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ESG Report: Air Canada, OPG, CBRE

This week’s ESG Report takes to the skies with Air Canada, then returns to the ground with Crown...


Air Canada has embarked on a low-carbon strategy that hinges on sustainable air fuels. (Courtesy Air Canada)

This week’s ESG Report takes to the skies with Air Canada, then returns to the ground with Crown corporation Ontario Power Generation (OPG) and real estate giant CBRE Group.

Air Canada

Canada’s largest airline by passengers and fleet size, Air Canada is headquartered in Saint-Laurent, Que. This is Air Canada’s first Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TFCD) release.

Report highlights: Air Canada has committed to invest $50 million in sustainable air fuels and other low carbon aviation fuel development by 2030. It is actively evaluating the practical applications of renewable energy sources such as biogas and renewable electricity, and energy transition measures.

Emissions goal: A 2030 target for air operations of 20 per cent net greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction, and a 30 per cent net GHG reduction from ground operations, using 2019 as a baseline. Net-zero by 2050.

Scope 1 and 2: Emitted 4,913,258 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) of Scope 1 emissions. Emitted 7,144 tCO2e of Scope 2 emissions.

Scope 3: Emitted 572,090 tCO2e.

Certifications: IATA Environmental Assessment (IEnvA), an ISO 14001:2015 equivalent EMS certification for policies regarding waste reduction, pollution and GHG emissions, and to improve environmental performance.

Third-party verifiers: IEnvA and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for limited assurance engagement on certain indicators, including the Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

DEI plans: N/A.

ESG strategy: A $50 million investment into sustainable air fuels, carbon reduction and capture development. Electrifying its ground equipment to decarbonize. Air Canada will evaluate the viability, safety and performance of new electric, hydrogen or hybrid operational technologies, and will look for other innovative opportunities elsewhere in its operations.

Read the full report here.


OPG is a Crown corporation that produces approximately half of Ontario’s energy. It generates energy from nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, oil, natural gas and biomass sources.

Report highlights: Advanced several clean energy projects, including the redevelopment of the Calabogie hydro station and the replacement of two previously decommissioned units at its flagship Sir Adam Beck I Generating Station. Hydrogen production also progressed under its subsidiary, Atura Power, through the advancement of commercial low-carbon hydrogen demonstration projects at a variety of locations across Ontario.

Expanded the Ivy Charging Network, in partnership with Hydro One, which is to develop into an electric vehicle charging network with more than 150 fast chargers, at more than 60 sites, by the end of 2022.

Launched a new subsidiary, PowerON Energy Solutions, to provide electrification and charging infrastructure for municipal transit agencies and corporate fleets. PowerON is working with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Toronto Hydro to electrify more than 2,400 TTC buses.

Emissions goal: Net-zero by 2040.

Scope 1 and 2: Emitted 2,112,755 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent of Scope 1 emissions. Emitted 4,250 tonnes of Scope 2 carbon dioxide equivalent emissions.

Scope 3: N/A.

OPG has recently engaged EcoVadis to conduct ESG evaluations throughout its value chain. This work will help determine a baseline for Scope 3 emissions.

Certifications: ISO 14001-registered Environmental Management System (EMS) to manage its environmental responsibilities.

Third-party verifiers: EcoVadis for Scope 3 emissions.

DEI plans: Advancing its Indigenous engagement by supporting Indigenous-run businesses and communities with $1 billion over 10 years. Launched a 10-year equity, diversity and inclusion plan.

ESG strategy: Investing in transportation electrification, small modular reactors, energy storage, hydrogen production and hydroelectric projects. OPG maintains a 364-day revolving credit facility of $977 million and a multi-year credit facility of $1 billion, both incorporating a third-party sustainability-linked feature. Offering clean energy credits.

Read the full report here.


CBRE Group is a commercial real estate services and investment firm based in Dallas with over 7 billion square feet of managed property and over 100,000 employees. It has over 500 offices in over 100 countries, including Canada.

Report highlights: Close to 6,000 buildings certified by ENERGY STAR (total of 346.9 million square feet). Issued $2 billion in green bonds. Removed 272,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide through energy efficiency and decarbonization programs.

Emissions goal: Net-zero by 2040. Reducing Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 68 per cent by 2035 against a 2019 baseline.

Scope 1 and 2: Emitted 46,251 metric tons of carbon dioxide in Scope 1 emissions, a decline from 60,379 in 2020 and 58,770 in 2019. CBRE attributes the decline to a decrease in fleet vehicle fuel consumption. Scope 2 emissions constituted 19,847 metric tons of carbon dioxide for location-based electricity and purchased heating and 20,078 metric tons of carbon dioxide for market-based electricity and purchased heating.

Scope 3: Emitted 89,168,768 metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is a sharp increase from 54,684,733 metric tons of carbon dioxide in 2020. The company said it was due to an expansion of its assets.

Certifications: LEED, BREEAM, Fitwell and WELL.

Third-party verifiers: Apex Companies for emissions.

DEI plans: Partnering with organizations like Commercial Real Estate Women and National Black MBA Association that bring more diverse workers into the real estate sector. Hiring more diverse interns. Spending $3 billion over the next four years on diverse suppliers.

ESG strategy: Attaining 100 per cent renewable electricity by the end of 2025. An all-electric fleet by 2035. Enforcing a sustainable procurement code.

Read the full report here.

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