2014 Cenovus Corporate Responsibility Report

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Our approach to corporate responsibility

How we do our work at Cenovus is as important as what we do. Our Corporate Responsibility Policy helps guide our approach to operating responsibly. We put those commitments into action by:

Demonstrating leadership

Our Executive Team ensures that safety, health, environmental, social, ethical and financial considerations are integrated into our business decisions. Leading by example, they make sure that performance expectations across the company are consistent with our corporate responsibility commitments and are communicated to all staff.

Strengthening our governance and business practices

Strong governance is the foundation of our business and is fundamental to delivering long-term value. Our approach to governance is directed at setting the highest standards of integrity, meeting or exceeding applicable laws and regulations, and protecting all our assets – financial, physical, intellectual and reputational – as well as the people who work for us and those in the communities where we operate. Our Board of Directors work with our Executive Team to oversee our strategy development and risk management.

Creating a safe and healthy organization

Our commitment to health and safety applies to everyone involved directly and indirectly in our activities. We want everyone to focus on being safe not only at work but also at home. We want to create a workplace where people have a clear understanding of their role and what’s expected of them – knowing their work matters and that they’re contributing to the company’s objectives and priorities. We also want to create a work environment that attracts employees and helps them develop throughout their careers.

Improving our environmental performance

Taking care of the environment is part of what we do. That’s why we integrate environmental considerations into how we do business – from how we design our oil sands projects, to the way we operate, to the care we take in environmental reclamation when a project is complete. We’re focused on building and operating our projects efficiently, while continuously improving our environmental performance.

Engaging our stakeholders

Whether we’re meeting with community leaders, non-governmental organizations or landowners, working with Aboriginal communities, presenting to investors or government officials, or conducting media interviews, we’re committed to listening to our stakeholders, understanding their perspectives and working together to develop solutions. We work with our stakeholders so they have a better understanding of our company, and we have a better understanding of their concerns about our industry.

Investing in our communities

We’re a company that’s committed to ensuring the communities where we live and work are stronger and better off as a result of us being there. We want these communities to share in the benefits associated with our operations. One of the ways we do this is through our community investment program. We look to create shared value by investing in community programs that help address local needs and challenges, striving to support local businesses and hire local residents when possible and encouraging and supporting the volunteer efforts of our employees.


Our approach to reporting

We’ve continued to advance our approach to corporate responsibility reporting by reviewing our performance indicators and reporting process annually to help ensure alignment with stakeholder expectations and our business strategy.

We’ve organized our report this year by major sustainability themes, including governance, environment, people, economy and community, followed by our data and the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) index.

One method that we use to identify corporate responsibility issues that could have a significant impact on our business is a materiality assessment. This assessment also helps us engage with our key stakeholders and better understand the issues that are of significant interest to them from a governance, social, environmental or economic perspective.

For issues ranked high in our materiality assessment, we’re providing even more disclosure by addressing the importance of each topic, providing additional context of the risks and opportunities and including an overview of how we’re managing the issue. Performance indicators are also included to provide an update on our progress as well as on some of the initiatives and innovations we have underway. You will also see greater use of links throughout the report that provide additional information that we already disclose through our website and other company reports.

The data and charts in this report are based on available information from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2014. Some of the stories we’ve highlighted cover activities that happened across the company up to April 30, 2015. We use the GRI G3.1 guidelines as a framework for reporting and align our performance metrics with the standards set out by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers’ Responsible Canadian Energy Program.

Our last materiality assessment, which has guided our reporting practice, was conducted in 2013. We conduct an assessment every two years, or more frequently if required.

Stakeholder reporting materiality assessment matrix

Our materiality assessment helps identify corporate responsibility issues that could have a significant impact on our business. We engage with our key internal and external stakeholders to identify topics that are of significant interest to them from a governance, social, environmental or economic perspective.

Assurance

External assurance of our corporate responsibility reporting

External assurance of corporate responsibility performance indicators is something we value at Cenovus as it helps us to create a credible and trusted report. It’s important for stakeholders to have confidence in the reliability of what we report. As we evolve our corporate responsibility report and assurance program, we continue to look for ways to enhance the credibility of our reporting systems and the accuracy of our data. We’ve obtained independent third-party assurance for each of our corporate responsibility reports since our company was created in 2009.

In 2014, Ernst & Young (EY) provided limited assurance on 12 corporate responsibility indicators. Additionally, EY conducted assurance to a reasonable level on our three greenhouse gas (GHG) indicators. This included a rigorous review of the related data in our reporting systems and processes for compiling these indicators to conclude that our GHG indicators are, in all material respects, an accurate and adequate representation of our performance in 2014. With the growing importance of carbon accounting and reporting in our industry, we’re even more committed to measuring and reporting accurate and complete information.


Awards

Being recognized externally

Every year we voluntarily disclose our performance to socially responsible investment reporting programs. Recognition and feedback from these programs help us identify best practices, areas where we’re doing well and serve as an incentive for us to keep improving.

In 2014, we received the following external recognition:

Named to the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and North America Index

Included in the RobecoSAM 2014 Sustainability Yearbook with Bronze Class distinction

Included in the Euronext Vigeo World 120 Index, recognizing the top 120 companies globally for their high degree of control of corporate responsibility risk and contributions to sustainable development

Named to the Corporate Knights 2014 Global 100 clean capitalism ranking and to the Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada

Named to the Top 50 Socially Responsible Corporations in Canada by Maclean’s Magazine/Sustainalytics

Named as one of the top 10 companies in Canada in the CDP Canada 200 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index, recognizing companies for their open and transparent disclosure of greenhouse gas emissions

Recognized for best sustainability practice by Investor Relations Magazine Canada Awards

Named to the FTSE4GOOD Index Series, recognizing strong environmental, social and governance practices

Measurement abbreviations used throughout the report

 

bbls barrels
BOE/d barrel of oil equivalent per day
CO2 carbon dioxide
CO2E carbon dioxide equivalent
GJ gigajoules
GHG greenhouse gas
m³OE cubic metres of oil equivalent
mg/L milligrams per litre
MMcf/d million cubic feet per day
SOR steam to oil ratio