COSIA: A tool for environmental excellence

COSIA: A tool for environmental excellence

Canadian Natural Resources Limited is part of a number of COSIA joint industry projects that are working to develop innovative technologies to improve environmental performance in Canada’s oil sands.

Joy Romero, VP, Technology Development at Canadian Natural

Joy Romero, VP, Technology Development at Canadian Natural Resources Limited

Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is one of the most effective tools that oil sands companies have for developing innovative new ways to improve environmental performance. At least that’s how Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Canadian Natural) sees it.

Canadian Natural has Environmental Excellence Initiatives that are part of how we do our work across all of our businesses,” says Joy Romero VP, Technology Development at Canadian Natural. “For our oil sands groups, COSIA is a key tool for operationalizing Environmental Excellence.

Canadian Natural’s oil sands team taps into the collaborative work facilitated through COSIA for new technologies and best practices. They are currently working on a number of initiatives to further integrate COSIA into their day-to-day operations.

Face to face communication

You have to be able to take ideas from the COSIA table and bring them back to operators in the field and the engineers on our design teams, Romero says.

Canadian Natural has committees for each of the Environmental Priority Areas (EPA). The committees meet every two weeks to discuss new developments in COSIA. Everyone on those committees then communicates that information to their teams.

Since day one, Romero has met weekly with Canadian Natural’s EPA Steering Committee (SC) representatives to ensure she stays up to date with the work they are doing through COSIA. The SC reps as well as legal, communication, tax and internal administration tax reps meet once a month to share lessons learned and plan next steps.

Knowledge sharing pathways

Administrative support, work processes and computer systems are in the early stages of development to help SC representatives maintain crucial relationships with the team members they need to engage on COSIA projects and best practices. These support systems are needed to fully embed COSIA into day-to-day operations, allowing employees to engage with COSIA and access valuable information. They hope to be fully functional by the end of 2014.

The great thing about COSIA is that we can then share our successes and failures with the other member companies to help each other better incorporate COSIA into our day-to-day operations, says Romero.

COSIA Coordinator

Canadian Natural has hired a COSIA Coordinator who will develop systems for maintaining communication and disseminating information to ensure that everyone on oil sands teams has the information they need to fully utilize COSIA.

As more of Canadian Natural’s oil sands teams are exposed to COSIA the more they will see that COSIA isn’t a separate entity but rather a tool or vehicle they use every day as they continue to strive for Environmental Excellence.