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U.N. Sustainable Development Goals

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015, provide a global framework for governments, businesses and society to respond to economic, social and environmental challenges by 2030.

At Cenovus, we recognize that businesses have a critical role to play in providing solutions that can contribute to solving these challenges. In 2019, we took a closer look at the SDGs to better understand how our activities are contributing positively to the SDGs at the target level, and where we have opportunities to minimize our negative impact. We will continue to evaluate our role in contributing to this global agenda and how we can improve on incorporating the SDGs into our business activities over time.

Sustainable Development Goals

Ensure healthy lives and promote health and well-being for all at all ages

Related Goal 3 targets

3.4 By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being

3.9 By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination.

Our actions:

  • Offers mental wellness basic coverage up to $6,000 per person annually through our employee benefits program and has adopted the Canadian Mental Health Association’s Not Myself Today campaign to reduce the stigma around mental health and create a more inclusive, supportive workplace
  • Invests in mental health focused organizations through our Community Investment Program like the Canadian Mental Health Alberta Chapter and the Distress Centre
  • Invests in initiatives that promote healthy lifestyles like Healthy Living School, Energize Oil Country, Spirit North and Community Kitchen
  • Invests in technologies like our steam generator flue gas recirculation technology that help reduce air pollutants such as SO2 and NOx
  • Maintains a Chemical Safety Management Process and requires mandatory Workplace Hazardous Materials Information System (WHMIS) training for all workers who may encounter hazardous chemicals

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Related Goal 4 targets

4.4 By 2030, substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship

4.5 By 2030, eliminate gender disparities in education and ensure equal access to all levels of education and vocational training for the vulnerable, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples and children in vulnerable situations

4.6 By 2030, ensure that all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy

Our actions:

  • Invests in organizations like the Calgary Public Library Foundation, Calgary Reads, and the Young Alberta Book Society that work to promote literacy among youth
  • Supports organizations and initiatives like Frontier College’s Indigenous Summer Literacy Camp, Northland School Division No.61 and the Tribal Chiefs Education Foundation that focus on educational programming for Indigenous youth
  • Partners with Indspire to offer scholarships for Indigenous students pursuing a full-time degree, diploma or certified trade program
  • Invests in post-secondary institutions like SAIT, NAIT and the University of Calgary to expand opportunities for students to gain relevant skills for employment

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Related Goal 6 targets

6.4 By 2030, substantially increase water-use efficiency across all sectors and ensure sustainable withdrawals and supply of fresh water to address water scarcity and substantially reduce the number of people suffering from water scarcity.

6.6 By 2020, protect and restore water-related ecosystems, including mountains, forests, wetlands, rivers, aquifers and lakes

Our actions:

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Related Goal 7 targets

7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

7.3 By 2030, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency

7.A By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology

Our actions:

  • Established ambitious targets for our four ESG focus areas to position us to thrive in a lower carbon future and continue to provide energy the world needs
  • Invests in and advances technologies to lower the carbon intensity of our operations
  • Operates cogeneration plants at its oil sands operations that are more energy efficient and less carbon intensive than coal-fired electricity. Excess electricity from our cogeneration plants is fed into the Alberta grid.
  • Shares technologies aimed at reducing impacts on air, land and water resources with our industry peers through COSIA
  • Co-founded Evok Innovations, a first-of-its-kind, $100 million investment fund to support early-stage clean technology companies

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Related Goal 8 targets

8.5 By 2030, achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, including for young people and persons with disabilities, and equal pay for work of equal value

8.8 Protect labour rights and promote safe and secure working environments for all workers, including migrant workers, in particular women migrants, and those in precarious employment

Our actions:

  • Employs over 3,000 people and provides competitive compensation, health and insurance benefits, pension and savings plans for all employees
  • Established a target to spend at least $1.5 billion with Indigenous businesses between 2020 to 2030
  • Places priority on supporting Indigenous businesses and has spent nearly $3 billion with Indigenous businesses since 2010
  • Has a Board Diversity Policy with a 2025 aspirational target to have at least 40 percent of independent directors be represented by women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities, with at least three women as independent members of the Board
  • Contributed, along with our oil and gas peers, $108 billion in direct real GDP in 2019, which is 5.6 percent of Canada’s total GDP
  • Supports employee-led resource groups like Stronger Together with W@CVE and PRIDE@Cenovus that promote inclusion and diversity, knowledge sharing and education in our workplace
  • Promotes career development for young people through our Fuel program

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Related Goal 9 target

9.5 Enhance scientific research, upgrade the technological capabilities of industrial sectors in all countries, in particular developing countries, including, by 2030, encouraging innovation and substantially increasing the number of research and development workers per 1 million people and public and private research and development spending

Our actions:

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Related Goal 11 target

11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums

Our actions:

  • Launched a $50 million/five-year Indigenous Housing program, the largest community investment initiative in our history
  • Invests in numerous programs and initiatives through our Community Investment Program that focus on creating Strong Families and Safe, Sustainable Communities, like the Children’s Cottage Society, SAIT’s School of Public Health and Safety and the Calgary Police Foundation

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Related Goal 13 targets

13.1 Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries

Our actions:

  • Set an ambitious target to reduce our per-barrel GHG emissions by 30 percent and hold our absolute emissions flat by the end of 2030
  • Set a long-term ambition to reach net zero emissions by 2050
  • Reduced GHG emissions at our oil sands operations by about 30 percent since 2004
  • Invests in and advances technologies like solvent-aided process to reduce the carbon footprint of our operations
  • Operates energy efficient cogeneration plants at our oil sands facilities and exports excess electricity to the Alberta grid that is less carbon intensive than Alberta’s coal-powered electricity
  • Continues to invest in methane emission reduction programs at our conventional assets

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainable manage forest, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Related Goal 15 targets

15.1 By 2020, ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems and their services, in particular forests, wetlands, mountains and drylands, in line with obligations under international agreements

15.5 Take urgent and significant action to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and, by 2020, protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species

15.a Mobilize and significantly increase financial resources from all sources to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity and ecosystems

Our actions:

  • Set a target to reclaim 1,500 decommissioned well sites and complete $40 million of voluntary caribou habitat restoration work by 2030
  • Uses amphibious vehicles – a technology developed through COSIA - to help complete restoration work in any season, with reduced environmental impact
  • Helped create the Silviculture Toolkit, an online suite of plain language materials about how to execute successful forest restoration programs
  • Planted over a million trees and treated over 800km of linear forest disturbances as part of the Cenovus Caribou Habitat Restoration Project