April 2, 2007

Suncor Energy honours top EHS performers

In Fort McMurray, Alberta late last month, Suncor Energy presented its fifth annual President's Operational Excellence Awards in recognition of exceptional health, safety and environmental leadership performance by employees and contractors in 2006. This year's 28 award recipients were chosen from more than 150 nominees. The program includes environmental excellence awards in several categories.

In the energy marketing and refining category, the winner was the Sarnia refinery's wastewater treatment processing team. During 2006, this group undertook a project to improve the impounding capacity of the refinery's stormwater system to prevent overloading and discharge to the St Clair River during rainstorms.

The award in the natural gas and renewable energy category went to the caribou habitat and caribou calf protection team. The team worked in co-operation with the Alberta government and industry peers to restore important caribou habitat delineated along the North Cabin pipeline, in response to concerns expressed by stakeholders.

The corporate/functional support award recognized the efforts of the team shredder. In 2006, an agreement was negotiated with Cutting Edge Recycling, a relatively new scrap tire processor, to shred Suncor's stockpile of used tires, with the resulting crumb used for the leachate collection system in the Suncor's planned landfill expansion. Four hundred tires were processed and put to use for this purpose.

The major projects award was presented to the south tailings pond McLean Creek wetlands mitigation project team. This project involved the diversion of 4.8 kilometres of McLean Creek and surface water around the south tailings pond. As well, some 200 hectares of constructed wetlands were developed to compensate for the loss of previously existing natural wetlands and fish habitat. The project design and construction created new stream channels and a dispoersed-flow wetland that was compatible with the existing terrain.

The full list of President's Operational Excellence Award recipients may be viewed on-line at www.suncor.com/awards.

Suncor launched the annual awards program in 2002 as part of its Journey to Zero initiative to eliminate occupational illness and injuries. The program was expanded in 2004 to include recognition for environmental excellence.

In related activities, the Suncor Energy Foundation is providing just over $1 million to launch the Suncor Sustainability Centre at Lambton College in Sarnia. The investment, to be spread over three years, marks the largest ever made by the Foundation in Ontario.

The new Centre will be based in an existing building on the Lambton College campus and will become the focal point for sustainability initiatives and programs in the Sarnia-Lambton region. This facility will house a student and community resource centre, provide meeting and office space for industry and community groups, and become the home of the Bluewater Sustainability Initiative, a network of business and community leaders dedicated to implementing sustainability initiatives in Sarnia-Lambton. Renovations to the building will begin soon, with the official opening of the Centre slated for later this year.

The Foundation's investment will also support the development of a sustainability curriculum for Lambton College programs; an awards program to recognize individuals and organizations that pursue sustainability initiatives in the community; and the development of an educational site for alternative energy sources. will also be funded through this investment.

More information is available from Jason Vaillant, Suncor Energy Products, 519/383-3691.

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