2015 Delivery and Performance

We held our third annual COSIA Performance Update at the end of last year. I and the EPA directors had the opportunity to showcase the ways our members are continuing to put their money (technology, knowledge and expertise) where their mouths are, proving once again that their commitment to environmental performance does not change with the price of oil.  

The event was attended in person by over 350 Associate Members and external stakeholders within government, academia, the not-for-profit sector, media and the wider innovation community. Another 240 people tuned into the event via our second Performance Update webcast. I was pleased with the number of people who participated in the webcast this year from all over Canada and the US.

COSIA’s members have worked hard to expand our network of innovators and a substantial portion of this latest Performance Update was focused on the new and innovative ways members are collaborating with each other, with our Associate Members and with innovators around the world. 

We have developed Challenges to articulate our members’ innovation needs in a way that innovators working anywhere in the world in any industry can understand and act upon, allowing us to draw upon global knowledge and expertise to solve key challenges for the industry. Earlier in 2015, we launched the NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE which offers US$20 million to innovators that can turn carbon from a waste into a valuable product.

From the beginning, I have always said that COSIA is not only about members collaborating with members, but about members collaborating with the brightest minds around the world. I’m looking forward to seeing many collaborative partnerships evolve out of these initiatives in the months and years to come in addition to the ones already under way.

In 2015 COSIA member companies:

  • Started 37 new project worth $23 million;
  • Completed 60 projects, many of which are delivering real environmental benefits;
  • Shared 65 technologies costing $101 million to develop, and;
  • Continued to manage an active portfolio of 218 projects at a cost of $480 million.

Many of these projects are being conducted in partnership with our Associate Members and other innovative organizations in Canada and further afield. And members are beginning to see the results of this collaborative model. Members have been able to implement promising technologies developed by other members and adopt best practices to increase the efficiency of operations across the sector. The level of sharing has increased significantly from 2013 when members began tracking this information – in some cases, the level of sharing has increased by as much as 500 per cent. You can read about a number of these technologies in this issue of the newsletter.

In 2015 members reported their progress towards achieving our water performance goals. While it is still very early days and COSIA members expect there may be significant variation in performance from year to year, early results against these two goals are encouraging and show that members’ hard work is paying off.

  • In 2015 COSIA members with mining operations reported a reduction in their net water use intensity from the Athabasca River and its tributaries by 30 per cent in 2014 compared with 2012 figures, meeting the goal that was set for 2022.
    • This means that members used 1.5 barrels of Athabasca River water to produce one barrel of bitumen in 2014 compared to 2.2 barrels of Athabasca River water in 2012.
  • COSIA members with in situ operations reduced their fresh water use intensity by 36 per cent in 2014 compared to a 2012 baseline, on target to achieve the goal of a 50 per cent reduction in water use intensity by 2022. 
    • This means that members used 0.23 barrels of fresh water to produce one barrel of bitumen in 2014 compared to 0.36 barrels of fresh water in 2012.

2015 was a great year for accelerating the pace of environmental performance and through the commitment and hard work of our members, 2016 will be even better.


Dan Wicklum

Dr. Dan Wicklum, PhD. | Chief Executive 
Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance