Enbridge Announces "MyHairCares"

Mar 15, 2011 09:00 ET

Enbridge Partners With Hair Salons for Cutting-Edge "MyHairCares" Initiative

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 15, 2011) - Enbridge Inc. (TSX:ENB) (NYSE:ENB) today announces MyHairCares (click here for downloadable Video News Release), a program to turn hair clippings solicited from over 1000 hair salons across North America into super-absorbent oil clean-up booms. This cutting-edge, community-based initiative forms a critical element of the sophisticated array of safety measures anticipating potential issues surrounding development of the Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines in British Columbia.

“Absorbent booms made from human hair played a role in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill clean-up,” said Brent Carlton, Sustainability Initiatives Director for Enbridge. “Enbridge is using this powerful lesson to prepare proactive, community-centred steps towards remediation of unforeseeable spill scenarios associated with Northern Gateway. It's a wonderful opportunity.”

Alabama hair stylist and inventor Phil McCrory discovered in 1995 that one pound of hair could absorb up to 5 pounds of oil. With MyHairCares, Enbridge aims to collect 450,000 pounds of hair, capable of absorbing up to 2.2 million pounds of oil. To do so, Enbridge has already reached out directly to over one thousand hair salons across North America.

The formidable Enbridge hair reserve, fashioned into 30,000 4-metre booms, will be stored in numerous warehouses all along the Northern Gateway Pipelines' 1,170-kilometre route, along both sides of the 90-kilometer Douglas Channel through which tankers will travel, and along much of the pristine British Columbia coast. The MyHairCares hair booms will serve to contain pipeline leaks before they reach watersheds, and in-ocean spills before they reach the coast. Hair boom assembly facilities will employ dozens of local residents.

The response from the hair care community has been enthusiastic. “MyHairCares provides a unique opportunity for our salon to do our part for sustainability,” said Suzanne Weiss, a stylist at Zinc Salon in Vancouver. “We’re thrilled that our by-products can help British Columbia remain beautiful.”

Enbridge developed the MyHairCares initiative after a significant spill in Michigan's Kalamazoo River last year established a need for community synergy. Although the spill was largely contained, some residents implied they would have enjoyed more involvement in the disaster response process.

“Too often, oil spills pit communities against the company responsible,” said Dina Thompson, Director of Community Relations. “That’s unacceptable, and so we’ve developed ways to collaborate with communities from the outset, so that all of us together can prepare for the tragic and unforeseeable.”

Enbridge takes precautions to prevent accidents,” said Carlton, “but oil spills are a tragic, inevitable cost of our business. What we can and must do is assure that we have sustainable, effective clean-up and containment technologies on hand in case something does go wrong—and that we involve the community in the process.”

“Together we can learn that forward-looking stewardship of affected future landscapes will mitigate, or even potentially eliminate, statistically significant risks,” Carlton added.

If you know of a hair care salon that might like to help keep British Columbia beautiful into the future, and that has not yet received the MyHairCares introductory packet, please visit www.MyHairCares.com.

Enbridge Inc., a Canadian company, is a North American leader in delivering energy and one of the 2011 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. As a transporter of energy, Enbridge operates, in Canada and the U.S., the world's longest crude oil and liquids transportation system. The Company also has a growing involvement in the natural gas transmission and midstream businesses, and is expanding its interests in renewable and green energy technologies including wind and solar energy, hybrid fuel cells and carbon dioxide sequestration. As a distributor of energy, Enbridge owns and operates Canada's largest natural gas distribution company, and provides distribution services in Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and New York State. Enbridge employs approximately 6,400 people, primarily in Canada and the U.S. ranked as one of Canada's Greenest Employers, and one of the Top 100 Companies to Work for in Canada. Enbridge's common shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges under the symbol ENB. For more information, visit enbridge.com