Take a look at Suncor's oil sands performance data

Take a look at Suncor's oil sands performance data

Take a look at Suncor's oil sands performance data

Take a look at Suncor's oil sands performance data

The performance data section of Suncor's 2017 Report on Sustainability includes social, environmental and economic performance indicators.

Oil Sands

Environmental data consists of Oil Sands mining operations (does not include Syncrude).

All economic data for Oil Sands includes our In Situ operations as well as the Oil Sands mining operations in alignment with our Annual Report (including Syncrude).

Expand all | Collapse all

Environment

The A symbol () reflects data that has been assured by a third party. View a complete list of reviewed data to confirm the performance indicators that have been assured.
In the "Footnote" column, click on the down-arrow symbol to display the footnote.

Indicator Unit Footnote GRI
Disclosures
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Production                
Gross production million barrels of oil/year OG1 103.25 105.31 108.18  119.50 96.87

Footnote A:
Gross sweet and sour synthetic crude oil production. This volume is used to calculate emission intensities since it represents emissions associated with mining, extraction and upgrading. This volume is reported as a gross total as it includes unprocessed volumes. See the 2016 GHG performance page of this report for more information on the difference between production reported here and our 2016 Annual Report.

Gross production million cubic metres (m3) of oil/year OG1 16.4 16.7 17.2  19.0 15.4

Footnote A:
Gross sweet and sour synthetic crude oil production. This volume is used to calculate emission intensities since it represents emissions associated with mining, extraction and upgrading. This volume is reported as a gross total as it includes unprocessed volumes. See the 2016 GHG performance page of this report for more information on the difference between production reported here and our 2016 Annual Report.

Air emissions                
Greenhouse gas (GHG) thousand tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) G4-EN15
G4-EN16
9,204 8,417 8,542 8,685 7,138

Footnote B:
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are calculated using a facility-specific methodology which utilizes various reference methodologies that have been accepted by the relevant jurisdictions each facility is required to report its GHG emissions. Methodology has been followed where a jurisdiction has a prescribed one and if none exist then the most applicable and accurate methods available are used to quantify each emission source.
GHG emissions and emissions intensity values are consistent with Suncor’s Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER) Bill 3 reported Total Annual Emission (TAE) values, with a few exceptions. The reported TAE in the SGER Compliance report excludes carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from biomass, industrial process emissions and total indirect emissions. Our Report on Sustainability GHG emissions includes industrial process, total indirect emissions, and biomass emissions. Oil Sands GHG data in this report also includes the emissions associated with the Poplar Creek cogeneration facility which is within the Oil Sands facility boundary. Additionally the production definition used in SGER is different than what is reported here. SGER production is a weighted production value which takes into account mining and upgrading products, not only gross synthetic crude oil production.

2012 and 2013 emission methodology was updated as required by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD). This updated methodology has been used since 2012.

GHG emissions intensity tonnes CO2e/m3 production  

G4-EN18

0.56 0.5 0.50  0.46 0.46
Ozone-depleting substances kilograms (kg) of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC)11 equivalent G4-EN20 0 0  0 0 0

Footnote C:
Retrofitting of refrigeration systems currently using R-22 or any other hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are part of Suncor's ongoing program to phase out the use of ozone-depleting substances on-site. The conversion of all remaining R-22 systems with RS-44 with more than 10 kg in it is ongoing and will continue until complete. RS-44 is a non-ozone depleting substance.

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) thousand tonnes G4-EN21 18.54 14.1  16.68 12.64 12.96

Footnote D:
We use low or ultra-low-sulphur diesel in our mining equipment. Beginning in 2014 we include mining combustion equipment emissions in our total sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions, even though emissions from these sources are minimal.

SO2 emissions intensity kg/m3 production   G4-EN21 1.13 0.84  0.97 0.67 0.84
Nitrogen oxides (NOx) thousand tonnes G4-EN21 21.1 18.8  18.3 19.1 16.2

Footnote E:
Site-wide nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions as reported to Alberta Environment and Parks. This also includes NOx emissions from mobile sources.

NOx emissions intensity kg/m3 production   G4-EN21 1.29 1.13  1.06 1.0 1.1
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) thousand tonnes G4-EN21 16.1 6.77  12.27 15.52 14.53

Footnote F:
We discovered that a portion of the total VOC emissions reported in 2013 was inadvertently omitted and if this was included in the VOC emissions, the 2013 value would increase by approximately 29%.

  • Benzene
tonnes   G4-EN21 11.5 13.6  18.1 22.6 25.2
  • Toluene
tonnes   G4-EN21 127.2 144  265 205 189.3
  • Ethylbenzene
tonnes   G4-EN21 70 36.43  80.4 62.9 99.8
  • Xylene
tonnes   G4-EN21 188.5 175.14  387.1 300.1 326.4
VOC emissions intensity kg/m3 production   G4-EN21 0.98 0.4  0.71 0.82 0.94
National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI) on-site releases thousand tonnes   G4-EN21 70.5 50.1  63.77 72.50 69.83
Flared gas million m3 OG6 60.3 92.9 54.3  118.04 44.8

Footnote G:
These values include both emergency and non-emergency flaring volumes. In 2014, the maintenance plan was modified to have annual inspections of the sulphur recovery units, subsequently resulting in reduced emergency flaring events.
In 2015, we experienced an increase in our flared gas volumes primarily as a result of an atypical heat exchanger issue that required us to flare a large volume of impure steam for a short period.

Flared gas intensity m3/m3 production   OG6 3.67 5.55 3.16  6.22 2.91
Energy consumption                
Total energy use million gigajoules (GJ) G4-EN3
G4-EN4
112.8 112.72 117.30  119.47 99.21

Footnote H:
Total energy is equal to the sum of direct and indirect energy.

  • Direct energy use
million GJ G4-EN3 114.9 115.19 119.32  121.20 100.82

Footnote I:
Direct energy is primary energy consumed on-site by Base Plant operations and the Poplar Creek cogeneration facility which is within the Base Plant Oil Sands facility boundary. Direct energy includes combustion of petroleum coke, natural gas and internally produced fuels; diesel combusted as fuel in mine trucks, and flaring.

Indirect energy includes imported electricity, steam, heating and cooling duty from third parties. The indirect energy calculation methodology credits operations for electricity exported to external users and/or other Suncor facilities. The facility that exports the electricity subtracts the export value from its indirect energy use. The facility that receives the electricity counts it as a Scope 2 indirect energy use, regardless of source. The Oil Sands indirect energy figures have been negative because the amount of electricity exported by the Poplar Creek cogen was greater in value than the amount of electricity imported.

  • Indirect energy use
million GJ G4-EN4 -2.38 -2.47 -2.02  -1.74 -1.61

Footnote I:
Direct energy is primary energy consumed on-site by Base Plant operations and the Poplar Creek cogeneration facility which is within the Base Plant Oil Sands facility boundary. Direct energy includes combustion of petroleum coke, natural gas and internally produced fuels; diesel combusted as fuel in mine trucks, and flaring.

Indirect energy includes imported electricity, steam, heating and cooling duty from third parties. The indirect energy calculation methodology credits operations for electricity exported to external users and/or other Suncor facilities. The facility that exports the electricity subtracts the export value from its indirect energy use. The facility that receives the electricity counts it as a Scope 2 indirect energy use, regardless of source. The Oil Sands indirect energy figures have been negative because the amount of electricity exported by the Poplar Creek cogen was greater in value than the amount of electricity imported.

Energy intensity GJ/m3 production   G4-EN5 6.86 6.73 6.83  6.30 6.44
Water use                
Total water withdrawal million m3 G4-EN8 44.81 51.35 37.36  25.56 41.9

Footnote J:
Includes surface water, groundwater and industrial run-off water as per Alberta Environment and Parks withdrawal licences.

In 2014 the wastewater treatment plant became operational, resulting in the use of more recycled water and reductions in our river water withdrawal.

  • Surface water withdrawal
million m3   G4-EN8 26.6 22.83 18.65 16.90 20.72
  • Groundwater withdrawal
million m3   G4-EN8 1.7 1.38 1.13  1.26 1.02
  • Industrial run-off water withdrawal
 million m3 G4-EN8 16.54 26.14 17.58  7.40 20.20

Footnote K:
Industrial run-off outfall volumes have been incorporated and include precipitation on process and non-process areas.

Water returned is comprised of treated industrial waste-water and runoff from non-process areas that gets collected, diverted and eventually discharged to the environment (destination is the Athabasca River).

Water withdrawal intensity m3/m3 production   G4-EN8 2.73 3.07 2.17  1.35 2.72
Water returned million m3 G4-EN22 11 17.73 9.92  6.27 9.91

Footnote K:
Industrial run-off outfall volumes have been incorporated and include precipitation on process and non-process areas.

Water returned is comprised of treated industrial waste-water and runoff from non-process areas that gets collected, diverted and eventually discharged to the environment (destination is the Athabasca River).

Water consumption million m3   33.79 33.62 27.44  19.29 32.02

Footnote L:
Water consumption is the total water withdrawn minus the water returned. In 2015, as a result of increased recycling of industrial wastewater at our base plant, water consumption decreased relative to 2014.

Water consumption intensity m3/m3 production     2.06 2.01 1.60  1.02 2.08
Water discharge quality                

Oil and grease in effluent

tonnes G4-EN22 7.67 11.57 7.23  5.14 6.16

Footnote M:
The destination of water discharge for our Oil Sands operations is the Athabasca River. Pond C was closed all of 2012 and pond E was also closed the majority of the year.

Total suspended sediment

tonnes G4-EN22 77.6 138.82 77.44  63.19 57.78

Footnote M:
The destination of water discharge for our Oil Sands operations is the Athabasca River. Pond C was closed all of 2012 and pond E was also closed the majority of the year.

Chemical oxygen demand

tonnes   G4-EN22 609.93 995.01 477.15  210.27 375.29

Phenol

tonnes G4-EN22 0 0 0 0.03

Footnote M:
The destination of water discharge for our Oil Sands operations is the Athabasca River. Pond C was closed all of 2012 and pond E was also closed the majority of the year.

Metals in effluent

tonnes G4-EN22 20.3 43.51 25.25  28.9 36.06

Footnote M:
The destination of water discharge for our Oil Sands operations is the Athabasca River. Pond C was closed all of 2012 and pond E was also closed the majority of the year.

Waste management              

Footnote N:
Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

Reduction in hazardous waste volume in 2012 resulted from no sulphur being sent to landfill. In 2014, a change in third party waste receivers is reflected in the volumes of hazardous waste reported in individual categories as the final method of waste disposal is dependent on the options available at those sites.

Total hazardous waste generated thousand tonnes G4-EN23 0.38 0.28 7.81  4.31 4.14

Footnote N:
Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

Reduction in hazardous waste volume in 2012 resulted from no sulphur being sent to landfill. In 2014, a change in third party waste receivers is reflected in the volumes of hazardous waste reported in individual categories as the final method of waste disposal is dependent on the options available at those sites.

  • Hazardous
    waste incinerated
tonnes G4-EN23 5.92 17.23 4.06  4.78 0

Footnote N:
Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

Reduction in hazardous waste volume in 2012 resulted from no sulphur being sent to landfill. In 2014, a change in third party waste receivers is reflected in the volumes of hazardous waste reported in individual categories as the final method of waste disposal is dependent on the options available at those sites.

  • Hazardous
    waste deep well injected
tonnes G4-EN23 7.42 3.17 13.39  3.23 13.02

Footnote N:
Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

Reduction in hazardous waste volume in 2012 resulted from no sulphur being sent to landfill. In 2014, a change in third party waste receivers is reflected in the volumes of hazardous waste reported in individual categories as the final method of waste disposal is dependent on the options available at those sites.

  • Hazardous
    waste landfilled
tonnes G4-EN23 352 223.46 256.90  40.96 213.21

Footnote N:
Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

Reduction in hazardous waste volume in 2012 resulted from no sulphur being sent to landfill. In 2014, a change in third party waste receivers is reflected in the volumes of hazardous waste reported in individual categories as the final method of waste disposal is dependent on the options available at those sites.

  • Hazardous
    waste otherwise disposed
tonnes G4-EN23 13.05 39.29 58.01  141.91 29.99

Footnote N:
Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

Reduction in hazardous waste volume in 2012 resulted from no sulphur being sent to landfill. In 2014, a change in third party waste receivers is reflected in the volumes of hazardous waste reported in individual categories as the final method of waste disposal is dependent on the options available at those sites.

  • Hazardous waste recycled, recovered or reused
tonnes  G4-EN23  -- -- 7,479.50 4,115.30 3,886.98

Footnote N:
Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

Reduction in hazardous waste volume in 2012 resulted from no sulphur being sent to landfill. In 2014, a change in third party waste receivers is reflected in the volumes of hazardous waste reported in individual categories as the final method of waste disposal is dependent on the options available at those sites.

Total non-hazardous waste generated thousand tonnes G4-EN23 84.4 42.8 103.73 57.16 79.63

Footnote O:
Non-hazardous waste volume is dependent on site activities and may fluctuate annually.

Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

  • Non-hazardous
    waste incinerated
tonnes   G4-EN23 0.18 0 0 0
  • Non-hazardous
    waste deep well
    injected
tonnes   G4-EN23 1.02 1.58 0 0
  • Non-hazardous
    waste landfilled
tonnes G4-EN23 84,334.30 42,758.50 89,069.18  35,352.19 62,838.43

Footnote O:
Non-hazardous waste volume is dependent on site activities and may fluctuate annually.

Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

  • Non-hazardous
    waste otherwise
    disposed
tonnes   G4-EN23 0 36.8 0 0 0
  • Non-hazardous waste recycled, recovered or reused
tonnes G4-EN23 -- -- 14,663.20 21,804.40 16,793.13

Footnote O:
Non-hazardous waste volume is dependent on site activities and may fluctuate annually.

Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

Waste reused, recycled or recovered (off-site) thousand tonnes G4-EN23 29.5 26.5 -- -- --

Footnote P:
Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

In 2012, a third-party contractor transported used oil offsite for recycling; in previous years this was done on-site.

Waste reused, recycled or recovered (on-site) thousand tonnes G4-EN23 2.1 1.28 --  -- --

Footnote P:
Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

In 2012, a third-party contractor transported used oil offsite for recycling; in previous years this was done on-site.

Land disturbance and reclamation                
Total land holdings approved for development (mineable oil sands)  hectares  G4-EN11 24,432 24,432 22,458 22,548 23,954

Footnote Q:
Total land holdings approved for development is consistent with the Government of Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approved footprint for Suncor’s Base Plant operations, as mapped by GIS internally. Fort Hills is approved but not yet reported because no production is occurring.

Total land disturbed is the total active footprint of our Base Plant mining operations, which includes the cumulative hectares (ha) for areas cleared of vegetation, soil disturbed, ready for reclamation, soils placed and permanently reclaimed. This is consistent with reporting to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and represents all land area that has been or is currently disturbed at our Base Plant mining operation.

Land reclaimed is land that is no longer being used for mine or plant purposes and has been, or is in the process of being, reclaimed. This value is a subset of the total active footprint. The area of non-reclaimed land at our oil sands Base Plant mining operation is 20,056 ha for the 2016 reporting year. Reclamation is tracked as the cumulative area reclaimed. As such, the total number of hectares reported from year to year may increase or decrease based on activities undertaken at the site since these activities may lead to new reclamation or re-disturbance of previously reclaimed areas.

Permanently reclaimed lands have met the plans for soil placement and re-vegetation but have not been certified by the Alberta Energy Regulator. Following Alberta Environment’s issuance of standards for Geographic Information System spatial data reporting, in 2010, Suncor annually re-evaluates permanent reclamation areas and recalculates historical reclamation totals. Disturbance feature types (such as roads, power lines, pipelines, etc.) that occurred post-reclamation are removed and any new areas of reclamation are added. See Advisories.

No permanent reclamation was conducted in 2016, due to the wildfires that occurred in proximity to our Base Plant operations. Some permanent reclamation was lost due to the creation of firebreaks.

Total land disturbed cumulative hectares G4-EN12 21,303 21,690 22,072 22,157 22,178

Footnote Q:
Total land holdings approved for development is consistent with the Government of Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approved footprint for Suncor’s Base Plant operations, as mapped by GIS internally. Fort Hills is approved but not yet reported because no production is occurring.

Total land disturbed is the total active footprint of our Base Plant mining operations, which includes the cumulative hectares (ha) for areas cleared of vegetation, soil disturbed, ready for reclamation, soils placed and permanently reclaimed. This is consistent with reporting to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and represents all land area that has been or is currently disturbed at our Base Plant mining operation.

Land reclaimed is land that is no longer being used for mine or plant purposes and has been, or is in the process of being, reclaimed. This value is a subset of the total active footprint. The area of non-reclaimed land at our oil sands Base Plant mining operation is 20,056 ha for the 2016 reporting year. Reclamation is tracked as the cumulative area reclaimed. As such, the total number of hectares reported from year to year may increase or decrease based on activities undertaken at the site since these activities may lead to new reclamation or re-disturbance of previously reclaimed areas.

Permanently reclaimed lands have met the plans for soil placement and re-vegetation but have not been certified by the Alberta Energy Regulator. Following Alberta Environment’s issuance of standards for Geographic Information System spatial data reporting, in 2010, Suncor annually re-evaluates permanent reclamation areas and recalculates historical reclamation totals. Disturbance feature types (such as roads, power lines, pipelines, etc.) that occurred post-reclamation are removed and any new areas of reclamation are added. See Advisories.

No permanent reclamation was conducted in 2016, due to the wildfires that occurred in proximity to our Base Plant operations. Some permanent reclamation was lost due to the creation of firebreaks.

Land reclaimed cumulative hectares G4-EN13 1,542 1,708 1,905 2,134 2,123

Footnote Q:
Total land holdings approved for development is consistent with the Government of Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approved footprint for Suncor’s Base Plant operations, as mapped by GIS internally. Fort Hills is approved but not yet reported because no production is occurring.

Total land disturbed is the total active footprint of our Base Plant mining operations, which includes the cumulative hectares (ha) for areas cleared of vegetation, soil disturbed, ready for reclamation, soils placed and permanently reclaimed. This is consistent with reporting to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and represents all land area that has been or is currently disturbed at our Base Plant mining operation.

Land reclaimed is land that is no longer being used for mine or plant purposes and has been, or is in the process of being, reclaimed. This value is a subset of the total active footprint. The area of non-reclaimed land at our oil sands Base Plant mining operation is 20,056 ha for the 2016 reporting year. Reclamation is tracked as the cumulative area reclaimed. As such, the total number of hectares reported from year to year may increase or decrease based on activities undertaken at the site since these activities may lead to new reclamation or re-disturbance of previously reclaimed areas.

Permanently reclaimed lands have met the plans for soil placement and re-vegetation but have not been certified by the Alberta Energy Regulator. Following Alberta Environment’s issuance of standards for Geographic Information System spatial data reporting, in 2010, Suncor annually re-evaluates permanent reclamation areas and recalculates historical reclamation totals. Disturbance feature types (such as roads, power lines, pipelines, etc.) that occurred post-reclamation are removed and any new areas of reclamation are added. See Advisories.

No permanent reclamation was conducted in 2016, due to the wildfires that occurred in proximity to our Base Plant operations. Some permanent reclamation was lost due to the creation of firebreaks.

Combined surface area of tailings ponds hectares G4-EN23 2,712 2,864 2,654 2,606 2,698

Footnote R:
The tailings pond area calculation is based on fluids area only and does not include solid structures such as beaches and dykes.

Compliance                
Regulatory contraventions G4-EN29 9 8  6 5 0

Footnote S:
A regulatory contravention is an environmental incident that breaches a regulatory limit (prescribed threshold required by legislation, approval or permit from a regulatory authority) or requirement (any law, act, regulation, licence, standard, approval, directive and/or permit applicable to Suncor’s activities) and that triggers formal regulatory reporting. 

Regulatory fines $ thousands G4-EN29 0 0  0 14.5 0

Footnote T:
Data includes regulatory fines related to environmental contraventions paid during the stated year.

Reportable spills # G4-EN24 7 5  11 168 144

Footnote U:
A reportable spill is an unplanned or accidental event resulting in a release of material either into the environment or into a location that does not usually contain the material, as specified by Alberta regulation. Beginning in 2014, regulations placed greater emphasis on spill reporting, and subsequently our reportable number and volume of spills, including contractors. The increase in the number of reportable spills in 2015 resulted from changes in the expectation of spill reporting from the regulator. This includes spills that are both recovered and non-recovered.

  • Spills to natural water bodies
#   G4-EN24 0 2  0 0 1
Total volume of reportable spills m3 G4-EN24 1,058 353  2,558 3,045 625.90

Footnote V:
All recovered spill volumes are discounted from final spill volumes. Spills are also discounted when the material was spilled into a containment system that was intended for the material, or into a system that would fully recover the material.

Air quality exceedances  # G4-EN29 0 0 0  0 10

Footnote W:
Suncor continues to investigate and evaluate changes that may improve air quality. Ambient ground level concentration exceedances are not provided, as other reduced sulphur compounds and possibly non-sulphur containing compounds may interfere with hydrogen sulphide (H2S) analyzers, leading to results that are not accurate reflections of the actual H2S concentrations in the ambient air.

Industrial wastewater limit exceedances  #   G4-EN29 1 1  0 0 3
Oil Sands environment footnotes
A

Gross sweet and sour synthetic crude oil production. This volume is used to calculate emission intensities since it represents emissions associated with mining, extraction and upgrading. This volume is reported as a gross total as it includes unprocessed volumes. See the 2016 GHG performance page of this report for more information on the difference between production reported here and our 2016 Annual Report.

B

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are calculated using a facility-specific methodology which utilizes various reference methodologies that have been accepted by the relevant jurisdictions each facility is required to report its GHG emissions. Methodology has been followed where a jurisdiction has a prescribed one and if none exist then the most applicable and accurate methods available are used to quantify each emission source.

GHG emissions and emissions intensity values are consistent with Suncor’s Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER) Bill 3 reported Total Annual Emission (TAE) values, with a few exceptions. The reported TAE in the SGER Compliance report excludes carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from biomass, industrial process emissions and total indirect emissions. Our Report on Sustainability GHG emissions includes industrial process, total indirect emissions, and biomass emissions. Oil Sands GHG data in this report also includes the emissions associated with the Poplar Creek cogeneration facility which is within the Oil Sands facility boundary. Additionally the production definition used in SGER is different than what is reported here. SGER production is a weighted production value which takes into account mining and upgrading products, not only gross synthetic crude oil production.

2012 and 2013 emission methodology was updated as required by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development (AESRD). This updated methodology has been used since 2012.

C

Retrofitting of refrigeration systems currently using R-22 or any other hydrofluorocarbons (HCFCs) are part of Suncor's ongoing program to phase out the use of ozone-depleting substances on-site. The conversion of all remaining R-22 systems with RS-44 with more than 10 kg in it is ongoing and will continue until complete. RS-44 is a non-ozone depleting substance.

D

We use low or ultra-low-sulphur diesel in our mining equipment. Beginning in 2014 we include mining combustion equipment emissions in our total sulphur dioxide (SO2) emissions, even though emissions from these sources are minimal.

E

Site-wide nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions as reported to Alberta Environment and Parks. This also includes NOx emissions from mobile sources.

F

We discovered that a portion of the total VOC emissions reported in 2013 was inadvertently omitted and if this was included in the VOC emissions, the 2013 value would increase by approximately 29%.

G

These values include both emergency and non-emergency flaring volumes. In 2014, the maintenance plan was modified to have annual inspections of the sulphur recovery units, subsequently resulting in reduced emergency flaring events.

In 2015, we experienced an increase in our flared gas volumes primarily as a result of an atypical heat exchanger issue that required us to flare a large volume of impure steam for a short period.

H

Total energy is equal to the sum of direct and indirect energy.

I

Direct energy is primary energy consumed on-site by Base Plant operations and the Poplar Creek cogeneration facility which is within the Base Plant Oil Sands facility boundary. Direct energy includes combustion of petroleum coke, natural gas and internally produced fuels; diesel combusted as fuel in mine trucks, and flaring.

Indirect energy includes imported electricity, steam, heating and cooling duty from third parties. The indirect energy calculation methodology credits operations for electricity exported to external users and/or other Suncor facilities. The facility that exports the electricity subtracts the export value from its indirect energy use. The facility that receives the electricity counts it as a Scope 2 indirect energy use, regardless of source. The Oil Sands indirect energy figures have been negative because the amount of electricity exported by the Poplar Creek cogen was greater in value than the amount of electricity imported.

J

Includes surface water, groundwater and industrial run-off water as per Alberta Environment and Parks withdrawal licences.

In 2014 the wastewater treatment plant became operational, resulting in the use of more recycled water and reductions in our river water withdrawal.

K

Industrial run-off outfall volumes have been incorporated and include precipitation on process and non-process areas.

Water returned is comprised of treated industrial waste-water and runoff from non-process areas that gets collected, diverted and eventually discharged to the environment (destination is the Athabasca River).

L

Water consumption is the total water withdrawn minus the water returned. In 2015, as a result of increased recycling of industrial wastewater at our base plant, water consumption decreased relative to 2014.

M

The destination of water discharge for our Oil Sands operations is the Athabasca River. Pond C was closed all of 2012 and pond E was also closed the majority of the year.

N

Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

Reduction in hazardous waste volume in 2012 resulted from no sulphur being sent to landfill. In 2014, a change in third party waste receivers is reflected in the volumes of hazardous waste reported in individual categories as the final method of waste disposal is dependent on the options available at those sites.

O

Non-hazardous waste volume is dependent on site activities and may fluctuate annually.

Prior to 2014, waste that was reused, recycled and recovered was not included in the totals for hazardous and non-hazardous waste generated and was reported as an aggregated total. Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.
P

Beginning in 2014, in order to provide a more detailed depiction of the waste streams created due to our operations, we have included this category of waste in both hazardous and non-hazardous total waste generated.

In 2012, a third-party contractor transported used oil offsite for recycling; in previous years this was done on-site.

Q

Total land holdings approved for development is consistent with the Government of Alberta’s Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act (EPEA) approved footprint for Suncor’s Base Plant operations, as mapped by GIS internally. Fort Hills is approved but not yet reported because no production is occurring.

Total land disturbed is the total active footprint of our Base Plant mining operations, which includes the cumulative hectares (ha) for areas cleared of vegetation, soil disturbed, ready for reclamation, soils placed and permanently reclaimed. This is consistent with reporting to the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) and represents all land area that has been or is currently disturbed at our Base Plant mining operation.

Land reclaimed is land that is no longer being used for mine or plant purposes and has been, or is in the process of being, reclaimed. This value is a subset of the total active footprint. The area of non-reclaimed land at our oil sands Base Plant mining operation is 20,056 ha for the 2016 reporting year. Reclamation is tracked as the cumulative area reclaimed. As such, the total number of hectares reported from year to year may increase or decrease based on activities undertaken at the site since these activities may lead to new reclamation or re-disturbance of previously reclaimed areas.

Permanently reclaimed lands have met the plans for soil placement and re-vegetation but have not been certified by the Alberta Energy Regulator. Following Alberta Environment’s issuance of standards for Geographic Information System spatial data reporting, in 2010, Suncor annually re-evaluates permanent reclamation areas and recalculates historical reclamation totals. Disturbance feature types (such as roads, power lines, pipelines, etc.) that occurred post-reclamation are removed and any new areas of reclamation are added. See Advisories.

No permanent reclamation was conducted in 2016, due to the wildfires that occurred in proximity to our Base Plant operations. Some permanent reclamation was lost due to the creation of firebreaks.

R

The tailings pond area calculation is based on fluids area only and does not include solid structures such as beaches and dykes.

S

A regulatory contravention is an environmental incident that breaches a regulatory limit (prescribed threshold required by legislation, approval or permit from a regulatory authority) or requirement (any law, act, regulation, licence, standard, approval, directive and/or permit applicable to Suncor’s activities) and that triggers formal regulatory reporting.

T

Data includes regulatory fines related to environmental contraventions paid during the stated year.

U

A reportable spill is an unplanned or accidental event resulting in a release of material either into the environment or into a location that does not usually contain the material, as specified by Alberta regulation. Beginning in 2014, regulations placed greater emphasis on spill reporting, and subsequently our reportable number and volume of spills, including contractors. The increase in the number of reportable spills in 2015 resulted from changes in the expectation of spill reporting from the regulator. This includes spills that are both recovered and non-recovered.

V

All recovered spill volumes are discounted from final spill volumes. Spills are also discounted when the material was spilled into a containment system that was intended for the material, or into a system that would fully recover the material.

2015: The increased volume in 2015 is correlated to the increase in our number of reportable spills as described in footnote V. A number of rupture disk incidents were reportable, which tend to have larger volumes (>2,000 m3), but these are generally recovered and not included in the reportable spill volume. The total volume from all spills (including those that were recovered) was 94,678 m3. Volume of hydrocarbon spills to soil was 1,256 m3; there were no hydrocarbon spills to water. Diesel spills to soil were cleaned up and disposed of as hazardous waste, For liquid releases from processes the material was generally recycled back into our facility.

W

Suncor continues to investigate and evaluate changes that may improve air quality. Ambient ground level concentration exceedances are not provided, as other reduced sulphur compounds and possibly non-sulphur containing compounds may interfere with hydrogen sulphide (H2S) analyzers, leading to results that are not accurate reflections of the actual H2S concentrations in the ambient air.

Economic

In the "Footnote" column, click on the down-arrow symbol to display the footnote.

Indicator Unit Footnote GRI
Disclosures
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Financials              

Footnote X:
For complete disclosure of financial information, see our 2016 Annual Report (PDF, 161pp. 1.73 MB). Oil Sands financial information reported here includes Syncrude to align with the Annual Report.

Tax and royalty credits earned $ millions G4-EC4 14.5 10.3 15.6 7.5 10.3

Footnote Y:
Investment Tax Credit on Scientific Research and Experimental Development Expenditures.

Investments                
Capital and exploration expenditures $ millions   G4-EC1 4,957 4,311 3,826 4,181 4,724
Purchases  

 

           
Goods and services $ millions     4,194 4,651 4,244 4,080 3,314
Goods and services purchased in or from:                
  • Canada
 $ millions     4,076 4,512 4,081 3,950 3,207
  • Local businesses and suppliers
 $ millions G4-EC9 1,929 -- --  --  --

Footnote Z:
Local is defined as businesses and suppliers based in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Data from 2012 includes Oil Sands mining and In Situ spend. Beginning in 2013, this number is reported on a Suncor-wide basis.

Oil Sands economic footnotes
X

For complete disclosure of financial information, see our 2016 Annual Report (PDF, 161pp. 1.73 MB). Oil Sands financial information reported here includes Syncrude to align with the Annual Report.

Y

Investment Tax Credit on Scientific Research and Experimental Development Expenditures.

Z

Local is defined as businesses and suppliers based in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Data from 2012 includes Oil Sands mining and In Situ spend. Beginning in 2013, this number is reported on a Suncor-wide basis.

Social

Oil Sands social footnotes
AA

A lost-time injury requires medical attention and results in an employee being absent from work on the next regularly scheduled work day or any subsequent work day. Lost-time injury frequency is the number of such injuries per 200,000 hours worked, divided by the number of exposure hours.

BB

Recordable injuries include lost-time injuries as well as medical aid injuries. Medical aid injuries require medical attention but do not result in an employee being absent from work. Recordable injury frequency is the sum of lost-time and medical aid injuries per 200,000 hours worked, divided by the number of exposure hours.

CC

The number of fatalities reported are for employees and contractors (excluding prime contractors). The prime contractor for a work site is (a) the contractor, employer or other person who enters into an agreement with the owner of the work site to be the prime contractor, or (b) if no agreement has been made or if no agreement is in force, the owner of the work site.

We experienced 3 tragic employee fatalities at Oil Sands in 2014:

  • January 19, 2014 – an employee was fatally injured when he fell through the surface into a cavity containing sand and water.
  • April 20, 2014 – an employee was fatally electrocuted when working on a compressor/electrical panel.
  • May 7, 2014 – an employee was fatally injured when attacked by a black bear while working in a lay down yard.

Two prime contractors were also fatally injured in 2014 on Suncor’s sites. Prime contractors have full care, custody and control meaning they manage their own work and are responsible for maintaining safe working environments. These incidents are described below:

  • March 14, 2014 – a worker was overcome by water and the elements when a backhoe broke through the ice that was over top of a borrow pit.
  • June 2, 2014 – a worker was fatally injured when he was struck by a plate while performing maintenance work on a piece of heavy equipment.
DD

Fees for professional development courses taken by Suncor employees. Includes the educational assistance plan that reimburses tuition upon successful completion of a course or program.

EE

Compares full-time base wage to the province of Alberta’s minimum wage ($12.20/hour in 2016). Beginning in 2014, Alberta’s minimum wage was used across our operations for this metric for comparison purposes.

FF

Beginning in 2014, this indicator is reported Suncor-wide.

GG

Any externally-hired regular full-time or regular part-time employee whose permanent start date falls within the reporting period.

HH

Certain operating regions prohibit collecting information on gender, therefore data presented here may not be reflective of our entire workforce due to data availability.

Workforce diversity is calculated based on information provided voluntarily by employees. Indicators referring to ethnicity and disability reflect only those employees who consented to release of this information.