Suncor Energy Inc. today released its 14th annual climate change report, which shows that while greenhouse gas emissions climbed slightly during the past year, the company has reduced emission intensity at its oil sands operation by nearly half since 1990.
Between 2006 and 2007, Suncor's overall greenhouse gas emission intensity increased 3.1 per cent while absolute emissions increased by 3.6 per cent, primarily due to operational challenges at the company's oil sands plant. However, since 1990 - the baseline year for Suncor's measurement of greenhouse gas emissions - Suncor has decreased emission intensity by 25% on a company-wide basis and by 44% at its oil sands operation.
"Suncor is focused on generating the oil products consumers demand in a manner that is also responsible to the environment," said Rick George, Suncor president and chief executive officer. "While we've increased production, we've been able to achieve decreases in emission intensity across the company through improved energy efficiencies and technological improvements. We must now find ways to make further changes and enhancements at our new and existing facilities that will further reduce emissions."
The report documents Suncor's progress in managing greenhouse gas emissions using its seven-point climate change action plan. This includes investments in wind energy; producing biofuels, such as corn-based and cellulosic ethanol; reducing our reliance on carbon-intensive power sources through the development of new technologies; and encouraging investment in carbon capture and storage. The report also examines the climate change challenges being faced by Suncor and its stakeholders, and highlights opportunities and strategies for positive action. Suncor's renewable energy plans include investing $750 million by 2012. Approximately $250 million has been invested to date in wind power projects in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario and an ethanol production facility near Sarnia. Last week, Suncor announced plans to expand that facility.
These investments by Suncor have, since 1990, prevented 61 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, which equates to removing the emission equivalent of approximately 15 million cars.
"We believe the goal of reducing greenhouse gases is well within our grasp, despite the worldwide increase in energy demand and oil and gas production we are currently seeing," continued George. "We recognize addressing the issue of climate change is a shared responsibility - and we're making sure we're part of the solution."
Suncor has voluntarily reported its greenhouse gas emissions and activities through annual climate change reports since 1995. To view the full 2008 report online, visit: http://www.suncor.com/climatechange.