Setting targets, taking action in the fight against climate change

Enbridge’s net-zero and interim 2030 goals are achievable and grounded in science

Grounded in science. Aligned with the goals of the Paris Agreement. And working towards meeting our emissions reduction and other ESG goals.

At Enbridge, we recognize the pressing need to combat climate change—and our ambitious operational emissions reduction plan reflects that priority.

In November 2020, Enbridge became the first midstream company in Canada, and North America’s largest energy transportation company, to commit to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Both our net-zero goal and our interim target—reducing the intensity of our operational emissions 35% by 2030—were developed using guidance and methodology recommended by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which drives ambitious climate action in the private sector.

Net-zero strategy and accountability

Our strategy to achieve our net-zero goal focuses on four key pathways:

  • Modernization and innovation to increase efficiency and reduce the operational emissions intensity of existing infrastructure.
  • Decarbonizing the energy we use through solar self-power, and advocating for policies that decarbonize the power grid.
  • Investing in renewables and lower-carbon infrastructure.
  • Balancing residual emissions through selective investments of carbon offset credits generated by nature-based solutions.

“Our net-zero and interim 2030 targets are based on science, and aligned with the objectives of the Paris Agreement,” says Pete Sheffield, Enbridge’s Chief Sustainability Officer. “We’ve already made great strides on our journey to reduce our operational GHG emissions—and to hold ourselves accountable, we’ve tied our progress to executive compensation while also issuing $3 billion in sustainability-linked bonds that tie borrowing costs to delivering on our emissions reduction targets.

“Organizations measure what matters, and tying compensation and financing to our ESG progress illustrates the importance we place on addressing climate change,” adds Sheffield.

In fact, as our CEO stated clearly in recent investor-focused events, every new investment we make must have a plan to achieve net-zero or we won’t participate.

Making progress against our targets

Science-based guidance for establishing net-zero commitments in the midstream sector does not yet exist. In early March, the SBTi acknowledged that “science-based emissions reductions for these sectors are complex, and the SBTi is taking a cautious and deliberate approach.”

Enbridge is working to change that, however. We’re collaborating with the SBTi, the Institutional Investors Group on Climate Change, and Climate Action 100+ to develop such guidance, and potentially evaluate our own targets for improvement.

We’re building on that foundation with new commitments in 2022 that include enhancing how we stress test our strategy against net zero emissions scenarios and sharing the outcomes in our upcoming sustainability report.

We’ve already reduced our Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions intensity by 21%—and curbed our absolute emissions by 14%—compared to our 2018 baseline, through a number of initiatives that include efficiency improvements, reduced power consumption and decarbonization of the energy we use.

This progress has been recognized by independent expert parties including CDP (formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project), which gave us an “A-minus” grade for our climate change response, and Sustainalytics, which ranked us in the top 5% of its industry group.

Tracking, reporting and reducing Scope 3 emissions

Enbridge is also leading the midstream sector in tracking, reporting and reducing Scope 3 emissions. In spite of the current limited guidance, we’ve tracked and reported on these emissions since 2009, and in 2021 we added new Scope 3 metrics that track the emissions intensity of the energy we deliver.

We’re actively working to reduce Scope 3 emissions in the following ways:

  • Energy efficiency programs operated by our utility, Enbridge Gas, that have helped our customers avoid 55 million tonnes of GHG emissions over the past 26 years.
  • Hydrogen blending projects that inject clean hydrogen into the natural gas stream to reduce its carbon footprint.
  • Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) production and injection into the natural gas stream, which similarly reduces emissions.
  • Investing in offshore wind projects, including a trio of wind farms off the coast of France that will collectively produce more than 1.4 Gigawatts (GW) of clean energy.
  • Working with key suppliers to better understand their emissions performance and reduction plans.

“The current energy crisis exemplifies the critical need to ensure that we have a deliberate energy transition that addresses climate concerns while not compromising the world’s need for energy, now and in the future,” says Matthew Akman, Enbridge’s Senior Vice President of Strategy, Power and New Energy Technologies.

“We believe our approach does exactly that, addressing the dual challenge society faces—reducing emissions en route to net zero, while also ensuring affordable energy society relies on for our economic and social wellbeing.”

(TOP PHOTO: Our strategy to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2050 includes a solar self-power program to decarbonize the energy we use.)