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Edwin Makkinga

Manager, Climate Policy
Enbridge
Edwin Makkinga
Edwin Makkinga
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

In my job I consider the risks and opportunities from climate-related public policy and how Enbridge can be part of the solution to the climate crisis.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Thunder Bay, Ontario

I now live in: Calgary, Alberta

I completed my training/education at:  Redeemer University, Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Biology; University of Toronto, Certificate of Environmental Management

What I do at work

In my job I look at the risks and opportunities from climate-related public policy. Then I figure out how Enbridge can be part of the solution to the climate crisis. I follow news feeds in Canada and the United States to track the development of climate-related public policy. For example, I review carbon pricing plans. I also pay attention to other trends such as climate commitments made by the industry or financial sectors. To evaluate how a new policy could affect us I use my math and science skills learned in high school and university. For example, I do calculations to compare our greenhouse gas emissions or energy consumption with the new requirements.

Using what I learn from this information, I prepare presentations and recommendations for the senior leadership team. This provides them with the information they need so they can made decisions about how we should respond. This means I need to have an in-depth understanding of our company and the science of climate change. I also have to know our equipment (i.e., natural gas-fired compressors) and our financial situation.

I work with many teams throughout the company. This includes operations, environment, finance, corporate strategy and investor relations. Having a background in both science and math is very important for me. This background helps me understand and evaluate potential climate-related risks and opportunities.

My career path is

This is not what I expected to be doing in high school. For one, climate change was just beginning to emerge as an issue and this role did not yet exist. But environmental stewardship was something that I was always passionate about. This included things related to ground water, soil, or the atmosphere. Coming out of university in the mid-1990's was a challenging time to get a job.  I was fortunate to have gotten positions in different sectors related to environmental management including government and consulting before landing my current job at Enbridge. My education was important; however,  a lot of my learning related to climate change was done through either self-learning or on-the-job experience.

I am motivated by

The most interesting part of my career is the fact that I'm able to work on a large number of different projects. These projects take place in different areas of the company. As a result, I get to interact with many different teams on many topics.

I'm constantly learning new things and helping others within the company to learn about them too. This helps them set strategy or make decisions about investments in clean technology or how to reduce our emissions.

This career is right for me as I enjoy doing detailed analysis and preparing written summaries. I also enjoy communicating this information to all our employees to create awareness around the climate crisis and what we are doing to provide solutions.

How I affect peoples’ lives

What I find most fulfilling about my career is the opportunity it provides to make a difference in the quality of our environment. In my current role, I am able to make a contribution to developing solutions to the climate crisis. At the same time, I help position Enbridge to thrive through the transition to a cleaner economy.

Outside of work I

Outside of work I'm quite active both road cycling and now running. I find this is a way for me to relax and unwind mentally which is critical. Getting outside is important for me. I also enjoy reading when I get a chance and travel.

My advice to others

My advice would be to get as much experience as you can in different sectors even if it isn't your ideal role. What I've learned along my career path, including retail sales, has proved invaluable.

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Geography
  • History
  • Physical Education/Health
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Enjoyed doing things on my own
  • Always wanted to be outside
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Liked being given specific instructions
  • Engaged in activities such as fishing

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