Sustainability at Suncor

Advancing solutions through engagement

Transitioning an energy system requires social, cultural, technological and economic shifts and a shared vision for the future.

Through both Suncor and the Suncor Energy Foundation, we support organizations that engage Canadians in meaningful discussions on the energy system and its connections between the environment and the economy. We work with our foundation partners to promote an understanding of the changing energy realities of the 21st century and raise awareness among Canadians of the role their choices and lifestyles play in reducing emissions.

Individuals standing over a table with pens ready to draw and make notes

Collective dialogue and collaboration are essential to developing relationships and understanding diverse perspectives, experiences and viewpoints about the role we all play in creating our energy future. While our views on the pathways to achieving this future may not always align, we can all agree on the need to sustainably produce energy that enhances people’s lives while caring for each other and the Earth.

Over the past year, we engaged with stakeholders through meetings, workshops and conferences. Although these engagements looked a bit different this year with COVID-19, our virtual engagements were effective and productive. This past year, we also advanced supplier engagement efforts and worked together to create more environmental and social impact opportunities within Suncor and the broader marketplace. We are committed to engaging in different ways, and we look forward to opportunities to build mutual understanding and work toward solutions. Examples of these collaborations and highlights over the past year include:

  • Partnering with the Energy Futures Lab, a multi-stakeholder, collaborative platform committed to ensuring Alberta and Canada’s strong energy economy is ready to thrive in a low-emissions future.
  • Working collaboratively to support reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples through leadership development and building community capacity, including a focus on environmental priorities.
  • Although we couldn’t host our annual Ceres-facilitated stakeholder panel in 2020 due to COVID-19, we continued to engage with both Ceres and Climate Action 100+ on climate-related issues and the role Suncor can play in the energy transition. Both groups provided helpful feedback as we worked on our climate objectives and encouraged us, among other things, to have clear metrics that could be tied to executive compensation. We look forward to continued engagement throughout 2021.
  • Involvement on several committees to advance sustainable energy development, including participation on the Canadian Standards Association sustainable finance taxonomy and the Alberta ESG steering committee.


To help inform Suncor on policy trends and policy design, we also support several climate initiatives and participate in critical global energy discussions, including:

Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD)

We have supported the desire for consistency and transparency embodied in the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations since 2018, and view information disclosed in alignment with those recommendations as foundational for stakeholder engagement.

Within our full 2021 Climate Report, we provide information aligned, fully or in part, to TCFD within our on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions trends, our strategy and progress toward our GHG target, updated information on our input into climate policy development, and our engagement activities including embedding sustainability considerations within our supply chain.

Engagement with our supply chain

In 2020, we continued work to identify baseline risks and opportunities within our supply chain. Through the supplier prequalification process, we now gather data and screen potential suppliers based on sustainability-related criteria. Annually we review our critical suppliers’ sustainability reports, codes of conduct and CDP Climate Change responses. We have mapped our suppliers on a global basis and are working to better understand the sustainability risks and opportunities available. In addition, we have added a supply chain sustainability risk to our risk register.

In early 2020, our senior leaders met with our key supplier community and industry partners to signal Suncor’s intentions to transform relationships to accelerate innovation and sustainability performance. The event, called FORGE, created an opportunity to collaborate across the breadth of Suncor’s supply chain. One of the outcomes from FORGE was the development of a supplier relationship management structure. This innovative approach allows Suncor and our key suppliers to share best practices to achieve continuous improvement in sustainability performance throughout the value chain. These discussions contributed to the formalization of a supplier performance assessment survey that incorporates multiple sustainability factors, including questions to our suppliers related to emissions, and allows Suncor to receive two-way feedback from our suppliers.

Collaborating and partnering to advance innovation

Innovation is best served by inviting the brightest minds and diverse perspectives to collaborate both within and outside our industry. We invest and participate in several initiatives, all sharing the goal of addressing the most pressing environmental and economic challenges of the energy industry and amplifying climate actions, including:

  • Co-founding Evok Innovations with Cenovus Energy and the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance Inc. This $100 million technology fund (to which Suncor and Cenovus have each committed up to $50 million over 10 years) focuses investments on enabling entrepreneurs to advance ideas to commercialize clean technologies and market them globally.
  • Technology collaboration efforts through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA). Canada’s largest oil sands producers pool expertise and intellectual property to advance technologies and improve environmental performance in four focus areas: GHG, water, tailings, and land. COSIA also focuses on developing advanced monitoring technologies to increase the accuracy of area fugitive emissions quantification from our tailings ponds and mine face.
  • Advancing the work of the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN), an industry-led group created to leverage the oil and gas industry’s strengths and contribute to a future in which Canada is a global leader in producing clean hydrocarbon energy from source to end use. The network brings together diverse expertise and facilitates connections to advance technologies for use in Canada, and potentially for export to global markets.
  • Investing in clean technology funds such as ArcTern Ventures, a Toronto-based venture capital firm investing globally in breakthrough clean technology companies addressing climate change and sustainability.
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Read more in the Climate Report

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