COSIA celebrates 10 years of environmental innovation in Canada’s oil sands

It started as one of the most unique models for open innovation and collaboration in the world. Ten years later, Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) continues to deliver on its mission to improve environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands.

Calgary, AB, Canada, May 02, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- COSIA was formed in 2012 by a group of competing energy companies representing more than 90 per cent of oil sands production, including Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy, ConocoPhillips Canada, Imperial, Suncor Energy, Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Teck Resources Ltd.

Together, they believed they could mobilize the world’s best minds from industry, government, academia and the public to create breakthrough science and technologies to minimize the environmental impacts of oil sands operations through intense collaboration. 

Fast forward 10 years and COSIA members have contributed more than 1,143 clean technologies at a cost of $1.8 billion and counting, significantly improving environmental performance in the region. The results are evident. Since 2012:

• In situ operators have reduced freshwater use intensity by 46 per cent.
• Mining operators have reduced net water use intensity from the Athabasca River and its tributaries by 25 per cent.
• In situ operators have also reduced their operating footprint intensity by six per cent.
• Meanwhile, the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions in the oil sands has declined by 20 per cent (between 2009 and 2018), according to a 2022 IHS Markit report.

“COSIA’s work over the past decade demonstrates the Canadian oil sands’ commitment and global standing as a leader in environmental innovation,” says Wes Jickling, Chief Executive of COSIA. “Together, COSIA members are enabling production of sustainable oil sands energy through game-changing innovations ranging from A to X – be it amphibious vehicles, to accelerating land restoration, to the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE, which accelerated new technologies to convert carbon emissions into valuable products. 

These environmental advancements are only possible through the commitment of our members and partners – including academia, government, innovators and entrepreneurs who have collaborated with us at various stages of our journey.” 

As COSIA marks its 10th anniversary, the foundation created over that time paves the way for continued collaboration within industry, including on the path to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“We have a great track record of competitors coming together to develop technologies that improve environmental performance. We’ll need to intensify our collaboration and sharing to achieve industry’s vision of net zero by 2050. That’s exactly what we’re focused on for the future,” says Jickling. 


About COSIA 
Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is a unique alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands. COSIA enables collaboration and innovation between thinkers from industry, government, academia and the wider public to improve measurement, accountability and performance in the oil sands across our environmental priority areas of Greenhouse Gases, Land, Water and Tailings. COSIA members search the world for solutions to our toughest problems. And we have some of the best minds on the planet working on technologies to enable further responsible and sustainable development.


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