COSIA’s Land Environmental Priority Area (EPA) is focused on reducing the footprint intensity and impact of oil sands mining and in situ (in place) operations on the land and wildlife of northern Alberta.

Through collaborations with universities, government and research institutes, industry, Aboriginal communities and the wider public, the Land EPA is bringing together world-class expertise to address complex issues related to integrated land management within Alberta’s boreal forests.

What are we Targeting?

Reduce the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations by 10% by 2022.

The Land EPA identified key issues facing the industry and is working to address the following:

  • footprint intensity reduction — more efficient use of land by reducing the extent and duration of industrial footprints;
  • accelerate reclamation — reclaiming and restoring disturbed land in a timely manner;
  • preserve biodiversity — maintaining natural diversity including bird, mammal and fish
    species with a focus on species of management concern.

COSIA is the overarching collaborative hub within which companies set priorities, drive and share innovation and accelerate the pace of environmental performance improvements.

Land Challenges

The Land Environmental Priority Area has identified COSIA Challenges to help mobilize the minds and resources of external stakeholders and global solutions providers and allow it to achieve its Aspiration to ‘be world leaders in land management, restoring the land and preserving biodiversity of plants and animals’.

To find out more about the purpose of COSIA Challenges and how you can help meet them, please click here.

Land Projects

Through joint industry projects (JIPs) the members of the Land EPA are developing new technologies and conducting research.

These JIPs will directly contribute to the achievement of the Land EPA’s Performance Goal and  Aspiration though the closure of the Gaps and the achievement of Opportunity Areas identified in the Land EPA’s planning framework.

Project Research

COSIA, its members and its associate members have invested considerable resources in academic literature research, laboratory research and environmental studies relating to land use, land reclamation and land impacts caused by Canada's oil sands development. You can explore the published findings on Land here.

Performance Goals

COSIA’s Land Performance Goal is focused on increasing land-use efficiency and reducing the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations.

COSIA members with in situ operations will collectively strive to:

Reduce the operating footprint intensity of in situ operations by 10% by 2022.

The Performance Goal uses an intensity-based metric that measures the amount of surface land disturbed per area of reservoir accessed.


Over time, irrespective of variations in overall footprint surface area, interested parties can see whether COSIA members are collectively disturbing more or less land to access the oil under the ground. Performance against the goal will be reported publicly on an annual basis with COSIA members aiming to achieve it by 2022. This time frame will allow the companies to develop the new technologies and processes required to be successful.