Working with young pipeline professionals toward a sustainable future

Read our interview with Molly Beckel, President and CEO of the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada about the top priorities for tomorrow's industry leaders.

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Here at Energy Connections Canada we engage with senior industry leaders from across the pipeline supply chain, working toward a safer, more sustainable, more efficient industry.

But just as important to us are the industry’s up and coming professionals. Millennials and Gen Zs are bringing new energy and insights into what our energy future will look like.

We spoke with Molly Beckel, President and CEO of the Young Pipeliners Association of Canada (YPAC) to learn what the top priorities are for the industry leaders of tomorrow.
Molly Beckel

Beckel identified three of the primary concerns that young pipeline professionals have when it comes to their careers and their industry:

  1. Climate Change: YPAC and its members want to know that their work is responsible and sustainable, and that their industry is not harming the earth.
  2. Inclusion: the movement beyond tolerance to a truly inclusive and diverse culture is a top priority.
  3. Indigenous Reconciliation: young pipeliners are committed to engaging in meaningful consultation, and to the representation of Indigenous peoples and perspectives within YPAC and the industry at large.

To that end, YPAC has developed a series of Young Leaders Advisory Boards, each of which has the goal of tackling and finding solutions for a specific challenge.

“Each board is comprised of passionate individuals with specific skillsets that qualify them to build a strategy for YPAC in their designated area”, explained Beckel. “Our existing boards include Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and Indigenous Inclusion. Plus, our newest board is focused on Innovation.”

The partnership between YPAC and Energy Connections Canada

As well as collaborating on initiatives, YPAC and the Foundation act in a mutual advisory capacity. Beckel sits as an ex-officio member on Energy Connections Canada board of directors and Rick Tofani, Executive Director, Energy Connections Canada, sits as an ex-officio member on the YPAC board.

“The relationship between the ECC and YPAC is a crucial conduit between senior industry leaders and the next generation of pipeline professionals,” said Beckel. “The Foundation and YPAC are both trying to connect individuals from across the industry supply chain to achieve common goals. YPAC provides access to the energy, enthusiasm and fresh ideas of the next generation and the Foundation provides access to senior leaders.”

The future of the industry

Beckel commented that there has already been a huge cultural shift within the pipeline industry to inclusive innovation.

“As a generation we are pushing for highly efficient digital organizations that truly live diversity, equity and inclusion and that integrate the voices of marginalized groups across all levels of leadership. The industry is finding ways to use its talent and resources to adapt to the future and we’re poised to enable the energy solutions that the country needs. When we look at carbon capture, or hydrogen, or new and challenging technologies, we have all those skills, and the industry is looking to find ways to take those to the marketplace.”

At a time when the energy industry is under huge pressure to reduce emissions, and transition to alternatives sources, the enthusiasm and passion of young pipeline professionals is a force for change, and the partnership between YPAC and Energy Connections Canada is sure to produce some creative solutions. Stay tuned!

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