Climate & GHG emissions
Decarbonization in our business plan
Applying and advancing technologies to reduce absolute emissions
Included in our 5-year plan
- Methane reductions and facilities optimization in conventional business
- Carbon capture and storage (CCS)
- Lloydminster Upgrader
- Minnedosa Ethanol plant
- Elmworth gas plant
Pilots and feasibility studies that enable reductions in Phase 2
- Solvent-driven process pilot
- Svante carbon capture technology
Projects being progressed for 2035 target
Future potential developments
- Expanded CO2 capture across larger assets
- Foster Creek and Christina Lake
- Lloydminster thermal projects
- Lima Refinery
- Solvents displacing steam in oil sands
- Small modular nuclear reactor pilot
- Pathways CO2 pipeline and hub
Technology pathways to net zero
- Full implementation of most efficient large-scale emissions reduction solutions
- CCS on remaining accessible streams
- Further process improvements, energy efficiency, fuel switching and electrification projects
- Zero-emissions business opportunities
Net zero emissions by 2050
Our long-term ambition is to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This will require ongoing focus on technology and innovation beyond what is available today. But we are up for the challenge.
We continue to identify opportunities to participate in longer-term solutions to address emissions from our operations and beyond, including looking at implementing the most efficient large-scale emissions reduction solutions. Extensive collaboration with our peers, government, academics and other industries and entrepreneurs from around the world is key to achieving our own net zero emissions and helping Canada meet its climate goals. We are working with our peers in the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero Alliance. The goal of this first-of-its kind initiative is to achieve a phased reduction in emissions from oil sands operations, reaching net zero by 2050, working in collaboration with Canadian federal and provincial governments.
Carbon capture technology
We currently operate two carbon capture projects:
- Lloydminster Ethanol Plant – we produce fuel-grade ethanol, and capture, on average, approximately 80,000 tonnes of CO2e per year which is safely injected underground for enhanced oil recovery.
- Pikes Peak South – in partnership with Svante, we are testing new carbon capture technology, which is capturing upwards of 9,000 tonnes of CO2e per year while enabling the advancement of the technology. Read more about this project.
In addition to the projects already underway, our five-year plan includes progressing carbon capture technology at our Minnedosa Ethanol Plant, Elmworth gas plant and Lloydminster Upgrader.
At our oil sands operations, solvents, which are lighter hydrocarbons, have the potential to significantly reduce our emissions per barrel. For more than 15 years we’ve been testing techniques that use solvents in our steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) operations. Currently we are testing and piloting the use of solvent co-injection to lower our emissions. Learn more about our solvent co-injection pilot.
We measure, monitor and report on air quality and emissions of criteria air contaminants following Canadian and U.S. regulations. This allows us to evaluate and manage emissions at the corporate and individual facility level, forecast emissions associated with future operations and achieve regulatory compliance. To reduce air pollutants we invest in technologies that help capture contaminants and fugitives emissions, or lower energy consumption in our day-to-day operations and processes.
In addition to our ESG report, our climate and GHG performance is measured, reported and publicly disclosed in the CDP Climate survey, a global non-profit that runs the world’s leading environmental disclosure platform. Before combining, Cenovus received a grade of C in 2020 and Husky maintained a grade of B in the 2020 survey. Cenovus expects to continue to participate in this disclosure in 2022, where we will detail our climate and GHG emissions approach and governance.
Climate & GHG at a glance
- Between 2004 and 2020, we reduced the CO2 emissions intensity at our oil sands operations by approximately 20%
- Our Foster Creek and Christina Lake oil sands facilities have cogeneration plants which use natural gas to generate electricity, which we use for our operations and then sell the excess to the Alberta electrical grid, reducing the province’s reliance on coal-fired power.