Seven years ago, we set an industry precedent by adopting a series of strategic environmental performance goals on water consumption, reclamation of disturbed lands, energy efficiency and air emissions. These goals, which had a baseline year of 2007, matured at the end of 2015.
We are excited to say that we met environmental performance goals on reducing water use and air emissions, increasing reclamation and came very close to meeting our goal on energy efficiency. To ensure we continue to improve on our sustainability performance, we’ve set two new goals: one focused on climate change and, for the first time, a social goal focused on strengthening our relationships with Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples. We are working towards setting a new long-term goal to extend our commitment to water conservation.
Our new sustainability goals
Energy is fundamental to every aspect of our lives; we use it to move, to grow food, to heat, to manufacture, to illuminate. But along with energy creation comes the real and serious threat of climate change, the impacts on our environment, global economy, and local communities. These require pragmatic and practical approaches and the need for innovation and ingenuity beyond anything we know today.
Suncor’s new sustainability goals respond to these needs and acknowledge that we need to continue to evolve and manage our business for the long term by continually improving our environmental, social and economic performance. They focus on strengthening our relationships with the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada, reducing our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity, and conserving water.
The goals, which have a baseline year of 2014, provide us with guide posts to drive performance improvement far beyond our current capabilities so we can contribute as constructively as possible to the world we all share.
2016 is a planning year for our businesses to develop plans to progress the goals in their areas. We will begin reporting on our progress towards achieving these goals in our 2017 Report on Sustainability.
Strengthening our relationships with the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada
We know Aboriginal Peoples want to play a larger role in how energy is developed – right from the project concept through to reclaiming the land back to its original state. Our long-term social goal (to 2025 and beyond) recognizes this, and focuses on strengthening our relationships with Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. It reflects our commitment to change the way we think and act, and outlines four areas where we can work together to advance greater involvement:
- Strengthening relationships between Aboriginal Peoples and all Canadians, starting within Suncor.
- Partnering with Aboriginal youth to develop their leadership potential through meaningful connections within and outside of Suncor.
- Significantly improving our Aboriginal workforce development at Suncor through focused efforts on hiring, retention and advancement of Aboriginal employees across our business.
- And, increasing revenues to Aboriginal businesses and communities through mutually beneficial marketing arrangements and procurements of materials and services.
Reducing our GHG intensity
We share in the global challenge to tackle climate change head on by reducing emissions, while providing energy the world needs. We will work to harness technology and innovation to set us on a transformational pathway to a low carbon energy system. We will measure our progress by reducing the total emission intensity of the production of our oil and petroleum products by 30% by 2030, through focused efforts in these areas:
- Continue to drive energy efficiency at all of our facilities, and switching to lower-carbon fuels, such as natural gas.
- Develop and pilot technology to fundamentally change how we extract bitumen and optimize downstream processing.
- Participate in greening the electricity grid towards a lower-carbon future by investing in cogeneration at our facilities and renewable energy. Our goal will also drive us to seek and evaluate new business opportunities in the evolving future energy system.
Suncor’s vision to create energy for a better world demands that we play our part in tackling this challenge. As a contributor to climate change, we must go beyond today’s capabilities and technologies, so we can make a real difference for our future.
Looking ahead: Water conservation
Responsible energy development means balancing our environmental impact with our growth strategy. Based on what we learned from our 2015 water goal and building on the success of our water management strategy, we will be developing a new long term water goal. This goal will reflect our water requirements with the need to maintain a clean, safe and plentiful supply of this important natural resource for current and future generations.