Fluor Canada: One company’s path to corporate sustainability and net zero

2020, a Year to Remember

2020 will be a year that everyone will remember. When asked, “What happened in 2020?” everyone’s response (in some form) would likely relate to the global pandemic. As the pandemic demanded the attention of governments, businesses and citizens around the world, corporate behemoths in the oil and gas industries were also making a record-breaking number of announcements regarding their corporate commitments to sustainability. Announcements ranged from adopting novel technologies, to de-carbonizing products, to becoming a net-zero emissions company by 2050; all within the framework of curbing global GHG emissions.

On Jan. 28, 2021, Fluor CEO David Constable also shared a corporate commitment to sustainability — fostering a high-performance culture with purpose, including a goal of achieving Net Zero by the end of 2023.

Fluor in the Current State

Globally, Fluor operates over 50 offices around the globe. With these come the requirements of heating, air conditioning and maintenance. GHG emissions from this global portfolio of assets are 60,000 tonnes of CO2e per year.

Fluor is committed to reducing its scope 1 (e.g., think CO2 emitted from burning natural gas for heating) and scope 2 (e.g., think electricity used for air conditioning, and the CO2 emitted to create that electricity) emissions by the end of 2023, to zero.

Fluor Canada’s Commitment to Net Zero

Fluor Canada is uniquely positioned to support the organization’s corporate commitment to Net Zero 2023,” said Mark Brown, Vice President and General Manager of Canadian operations. “The world-class expertise required to approach this commitment is right here in-house. Our sustainability task force has been hand selected to bring innovative and thought-provoking ideas to the forefront, and the delivery of those ideas will be driven by the execution excellence that we have become known for.

In February 2021, Brown appointed David Mercer, current Head of Technology for Canada, to lead the Canadian commitment. Mercer says his parents instilled in him a sense of sustainability from an early age, based upon their lifestyle choices. “They’ve deliberately switched off their oil-fired furnace every night, between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., for over 50 years.” This action alone has saved over 30,000 kg of CO2e emissions. Mercer holds this as a reminder that every sustainability action counts, no matter how large or small, and knows that the Fluor Canada family of employees are also committed to making meaningful change.

Fluor Canada’s Task Force

The Fluor Canada Net Zero 2023 Task Force was convened on March 8, 2021. The team comprises individuals from the Calgary and Vancouver offices having diverse backgrounds and life experiences as they pertain to Sustainability. Professionals with experience in Communications, External Relations, Technology, Facilities, Project Operations and HSE bring complementary perspectives to the Task Force, enabling them to quickly identify areas of opportunity and transform those ideas into tangible actions.

On May 12, with 200 employees in attendance, the Task Force hosted virtual Sustainability training followed by a materiality survey. The survey sought to answer two key questions as they relate to Sustainability at Fluor Canada: 1) identifying key areas of importance and 2) identifying areas where employees felt they could have influence over Sustainability.

Relative to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), employees felt that Fluor Canada could have influence in the following areas: 1) gender equality, 2) decent work and economic growth, 3) industry, innovation and infrastructure and 4) climate action. This feedback has informed current and future Task Force activities.

Corporate Net Zero 2023 Framework

Managed at the corporate level, the Net Zero 2023 Framework provides an opportunity for Fluor offices around the globe to submit sustainability-related ideas to reduce scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. With overwhelming creativity and armed with ideation campaign feedback, the Fluor Canada Task Force held the editorial pen. Canadian submissions included, but were not limited to:

  1. The installation of a rooftop solar array to offset electrical consumption, led by Fluor Canada’s Emerging Leaders Group (ELG).
  2. Fluorescent fixture and lighting replacements with LEDs.
  3. The purchase of electricity from renewable sources.
  4. Reducing setpoint temperatures in select areas, thereby reducing electricity consumption.
  5. An all-electric vehicle replacement for an aged maintenance vehicle.
  6. Xeriscaping around the property, thereby reducing water consumption.

Conservative estimates suggest that a combination of reduction initiatives have the potential to reduce our Canadian emissions footprint by 12%, and likely more.

The Path Forward

Corporate endorsement for sustainability upgrades in Canada is planned in Q4, 2021, with construction anticipated through 2022 and 2023. Until then, the Sustainability Task Force is wasting no time. “We are proactively looking at opportunities through our facilities and projects requiring little to no capital investment,” says Mercer. “Every action counts.”

The Sustainability Task Force is also securing internal opportunities that provide a platform for employees to further imagine and unpack the potential behind suggested sustainability initiatives — including a dedicated workshop with Fluor Canada’s Graduates Advancing to Professionalism (GAP) group at their annual conference in September. This is an opportunity to not only showcase Sustainability Task Force activities, but also engage Fluor Canada’s workforce in stimulating sustainability conversation and communicating the commitments that the Fluor Canada Management Team has made toward the corporate goal of Net Zero 2023.

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