Stewardship and sustainability are integral to our region’s continued livelihood. Established in 2001, NCIA’s goal at the time was to build on the successes of its predecessor – the Fort Saskatchewan Regional Industrial Association – and to provide an improved structure to understand and address environmental concerns related to industrial operations and development in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland. This focus has been unwavering.

“Our members appreciate that environmental health, economics and human well-being are interlinked,” says NCIA Executive Director Dr. Laurie Danielson. “There is much value to be gained by being conscientious and forging a path for others to follow.”

NCIA members are continuing to garner attention for their proactive environmental advances. General Electric recognized Evonik for technology improvements that have contributed to reduced water consumption and increased re-use of water on site, and Shell Scotford was recently benchmarked by Solomon against other facilities of comparable size and was commended as the pacesetter facility with regard to energy efficiency where it uses about 65% of the energy of a standard refinery.

Home to both of Alberta’s larger carbon capture and storage initiatives, all eyes are on Alberta’s Industrial Heartland for its existing and newer carbon capture facilities including Praxair Canada Inc. and Ferrus Inc. who capture some of the CO2 from Sherritt and Dow for beverage carbonization and Enhanced Oil Recovery. Launched in 2016, Shell’s Quest facility captures 1.2M tonnes of CO2 per year and Enhance Energy will take CO2 captured from the NWR Sturgeon Refinery and Nutrien Redwater facilities once fully operational and use it for Enhanced Oil Recovery in Alberta.

“These projects have inspired us all to consider additional CO2 transportation and storage opportunities in the region along with other avenues for positive change,” adds Danielson.

As new industrial developments take shape, the bar is being raised even higher. In fact, the NWR Sturgeon Refinery recycled more than 95% of the waste generated during construction. This included concrete, metal, wood, plastics, drywall, and more.

“We are all striving for continuous improvement,” says Danielson. “Be it through beneficial partnerships, facility upgrades or new ways of doing business, NCIA members are actively trying to reduce our environmental footprint in the Heartland.”