Climate & GHG emissions

We share the world's concerns about climate change and are doing our part to further reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Many credible, independent forecasts indicate oil and natural gas will continue to be a part of the global energy mix for many decades, as a transportation fuel and as a building block for products we use every day like smartphones, contact lenses and even key components of electric vehicles. So, it’s critical we continue to responsibly produce and deliver our oil and natural gas while making every effort to address climate change.

We have set a target to reduce our equity-based absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 35% by year-end 2035 from our 2019 levels. Our long-term ambition is to achieve net zero emissions from our operations by 2050. These goals reinforce our focus on participating in a lower-carbon future.

Our climate & GHG emissions target: Getting to net zero

CLIMATE & GHG EMISSIONS

Reduce absolute GHG emissions by 35% by year-end 2035.

Reach long-term ambition for net zero emissions by 2050.

Emissions reductions are in reference to scope 1 and 2, on a net equity basis.

What does this mean? Achieving a 35% reduction in our absolute scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by year-end 2035 means reducing our 2019 total of 23.94 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) by 8.4 million tonnes – the equivalent to taking more than 1.8 million cars off the road.

What is our plan? Technology will be essential in achieving our targets and multiple pathways will be required to get us there.

We continue to develop our technology roadmap, including investing in technology innovations, establishing partnerships, and expanding opportunities through our Innovation Gateway team which is focused on solving our three greatest challenges: carbon, cost and revenue.

In the near term we’re targeting further methane emissions reductions in our conventional operations, expanding carbon capture efforts with projects at our Lloydminster Upgrader, Minnedosa Ethanol Plant and Elmworth gas plant and progressing solvent-driven pilots and Svante carbon capture technology.

ESG report

Read our environmental, social & governance (ESG) report to learn more about our ESG targets and performance.

Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative

We’re collaborating to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from our oil sands operations by 2050. Read more.

U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

Learn how Cenovus activities are contributing positively to the SDGs, and where we have opportunities to minimize our negative impact.

Collaboration & partnerships

Learn more about how we’re working with other industries, scientists and entrepreneurs to find innovative solutions to our impacts on air, land and water.

Decarbonization in our business plan

Applying and advancing technologies to reduce absolute emissions

Included in our 5-year plan

Near-term projects

  • 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

Long-term vision

  • 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.

  • Solvents

    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.

  • Air quality

    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.

  • Disclosure

    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.

Our Climate & GHG innovation in action

X
Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.
Confirm