In our last sustainability report, we asked the question, “Are the oil sands being responsibly developed?” This year’s report continues the discussion by updating our performance metrics and highlights, further demonstrating our progress towards comprehensive disclosure.
The data shows that with over 4,400 hectares of former mining land either permanently reclaimed or ready for revegetation, we lead the industry in reclamation. We were also recognized as one of Canada’s top 20 spenders on research and development – with over half of our investments focused on reclamation, tailings management and further environmental improvements.
While our safety performance remains among the best in the oil sands industry, injuries still occur and we feel this is not acceptable for a world-leading operation. Toward improved performance, greater emphasis is now being placed on addressing those risks most often overlooked in daily work routines, such as slips, trips and falls.
Ongoing implementation of ExxonMobil’s proprietary Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS) – proven in the world’s leading refinery operations – promises greater reliability and improved performance in addressing safety, security, health, environmental, and social risk. This system will be fully in place by the end of 2013 and is expected to enable meaningful improvements across the board in the years ahead.
We also support the continued evolution of science-based environmental monitoring and welcome the addition of the joint Canada/Alberta oil sands monitoring program, now under implementation. We also support and advocate community health studies as defined and carried out by government authorities.
Syncrude’s sustainability path is a journey on which we can always – and must – improve. In particular, through one-on-one and group discussions with employees, we have heard that the company’s stewardship in the areas of safety, environment and health is essential and expected. Indeed, through their individual initiative and resourcefulness, we are being rewarded with innovative ideas for better performance.
As the demand for energy increases, we will continue to focus on the responsible development of the oil sands. Our sustainability report will keep you up-to-date on our continued progress and we seek your feedback to ensure we are providing you with the information you need. Please take a few moments to tell us how we are doing. Our on-line survey is available here [link to survey].
In closing, we extend a special thank you to our over 5,000 employees who, each day, are solving our toughest challenges with determination and the desire to make Syncrude the very best at what we do.
President and CEO