At Cenovus, like every oil and gas company in the world, we’ve been rethinking how we run our business in order to remain competitive – both on cost and carbon. As you’ll see in this report, the dedicated people who work at Cenovus are facing these challenges head-on.

We’re excited about the potential ahead as we further progress this work to help ensure the sustainability of our business. 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. 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.

Our industry has a proven track record for this kind of technology development and for improving how we get oil out of the ground. Because of this, the transition to a low-carbon economy presents Canada with a tremendous opportunity to become a global hub for carbon-reduction technology and to demonstrate how a resource dependent economy can lead as the world moves toward a lower-carbon future. I believe Cenovus is well positioned to take advantage of that opportunity.

Addressing carbon emissions

In our business, being a low-carbon producer generally goes hand-in-hand with being a low-cost producer. Compared to our peers, our oil sands operations have always had among the lowest emissions intensity – something we’re very proud of – but we know we need to do more. We have set a target to achieve a one-third reduction in our upstream greenhouse gas emissions intensity by 2026, compared with our January 2016 levels. That’s in addition to the one-third emissions intensity reduction we have already achieved at our oil sands operations since 2004. It’s ambitious, but I believe it is achievable. In the near term, we plan to advance the use of solvents, apply more cogeneration and focus on energy efficiency to help us further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions intensity while lowering per-barrel operating costs at our oil sands projects.


The challenge of addressing both growing energy demand and climate change will require multiple organizations and sectors working together to find a solution. Here are some of the ways we are collaborating with others:

  • Through our membership in Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), we are sponsoring the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, which challenges bright minds to develop breakthrough solutions to turn carbon emissions into valuable products.
  • Along with Suncor Energy and the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance, we co-founded Evok Innovations, an entrepreneur-run cleantech fund that seeks to accelerate the development and commercialization of solutions to the oil and gas sector’s most pressing environmental and economic challenges. In 2016, we invested in seven clean technology solutions through Evok.
  • In 2016, we 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. The Center presents an unparalleled opportunity to play a vital role in catalyzing the transition to a low-carbon energy future.

We also recognize that carbon leadership requires collaboration with unlikely partners, including some of our toughest critics, to find solutions. That’s why we’ve participated in initiatives like the Alberta government’s Oil Sands Advisory Group along with other members of industry, environmental organizations and community members. The group provides feedback and advice to the government on how to support innovation in the oil sands sector and reduce the emissions intensity of oil sands development. The actions we’re taking to reduce carbon emissions not only address escalating concerns about climate change, they make good business sense.

Growing our business

In May of this year, we doubled the scale of our company with the acquisition of most of ConocoPhillips' Canadian assets. We now own 100 percent of our oil sands operations and we have added a second growth platform in the Deep Basin in Alberta and British Columbia. With this acquisition, we are now the largest in-situ thermal operator and owner in Canada. With full control of our assets, we have the opportunity to realize the full benefit of technology advancements that we implement going forward. Over the coming months, we will continue to integrate the new Deep Basin assets into our business. As part of our financing plan for the acquisition, we also put the bulk of our legacy conventional oil and natural gas operations up for sale. As we complete the integration of our new assets and divestiture of our legacy conventional assets, we will continue to focus on ensuring we are living up to our commitment to continue operating in a safe, reliable and sustainable way across all of our operations.

Rising to the challenges

In this report, you’ll read about our corporate responsibility goals and see examples of how we’re living up to our commitments and doing our part to be a leader in the movement towards a lower-carbon future. Cenovus is a company that rises to challenges. And we are committed to solving the challenges we face today so we can continue generating value from Canada’s world-class oil and gas resources, while also enhancing the quality of life for people around the world.

Brian Ferguson
Brian Ferguson
President & Chief Executive Officer