Cenovus Lloydminster Upgrader. Photo by Brian Zinchuk

CALGARY — Cenovus Energy Inc. released its 2022 environmental, social and governance (ESG) report on June 29, detailing sustainability performance and progress on its ESG targets. The company also announced a milestone to reduce absolute methane emissions in its upstream operations by 80% by year-end 2028, from a 2019 baseline.

“Strong sustainability performance is fundamental to our business and we continue to pursue opportunities to progress our ESG targets and ambition for net zero emissions from operations by 2050, including establishing our new methane milestone,” said Jon McKenzie, Cenovus President & Chief Executive Officer, in a release. “By continuing to aggressively focus on near-term action on methane, we’re able to achieve meaningful reductions immediately as we also apply and advance technologies to enable future decarbonization of our operations.”

The 2022 ESG report provides details on each of Cenovus’s five ESG focus areas – climate & greenhouse gas emissions, water stewardship, biodiversity, Indigenous reconciliation, and inclusion & diversity – as well as safety and governance performance. In 2022, the company continued to make progress on several goals, including reducing absolute methane emissions in upstream operations by 32% from 2021 levels, and 59% between 2019 and 2022. It also spent $395 million, or the equivalent of more than $1 million each day, with Indigenous businesses in areas such as engineering and construction services. Building on this work, in the first quarter of 2023, Cenovus achieved its target of spending at least $1.2 billion with Indigenous businesses between 2019 and year-end 2025.

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“Reaching our minimum Indigenous business spend target two years ahead of schedule is one way to demonstrate our commitment to advancing Indigenous reconciliation,” said Rhona DelFrari, Chief Sustainability Officer & Executive Vice-President, Stakeholder Engagement. “And it doesn’t mean we’re done. We’re continually looking for opportunities to expand the scope of work we do with local Indigenous communities and businesses in the areas where we operate.”

Other 2022 ESG performance highlights

  • Completed more than 1,800 optical gas imaging surveys and an alternative Fugitive Emissions Management Program aerial screening pilot, with potential to expand, as part of continued focus on improved methane detection and quantification.
  • Advanced several carbon capture projects, including drilling an appraisal well at Cenovus’s Minnedosa Ethanol Plant to better understand the reservoir where CO2 would be stored, and completing design and engineering studies for phase 1 carbon capture and storage at the Christina Lake oil sands facility.
  • Maintained target-level oil sands fresh water intensity at 0.12 barrels of water per barrel of oil equivalent.
  • Reclaimed another 537 decommissioned well sites, putting the company 66% of the way to its target of reclaiming 3,000 by year‑end 2025 (from 2019), and planted more than 570,000 trees within its forested reclamation areas. The company is also halfway to its target of restoring more habitat than it uses in the Cold Lake caribou range by year-end 2030.
  • Conducted a voluntary self-identification survey for staff. The company is assessing the results as Cenovus works to add a diversity target beyond gender in 2023.

 

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