Oil Sands Industry Must Step Up Pace of Innovation to Solve Environmental Challenges

Alberta’s oilsands companies have a history of innovation but they’re now working more closely together to ramp up the deployment of new environmental technologies, industry experts told a GLOBE 2014 session.

“We’ve had a tremendous history of innovation” in commercializing the oilsands, but we have to step up the pace in solving environmental challenges, Gordon Lambert, executive advisor, sustainability & innovation to Suncor Energy Inc., told delegates to the international environment business conference and trade show, held in Vancouver in March.

Lambert, one of four panelists in a session titled, “Canada’s Oil Sands: Technology & Collaboration,” said there are critically important “issues of the commons,” such as the cumulative impacts of oilsands development, that the industry needs to address together.

“We can’t afford to duplicate effort,” he said, pointing to a recently discovered example where four companies were testing the same centrifuge equipment for tailings treatment – unbeknownst to each other.

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