Sustainability at Suncor

Strategy and scenario planning

Suncor’s energy transition strategy is to improve efficiency and steadily reduce the carbon footprint of our base business while investing in new lower carbon forms of energy, consumer products and services, consistent with our new purpose – to provide trusted energy that enhances people’s lives, while caring for each other and the earth.

As an integrated energy provider, we’re able to leverage a strong value-chain with a planful approach to reduce costs and lower the carbon intensity of our base business while investing in new forms of low-carbon energy, consumer products and services.

Across many areas of our business, we’re advancing continuous improvement opportunities, investing in strategic initiatives to reduce energy intensity, and focusing efforts within the downstream on producing low-carbon fuels and offering new consumer services and solutions. 

Scenario planning

We continue to use scenario analysis to identify the impacts of and test our long-term strategy against inherent uncertainty.

Scenario summaries

We consistently develop several distinct, challenging, relevant and plausible world trajectories, adjusting all variables in an internally consistent manner. Some of the aspects we consider in our scenario development include demographics, economics, environment, (geo)politics, legal, social and cultural, and technology. In addition to a new 2°C scenario we developed with IHS Markit* in 2019, we incorporate three additional long-term energy futures scenarios to test and assess the resiliency of our business strategy.

A new 2°C scenario

In 2019, Suncor developed a new 2°C scenario with IHS Markit* in line with our support for both the TCFD and the Paris Agreement. This work is informing our long-term business planning and corporate strategy and allows us to understand what a pathway could entail to keep global temperatures from rising 2°C, or less, by 2100 compared with pre-industrial levels. Several key insights emerged from this work including:

  • The need for coordinated global action on climate change
  • The power of carbon pricing to incentivize low-carbon technology
  • The changing energy mix required to power the world’s economies amidst a growing population

Our work to develop this scenario is the beginning of what we expect will be numerous opportunities to engage with stakeholders and other experts to refine it over time.

Rapid technological and societal change transforms the energy landscape in Autonomy, supported by a peaceful and collaborative world.

  • Millennial shift – focus on sustainability and collaboration, sustainable urbanization
  • Falling costs and improved reliability of clean energy allow developing countries to bypass large-scale hydrocarbon-based energy infrastructure
  • Natural gas is a transitional fuel for power generation, but after 2030 increasingly renewable power. generation fuels a largely electrified energy system
  • Break through battery technology development supports growth in electric vehicles
  • Oil’s role in geo-politics is substantially diminished contributing to a generally stable geo-political environment. Stable moderately strong economy
  • Carbon-intensive industries face high regulatory costs and requirements
  • No new export pipelines are built out of the Athabasca oil sands region

In Rivalry, population growth, urbanization and growing middle class drive energy demand – diverse supply is required to satisfy demand, with intense competition for market share between energy sources.

  • Improving standard of living and greater personal wealth, particularly in China
  • Expanding use of advanced technologies increases demand for energy
  • Shift of economic power to millennials with the desire and means to address pollution and climate change
  • Geo-political landscape remains tense and strong global economic growth shifts global influence
  • Technology advancements allow access to greater oil reserves, with unconventional supply growing
  • Natural gas and LNG play a larger role in transportation
  • Strong growth in renewable energy
  • Carbon-intensive industries face high regulatory costs and strict standards

Continued conflict and geo-political instability are at the forefront of the world. Vertigo is a world with economic volatility, unbalanced wealth distribution, and overall weaker GDP growth.

  • International trend towards isolation and self-preservation with energy security a key concern
  • Air quality, traffic congestion lead to smaller, higher-efficiency vehicles and some electric vehicle adoption
  • Extreme weather events lead to social unrest
  • Investor risk aversion and tight capital markets constrain both technology advancement and high capital projects
  • Pipe-line projects constrained by stakeholder protests and investor risk aversion
  • Unstable, boom/bust energy market
  • Environmental progress and climate change mitigation take a back seat to economic concerns

*IHS Markit acted as external market consultant for this data and analysis, in 2019. The use of this content was authorized in advance by IHS. Any further use or redistribution of this content is strictly prohibited without written permission by IHS Markit. All rights reserved.

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