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Environmental leadership at EPCO​​R

We empower our people to be leaders on environmen​t and public health by anticipating the future direction of regulation and legislation, being early adopters of technologies and improved operating practices, and acting as trusted advisors to policy makers.​​

​This culture of environmental leadership has led to EPCOR being recognized as: one of Canada’s Best 50 Corporate Citizens, an EnviroVista champion-level operator in Alberta, one of America’s Utilities of the Future Today, and a Canada’s Clean50 award winner for environmental sustainability.

EPCOR’s leadership is underpinned by its Health, Safety and Environmental Policy, which commits the company to “preventing pollution and reducing our environmental impacts, including those contributing to climate change and affecting the ecosystems in which we operate.” 

This commitment is backed by disciplined day-to-day operations, with most of EPCOR’s Canadian operations holding third-party ISO 14001:2015 certification for their environmental management systems. Through its Enterprise Risk Management program, the company identifies, manages and monitors business risks that could significantly impact day-to-day operations or its ability to achieve its long-term plans.

Scorecard at a ​​glance

Our performance measures, data and targets speak to the importance we place on protecting the environment. We have innovative programs and initiatives underway that are helping to reduce our environmental footprint, protect critical infrastructure and support community resiliency and sustainability. We seek to exceed the minimum requirements for our industry, and are always looking for innovative ways to improve our approach.

Greenhouse ​​Gas Emissions

EPCOR owned and operated company-wide Scope 1 and 2 emissions, net of offsets

​Protect water quality

Annual discharges of suspended solids into the North Saskatchewan River from land drainage, wastewater treatment operations and combined sewer overflows (2019)​

Implementation of Edmonton flood resilience upgrades

Protect utility assets and critical infrastructure from river flooding to at least a 1:200-year flood event (percentage implemented)​

​Limit water loss

The percentage of treated drinking water lost due to transmission and distribution line leaks and failures (​U.S. and Canada combined, 2019)​​

Wastewater re-use

Percentage of treated effluent re-used or injected to recharge aquifers (U.S. operations)

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​​​​Targets

Targets are:

  • 50% reduction in net greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, 85% by 2035, and net zero by 2050
  • 2027: 100% of flood resilience upgrades complete 
  • 90% beneficial reuse and/or recharge of treated effluent by existing U.S. operations

​Behind the numbers: scorecard in co​​ntext

Our environmental scorecard:

​Affirms the need for urgent climate action, reporting on EPCOR’s achievement of its greenhouse gas reduction targets and the company’s accelerated pathway to net zero

Sustains the company’s leading role in watershed protection, reporting on multi-utility strategies to reduce total loading to the North Saskatchewan River​

​Protects the integrity of utility operations, reporting on the implementation of flood resilience upgrades to protect water and electricity utility assets and the integrity of water distribution and transmission systems

Supports community sustainability and health, reporting on efforts to recharge desert aquifers with treated wastewater, monitor and protect source water in the North Saskatchewan River basin, and implement the lead mitigation strategy in Edmonton

 

Environment and climate change at EPCOR

At EPCOR, we're minimizing our own environmental footprint, reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and enforcing an enterprise-wide Integrated Health, Safety & Environment Management System. These actions, and many others are outlined in our environment and climate change strategy, our climate mitigation plan, and our environment management foundations information.

Our commitment to the environment

 

​Our commitment in action

From protecting our water to investing in green energy, our environment and climate change strategy is supported by real actions that are making a measurable difference in protecting our environment. We’re building stronger infrastructure and communities, and we’re doing it in a way that positively impacts the environment and address climate change.

See the operational projects that demonstrate
our environmental commitment​

Featured stories

Water is a life-sustaining resource. We understand measures must be taken now to protect our water supplies in Canada and the United States. And we're doing this in an environmentally-friendly way.

The North Saskatchewan​ River and climate change​

Our job is to collaboratively manage and protect the North Saskatchewan River for the more than 1 million people in 70 communities who rely on its water. To protect our water supply, we need to protect the environment and take action on climate change.

Read how we protect the North Saskatchewan River

Securing water supplies in the desert southwest

Climate change and a declining Colorado River threatens the water supply in the southwestern United States. EPCOR partnerships, as well as solutions to safely reuse water, protect the water supply, and provide safe water for communities.

Learn more about our water reclamation initiatives

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​Environmental outlook: opportunities for continuous improvement

EPCOR has set an ambitious pace for carbon reduction. While projects already underway will be sufficient to reach the first target (a 50% reduction by 2025), substantial work remains to develop the pathway to the second milestone (an 85% reduction by 2035) and to our ultimate goal of net zero emissions by 2050. EPCOR expects to detail its progress on those plans in future reports.

EPCOR's greenhouse gas reporting and strategies are focused on the company's Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from EPCOR-owned operations. The company also operates facilities owned by others and retains contractors to perform substantial volumes of construction and maintenance work. While emissions from these sources are beyond the scope of this report, EPCOR is committed to advising and supporting its client communities and project partners on how to implement their own climate mitigation and adaptation projects and to encouraging emission reduction activities by contractors.

EPCOR's program for community flood mitigation in Edmonton is the company's largest activity under the “community resilience" theme of its environment and climate change strategy. The next wave of funding to implement EPCOR's flood mitigation program is being proposed to regulators in 2021 through Edmonton's Performance Based Regulation (PBR) process. Once confirmed, EPCOR will set additional implementation targets. The company will report progress externally through the annual PBR reporting process, and it expects to include implementation targets in future ESG Scorecards.

EPCOR's ability to implement climate mitigation and adaptation investments is, in most cases, subject to approval by regulators and dependent on supportive policy frameworks. The company also seeks grant funding from multiple orders of government to reduce the burden on ratepayers. The company continues to advise policymakers and regulators on the development of frameworks that will facilitate the investments needed to reduce the environmental footprint of its operations, improve the resilience of utility infrastructure, and help communities and customers reduce their own environmental footprint and increase their resilience.

​Additional resources

Here's some more information on EPCOR’s environmental strategies, programs and performance.

​Resource
What you'll find​
Annual Information Form​
  • ​Environmental regulations and initiatives within each line of business (10-13, 15, 19-20, 21, 22)
  • Health, Safety and Environment Policy (23-24)
  • Climate Change, Enterprise Risk Management program, Environment and Climate Change strategy, climate change opportunities and risks ((24-27)
Performance Based Regulation (PBR) filing
  • Executive summary
  • Detailed findings
  • Proposed plans for EPCOR's Edmonton water-cycle utilities
  • Applications proposing capital and operating programs for 2022-2026 (Water) and 2022-2024 (Drainage and Wastewater Treatment), including business cases for all projects of $5 million or more
  • An executive summary providing an orientation to the filings and a summary of the proposal. The filings include more than 2,500 pages of detailed plans for the water-cycle utilities
PBR Performance Reports
  • The most recent performance reports for the Edmonton water-cycle utilities, including detailed performance data on environmental, social and customer service performance
EnviroVista Report
  • ​EnviroVista Champion status, which is awarded to organizations that promote environmental leadership and recognizes environmental excellence
  • A report that outlines EPCOR’s Edmonton water treatment plant’s environmental performance and specific environmental initiatives that go above and beyond the typical approval-to-operate requirements for municipal water operations 
Water Quality Data
  • Daily, weekly and monthly water quality data for the Edmonton region, showing test results for both raw river water and treated drinking water
Source Water Protection Plan
(2020 edition)
  • The most recent triennial publication, updating the risk assessment for the North Saskatchewan River and the multi-barrier protection system that is in place
  • A plan prepared by a team of watershed biologists who study our watershed throughout the year, the SWPP works to understand and mitigate potential risks to source water supplies through a watershed and aquifer approach
​EPCOR's Community Flood Protection Mitigation Program (SIRP)
  • An overview of the EPCOR’s $1.6 billion 20-year plan to protect Edmonton from overland flooding
​Customer resources
  • ​Electricity, water and natural gas conservation tips for customers in all markets
  • Educational information and customer programs for home-flood proofing in Edmonton
  • A simplified guide for connecting your home solar system to the Edmonton electricity grid
Projects
  • E.L. Smith Solar Farm
  • Gold Bar Renewable Natural Gas Project
  • Steinhauer and Ermineskin Flood Mitigation Project
  • US projects, including improvements to the San Tan system, and the Luke 303 expansion

  • Environmental sustainability project information and community engagement materials