It didn’t take long for Martha Hall Findlay to make a big impact as Suncor’s Chief Sustainability Officer. 

And Clean50, a group that honours Canadians for exceptional contributions to sustainability, recognized her leadership in Suncor’s refreshed strategy to contribute to a net-zero world by naming her as one of Canada’s 2022 Clean50.

Clean50 recognizes Canadians from different sectors for their sustainability contributions during the past two years. The 2022 honourees gathered October 1 to learn, share and inspire action towards a cleaner Canadian economy. 

“I am both honoured and humbled to be recognized among so many leaders from diverse backgrounds and areas of activity who are contributing to a more sustainable economy,” says Martha. 

This recognition might seem unusual for an oil sands executive but the group’s jurists noted Martha’s crucial role in the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative – an unprecedented alliance among the six largest  oil sands producers, representing 95% of production, to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from oil sands operations to net zero by 2050 while continuing to contribute to Canada’s economic prosperity. 

The work to reduce emissions from the oil sands will be crucial for Canada to meet its commitments under the Paris Agreement. Oil Sands production currently contributes about 10 per cent of Canada’s total emissions. The goal of the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero Alliance is to reduce annual GHGs from 68 megatonnes a year to net zero by 2050. The vision extends over three phases; will involve a variety of processes and technologies, starting with a major foundational carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) infrastructure project; and will require collaboration with both the federal and Alberta provincial governments.  

“Canada has made significant progress in several areas, such as carbon pricing, reducing methane emissions, phasing out coal for electricity generation, and clean fuel standards,” says Martha. “Canada has also already been a leader in developing and using CCUS. We will build on that Canadian leadership -- the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero vision’s foundational project will involve CO2 capture from a minimum of eight oil sands sites, then transportation and then sequestration in the Cold Lake area.”  

This isn’t the first time Martha has received recognition for her leadership in sustainability. The British High Commission in Canada and the Canada Climate Law Initiative named her as one of 26 Canadian Climate Champions earlier this year as part of the countdown to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26). COP26 brings global leaders together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Nor is Martha the first Suncor employee recognized by Clean50. Gary Bunio, Sr. Advisor - Technology & Development, was part of the 2018 list and Gord Lambert, the former executive advisor of Sustainability and Innovation was recognized in 2012 before retiring from Suncor 2014.

To learn more about what Martha and Suncor are doing to make our business more sustainable, go to https://sustainability.suncor.com