Suncor Energy



Oil & Gas Operations



Suncor Energy Inc.
P.O. Box 2844, 150 – 6 Avenue S.W.
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2P 3E3

Tel: 403-296-8000
Fax: 403-296-3030
Email: N/A






Martha Hall Findlay




Report created by Katerina Vargova

Suncor Energy

SECTIONS :  Sustainability    Evaluation  •  Progress  •  Watch  •  Overview

Company Activity

Suncor Energy Inc. (Suncor) is a Canadian integrated energy company based in Calgary, Alberta. It specializes in the production of synthetic crude from oil sands

In 1967, Suncor pioneered the commercial development of Canada’s oil sands – one of the largest petroleum resource basins in the world. Since then, Suncor has grown to become a globally competitive integrated energy company with a balanced portfolio of high-quality assets, a strong balance sheet and significant growth prospects. Across its operations, Suncor intends to achieve production of one million barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Near Fort McMurray, Alta., in the Athabasca region, Suncor extracts and upgrades oil sands into high-quality, refinery-ready crude oil products and diesel fuel.

Across Canada and in Colorado, Suncor markets the company’s refined products to industrial, commercial and retail customers. In Canada, its network of more than 1,500 Petro-Canada stations is one of the most customer-recognized, top-volume retailers in the country. Suncor has refineries in Edmonton, Alta.; Sarnia, Ont.; Montreal, Que.; and Commerce City, Colo.

On the East Coast of Canada and internationally, Suncor explores for, develops and produces conventional oil and natural gas – from offshore developments.

On February 1, 2017 Suncor Energy announced it had closed the sale of its Petro-Canada Lubricants business to a subsidiary of Holly Frontier Corporation.

In the 2020 Forbes Global 2000, Suncor Energy was ranked as the 252nd-largest public company in the world.

Company Sustainability Activity

Suncor is working to ensure it is regarded as a Canadian business leader on all dimensions of sustainability – economic, environmental and social – so that Suncor is a welcomed and influential participant and contributor to the energy system transformation.

To support this, Suncor works hard to engage with a wide range of diverse stakeholders to consider their issues and concerns about Suncor’s operations and the effects of the proposed development. This includes working together to mitigate potential social, environmental, and economic impacts, and ensuring that local communities benefit from development.

Suncor engages with stakeholders in multiple ways, including meetings, workshops, and conferences. Not only does broad engagement support the operation of Suncor’s base business, but it also helps them to: address its impacts and identify solutions, explore new business opportunities, support research, technology and innovation across the company, embed sustainability across the whole energy system.

Suncor is also investing in clean, renewable energy sources.

Suncor has four wind power projects in operation with a total capacity of over 100 megawatts (MW) and is currently evaluating solar energy investment opportunities.

Suncor’s St. Clair, Ont. ethanol facility, Canada’s largest biofuels plant, has a current production capacity of 400 million litres per year. The ethanol is blended into Suncor’s Petro-Canada™ gasoline and contributes to the avoidance of up to 600,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.


  • 22.78 million tonnes CO2e absolute GHG emissions in 2019
  • GHG (Scope 1 and 2) emissions – 21.99 million tonnes CO2e in 2018 (19.87 million tonnes CO2e in 2017)
  • Energy use in 2018 was 336.1 million GJ (302 million GJ in 2017)
  • 777,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2018
  • In 2019, the number of Indigenous-owned Petro-Canada™ retail sites grew to 39 stations across Canada
  • The board has had Indigenous representation for two decades and is comprised of 40% female directors
  • 25 years of sustainability focus and reporting
  • Net earnings for 2019 were $2.899 billion, compared to $3.293 billion in 2018
  • Oil Sands production increased 7%, despite being limited by the Government of Alberta’s mandatory production curtailments
  • $3.1 million employee donations 
  • $33 million community investments


  • GHG goal reducing emissions intensity by 30% by 2030 – through new technology, investment in low carbon power and fuels, and increasing energy efficiency
  • Through continued innovation, sustainable investments and collaborative solutions, Suncor is committed to reducing its environmental footprint.
  • Strengthening Sencor’s relations with indigenous peoples and communities in Canada


Greenhouse Gases

  • 10% GHG intensity reduction since 2014, additional 10% sanctioned
  • Continue to reduce emissions intensity through projects which are expected to deliver 1,000 megawatts of zero and low-carbon electricity
  •  ~2.5 Mt/y GHG reductions from newly sanctioned cogeneration facility equivalent to avoiding emissions from 550,000 passenger vehicles per year 
  • ~0.4 Mt/y GHG emissions avoided from newly sanctioned Forty Mile Wind Power Project equivalent to avoiding emissions from 85,000 passenger vehicles per year
  • $1.4 billion investment in a new cogeneration facility 
  • The New 2°C scenario helps Suncor’s assess the resilience of its long-term strategy

Social responsibility

  • Strengthening relationships with Indigenous Peoples and all Canadians through partnering with Indigenous youth to develop leadership potential, partnering with Indigenous businesses and communities, significantly improving Sencor’s Indigenous workforce development
  • 40% of the Board are women, 34% of the management are women 
  • Indigenous representation on board since 2000

Water, tailings and reclamation

  • High water recycle rates in upstream operations: 92% Oil Sands Base Plant, 96-100% Firebag & MacKay River in situ facilities 
  • 100% increase in annual fluid tailings treatment with new PASS process, reducing legacy tailings
  • 2,795 ha reclaimed since 1967 equivalent to 5,223 football fields
  • Suncor’s Wapisiw Lookout First reclaimed oil sands tailings pond

Technology and innovation

  • $830M technology investment
  • Suncor continues to invest in strategic initiatives that support continuous improvement across its operations and drive step changes in existing processes, such as value chain optimization in supply and trading, and further optimization and automation of mining and upgrading through autonomous haul systems (AHS), which are now fully deployed at Steepbank mine and expected to be fully deployed at Fort Hills in 2020.
  • 50-70% potential GHG reductions and lower water use through solvent-based processes 
  • Lower downstream emissions
  • Converting waste streams to useful products 
  • Improved safety and costs
  • Autonomous haul trucks
  • Drones and remote sensing 
  • Cleantech venture capital: Evok Innovations, ArcTern Ventures, Enerkem Inc., LanzaTech 
  • Implementing and improving energy efficiency, developing and deploying new technologies, investing in low-carbon power, moving to low-carbon fuel


  • ISO 14001 – certified facilities
  • ISO 9001 – certified facilities
  • ISO 31000 – the risk management program is aligned with the International Organization for Standardization guidelines

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

United Nations SDGs Compliance


  • Inclusion and diversity strategies and action plans across the enterprise
  • Unconscious bias training to provide learning opportunities to eliminate bias and increase cultural competency
  • Workshops with involvement from employees and leaders across Suncor to ensure employee voices are heard 
  • Partnering with Women Building Futures on a program to train women in heavy industrial trades to increase their participation in the workforce


  • Partnering with Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) to achieve the COSIA water goals, and to generate water-related technologies and innovative ideas targeting efficiency improvements across the oil and gas industry.
  • Convened under COSIA, Suncor and the Water Technology Development Centre (WTDC) partners, Canadian Natural, Husky and CNOOC International, developed the $140 million WTDC, a first-of-its-kind demonstration site for oil sands project partner companies to test water treatment technologies at a commercial scale.
  • Implementation of water efficiency and treatment programs at Suncor’s refineries


  • Advancing a portfolio of technologies to lower the carbon intensity of producing bitumen and improve cost competitiveness
  • Suncor’s renewable power portfolio, including a partnership with Aamjiwnaang First Nation in the Adelaide Wind Power Project near Sarnia, Ontario
  • Using cogeneration, a carbon-efficient form of baseload power generation at Suncor’s oil sands facilities, and exporting excess low-carbon electricity to the Alberta provincial grid
  • Investing in biofuels, including the largest ethanol facility in Canada and investments in biofuel technologies


  • Partnering with companies and organizations such as Evok Innovations, COSIA and Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) to promote and support the growing ecosystem of entrepreneurship focused on clean energy research and technology solutions
  • Implementing Suncor’s social goal to partner with Indigenous businesses and communities, including an equity partnership in the East Tank Farm Development with Mikisew Cree First Nation and Fort McKay First Nation in northern Alberta; an equity partnership in PetroNor, a distributor of petroleum products owned and operated by the James Bay Cree First Nation in Quebec
  • Supporting organizations that share Suncor’s vision in developing skills and ensuring career success for youth, women, and Indigenous communities, such as Keyano College


  • Partnering with COSIA to develop the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre, a test facility for initiatives such as the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE
  • Being a CRIN member, an organization that focuses on creating connections for Suncor’s resource sector, to advance technologies for use in Canada and global markets
  • Participating in Energy Futures Lab, which aims to strengthen Alberta and Canada’s position as a global energy leader and Engineering Change Lab, a collaborative platform for stewarding the application of science and technology 

SDG 12

  • Developing a supply chain sustainability strategy to accelerate progress on the environmental and social impacts of Suncor’s procurement decisions
  • Investments in businesses such as Enerkem Inc., which manufactures biofuels and renewable chemical products from household garbage that would otherwise be landfilled
  • Launching Canada’s first coast-to-coast electric charging network through Suncor’s Petro-Canada stations

SDG 13

  • Establishing a long-term GHG goal to reduce emissions across Suncor’s operations
  • Understanding and reporting on carbon risk and resiliency, and is a signatory to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)
  • Partnering with industry to launch the Alberta Carbon Conversion Technology Centre to test carbon capture and conversion technologies alongside other researchers and innovators


Suncor Energy Inc. is listed in leading indices like Dow Jones Sustainability Index, GRI Index, FTSE4Good Index Series, CDP and Corporate Knights. Suncor is recognized for its sustainability reporting and got awards from the Canadian government, and also has 3 ISO certificates. Suncor is in compliance with some of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

Despite these facts, a better rating cannot be granted. Suncor is mining the tar sands for oil which produce over 3,600 tonnes of CO2 emission per hectare and consume enormous amounts of water. 

In 2020, the Norwegian Central Bank (Norges Bank) excluded Suncor from the Government Pension Fund Global due to Suncor’s high level of greenhouse gas emissions. 

Although Suncor is slowly converting to renewable energy, oil production and mining the tar sands are still its core business.

Therefore the rating granted to Suncor is a C.

Analyst Outlook: Negative

Suncor’s core business is a major cause of environmental destruction and they should rapidly convert to renewable energy generation.

Key Points

  • Ernst & Young LLP performed review-level assurance on selected performance indicators for the year ended Dec. 31, 2019 driven by various reporting frameworks and sector disclosures
  • Rank and prioritize topics considering a range of perspectives internally and externally through both workshops and knowledge sharing
  • Mining the tar sands for oil produces over 3,600 tonnes of CO2 emissions per hectare, consumes fresh water at a rate that rivals the daily water use of several major Canadian cities combined, and has destroyed a New York City-sized chunk of boreal forest and muskeg habitat. Suncor’s mine will close down in 2033, Suncor has been granted until after 2100 to figure out how to clean up their tailings and reclaim the land.
  • Norges Bank’s Executive Board has decided to exclude the companies Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy Inc, Suncor Energy Inc, and Imperial Oil Limited after an assessment that acts or omissions that on an aggregate company level lead to unacceptable greenhouse gas emissions.
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