Environmental Planning and Monitoring

Corporate Responsibility

Environmental Planning and Monitoring

We incorporate environmental considerations and planning into all phases of our projects. Environmental planning begins with assessments at the time of acquisition or prior to construction. For example, when our major projects are first proposed in a regulatory application, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is completed, which provides a thorough understanding of potential project-related impacts and appropriate mitigation and environmental conservation measures. Specific placement of surface well pads and infrastructure to optimize recovery of the bitumen resource is balanced with consideration of opportunities to minimize impacts to the range of environmental sensitivities and values that may occur in the areas where we operate. 

Environmental and socio-economic impact assessments also highlight any regional risks to be addressed in project planning. We work co-operatively and effectively with communities, government agencies and stakeholders to reduce the potential impacts of our operations. To measure and mitigate potential project-related impacts on treaty or traditional lands, our consultation plans commonly include assessments and support Indigenous communities in documenting traditional land use and/or current use. Canadian Natural also documents traditional ecological knowledge that is shared and considered when compiling baseline environmental information, developing monitoring and mitigation programs throughout the duration of our projects (e.g. for reclamation), and participates in government-led land use planning initiatives, including involvement in multi-stakeholder forums.

Regional Frameworks and Collaboration

The Provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia have established frameworks for the management of air, land and water. Canadian Natural has adopted those frameworks into our operating practices to implement comprehensive mitigation plans for sensitive landscapes, wildlife and aquatic systems. These environmental frameworks establish, for instance, limits on emissions, restrictions on water use, tailings reclamation timelines, and conservation of land and biodiversity. We also participate in research programs for land planning, caribou restoration and reclamation.

Environmental monitoring allows us to continually measure our performance, establish targets and work towards improvement. Canadian Natural supports environmental monitoring as a part of responsible resource development through openness, transparency and the generation of scientifically reliable data that addresses public/stakeholder concerns. Monitoring of air emissions, water use and land disturbance occurs at our larger facilities. We participate in local and regional air monitoring programs in Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia, as well as federal monitoring programs. 

We also support regional monitoring of the oil sands conducted by Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP), to assess the state of the environment and cumulative effects related to air, land and water, in order to maintain ecological functions and restore areas as part of long-term reclamation planning. For example, Canadian Natural works closely with the Fort McKay First Nation, located near our oil sands mining operations, to improve monitoring on traditional land. 

We work with government, industry and other stakeholders to implement and advance environmental policy through the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) and other regional multi-stakeholder groups. Additionally, we are committed to accelerating environmental performance improvements by actively participating and sharing best practices with industry.