We are proud to be one of the largest producers in the oil sands. But we take even greater pride in how we do it. Responsibly. Take a closer look and you’ll see that our commitment to the environment, our neighbouring communities and our people guides everything we do.
Good news is a breath of fresh air. Studies show Fort McMurray’s air quality is better than cities such as Edmonton, Toronto and Seattle. What’s more, in 2013, we started operations of our $1.6 billion emissions reduction project to ensure air quality stays that way.
The oil sands industry accounts for 7.8% of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions and 0.14% of global emissions*. A focus on energy efficiency and conservation will help minimize the growth of GHG emissions from our operations in the future.
*Source: United Nations Statistics Division, Environment Canada
Today we have around 4,500 hectares of land permanently reclaimed or available for revegetation. That’s equivalent to 23% of our disturbed land. What’s more, our land is home to a herd of wood bison managed in partnership with the Fort McKay First Nation. In 2013, the ranch celebrated 20 years in operation.
Tailings is a by-product of bitumen extraction that is primarily composed of water, clay, sand and small amounts of hydrocarbon that occur naturally within the oil sands deposit. Methods of reclaiming tailings include:
Research continues on additional methods, such as accelerated dewatering, to further optimize tailings management.
Syncrude’s commitment to environmental stewardship encompasses biodiversity and programs aimed at ensuring our operations do not have a permanent impact on local ecosystems. As well, through ongoing reclamation, we will re-establish a diversity of wildlife habitats similar to those that existed prior to mining.
Long before Syncrude even put a shovel in the ground, we pursued a progressive Aboriginal relations program that, to this day, shares the opportunities generated by our oil sands operations. These include employment and business opportunities as well as investments in a broad range of community initiatives like education and cultural retention.
Water is essential to Syncrude’s operations and plays a key role in our production processes. We recognize that water is a limited resource that must be managed carefully. That’s why we’re committed to taking prudent steps to manage and conserve the water we use and to protect the health of regional water bodies.
Innovation has been a cornerstone of our operations for 50 years. In 2013 alone, we invested over $190 million to improve operations and reduce our environmental impact. It’s this dedication to R&D that has made us a leader in the oil sands industry.
At Syncrude, contributing to local communities is more than “good business.” It’s about strengthening the places we call home and supporting the people who are our neighbours, friends and family.
Syncrude is one of Alberta’s largest employers, counting about 5,000 employees in Fort McMurray, Edmonton and Calgary. We are a diverse organization, made up of highly skilled and talented individuals from across Canada and around the world.
Syncrude’s economic benefits are enjoyed clear across Canada. Since our start-up in 1978, we have contributed over $12 billion in royalties and taxes to all levels of government. These funds have helped build new infrastructure and provide essential public services.
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We have for 50 years. This pride is evident throughout our achievements to date, and our aim to do even better. We work hard to make Syncrude a great place to work, while pushing the limits of technology and championing the growth, health and heart of our communities. This booklet is a brief overview of interesting facts and outstanding achievements in oil sands development. We invite you to explore these facts and share them with others. We hope this information provides you with a fresh perspective on Syncrude and how we are responsibly securing Canada’s energy future.