June 16, 2020

Episode #14: Behind the Scenes with Russ Girling, President & CEO of TC Energy

It’s often said that there is always time to do the right thing. Few people embody that adage more than Russ Girling, President & CEO of TC Energy. In this episode, we go behind the C-suite doors to get to know one of Alberta’s most influential business leaders. Russ shares his journey to becoming CEO of TC Energy, a role he has humbly held since 2010, focusing on a conscious commitment to do the right thing for the right reasons and the importance of mentorship along the way. Russ also touches on team culture and how the team shifted and adapted, innovated and continued to support its communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

I think it is always a fundamental belief in what you are doing is the right thing. When you have to take that one step back, it gives you time to pause and think about “are you actually doing the right things, are you doing the right things for the right reasons, or do you need to adjust”?

Russ Girling, President & CEO, TC Energy

As leader of one of North America’s biggest energy infrastructure companies, Russ has led TC Energy through significant challenges over his decade as President & CEO, and he shares with us his belief in the role energy has to power our economies and our lives; the need for energy for lifetimes to come; the crucial nature of delivering that energy in a way that protects and stewards the planet; and how Canada can be the best supplier (and a model consumer) of good, reliable and responsible energy.

Sustainability [includes] environmental sustainability, but as well as economic sustainability, and we need to make sure we are focused on both fronts at all times, trying to do the best we can. As I think about energy, there’s going to be a growing need for energy for a long time to come … But, at the same time, we only have one planet and it has to be balanced with the need for sustained improvement in environmental performance as we produce that energy that those folks are going to need. We all need to row in the same direction.

Russ Girling, President & CEO, TC Energy

During COVID-19, TC Energy was declared an essential service and maintained operations through the health and economic crisis. As Alberta builds its recovery strategy, Russ shares some insights and perspective on what a good, strong and successful recovery looks like—and what actions a business leader like TC Energy can take to stimulate the economy.

That’s the key to this: people back to work as quickly as we can. There is still a safety element: COVID is not done, but that’s got to be our number one priority is putting people back to work.

Russ Girling, President & CEO, TC Energy

Russ is also involved in various business organizations across North America. He is a member of the Business Roundtable, Business Council of Canada, and was a founding member of the Business Council of Alberta. We finish off our conversation talking the role of business in society and how businesses across North America are making transitions to focus not only on the economics of their role but also the social prosperity they can generate.

If businesses can thrive, they can hire more people. That gives people more opportunities to build better lives for themselves and their families … All of our compasses be pointed in that direction.

Russ Girling, President & CEO, TC Energy

In This Episode:

  • 01:24: Russ’ journey to become CEO of TC Energy, mentorship and what keeps him inspired and motivated
  • 09:05: TC Energy’s values, culture, and commitment to community through COVID-19
  • 15:15: Economic and environmental sustainability, and the need to provide access to energy to everyone in a responsible, long-term and sustainable way—and what TC Energy has done to do just this
  • 19:53: Perspective on the path forward on a national consensus between resource development and environmental sustainability, and Canada’s opportunity to lead and demonstrate responsible energy production and consumption
  • 23:53: What we—Alberta and Canada—need to do well and get right to recovery well and build shared prosperity
  • 29:18: The role of business in society and how businesses support communities, create jobs and growth and contribute to a thriving and prosperous society

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