There are a number of ways that we integrate the issue of climate change into Vermilion’s business strategy:
- Our focus on achieving Best-in-Class HSE drives management support of programs that enhance our environmental performance, which in turn empowers our people to effect operational change. We track our progress on this best-in-class goal on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis, and communicate our progress across the business.
- We are committed to being compliant in all regulatory regimes across all business units. Compliance with changing regulations, planning for forecasted changes and efficiency are primary drivers for identification and implementation of emission reduction and fuel efficiency related initiatives.
- We have altered our project management framework to include aspects of sustainability and climate change – including regulatory change, water utilization, emissions reduction and footprint reduction – resulting in a reduction of ecosystem fragmentation. Our technical teams across the organization communicate with each other, collaborate on current and upcoming sustainability initiatives, and bring in technical expertise to augment project execution.
- We annually examine and re-assess the risks and opportunities associated with climate change and the potential effects on our operations globally. Some of the risks we examine include rising sea levels, climate change impacts, carbon taxation schemes and carbon sequestration requirements. Based on our assessments, we adjust our long term operating strategies to ensure efficient, effective and safe development of the resources in our operating areas. Examples of this include the research and development completed to implement technology that allows for the treatment and re-use of advanced gel chemical fracture flowback fluids. This approach reduces the requirement for fresh water to complete wells and the volume of water being disposed of via deep well injection. For facility construction, we employ new and efficient technology that is adaptable to changing requirements and decreases the impact on the environment. An example of this is the installation of solar power as a primary power source at a number of the new wells drilled in Canada in 2014. This solar power is augmented with thermoelectric generation (TEG) power units when the region lacks the necessary daylight to produce the amount of energy required. In addition, we have teams evaluating the potential for the re-use of infrastructure for geothermic energy in several of our business units. G4-EC2
Several substantial business decisions were made in 2014 and 2015 to reduce emissions. For instance, we scoped required modifications to acquired assets in southeast Saskatchewan that will allow for a significant (50%) reduction in Vermilion’s 2014 emission levels in the medium term (2020). This included a significant capital commitment in our Saskatchewan operation to fund the completion of a gas plant project, with partners, that enables natural gas conservation in the region. Another example of a substantial business partnership that has a quantifiable reduction on Vermilion’s emissions is the purchase of 100% green power from our largest power provider (of 3 providers) in our Netherlands business unit, resulting in an estimated 91% reduction in Scope 2 emissions within our NBU (an estimated 35,990 tCO2e). The contract governing this power purchase came into effect in January 1, 2016. These are some of the examples of sustainability projects that not only met Vermilion’s economic criteria, but will have an impact outside of our operations and result in a reduction in third party emissions, as well as Vermilion’s Scope 1 emissions. These projects may allow a third party to directly reduce emissions, or avoid emissions by purchasing our products (which have may have a lower carbon footprint than our competitors).