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The ESG Report: CN, Vertex, Keyera

The ESG Report explores the latest sustainability and diversity initiatives set by the Canadian N...


The Canadian National Railway Company has set a net-zero goal by 2050 to be achieved with more efficient technology and sourcing cleaner fuels. (Courtesy Canadian National Railway Company)

The ESG Report explores the latest sustainability and diversity initiatives set by CN, environmental consultancy Vertex and oil and gas operator Keyera.


CN is a rail transport company headquartered in Montreal. It claims to transport more than $250 billion worth of goods per year across Canada and the U.S.

The company released a Sustainability Report Data Supplement to build on its 2020 ESG report and publish the progress made in 2021 toward its goals in 2021.

Strategy and Updates:  The company’s 2021 ESG report outlined a strategy centred around fleet renewals with more efficient and cleaner rail and non-rail equipment, innovative technologies like locomotive telemetry systems and distributed power, big data analytics to bolster performance and fuel conservation, better operating practices to enhance fuel efficiency and increasing use of renewable fuels (biodiesel and renewable fuel blends).

It invested into the growth of its intermodal business linked to its sustainability strategy, which is part of $2.9 billion CN allocated to its capital program.

CN says it is testing greater use of sustainable fuel blends in its locomotives beyond regulated quantities.

The company met its goal of diverting approximately 95 per cent of its operational waste from landfills annually.

CN also set a plan to plant 3 million trees by 2030. In 2021, CN planted 112,000 trees, for a total of 2.3 million trees since 2012. CN is at 77 per cent progress toward its 2030 target.

This is the company’s eighth Sustainability Report Data Supplement that accompanied its 12th ESG report.

DEI plans: CN sought to attain and maintain an executive management team where at least 30 per cent are women. Six of the 35 executive management roles (17 per cent) were held by women at the end of 2021. As of Jul. 31, 2022, eight of the 32 executive management roles (25 per cent) were held by women.

CN says it met its 2022 target of having at least 50 per cent of the non-management Board members coming from diverse groups and including gender parity.

Emissions goal: CN has a net-zero by 2050 goal. It is aiming for a 43 per cent reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions intensity reduction by 2030 based on a 2019 baseline, and a 40 per cent Scope 3 intensity emissions reduction by 2030 based on a 2019 baseline.

Scope 1 and 2: CN emitted 5,233,561 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in combined Scope 1 and 2 emissions.

In 2021, CN reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity for Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 3.3 per cent from 2020. CN has achieved 15 per cent progress toward its 2030 target.

Scope 3: CN emitted 2,188,444 tCO2e in Scope 3 emissions.

In 2021, CN reduced its GHG emission intensity for Scope 3 by 4.6 per cent from 2020. CN has achieved 32 per cent progress toward its 2030 target.

Certifications: N/A.

Third-party verifiers: An unnamed third-party verification or assurance is said to be in place to measure its emissions.

Read the full report here.


The Sherwood Park, Alta. company provides environmental services from consultancy to clean-up. Its clients include companies in oil and gas, renewables. forestry and mining.

Strategy and updates: Vertex is seeking to improve its fleet efficiency with GPS and other process management tools and adjust its revenue mix with focused growth in less emission-intense lines of business.

It reduced its gross Scope 1 GHG emissions by six per cent, or 2,127 tCO2e.

Vertex says it will have progress on a compressed natural gas fleet conversion trial and nature-based carbon offsets later in 2022.

This is the company’s second ESG report.

DEI plans: In 2021, Vertex claims to have made tripled its levels of revenue inclusive of its Indigenous relationships from 2020 and raised over $3 million in community benefits.

Emissions goal: N/A.

Scope 1 and 2: Vertex emitted 36,092 tCO2e of Scope 1 and 2 emissions in 2021. The majority of the GHG emissions were from Scope 1 at 32,491 tCO2e and the remainder (3,601 tCO2e) being Scope 2 emissions.

Scope 3: N/A.

Certifications: N/A.

Third-party verifiers: N/A.

Read the full report here.


Keyera is a midstream oil and gas company based in Calgary. It collects, processes, transports, stores and markets energy for industries like manufacturing, medicine, technology, agriculture and transportation.

Strategy and Updates: Keyera reports a 12 per cent decrease in GHG emissions intensity in 2021 compared to a 2019 baseline.

The company embarked on a strategy encompassing targeted optimization efforts in its gathering and processing business by diverting gas throughput to efficient facilities and investing in operational and emissions efficiencies to reduce fuel usage across its facilities like boiler retrofits.

It will source approximately 10 per cent of its power needs from a 25 MW solar generation facility in the first quarter of 2023.

It is piloting technology to identify and repair methane and other gas leaks in its operations.

Keyera is exploring future applications of carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) opportunities with its background in acid gas injection. It will execute CCUS plans when it deems them to be economically viable.

In 2022, it achieved gender parity on its senior executive team.

It also took up Indigenous engagement with awareness training, reconciliation and increasing its cooperation with 60 Indigenous-owned or affiliated businesses.

This is its second ESG report.

DEI plans: Keyera targeted underrepresented groups such as Indigenous communities through diverse job board postings and participated in network events for women and Indigenous people.

It offered third-party training to teach about unconscious bias and build an inclusive workplace.

Emissions goal: The company plans to reduce its Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions intensity from a 2019 baseline by 25 per cent by 2025 and 50 per cent by 2035.

Scope 1 and 2: It emitted 1,692,384 tCO2e of Scope 1 emissions in 2021 and 348,220 tCO2e of Scope 2 emissions in 2021.

Scope 3: It does not have Scope 3 emissions data. It will collaborate with its partners and customers to better understand its Scope 3 emissions, and monitor global emissions frameworks and standards such as the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Certifications: N/A.

Third-party verifiers: Eighty-eight per cent of Scope 1 GHG emissions data have been subject to a third-party audit verification process by an unnamed party.

Read the full report here.

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