR's 2020 annual report.
In step with last year's process, and our ongoing commitment to health and safety, we have adapted each AGM element into an online feature with links to all the information and reports that are traditionally covered. We also invite community members to engage with us through an online form where you can pose questions, with each response being provided individually and then consolidated on this page with others for future reference.
Through a year of uncertainty, EPCOR was there to provide reliable energy, water, drainage and wastewater services to residents and businesses as they faced ever-changing conditions and adjusted how they lived and worked. Beyond this, the company recognized the impacts many were facing and stepped up to help individuals and non-profits that were struggling.
In so many ways, EPCOR and its employees demonstrated outstanding dedication and agility in serving and supporting communities. On behalf of our Board of Directors, we extend sincere thanks for all you did over this past year.
Through these times, EPCOR also showed strong operational performance and results, providing its sole shareholder, the City of Edmonton, with a dividend of $171 million – solid returns that play an essential role in supporting the City's operations.
Along with this year's performance, EPCOR has made important investments to maintain services and grow operations in other areas of Canada and the United States, further increasing the potential of greater returns in the years to come.
Since incorporating in 1996, EPCOR has become widely known to have one of the most successful governance models in the utility sector – an operational and financial success story that exists because of its structure and ability to operate independently.
The success of EPCOR's governance model owes a great deal to the conviction and drive of EPCOR's former Board Chair, Hugh J Bolton, who passed away this last year. During his tenure (2000-2018), he guided the company through tremendous growth across Canada and the United States, building EPCOR's reputation as a top North American utility and delivering over $2.5 billion in dividends to our shareholder.
His impact was nationally recognized in 2004, as EPCOR received the National Governance Award from the Conference Board of Canada, and again in 2017 as Hugh himself received the Peter Dey National Governance Achievement Award.
His influence and passion continue to be felt across EPCOR's Board and leadership, and are part of our ongoing commitment to growing outstanding, efficient and responsible operations.
As we progress through 2021, we still face uncertainties but we also see positive signs of recovery from the pandemic, and hope for brighter futures.
Pressing forward, our Board of Directors will continue to work with EPCOR's leadership team, taking what we have all learned from this past year and considering where this will take us in the year ahead. In all cases, it will be founded on our dedication to seeing EPCOR grow, continuing to provide value for our shareholder and stakeholders, and demonstrating reliability and care for our customers and the communities we serve.
- Janice Rennie