Getting to net-zero

man and woman walking side by side in Suncor protective equipment between tanks

Banks are doing it, cities are doing it, even retail stores are doing it, and so is Suncor: We aim to be a net-zero emissions company by 2050.

We join other global organizations with a net-zero objective after taking the time to develop a realistic framework of how we plan to get there. By declaring our net-zero strategic objective, not only are we are supporting the Government of Canada’s commitment to be a net-zero country, but we are also ensuring our children and grandchildren have a cleaner future and that we will remain a significant player the energy industry. 

“By its nature, industry, particularly the oil and gas industry, is a significant emitter of GHGs,” says Jon Mitchell, VP of Sustainability. “Our industry has the expertise to develop solutions that reduce, or eliminate, its emissions. Committing to becoming a net-zero company is an opportunity to stay current in today’s expanding energy industry, while positioning us to be successful in the future.”

But what does it mean to be a net-zero company?

Prominently featured in our recently published 2021 Climate Report and part of our updated strategy, “net-zero” is another way of saying we either produce no greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or reduce or offset the emissions we put in the atmosphere. Our commitment to reduce GHG emissions also includes targeting annual emission reductions of 10 megatonnes (Mt) across our value chain by 2030.

There are several ways this can be done, such as using carbon capture technology that keeps CO2 from entering the atmosphere or producing renewable and low-emission forms of energy like hydrogen. 

Over the past two decades, Suncor has made significant investments in projects and technologies such as increasing low-carbon power generation through cogeneration and investments in wind power. We also completed Canada’s first Electric Highway ™, and are enabling low-emission renewable fuels through investments in Enerkem, LanzaTech and LanzaJet, making us well-positioned to be a low-emissions energy company.                                

But that is just the beginning. We will continue with this work and get to net-zero by:

  • Reducing our emissions from our base business through energy efficiency improvements like fuel switching and carbon capture storage.
  • Growing our low-emissions energy businesses in renewable fuels, electricity and hydrogen.
  • Engaging with our customers and stakeholder on ways to reduce emissions.

It takes a lot of effort to produce the energy that keeps the world running. Building on the strength of our base business, Suncor is in the perfect position to expand on our low-emissions energy sources. Products like renewable fuels, low-emission electricity and hydrogen are already integral to our business and where we have great understanding and experience, giving us the ideal opportunity to succeed in the net-zero space. Developing pathways to a low-emissions future will make us our own best customer, while reducing market risk with developing new lines of business.

“We recognize that thinking and planning well into the future is key to our longevity as a company. Communicating our strategy clearly and concisely allows our investors, employees and stakeholders to see how Suncor’s current and expanded businesses contribute to the future we want,” adds Jon. “Our strategy demonstrates how a strong company today will remain strong in the net zero economy.” 

To reach our climate objectives, we commit to putting in the time and effort to succeed. We know we can do this—we have the ability and knowledge, we will invest in technology and we will work with others on ways to create value while we continuously reduce our emissions. This is a commitment that we know we can deliver on and we have a pathway to achieve it. 

In June, Suncor, with other partners, announced the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative, an unprecedented alliance to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions to help Canada meet its climate goals. All the participating members are proud Canadian companies who share the aspiration of Canadians to find realistic solutions to the challenge of climate change.