We do our utmost to live up to the responsibility that goes with being a developer of some of Canada’s most valuable resources. We have environmental challenges and we’re tackling them head-on: reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity of our operations, decreasing the amount of land we need to build each oil sands project, striving to minimize impacts on wildlife in our operating areas and working to help ensure our operations don’t affect nearby lakes and streams.
We’re proud of our environmental performance and even prouder of the improvements we’ve achieved. Our employees, many of whom live near our operations, are personally committed to making sure we continue to find new ways to get oil and natural gas out of the ground safely and responsibly.
Managing the environment
Taking care of the environment is part of what we do every day – from how we design our oil sands projects, to the way we operate, to the care we take in reclaiming the land when a project is complete. Some examples of how the environment is integrated into our business include:
Governance: Environment is a core accountability of our Board’s Safety, Environment and Responsibility (SER) Committee, our Leadership Team, and specifically our Executive Vice-President of Environment, Corporate Affairs, Legal & General Counsel. The Board and Leadership Team review environmental compliance quarterly and environmental performance once a year through the SER Committee.
Organizational structure: Our Environment & Sustainability and Regulatory teams are accountable for stewarding the company’s approach to the environment. These teams consist of subject matter experts for air and GHG emissions, water, waste and spills, land and biodiversity, reclamation and remediation, compliance, environmental planning and assurance. These teams report to the Executive Vice-President of Environment, Corporate Affairs, Legal & General Counsel.
Policy: Environmental considerations are reflected in several key company policies, including our Corporate Responsibility Policy.
Risk management: Environmental considerations are fully integrated into our Enterprise Risk Management Policy. Environmental impacts are mapped out using a specific risk matrix.
Annual planning: We undertake an environmental planning process to review our environmental performance, assess priorities and identify actions and areas for improvement for the coming year.
Assessments: We conduct environment, health, safety and regulatory assessments to help ensure we are in compliance with applicable laws and regulations as well as to continuously improve our performance across our operations. Each assessment is carried out by a cross-functional team that includes specialists and trained subject matter experts from across the company.
Measurement and reporting: We track and report on a broad range of environmental metrics that are important to our stakeholders through our corporate responsibility report and to regulators as required by law. We also use these metrics to drive internal performance and help manage risk.
Disclosure: We annually disclose our environmental, social and governance performance through our publicly available corporate responsibility report and third-party assessments such as the RobecoSAM Corporate Sustainability Questionnaire, which determines eligibility for inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index family.
Regulatory process: We put a lot of care and attention into understanding the environment in an area before we begin a project. When we apply to develop a new oil sands project, we must submit an environmental impact assessment (EIA). The EIA process allows government decision makers and our project design teams to examine the proposed project to determine what the environmental, social, economic and health implications may be so that impacts can be avoided, reduced or mitigated.