By July 19, 2017 Read More →

Cenovus, Suncor meeting sustainability goals, including reducing emissions over 30% by 2026


Tree planting Suncor

Cenovus surpassed 30 million tonnes of CO2 injected underground since 2000, equivalent to taking 6,000,000 cars off the road

Two of Alberta’s largest oil sands producers, Suncor Energy and Cenovus Energy, released their corporate sustainability reports Monday and reducing  greenhouse gas emissions while lowering costs to ensure long-term competitiveness was a major theme for both companies.

Suncor’s Report on Sustainability recognizes that the company is operating in an increasingly “carbon-constrained world,” where delivering value to shareholders and stakeholders requires a different approach than business as usual,” Steve Williams, president and CEO, said in a press release.

“As a company, as an industry and as a larger society, we have made progress in tackling climate change by moving into the solution space. We did so by collectively recognizing we can’t, at this point, affix a permanent solution to a long-term challenge like climate change. But we can lead in a way that moves us in the right direction.”

In 2016, Suncor announced two new sustainability goals; the first is a social goal which seeks to strengthen it relationships with Aboriginal Peoples.


Suncor took a strong step towards that goal by signing historic equity partnerships with the Fort McKay First Nation and the Mikisew Cree First Nation through which these Nations will become equity partners in the East Tank Farm development when the agreements are finalized.

Suncor says it also made progress towards its second goal, reducing GHG intensity of its oil and petroleum products by 30 per cent by 2030, which entails identifying high opportunity areas for GHG intensity reductions from across the business.

Potential initiatives include switching to lower carbon fuels at all facilities and implementing “strategic technology” to reduce extraction and upgrading emissions, including investments in low-carbon power such as cogeneration and renewables.

In April, Suncor released a stand-alone report on carbon risk called Climate Report – Resilience Through Strategy the first of its kind in the Canadian oil and gas industry. The report was prepared after a shareholder proposal at the 2016 annual general meeting calling on Suncor to provide ongoing reporting on how it is assessing and ensuring long-term corporate resilience in a future low-carbon economy.

“Most of our investors understand that the transition away from hydrocarbon fuels will likely take place over many decades as these fuels will continue to be needed to help meet global energy demand, particularly in developing economies,” says Fiona Jones, general manager, sustainability.

Jones says that investors are concerned about Suncor’s ability to adapt to future lower demand for oil.

“So while often characterized as the oil basin most vulnerable to a low oil demand scenario, the very long operating life and low decline rate of our assets are, paradoxically, a competitive advantage – both under a scenario of declining demand for crude oil and a correspondingly low oil price, or over an extended period of uncertainty and price volatility,” she said.

“But they also recognize that, if we are to remain competitive and resilient, we must continue to aggressively lower costs and carbon intensity throughout our business.”

Cenovus sets 33% GHG emissions reduction by 2026 target

The Cenovus corporate responsibility report outline the companies 2016 plan to achieve a 33 per cent reduction in upstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 2026, compared with Jan. 2016 levels.

“Canada’s oil sands industry is experiencing a renaissance driven by innovation and the application of new technologies to help us develop our resources in a cost-competitive way that supports a low-carbon future,” CEO Brian Ferguson said in his message accompanying the report.

“At Cenovus, we’re challenging ourselves to be a leader in this renaissance. One of the ways we’re doing that is by encouraging technology solutions capable of significantly reducing or eliminating emissions, from the production of oil through to its end use.”

Cenovus has invested in seven potential clean technology solutions through Evok Innovations, including technologies for carbon capture and conversion, industrial efficiency, and the treatment of oil sands process water. The company also joined the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI), the energy-focused innovation hub of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, through its Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) Low-Carbon Energy Center.

Cenovus surpassed 30 million tonnes of carbon-dioxide (CO2) safely injected underground since 2000 at the company’s CO2-enhanced oil recovery project at Weyburn, Saskatchewan (the equivalent of taking more than six million cars off the road for an entire year)

Cenovus also planted 430,000 trees planted as part of the 10-year Cenovus Caribou Habitat Restoration Project, an initiative to help protect caribou near the company’s oil sands operations in northeastern Alberta

The company spent $198 million doing business with aboriginal companies, which represented 19 per cent of total capital spending for the year.


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