As a provider of energy, structures, logistics and other essential services, ATCO contributes to all 17 of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals, both directly and indirectly. Below are examples of how ATCO is contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
The strength of our workforce comes from diversity. Our policies ensure we hire people based on their experience and expertise. We also provide skills training and apprenticeship opportunities.
- Our Structures division was honored to be awarded an Employment Equity Achievement Award from the Government of Canada, recognizing our programs in diversity and employment equity. In 2020, our electricity division received the Workplace Diversity & Inclusion Champion Award from Electricity Human Resources Canada.
- Women make up 30 per cent of our workforce and 26 per cent of our senior management team.
- ATCO supports a diverse and inclusive working environment that values the contributions and perspectives of everyone. Our Inclusive and Respectful Workplace policy encourages diversity and ensuring our people have the opportunity to participate in work-related activities, in an environment that is inclusive, respectful and safe.
- As part of the Trade Winds to Success program we recently hired two recent graduates for Indigenous apprenticeship positions.
- In Australia, we have become an official partner of Hockey Australia. This new partnership will see ATCO support Hockey Australia in delivering its national junior program and national social inclusion program.
Affordable and Clean Energy
Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
MODERN ENERGY SERVICES
We continue to work with customers to provide access to cleaner and affordable energy by identifying the right combination of innovative technologies. Solutions include integrating micro combined heat & power (mCHP), rooftop solar panels and energy storage, as well as larger integrated-systems scale solutions such as RNG and hydrogen.
- In 2019, renewable natural gas (RNG) was injected into ATCO’s natural gas distribution system for the first time in Alberta. The injected RNG results in 85 per cent fewer emissions than conventional natural gas. In 2020 we applied to the Alberta Utilities Commission for a producer rate that will support the continued adoption of RNG as a part of Alberta’s energy future.
- Hydrogen presents an exciting opportunity for ATCO to leverage our existing infrastructure to develop low-carbon energy solutions. Learn more about our Clean Energy Innovation Hub and Clean Energy Innovation Park in Australia, our Fort Saskatchewan Hydrogen Blending project, a first of its kind project in Alberta to blend five per cent hydrogen with natural gas, and our work with Fortescue Metals Group to build a hydrogen vehicle refueler station.
- We continue to develop sustainable building solutions for our customers and communities. This includes commercializing micro combined heat & power (mCHP) units that utilize natural gas to provide electricity and capture energy that would be lost. In 2020, we sold six mCHP units to customers across Canada.
- We collaborate with customers to support their decarbonization goals. We worked with EQUS on their new “near net-zero” head office, installing 35-kW of combined heat and power (CHP), 55-kW of solar energy with 39-kWh of battery storage, an EV fast-charging station, and a building management control system.
- ATCO is proud to introduce LUMA, our newly-formed company in Puerto Rico that will transition Puerto Rico’s electric grid to one that is safe, reliable, resilient, sustainable and affordable. LUMA is 50 per cent owned by Canadian Utilities, an ATCO Company, and 50 per cent owned by Quanta Services.
Across our operations, we continue to advance renewable technologies. Whether it’s solar panels or hydroelectric power, we have the expertise to deliver reliable and innovative energy solutions.
- Following the sale of our Canadian fossil fuel-based electricity generation business, our remaining power generation capacity is 23 per cent renewable. We are actively transitioning our portfolio and supporting the development of renewables with our Cabrero Solar Project in Chile.
- We improved access to renewable energy in remote communities by completing a 600-kW solar project in Fort Chipewyan, Alta., a 940-kW solar project in Old Crow, Yukon. We also work with Indigenous groups to support their energy independence, such as 100-kW school roof-top solar array for the Sunchild First Nation, northwest of Rocky Mountain House, Alta and Montana First Nation to develop a 5-MW solar farm.
- ATCO offers the opportunity for its retail energy customers to purchase either 25 or 100 per cent of their energy from renewable sources with our Green Energy Plans. In 2020 we redeemed over 12,000 renewable energy credits (RECs) on behalf of these customers.
We seek to understand the evolving energy needs of our customers and develop efficient and effective solutions that support the transition to a lower-emitting energy system. We collaborate with customers and partners to enable energy efficient solutions, such as switching to more efficient fuels and reducing energy consumption.
- In 2020, our energy efficiency projects included the installation of two 34-kW CHP units and high-efficiency boilers at the Rocky Mountain House aquatic centre and the installation of three 1.4-MW CHP units at the Edmonton International Airport.
- We collaborate with customers and partners to enable energy-efficient solutions, including converting more than 4,000, or over 40 per cent, of streetlights in our service area to light emitting diode (LED).
- With our Construction Energy Services, we provide natural gas for on-site heat and power. In 2020, we partnered with PCL Construction as they build the new cancer center at Foothills Medical Center in Calgary, Alta. To date, this project has eliminated over seven million liters of propane, reduced 1,996 tonnes of GHG emissions and saved over $2 million for the customer.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
We continue to develop new and innovative models of economic participation with our Indigenous partners.
- We continue to develop Indigenous Partnerships and develop new models of economic participation. In 2020, we awarded over $58 million in contracts to Indigenous and Indigenous-affiliated contractors and over $71 million in net economic benefit to our Indigenous partners
- In 2020, we were awarded the prestigious International Edison Award for our work on the Fort McMurray West 500-kV Transmission Project, completed by Alberta PowerLine (APL). From securing innovative public-private partnership funding to engaging and eventually selling a 40 per cent equity stake to our Indigenous partners, APL is a model for inclusive long-term development.
- In partnership with Three Nations Energy (3NE), which is jointly owned by the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Mikisew Cree First Nation and Fort Chipewyan Métis Association, we designed and built Canada’s largest off grid solar project in Fort Chipewyan, Alta owned by 3NE and operated by ATCO.
- We have 50 partnerships, joint ventures and other partnerships with Indigenous groups.
SAFE AND SECURE WORKING ENVIRONMENTS
Safety is the first consideration in everything we do. We actively share best practices among business units and jurisdictions
- Extensive safety initiatives delivered that focus on strong leadership and empowering employees, including safety essentials training for managers and a safety assessment survey for employees.
- Health and safety is at the forefront of what we do. In 2020, we reported a decrease in three key metrics: employee TRIF (total recordable injury frequency) contractor TRIF and contractor LTIF (lost-time injury frequency).
- We provide skills training and apprenticeship opportunities for people of all walks of life to succeed. LUMA, our new company in Puerto Rico, is opening a state-of-the art lineworker college in Puerto Rico to raise the standard of training and safety for all. We broke ground on the college in April of 2021.
Sustainable Cities and Communities
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
We enable low-carbon transportation solutions such as CNG and EV charging infrastructure.
- We enable low-carbon transportation choices for our customers through the installation of 25 EV charging stations, including those as part of our Peaks to Prairies project.
- We continue to develop compressed natural gas (CNG) as a fuel source. Our CNG projects include the construction of two new commercial grade natural gas refueling stations along the Queen Elizabeth Highway (QEII) in Alberta and through a partnership with the City of Calgary, the new leading-edge Stoney CNG Bus Storage and Transit Facility, which will enable the addition of 150 CNG buses to the city fleet over the next three years.
Our modular structures division showcases our ability to rapidly deliver residential solutions using energy-efficient modular construction techniques to address the growing demand for affordable housing.
- We have expanded affordable housing options in our communities through constructing homes for veterans through the Homes for Heroes Foundation. Our first veteran’s community, ATCO Village, is a big success. In 2021, we broke ground on a second community in Edmonton that will create 20 new tiny homes.
- During 2019 and 2020, we constructed several supportive housing complexes in British Columbia (B.C.) for the provincial agency BC Housing in New Westminster, Powell River, and Surrey B.C.
We continue to support the Canadian Armed Forces, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and various non-government organizations in disaster and emergency response services.
- Following the devastating bushfires that ravaged Australia in 2019-2020, we donated $1 million to the Business Council of Australia’s BizRebuild program to help communities and businesses recover in the wake of the disaster.
- Our ATCO Frontec division is committed to providing emergency and disaster response services globally. Projects include working with Siksika Nation in southern Alberta on the Partnering 4 Resilience program and partnering with other groups such as Weatherhaven to provide essential support to Canada’s COVID-19 response
- In April 2020, our electricity and natural gas teams responded to flooding in the northern Alberta community of Fort McMurray. Our top priority was ensuring the safety of our employees, the community and the public as we worked to restore utility service to those impacted.
Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
CLIMATE CHANGE RESILIENCE AND ADAPTATION
We carefully manage climate-related risks by preparing for, and responding to, extreme weather events and continuing to evaluate ways to create greater system reliability and resiliency
- We recently expanded our reporting in alignment with the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations in ATCO’s Management’s Discussion & Analysis and on our website.[SN1]
- Our progress on climate change adaptation and resilience measures include 74 per cent progress towards completing inline inspections on all natural gas transmission lines.
- We invested $940 million in new and refurbished infrastructure in 2020.
- To manage the impacts climate change can pose to our infrastructure, we have implemented a risk-based approach to manage wildfire risk. For example, in Jasper, Alta., an area with a higher risk of fire, we piloted a program to replace standard fuses with a new technology that minimizes the risk of starting a wildfire.
GHG & AIR EMISSIONS
We reduce both the direct and indirect GHG emissions associated with our operations by exploring new and more efficient ways to generate, transport and conserve energy.
- Our direct (Scope 1) GHG emissions were reduced by 90 per cent from 2019 to 2020, primarily as a result of Canadian Utilities’ sale of its Canadian fossil fuel-based electricity generation business in 2019, eliminating coal-fired generation from our portfolio. We reduced 17 per cent of our Scope 1 GHG emissions from our retained assets.
- The sale of Canadian fossil fuel-based electricity generation also resulted in a significant decrease in our air emissions. In 2020, we reduced our sulphur dioxide emissions by almost 100 per cent, and nitrogen oxide emissions by 80 per cent.
- We continue to reduce our methane emissions, having reduced emissions by 19 per cent since 2019. We achieved this by focusing on three key areas: leak detection, repairs and the elimination of flaring.
Clean Water and Sanitation
Clean Water and Sanitation
Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
- Through a first-of-its-kind facility in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland, we have been able to leverage our common water infrastructure to support our customers and minimize disruption to the surrounding rivers.
- We continue to reduce our water use, with a decrease from 16 million cubic metres (m3) to 1.5 million m3 from 2019 to 2020, a 90 per cent reduction.
- At six of our corporate office locations, we amassed total potable water savings of over 3.8 million litres in 2019. These savings are attributed to the assessment of landscapes, efficient management of water resources, and seasonal monitoring of performance.
- As part of their 2020 ATCO EPIC campaign, ATCO Mexico employees raised funds to purchase three water catcher tanks for families in need in Xometla, Mexico, in partnership with World Vision Mexico and the community itself. The projects were successfully completed in April 2021and now helping the families access to safe water close to their homes
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
- In 2019, ATCO launched its SpaceLab initiative, an enterprise-wide framework of collaborative support for the creative energy of our people and a source of funding and expertise to any ATCO employee with the desire to pursue sustainable new value for the company. In 2020, Spacelab’s Vice President, was recognized for their contribution for Canadian mathematics. The SpaceLab hosts a Speaker Series which are virtual session open to the public that explore different trending scientific topics.
- We invested $3 million in 2020 in natural gas innovation to develop and test technology that affordably reduces GHG emissions.
- To enable the transition to lower-emitting energy sources, we are taking steps to modernize our grid. In 2020, we took foundational steps in Grande Prairie, Alta, to install 6,000 smart meters. Real-time readings allow us to analyze information and optimize customer energy use.
- Our Urban Pipeline Replacement project involves replacing our existing pipeline infrastructure to ensure that we can continue to provide safe, reliable service to our customers while meeting growing energy demand. In 2020 we began construction on a project called the Northwest Calgary Connector, a natural gas pipeline approximately 14 kms long.
- We pursue innovative projects that improve access to energy and enable the transition to lower-carbon energy sources. Our Pembina-Keephills Transmission Line and our recent acquisition of the Pioneer Pipeline supports the coal-to-gas conversion of power plants. Our Jasper Interconnection project reduced the local community’s reliance on diesel fuel.
- In collaboration with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT), the University of Alberta (U of A), and Siemens, the Distributed Energy Management System Initiative (DEMI) has resulted in the successful design, installation and commissioning of a new microgrid research facility.
Life on Land
Life on Land
Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat diversification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
- Our Jasper Interconnection Project, energized in 2019, utilized construction techniques that minimized environmental disruption through the use of covered conductors, paralleling existing right-of-way and winter construction timing.
- We take a strategic approach to vegetation maintenance, offering vegetation management and right-of-way maintenance programs that are cost-effective and follow industry environmental standards.
- Working collaboratively with Indigenous partners, environmental specialists and regulatory agencies, we altered the route of the Fort McMurray West 500-kV Transmission Project to maximize cultural and environmental protection, including reducing the potential impact on caribou. We were recently recognized for this project for exceeding expectations in our environmental conservation and reclamation efforts to preserve the usage of these lands, and our Caribou Protection Plan was promoted as a best practice among industry peers.
- To balance the natural environment with providing our customers with reliable electricity, we came up with a plan to install a hardware solution that would deter the birds from roosting on our transmission lines.
- Our How we do business code outlines our commitment to meeting or exceeding environmental regulations and operational standards and using resources and energy efficiently.
End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
- As part of our Homes for Heroes project, we built 15 tiny homes for homeless Canadian Armed Forces veterans in Calgary. We’re working to build a second village of 18 tiny homes in Edmonton.
- Our programs in Mexico include community workshops to build wood-burning stoves to reduce the reduce the respiratory impacts of open-fire stoves.
- With our Indigenous partnerships, We focus on creating long term partnerships that contribute to sustainable economic and social development, and are continually exploring new models of collaboration with our Indigenous and community partners
End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
- At our Two Rivers Lodge, located at the site of BC Hydro’s Site C project, we partnered with the Salvation Army for an innovative program to donate our unused, viable food and prepared meals to help feed vulnerable residents.
- Our Child Nutrition program in Mexico aims to improve children’s nutrition by introducing amaranth grain into school meals.
- ATCO’s Blue Flame Kitchen partnered with the Calgary Seniors Resource Society to provide 11,500 meals for isolated seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic to fight food insecurity.
Good Health and Well-Being
Good Health and Well-Being
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
- During this global pandemic, it is more important than ever to support our customers and communities. Whether it’s supporting a local distiller in producing hand sanitizer or supplying critical medical facilities to the Government of Canada, we’re here for you. Learn more about ATCO’s response to the COVID-19 virus, which included issuing over 120 all-employee communications to keep our people up to date with ATCO’s COVID-19 response and changing health regulations and distributing 6000 safety kits to our employees all over the globe.
- In 2020, we launched our Well-being @ ATCO initiative, bringing together and building on our existing health and wellness strategies such as our Not Myself Today campaign. Over 1,000 employees signed up to participate in the initiative and more than 500 employees took part in mental health training and awareness sessions online.
- Our pilot Smart Academic Green Environment, or SAGE, classrooms are quick and affordable portable solutions designed to create a healthy learning environment for students
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
- Junior Achievement Southern Alberta is an organization that promotes entrepreneurship in young people and educates them about business. ATCO is a proud sponsor and in 2020, seven ATCO volunteers mentored students to develop “Beeyond Wraps” as a replacement for single-use plastic food wraps and were awarded the Company of the Year award.
- ATCO inspires Indigenous youth to become future leaders through the ATCO Explore program. In 2019, the program expanded to include 43 grade nine students, but was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. ATCO offers a variety of Indigenous Education Programs. In 2020, 49 Indigenous students across Canada received scholarships, bursaries and merit awards totaling $66,000.
- In Peraj, Mexico we formed a partnership with the Instituto Tecnológico Superior De Zongolica. Twenty Indigenous university students were awarded scholarships and paired with Indigenous elementary students to provide mentorship and encourage them to stay in school.
- Empowering our people to continue to learn and grow is important to us. That’s why we provide our staff with ongoing technical and non-technical training, as well as career development opportunities.
Reduce inequality within and among countries.
- In 2020, we generated over $71.4 million in net economic benefit for our Indigenous partners and continue to form partnerships to reduce the inequalities Indigenous peoples face.
- We’re pleased to have been selected as the winner of the 2020 International Edison Award for our work on the Fort McMurray West 500-kV Transmission Project, which empowers and promotes the social, economic and political inclusion of all.
- Our How we do business code outlines how we promote an inclusive and respectful workplace that values individual differences and unique perspectives.
Responsible Consumption and Production
Responsible Consumption and Production
Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
- We prevent, mitigate and manage spills using a variety of measures and ensure all appropriate steps are taken to minimize environmental impacts. The majority of our reported spills in 2020 were a result of vandalism to our electricity transmission infrastructure.
- ATCO partnered with the environmental firm Green Standards to reduce the amount of furniture, appliances, computers and other materials that end up in the landfill each year. In 2018, we diverted 87 tonnes of material.
- We continue to reduce our hazardous waste with a significant reduction in production from 3,749 tonnes in 2019 to 1,820 tonnes in 2020.
Life Below Water
Life Below Water
Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.
- As a provider of essential services around the world, we are committed to environmental stewardship. We include environmental considerations in every project, including those located in marine environments, from project planning to operation, maintenance, and decommissioning.
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
How we do business is the code that outlines our ATCO values and how we conduct business in an ethical manner.
- Bribery: We never offer, attempt to offer, promise or accept payments, gifts or anything of value that could influence a business decision
- Anti-corruption: We ensure that all interactions with public officials comply with the law.
- Fraud: We do not tolerate fraud in any form, whether initiated by our people or our business partners.
- Fair Competition: We never collude with other companies on prices or terms offered to our customers, agree with competitors to allocate markets or customers, or manipulate bid processes.
Partnerships for the Goals
Partnerships for the Goals
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
- ATCO is proud to support the communities we work in with a variety of community investment initiatives. Since 2006, ATCO employees have raised over $47 million for hundreds of community charities all over the world.
- We are committed to strengthening the grid through partnerships. We partnered with Quanta Services to create LUMA to transform and operate Puerto Rico’s electric transmission and distribution system, and to create Alberta PowerLine to construct the Fort McMurray 500-kV West Transmission project.
- In addition to investing in our own hydrogen projects, we collaborate with others to resolve some of the broader implementation challenges as hydrogen becomes a viable energy source. We support the Transition Accelerator, a pan-Canadian organization that is working to develop a hydrogen economy.